If you have a dog no doubt you wouldn’t be without it, but there’s no denying the joy of ownership comes with a penalty of mud, hair, dust and dirt.
So, how do we keep on top of things in the doghouse?
Well, after a walk, use a damp cloth to gently wipe down their paws, undercarriage and legs – especially if they have long hair. If you stay near the door when you get in, at least you’re confining most of the dirt to a relatively small area. And yes, in the middle of winter, it might have to be the bath or shower…
Another good idea is to get into the habit of regular brushing. Hopefully, your dog will enjoy it and at the same time you are collecting the loose dog hairs that will inevitably end up on the carpet or furniture otherwise.
While dogs love their toys, they tend to lurk in corners, full of germs and dirt. So, if they’re made of plastic or hard rubber you can put them on the upper dishwasher rack and run them through a cycle. Just don’t use dishwasher detergent. Likewise, for soft toys or fabrics, a turn through the washing machine will do the same job.
When it comes to the dog basket, we can be spoilt for choice and it’s tempting to go for style over substance. However, it really is more sensible to get one that’s easier to clean such as a waterproof one, especially if a puppy is in the picture.
There’s no doubt that having a dog in the home hits the vacuum cleaner hard. They are pretty much essential unless you want to spend all your time with a dustpan and brush – so it may be worth upgrading to one that specifically deals with pet hair – or at least taking it into consideration when it’s time to replace.
Though never deliberate, dogs can occasionally have accidents inside – and for a new puppy it’s inevitable – so a small, dedicated kit for cleaning up might be a good idea. Stain remover, carpet cleaner and disinfectant or surface cleaner should do it – though there are some products available have been specifically formulated.
Finally, some people love having their dog on the furniture and some people won’t even consider it. If you are in the former camp, it’s probably worth having a special blanket or two for the dog to lie on. This way, you protect your furniture and have an immediate replacement for the one that’s in the wash.
After all, your beloved dog isn’t going to avoid the canal, or the muddy field, or the dusty puddle that’s perfect for a roll in the sunshine, so you might as well give in now…