Spring Cleaning: Canine Edition

Spring Cleaning for Dog Owners

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It’s officially spring and we couldn’t be more excited! All the warm sunshine, clear blue skies, green grass, blooming trees and flowers has us in great spirits and feeling motivated! If you are feeling the same, you probably are finally getting the motivation you need to accomplish some spring cleaning, tackle a few projects around the house you’ve been putting off, and just generally freshen up your living space. If you are a dog owner you know your space is just as much theirs as it is yours, so why not add a few dog-friendly projects to the list to breathe some fresh air into their life this spring! In this post we’ll give you a few tips on how to spring clean your home with your furry friends in mind and also we’ll list a few fun projects to make your home even more dog-friendly.

Air Quality

Since this whole post is about breathing fresh air into you and your pets space let’s discuss just that…literally…fresh air. Maintaining your air filters are a must for everyone but especially for pet owners. Air filters trap airborne dust and dander with a filter and reduce lingering pet odors in your home. Look for filters made especially for pet owners; they come with built-in ionizers that minimize allergens and help deliver a boost of air freshening., keeping your space just as fresh and clean as the spring air outside!

Bedding

Most likely your dog spends a lot of time here, a LOT! Because of this, their bedding will attract buildup of dander, dirt, hair, and more. EEEEk! Keep their favorite spot clean and comfortable with these tips. Choose a bed with a removable cover that allows you to wash it periodically. Vacuum the bed to remove hair and other debris before washing. Wash cover and bed base if possible with cold water and using a mild laundry detergent free from dyes and fragrance. Adding a cup of baking soda can also help to eliminate any stubborn odors. Drying it in the dryer for about 20 minutes with a pet safe dryer sheet will also reduce static and remove lingering pet hair. Finish by allowing to air dry the rest of the way to avoid shrinkage.

Collars

There’s nothing that can ruin a freshly groomed dog like a stinky collar. Here’s an easy way to clean their collar without ruining it’s nylon fabric or hardware. Put a few squirts of dog shampoo in a bowl and fill the bowl with hot water. Let your dog’s collar soak for about 15 minutes. Rub the collar against itself to extract any ground-in dirt. If necessary, apply extra shampoo directly to the collar. Do not use a brush, as this could damage the material. Rinse the collar under running water and hang to dry. If you need to speed up the drying, use a towel to remove excess water before hanging.

Dog Hair

Ok now let’s talk about what is probably one of the hardest cleaning issues for most dog owners. Dog hair!!!! You’ve tried washing, lint rolling, vacuuming but those hairs seem to have some kind of super power allowing them to remain ingrained into your household fabrics. To easily remove hair from curtains, couches and other fabric covered items simply grab a pair of rubber gloves. Dampen a glove on your hand and sweep the fabric with it. The hair will ball up allowing you to easily pick it up off of the fabric.

Muddy Paws

AGK4X9 Dirty footprints on carpeting

AGK4X9 Dirty footprints on carpeting

Spring showers may bring May flowers but they also bring muddy paws, tracking dirt and mud throughout your home. With a few preventative steps you can save yourself a lot of moping, sweeping and vacuuming later! First, to prevent mud from clumping to your dog’s feet, trim the hair around your pup’s paws regularly. This won’t completely solve the problem but it’s the first step to making a big difference! To keep the remaining mud outside where it belongs keep a bucket of warm water and a towel near the door. Before you come inside, remove dirt by dipping each paw in the water and gently wiping it with the towel.

Toys

Dog’s love their toys and can become particularly attached to their favorites. To keep them germ-free and in good shape for years of enjoyment be sure to clean these regularly. For soft toys, pop them in the washing machine with dog safe detergent, ideally in a garment bag. Line dry or put them in the dryer inside a pillowcase. Hard toys can be cleaned in the sink with a solution of 50% water and 50% vinegar and a brush or sponge, or simply pop them in the dishwasher with their bowls! Doesn’t get much easier than that!

Urine

One of the things that makes a dog, well..a dog… is their keen sense of smell. Once they have an accident indoors, if not properly cleaned, your dog may still be able to detect lingering traces of urine even if you can’t and continue using the same spot as a potty. To prevent this problem, soak up as much as you can by layering newspaper on top of paper towels and standing on the padding. Repeat this step until the area is no longer damp. The Humane Society suggests taking urine-soaked paper towels outside in order to positively reinforce to your dog where the proper location is for him to relieve himself. Follow up by rinsing the soiled area with water. Once the area is clean, use an enzyme-based pet odor neutralizer like Nature’s Miracle.

Dog-Friendly Spring Home Updates

Ok we’ve talked about the dirty stuff. Enough about cleaning and let’s have some fun! This spring you can plan a few small projects to not only make your pup more comfortable but incorporate their things with yours, blending them into your home and turning items that can take up unwanted and needed space like dog crates, into beautiful and functional items for everyone!

springclean4Doggy Crate / Side Table

Consider turning your dog’s crate into a coffee or end table. Check out how to make this design here. You can easily use it as a side table in any living space while your furry friend slumbers inside.

Food Station

springclean5If your kitchen design is being compromised by dinged-up dog bowls and the dried-up drool that surrounds them, this feeding station will compliment even the fanciest kitchens. Organize and conceal all those bowls, cans, and bags while at the same time giving your furriest family member some much-needed neck and back relief. (medium and larger breeds) See how to build it step-by-step.

Entryway Organizer

Make walking your dog a breeze with a special addition to your entryway just for him! This organizer, keeps all the necessities within arm’s reach.Make one for yourself, and you’ll be out the door with your pooch in record time.

springclean6So many great ideas out there we wish we could share them all and we’d love to hear yours! What cleaning tips and tricks have your learned thru dog ownership? Have you created anything special for your furry friends? What items do you plan on incorporating to your home to add to both you and your canine companions comfort? Let’s spring into action this season and give ourselves and ALL the members of our family a clean, safe, and comfortable place we can enjoy to the full all year round!

About Christina McCarty

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