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Drowning in Dog Hair aka How to Keep a House Clean When You Have Pets

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If you have pets that shed, then you probably know that feeling I’m talking about when I say I feel like I’m drowning in dog hair! But, there’s hope and I’m sharing today how to keep a house clean when you have pets.

Keep a House Clean When You Have Pets

There is one thing Lenny and I agree on, we think our dog Remo is pretty amazing. We also agree that we think our puppy Zoey is one smart little puppy and we hope she grows up to be as good a family pet as Remo has been. I hate to admit it, but there’s one thing about our dogs that I just hate. Lenny’s able to overlook this little “flaw” a little (okay, maybe a lot) more than I’m able. This “little” thing is dog hair. I literally feel sometimes like I’m just drowning in dog hair. There’s a reason people often call German Shepherds, German “Shedders” – they shed something fierce!

Keep a House Clean When You Have Pets

Remo sheds a lot, but, why is it that the rest of the family seems to be totally oblivious to the dog hair that’s flying around in the air, piled up in the corners, hiding behind and under the refrigerator and clings to porcelain? My family thinks I’m just obsessed about our home being clean. Maybe I am. But pet hair is just gross and I don’t like feeling like I’m drowning in dog hair.

To keep from feeling this way, I’ve had to learn how to keep our house clean while living with our furry pets. Remo is such a well-behaved, obedient and family pet that I’m sure if he knew how much is shedding just drives me batty that he would figure out a way to stop or at least to only shed outdoors (please).  But, that’s not happening.  Back to reality.  So, how do you keep a house clean when you have pets? I have a few things that work for me and I thought I’d share them with you.

Keep a House Clean When You Have Pets

{Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on a link and purchase an item, I may receive a very small commission on the item you purchase. This in no way impacts the price you pay. By the way, I truly believe in these products and I wouldn’t be telling you about them if I didn’t. Promise! You can also read my full disclosure here.}

How to Keep a House Clean When You Have Pets (aka How Not to Feel Like You’re Drowning in Dog Hair)

Groom Your Dog Regularly

One of the things we (when I say “we”, I mean “I”) do as a preventative is to brush our dog’s hair regularly. By brush, I mean rake. According to what I’ve read, for the best results, you may or should brush your dog’s hair daily. I don’t brush Remo’s hair daily, but I do try to brush his hair a couple of times a week.

How to Keep a House Clean when have Pets by The Birch Cottage

I don’t just brush Remo’s hair to try to keep our house clean, I use a rake. We’ve had our rake for a few years, but the one I use is similar to this FURminator Dog Rake. I had never even heard of a dog rake until some of our friend’s from Canada told me that’s what they use on their German Shepherd. The dog rake is an essential tool in not only grooming for your dog, removing loose hairs, but in keeping your house clean when you live with pets.

Seriously, if you want to keep your house clean when you live with pets, you have to groom them regularly and the best place to start is with a good brushing or raking to remove the extra hair. I’m amazed sometimes (most times) at just how much hair I’m able to remove. The rake is also really good at removing all that loose undercoat.

Vacuum Your Dog

I sometimes vacuum my dog. Sometimes here in Ohio it’s just too cold or too wet (or a combination of both) to spend much time outside, so I grab my vacuum with the hose attachment and I vacuum his fur coat. This works especially well after brushing him or raking him. They also make attachments for the vacuum that are specifically designed for vacuuming your dog while brushing, but it’s been my experience that these attachments tend to clog easily and I find using just the hose works better.

Keep a House Clean When You Have Pets

Invest in a Good Vacuum Cleaner

If you have carpet, it’s essential that you have a good vacuum cleaner. We actually have two vacuum cleaners, one with all the bells and whistles (attachments) and one that I use specifically for vacuuming up dog hair.

Keep a House Clean When You Have Pets

We have a really nice upright bagless vacuum cleaner. It works great and I love it. However, for Christmas, Lenny bought me an Oreck Commercial XL vacuum cleaner. It didn’t come with (nor is it made for) any attachments, but it did come with a super long extension cord.  What do I like about the Oreck XL? It does an amazing Pam-approved job of removing dog hair from carpet. I thought my other vacuum cleaner did a great job, but this one is just amazing at vacuuming up all that do hair so I don’t feel like I’m drowning in dog hair.

