It’s no secret that I live a pretty busy lifestyle, but despite being busy, I have high expectations for the state of our home looking like it is straight out of a catalog. I take pride in having a home that is clean.
Confession: I am a germ freak and OCD when it comes to a clean home. Our house has dark-colored floors and white ceramic tile so you can see dirt and dog hair so easily. I get stressed out when our house is in disarray and I am a nut when it comes to clutter.
I love a completely empty kitchen island, a perfectly made bed, drawn curtains, and shiny hardwood floors. I don’t mind cleaning and if you have a goal in mind and are able to divide all of the tasks throughout the week it can be relatively easy to keep your home clean with dogs.
Here are my top housekeeping tips for maintaining our home with 4 high-shedders (our Akita & two cats). Trust me! It is possible to have a clean house even with dogs!
How to Keep Your House Clean with Dogs: My House Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners
Water Absorbent Rug Under the Water Bowl
Vík is an overly excited and extremely messy drinker. Whenever he drinks I think only 1/2 of what he laps up actually makes it in his mouth! LOL
Our floor used to be soaked all the time and I would always have to keep a beach towel nearby. I tried buying rugs to help with the water but they wouldn’t dry quickly and I was nervous about mold. I recently found these Gorilla Grip Water Absorbent Chenille Floor Mats and have literally been a lifesaver! We have one at the bottom of the stairs near the side entryway and then one in the kitchen underneath the water bowl.
The Vacuum is My Best Friend
We just purchased the new Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum Cleaner in October of 2019.
The suction and pure genius of this vacuum overrule anything I said previously about the Shark vacuum. Honestly, I have never loved vacuuming as much as I do now – – and trust me, I love vacuuming! Our house cleaner comes once a month and she is in love with our Dyson (and our doggies) too! I will say I was a little queasy about spending almost double what we had spent on the Shark DuoClean, but now after only using our Dyson once, I am completely satisfied with its price tag.
On days when I am not vacuuming with our Dyson, I let our iRobot Roomba go to town. I like how meticulous the Roomba is and that she can wiggle her way through our bar stools in the kitchen.
Air Purifiers Are My Second Best Friend
We have three Levoit Air Purifiers in our home; 1 on the main floor, 1 in our bedroom, and 1 at the landing at the top of the stairs. They are quiet enough to act as ambient white noise and strong enough to filter pet dander and cat litter smells. We change the air filters about every 6-8 months and have had amazing success with these.
Hilariously, Vík used to think it was a game to tap the On/Off button when we first brought him home.
Scheduled Toy & Dish Washing
We have specific toys that stay inside and ones specifically for outside play. We wash the dogs ‘ inside stuffed toys once a month.
Kenzo & Vík are subscribed to Barkbox, so if toys are looking in rough shape I do not hesitate to throw them out. If they are gross, they go in the garbage no questions asked.
We wash the dog bowls once every two weeks. I rinse them out before each use to keep up with any germs or saliva build-up.
Diffusing Essential Oils = My jam!
We have an essential oil diffuser in our kitchen, living room, and one in our bedroom on my nightstand. I like diffusing Lemon on the first floor & I mix it up in the bedroom at night, but some of my favorites are Tangerine & Lavender. I get all of our essential oils from Jade Bloom. I like Jade Bloom because they are high-quality essential oils that are safe to use around pets. Check with your vet about which essential oils are safe for your dogs & cats. And in case you missed it, I’ve recently written what I know about Safe Essential Oils for dogs, HERE.
I groom Kenzo twice a week and Vík once a week to keep down on the amount of hair in our home.
I will groom Kenzo, our Akita, multiple times a day when he is going through a blow-out in his shedding cycle otherwise we will literally have clumps of fur scattered throughout the house. I use the SleekEZ Original Deshedding Grooming Tool and it does wonders!
Remember to Choose the Right Brush for Your Dog Breed
- Steel Comb: This is the steel dog comb we use on Vík, our long-haired German Shepherd. It is perfect for fluffing up his silky hair and easily removes tangles, mats, loose hair, and dirt.
- Bristle Brush: These are for brushing the topcoat and removing dirt and loose hair and stimulating the skin. These are the most versatile and used on any coat. Short, close-together bristles will work best for short-haired breeds, while wider apart, longer bristles work well for long-haired breeds.
- Deshedding Tool: My favorite brush for my Akita, Kenzo: SleekEZ Original Deshedding Grooming Tool for Dogs, Cats & Horses.
- Undercoat Rake: These smooth tangles and help remove loose fur from the undercoat. Rakes will remove loose undercoat hairs and helps to prevent matting
- Rubber Brush: These are good for massaging the skin and removing dead hair. You can use these on dry fur and also in the bath to help get the shampoo sudsy. The Rubber Brush is a great tool suitable for all types of coats, but it is especially useful if you have a short-haired dog that sheds a lot.
