When it comes to companionship, love, and laughter, it’s hard to beat the addition of a dog to your household.  At the same time, though, our beloved canines bring with them a certain amount of upkeep for maintaining a clean home.  Here’s how you can ensure your house is spotlessly clean without spending a fortune.

Staying ahead of odors

As much as we love our furry family members, most of us don’t want our homes to harbor pet-related smells.  ImproveNet offers some terrific tips for deodorizing your house from top to bottom, and points out baking soda can treat nearly any fabric that has absorbed an odor. Just sprinkle it on and let it sit overnight before vacuuming the residuals.  As far as carpet, routine steam cleaning is essential, not only for keeping odors at bay but also for prolonging the lifespan of your carpet, so invest in a professional cleaning at least once each year. Adding essential oils to your household can also help remove unpleasant scents. Just be sure to select options which are safe for your pooch, such as lavender, marjoram, or rosemary.

Accidents happen

Even the best-behaved dog has an accident now and then.  For addressing biological concerns, such as urine, feces, vomit, or drool, an enzymatic cleaner is a must for every pet-owning household.  The enzymes neutralize the proteins in biological material, breaking down odor- and stain-causing concerns quickly.  If your dog has an accident, address it immediately with an enzymatic cleaner to stay ahead of stains and deep-seated smells.  You can also use enzymes to help lift older, lingering odors. The older the stain or odor, the longer you should allow the product to work, with older issues taking as long as several days.

A hairy situation

Some dog breeds are low-shedders, but most people with canine companions have substantial amounts of fur to manage.  To keep up with dog hair and dander, Martha Stewart notes your first line of defense is feeding your pup a quality dog food.  Better nutrition leads to a healthier coat and less hair loss. For optimal coat health, spend a little time every day brushing your dog to maintain healthy fur and skin and minimize shedding.  Some dogs shed substantially, and no amount of brushing will prevent a certain level of shedding.  If your dog is a serious shedder, consider investing in a vacuum designed especially for pet owners.  A daily wipedown with a damp washcloth can also help remove hair from furniture and clothes.

Dog in, dirt out

The entryway of your home can be a gateway for dirt and debris.  Muddy paws, burrs, pollen, dirt, and other stowaways can come in with your pooch, so set up an area where your dog comes and goes for keeping up with those unwelcome tagalongs.  Start with a simple paw-cleaning hack, keeping baby wipes handy at the doorway, and have a wire brush at the door for a quick once-over before letting your pup back into the house.  You can hang it from a hanger next to your leash or keep your pet station together in a tote. Along those same lines, if your pooch tends to roll in various unpleasantries on his excursions, frequent baths could be in order.  You can create a spa-like dog bath with a spray nozzle attachment in your shower area, and add a rubber mat to your tub to provide your pooch with better footing.  Dedicate a few towels for drying your furry friend after his pampering sessions, which will extend the life of your better bath towels.

Being a dog owner is a wonderfully satisfying experience, but dogs typically require some maintenance and bring occasional messes.  For everything from doggie droolies to dander, there are practical ways to manage your beloved pup’s messes. With a few simple strategies, you and your dog can enjoy a spotless home without spending a fortune.

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