In our home, and especially now that we have two dogs, I vacuum every two days. It’s a necessity for me or otherwise I’m just cringing at all the dog hair I see everywhere (this may be a slight exaggeration, but if you have a German Shedder, you know what I mean)!

The Neater Feeder

Another thing we do that really helps to keep our house clean and especially the area in our kitchen where we feed our dogs, is the use of the Neater Feeder. Previously, I just placed a braided rug under Remo’s food and water bowls. We would still have water splashes all over the floor and bits of dog food all over his feeding area.

Keep a House Clean When You Have Pets

We’ve been using this Neater Feeder for about a year now and I’m telling you I was skeptical at first. But you know what? It does an amazing job of containing spills and food. Now I simply remove the bowls, lift off the top portion of the feeder and dump the water and food that the Neater Feeder caught. I may have to wash the Neater Feeder, but it’s a lot easier than cleaning the floor up all the time. I really like our Neater Feeder and I highly recommend it.

Clean Up Accidents Right Away

Remo is an adult dog, he just simply doesn’t have accidents in the house. I mean, he’s just way too mature for accidents! Zoey on the other hand, is just a four-month old puppy. Although she’s doing great at learning to go potty only outside, she has the occasional accident in the house. So, whether you’re just starting your housebreaking training, have a new puppy or your adult dog gets sick, it’s really important that you clean up those accidents right away.

Keep a House Clean When You Have Pets

We have a carpet steamer. It’s big, heavy duty and bulky. It’s great for whole house cleaning. But, nothing is better at being portable and working really well at cleaning up all life’s little unexpected accidents than my Bissell Little Green ProHeat. It works really well. It does as good a job of cleaning up little accidents as our Neater Feeder does at keeping our dogs feeding area tidy.

How to Keep Your House Clean when You Live with Pets by The Birch Cottage

If you don’t have a carpet shampooer, you can still get great results if you follow a few simple steps. One, keep the area wet. If your puppy has a #1 accident, you’ll want to blot up the urine with a dry paper towel, then pour a little bit of warm water around the perimeter of the spot to be cleaned and then immediately cover the area with a couple of layers of wet paper towels. Place something heavy on the wet towel covered stain, and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. Remove the wet towel and you’ll be amazed at how much of the stain it soaked up. Repeat the wet paper towel as necessary. Once the spot has been completely cleaned, blot up the wet carpet with paper towels. You clean up soiled areas essentially the same way, except you’ll remove the soil first. Again, it’s important to keep the area wet until it is completely cleaned. For soiled areas, you may need to use spot cleaner or dishwasher detergent.

How to Keep Your House Clean when You Live with Pets by The Birch Cottage

Keeping a house clean when you have pets is really an ongoing job or a never-ending job. Sometimes it’s a thankless job. But, owning pets is so rewarding that it’s well worth the effort it takes to clean up after them. Our Remo has chased off bears, treed raccoons and even performed water rescue – risking his life to keep his family safe. How do you put a price on that? He is a member of our family and we couldn’t imagine life without him. Zoey is just a precious puppy who looks to us for food, shelter and companionship. In return, she’ll one day protect us, play with us and be another loyal companion.

How to Keep Your House Clean when You Live with Pets by The Birch Cottage

Here’s the honest truth, our dog sheds – most dogs shed, and you will have to clean up after them, feed them, bathe them and take care of them. In return, they’ll be loyal, dependable and trustworthy companion. These are just a few things I do to keep a house clean when you have pets. There are plenty of other things you can do, but it’s a matter of balance. This works for us.

How to Keep Your House Clean when You Live with Pets by The Birch Cottage

So, what suggestions do you have for keeping your house clean when you have pets? I’d love to hear what works for you and your pets.

Til next time…

Pam from The Birch Cottage



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