* If you are unsure what brush to use on your dog, call your vet or your preferred groomer, and they can help you.
We have four dog beds in our home for Kenzo & Vík; 1 in the living room, 1 in the foyer/dining room, and 2 in our bedroom. Having multiple dog beds gives Kenzo & Vík a place of their own to nap, sleep, and chew their bully sticks.
I make sure to vacuum and wash their dog beds once a week to keep down on the pet dander, dirt, and any oils from their skin that may cause an odor. Our dog beds are from Costco or Harry Barker and they are all washable and relatively easy to vacuum in between washing.
Getting Steamy in Here
After vacuuming I use our Bissel Steam Mop to sanitize and clean our hardwood floors once a month. I love steam cleaning because it doesn’t leave a film or any streaks on the hardwood floor that we used to get when we would mop the floors. I feel like the steam mop does a better job really getting our floors to look brand new every time.
Reusable Washable Mop Pads
I never thought I would love my reusable washable mop pads as much as I do. It is honestly the quickest & easiest way to do a quick disinfecting cleaning and it works wonders on our hardwood & ceramic tile floors. I used to buy the Swiffer single-use mop pads. I recently switched to these reusable mop pads make it so that you can use, wash, and reuse time and time again. The mop pad is under $8.00 and can withstand over 100 uses.
I also own this O-Cedar Easy Spin Mop; I do a full mop once a week and I use my Infuse Spray Mop every other day. The spray mop works well on our ceramic tiles and hardwood flooring really well. It is easy to just spray and mop for a few minutes a day.
High-Quality Air Filters & Furnace Maintenance
We use the highest grade air filters for our furnace that Home Depot sells and Caleb schedules a routine Furnace cleaning & inspection every year.
Making sure you change your air filter monthly makes a big difference to fight the fur. Set a reminder on your phone and label your filter so you can keep track. You don’t have to spend a fortune on air filters, but it’s important to shop around to find quality filters.
There are even some air filters that are made specifically for pet lovers. To help the air quality in our home we have several air purifiers, as I mentioned above. We have a LEVOIT Air Purifier in our kitchen, bedroom, spare bedroom, and in my office.
Clean and Remove Stains
Accidents happen, so it’s important to have the right product on hand to restore peace, love, and carpets. I don’t talk about them much, but Caleb and I have two very old cats. And, they started “missing” the liter box and it’s been happening more and more with age. In order to keep our home sanitized and odor-free, we always clean up any accidents asap with a strong stain remover.
In the case of pet urine and other tough stains and odors, Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator is the one to reach for. Its professional-strength bio-enzymatic formula goes to work at once, releasing active enzymes that feed on ammonia residue left behind in pet urine and other organic materials. So not only does it get out the stain, it eliminates the odor deep down within the carpet at its source-which discourages re-soiling.
The result: Stains and odors are completely eliminated, leaving carpets, floors, furniture, and other surfaces fresh and your beloved pet out of the dog house. Of course, it works on much more than pet urine: any stain: vomit, feces, all the gross stuff, whether human or animal, it lifts out of rugs, carpets, and upholstery easily.
If you have children, I recommend using Miss Mouth’s Messy Eater Non-Toxic Baby and Kids Stain Remover. I don’t have kids, but this is a product that my friend told me about. She has two dogs and two kids under the age of 5 and she said it is a lifesaver. I checked out the reviews on Amazon and they are pretty great.
Bathing Your Dog
Caleb and I take Kenzo & Vík to the doggy wash down the street and wash and groom them. We bring our own Oatmeal Pet Shampoo because their skin tends to get dry during the winter and we’ve found this shampoo to be really helpful for them. We like the Vanilla & Almond scent the best.
Rugs in the Doorways
We have a doormat outside and a rug on the inside to collect dirt/rainwater/snow from their paws.
Caleb & I take off our shoes when we are in the house to reduce dirt getting scattered throughout the house as well. Since it gets kind of chilly during the winter months, with all the hardwood flooring, we either just wear our socks, or Caleb and I both have a pair of moccasins for inside. All of the floor rugs that we have in our home are washer & dryer friendly and vacuum really well.
If all of these tips are enough, I cannot recommend hiring a maid. Having our home deep cleaned by a professional has saved me hours of time and lowered my anxiety about keeping our home sterile.
For the Car
So, this last piece of advice is not for the home, but for your car. We have a car wash membership that has vacuums, so I try to use that as much as possible, but during the winter I dread standing out in the cold. But! there is a silly-looking tool that I found on Instagram and now it is available on Amazon that works really well for easily picking up Vík’s long shepherd hair from the car seats. I call it “the frog” for some reason, but it’s actually called “ChomChom Roller.” When you move the pet hair roller back and forth, it picks up cat hairs and dog hairs embedded deeply in car seats, sofas, couches, beds, carpets, blankets, comforters, etc.