Keeping your home clean can be a full-time job when it’s just you and your spouse… but throw kids and pets into the mix and well, it’s just bonkers! Dealing with the amount of hair and laundry alone is a part-time job!! Oye!
And with that said… It has taken me YEARS to figure out the best ways to keep a house clean when you have pets. And in my extreme case, I have 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 3 horses. It doesn’t take a lot of extra work either. You just need the right tools and methods.
Follow these simple steps to a cleaner home!
I can’t even begin to say how important it is to keep your pets groomed! Removing the hair before it falls off and ends up in your morning tea is so important. I used to use the Furminator for my cats and dogs for many years. But, there was still so much hair all over my house, even if I brushed daily. Two years ago while shedding out our horses – I remembered thinking “this SleekEZ is amazing”! I wonder if they make it smaller. And sure enough, they do! I ended up ordering the 5-inch model and I use the same one for all of my pets. I brush the cats 1x a week or as often as they let me. Chewie is not a fan of being brushed at all. Naboo will give me at least 5 minutes of brushing time and Ewok LOVES being brushed. She doesn’t really groom herself (special-needs kitty), so I try to groom her at least 3x a week. I brush Maisey every day – she LOVES it! Maggie sheds a ton of those little short beagle hairs all over, so I try to brush her daily as well. The amount of hair I remove just from brushing them all is insane!
I also have a professional dog groomer that comes to my house for a Spa Day for the pups. Regular grooming truly is key to keeping your home clean.
I recommend investing in a really good vacuum because vacuuming will become a daily routine. I love my Dyson Animal Canister. I vacuum the main level daily – kitchen, family room, dining room and living room. These are the spaces that the animals are in the most. I vacuum the stairs, upstairs (bedrooms), and kid zone (basement), twice a week. During shedding season I vacuum the whole house every day! It sucks, but having hair everywhere including in your food is much worse. It takes me a little over an hour to vacuum the whole house. That includes all the rooms in the house and the furniture. I just put on my headphones and turn on music or a really good book from Audible. I listen to about 1 to 2 books a week while cleaning!!
3. Change your furnace filter often
People forget about changing the filters or only change them once or twice a year which is the common recommendation. However, we change our filters every month and sometimes every 2 weeks. My son is allergic to all warm blooded animals (has gotten better over the years), grass, trees, and weeds. So, changing our filters helps keep his allergies under control. We use these filters on our furnace all year round. We have a brand new furnace and Central air conditioning unit and these filters work extremely well. I find that keeping our filters changed regularly not only keeps the air quality under control, but it keeps the hair, dirt, and dust under control as well. Less dusting! YES – PLEASE!
4. Wipe those paws
We have a large fenced in backyard that gets incredibly muddy anytime it rains and during mud season. I have 2 to 3 towels hanging by the back door on command hooks and I have trained our dogs to wait by the door when we open it and we say “feet – feet” and they stand while we wipe their paws clean. You can use regular old bath towels or I like to use microfiber dog towels. During mud season I often have a bowl of warm water that I dip their paws in and then wipe them down with a towel. I can’t stress enough how important it is to wipe your dog’s paws before they come into the house with muddy, dirty paws. I also have large LL Bean water hog mat at the back door that absorbs any dirt, or mud they attempt to track in.
5. Scoop poop daily
As annoying as it is to clean the cat box or clean-up the poop from the dogs in the backyard; it is a MUST! No one wants to find poop on the bottom of their shoe or a couch that has been covered in poop or pee because the cat box is dirty!
Cats are clean creatures by nature and if their cat box is filthy they will often find a new spot to poop or pee in and it may end up being your BED! I like to scoop the cat boxes every morning. I scoop while I wait for my pot of hot water to boil for my tea. If you scoop daily it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to keep the cat box under control. I have had many cats over the years and just as many different types of cat litters. I have been using this litter for a while now and I love it! It doesn’t track all over the house, stick to paws or fur and it doesn’t leave a nasty smell behind. I also use a cat litter mat that helps wipe their paws after they use the litter box, so they don’t track litter all over the house.
My dogs poop in a few different spots in the backyard and tend to stick to those areas. I didn’t teach them to do that, they just did it on their own. Which is very helpful for when I go out there and scoop the poop. I use this to scoop the poop; I like that I can put the bag on the scooper and just rake it in. It does get messy if the poop is squishy (if you’re a dog owner – you know what I am talking about!). My dog’s poop isn’t too nasty because they eat a healthy diet of fresh chicken or turkey and vegetables. It cleans up easily and it often just disappears after a rain or a few days.
When dogs are bored they will get into trouble! They will dig into garbages. They will even chew on things that they shouldn’t be chewing on – furniture legs, stuffed animals, toys, or even the wall! To avoid them getting into trouble and making messes around the house exercising them is key! Plus, it keeps them healthy. So, it’s a win-win all around. I like taking my dogs hiking off leash, my daughter takes them for walks/runs. Maggie really enjoys playing fetch for hours. She will even play on her own by dropping the ball down the stairs and she will run up and down the stairs playing fetch. Maisey loves to run around the backyard chasing birds, butterflies and the sun’s reflection (anyone else have a dog that chases the light – let me know in the comments below!) for hours and hours!
7. Wash the beds and bedding
My dogs are crate trained and they sleep in their crates at night. They each have several blankets and a dog bed in their crates. I wash their blankets every 8 weeks when I zone-clean the dining room (that’s where we keep their crates) or sometimes even every 4 weeks if they are extra stinky. While their bedding is in the wash, I like to vacuum out their crates and wipe them down using a DIY all purpose cleaning spray. I pull the crates away from the walls and vacuum behind and under and I wipe down the walls and baseboards. In between washing – I spray their beds and bedding with a DIY Fabric Spray.
Which really helps keep that spongy wet dog smell away!
8. Wash the food and water bowls daily
I’m not sure why people forget to do this – I’ve been in homes and noticed the funky order and yuck that comes from dirty food bowls. I’ve asked a few people how often they wash their pet food/water bowls and so many say “I don’t wash them” WHAT!? That is beyond disgusting. Would you want to eat out of a dirty food or water bowl? The answer is NO! So, why do people do that to their beloved pets?! It makes no sense to me. It’s common sense, really. Wash their dishes daily! It only takes a couple of minutes and it not only keeps the funky odors away, it’s so much healthier for your pets. I simply use dish soap, water, and paper towels. Also, take a few minutes to wipe down the area where you keep the water and food bowls. I keep the water bowl on a food mat, and their food bowls are located in two different spots in my kitchen (one on either side of the kitchen island). My two pups will not eat or tend to fight over food, so, I have to keep them separated. Again, it only takes a few minutes and it makes a world of difference to keep those dishes clean!
Bottomline: A clean happy pet = a clean home