You guys, these sweetie pies…I can’t even tell you how much I love them. In a million years, I never thought I would have more than one dog. Growing up in a military family our pets consisted of exactly one hamster, one bird and a few goldfish won at the County Fair. Dogs were not even on the radar. Ever. We just moved around way too much to have them.
I can still remember the day I brought this little nugget home. Some 14 years later, she’s been the greatest gift and my constant companion. While she really tested my patience as a puppy nothing could have prepared me for the patience she’s tested as a geriatric 16-year-old.
It rivals the patience required to handle her 15-year-old bestie. Hands down, the most amazing thing I’ve ever found on the side of the road. She is always underfoot. I rarely take a step when she’s not right there.
It’s like double trouble all the time
Pets are such an important part of our family and I know they’re an important part of your family too.
While life with pets is so much fun it’s also extra work keeping the house fresh and free from odors. Here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to maintain a clean home while living with pets…
Air Fresheners – we launder our pet’s linens just as frequently as we launder our own linens, every week and sometimes more. We spray Febreze on the pet beds that do not have removable/washable covers as well as on any pieces of furniture they’ve been using to keep them smelling fresh. We use baking soda on the carpets to help absorb odors (wait until your dogs are out of the room before doing this so they don’t ingest baking soda) prior to vacuuming. Finally, we keep the house clean and burn candles or simmer pots while we are at home nearly every day.
It may seem like a lot but incorporating these tasks as part of our daily/weekly cleaning routine now feels like second nature.
Air Filters – depending on the type of dog(s) you have and how much they shed, it’s best to keep an extra eye on your air filters. We check on ours every few weeks just to make sure pet hair isn’t adding additional stress to our heating and cooling system. Changing your filters frequently will also help combat pet odors.
Window Cleaning – we have a lot of windows in the house and the dogs are always looking outdoors for rabbits, turtles, birds or lizzards. I want the windows to be clean but I also want the cleaner that I’m using to be chemical free. That’s why I use this recipe to keep all of our windows sparkling clean.
Pet Hair – our biggest challenge is definitely pet hair. Almost every day we’re vacuuming, Swiffer-ing or mopping the floors. We keep several lint rollers around the house (especially in the living room) to help get any pet hair off the furniture quickly. Keeping pet blankets/sheets covering furniture goes a long way in helping to keep pet hair off of furniture as well plus they can be easily laundered.
The dogs are combed outside and taken to the groomers on a regular basis. This cuts down on the amount of pet hair that winds up in the house. Given their breeds (2 terriers and a mutt rescue) we know it’s something we’re always going to have to keep on top of that’s just part of being a responsible pet owner.
Pet Wipes – keep pet wipes by the front and back door to help stop dirt and mud from coming inside.
Accidents – let’s face it, dogs get sick and have accidents even when you’re diligent about taking them outside for potty breaks. It goes without saying, clean the mess up immediately and avoid using ammonia based products.
Baths – your vet will be able to advise you how many times per month your dog should be bathed. It is not uncommon for dogs to have allergies or special skin care needs based on breed or age so make sure to follow your veterinarian’s recommendation. Obviously, if they’ve been rolling in the mud or you catch them crawling out of the turtle’s tunnel you need to bathe them immediately.
Making sure your pets have been properly bathed/groomed/cleaned will go a long way in helping to cut down on pet odors indoors.
Food Storage – keep food in an air tight container, free from pests and put away. When we created this dog feeding station in the panty earlier this year it was a game changer. Now we keep bulk food stored in the garage while smaller portions and treats are kept in these glass jars. If you have large dogs and this system isn’t an option, consider keeping all of your dog supplies together to help keep things better organized.
This is going to sound like such a cornball thing to say but I’m going to say it anyway…some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned have come from sharing life with these three amazing creatures. They’ve taught me about love, nurturing, patience and forgiveness in ways that no human would have ever been able to teach me. Dogs are worth every bit of extra effort because they give so much. Just look at these sweet faces…