If you’ve avoided buying a dog for fear it’ll mean the ruin of your gorgeous home, put your fears to rest. There are plenty of tools and tactics that will protect your house from the kind of wearand tear that only the presence of a dog can cause. You’ll need to employ a variety of techniques in order to stay ahead of the dirt, hair, saliva, urine and other traces of a dog’s presence.
6 Ways of Protecting Your Home from your Pup
(1) Taking Care of the Hair
Lint rollers should be in every dog owner’s “toolkit.” They come in different sizes, most will fit in your purse or briefcase, and you can use them to remove hair from your pooch as well as your power suit. There’s no better tool when your pup has adorned the couch, lampshades, throw pillows and clothing with a coating of dead hair. It’s a handy, budget-friendly way to manage one problem with which most dog owners can identify.
You’ll also need a good, sturdy brush for keeping your furry friend well-groomed and free of all the dead and matted hair that spreads dander, mites and other allergens throughout your home.
Perhaps the most important weapon in a dog owner’s cleaning arsenal is a quality handheld vacuum cleaner. The Bissell 33A1 is particularly effective at getting up hair that keeps accumulating on furniture and in hard-to-reach places (underneath tables and chairs, inside air ducts, etc.). It’s a convenient and lightweight solution to what can be a tough problem to keep under control.
(2) Don't Forget the Furniture Cover
Dogs (and cats) love to find a favorite napping spot, often on the corner of your best couch or on your most comfortable easy chair. There’s something familiar and reassuring about the sight of Rover draped over the furniture, but there’s nothing endearing about the hair trail he leaves in his wake. Try tossing a cover over your pet’s favorite furniture, preferably something lightweight that can easily be tossed into the washing machine and dryer.
(3) Neatly Trim Those Nails
Dog owners love to hear the pitter patter of their pets, but if you have hardwood flooring and baseboards, keeping your dog’s nails trimmed will help prevent scratches and keep leather furniture and upholstery from being damaged. If you’re not comfortable doing the trimming yourself (clipping them too high can cause injury), consider letting a dog-grooming service dothe job. The convenience of not having to do it yourself and preserving your flooring and furniture will be well worth it.
(4) Splurge on Quality Stain Remover
Even a well-trained, well-behaved dog has an accident now and then. There’s just no telling when it might happen, which is why it’s such a good idea to keep a strong bio-enzymatic stain cleaner on hand. And regardless of how unpleasant the task, don’t wait to go after it - your chances of avoiding a permanent stain hinges on a rapid response. If you’re ever confronted with a steaming pile of something without your stain spray on hand, try sprinkling baking soda on the stain, let it sit for 20 minutes or so and go over it with the vacuum.
(5) Properly Wash Your Pup's Paws
Whether big or small, there’s nothing more aggravating than having to clean a trail of muddy paw prints on the carpet and furniture. Take the preventive approach by keeping a few old towels and a small dish of water by the door so you can wipe off your pooch’s paws as soon as he crosses the threshold. It’s not fun on a cold, wet day, but it beats having to trail around the house with a bucket, cleaning fluid and a scrub brush.
(6) Plan on a Fence for Your Property
If dogs don’t have a place to burn off energy, they’ll likely become bored and create their own “fun” in the house, like digging under the fence and chewing up furniture. To avoid incidents like chewed-up furniture and spills, make sure to let your dog around in the yard regularly. Keep a sturdy fence around the yard so that they don’t run away or end up in a neighbor’s yard. If you don’t have a fence, a quick search for “fence company near me” will ultimately connect you to a reputable pro. Before choosing a company, ask around for quotes, keeping in mind that it costs an average of $4,500 for fence installation, plus $30 to $50 per hour for labor costs.
There’s no getting around it: Dogs take work, and not ever pup can be as clean and low maintenance as a Cuddle Clone! They may be cute and loyal, but they can make a horrendous mess, especially if you don’t stay on top of things. Arm yourself with a handheld vacuum cleaner, spray cleaner/stain remover, and plenty of towels for tackling those muddy paws. Remember, a well-prepared dog owner doesn’t have to sacrifice the hard work you’ve put into your home just because you’re a dog lover.