While we all love our canine companions, no one who has ever owned a dog will need to be told how messy and potentially grubby dogs can get, and this often rubs off around the home, leading to that ubiquitous doggy smell and other clear and often undesirable indications that a dog is in residence!
If you are fed up of the funk and want to take advantage of the lovely spring and summer weather to de-dog your home, read on for out ten top spring cleaning tips for dog owners.
A good place to start is by seeking out any areas of your house that are particularly pongy, and working out why this is! If your dog has ever gone to the toilet in the house, this can still leave traces of odours that may catch you unawares some weeks later, and also, encourage your dog to do their business in the same spot again in future.
Use enzymatic cleaners to get rid of biological odours, and if you find a smell particularly hard to shift, consider replacing the carpet and underlay.
If your dog is apt to toilet in the same spot of the garden every time, this will soon kill your grass! Have a good walk around your garden with a critical eye, pick up any poop that you might have missed, and invest in some fertilizer and recovery products for particular dead spots on your lawn.
Even if your home and dog are sweetly fragranced, many of us have problems with a pervasive dog-funk in the car! Give the inside of your car a good clean out and hoover, or if you cannot face it, take it along to a valeting centre to do the hard work for you.
Unless your dog is one that destroys their toys so quickly that nothing you get for them lasts more than a week or so, you should pay some attention to the hygiene and cleanliness of your dog’s toys. Hard toys can be disinfected in hot water and a solution such as Dettol, or even be put through the dishwasher at a low temperature.
Soft toys such as teddies should be machine washed at a high temperature regularly, taking care to use a washing powder that your dog is not overly sensitive to.
You can make your future clean ups easier if you get into the habit of cleaning your dog off as much as you can before they come in from their walks, such as towelling your dog’s body off and washing muddy paws. It is easier to remove mud and dirt from your dog itself than it is to clean up muck that has been trailed all through the house!
Brushing your dog regularly, even if their coat is short, has a lot of benefits. It will help to remove loose and shed hair from the coat, stimulate the circulation of the skin, and cut down on the need for baths.
If your dog’s collar and lead can be washed or reconditioned, take care of this too, or your walking wear will soon let your dog down! If your dog’s collar is beyond repair or simply will not clean up, it might be time to invest in some new kit for them!
Dig out all of your dog food from the cupboard or bin that it is kept in, and work through it. Clean, disinfect and dry the containers that you keep your dog’s food in, and check what is in the back of the cupboards to ensure that it is in date. Throw out anything that your dog doesn’t eat, and get into a routine of rotating your food properly, so that the bag of food with the nearest “use by” date is always used first.
Cushions, carpets, dog beds and even curtains will soon begin to smell of your dog, and this means that all soft furnishings should be washed regularly to keep them smelling fresh. Dirty soft furnishings will not only rub off onto your dog, but may also harbour mites and fleas, which means that washing them will both make your home smell nicer, and keep your dog healthier.
Finally, don’t bring your funky dog back into your clean and tidy house or car without giving them a bath as well! All dogs need to be bathed from time to time, and you can either take care of this at home, or drop them off at a grooming parlour to do the hard work for you.