Tuesday, February 11, 2020 / by Brian Ness
They’re cute. They’re cuddly. And they’re oh so very messy! We are, of course, talking about dogs, those irresistible masses of fur and drool that bring so much joy to so many lives and households.
But as any dog parent would attest, it’s really not all love and affection with these four-legged family members. In fact, sharing your home with a dog (or several) comes with a variety of challenges—not the least of which is maintaining a tidy home.
Thankfully, having dogs and keeping your house neat while you’re at it are really not mutually exclusive concepts. You may even be surprised that it’s easier done than said—and won’t break the bank to boot. Here’s how.
The best way to keeping a clean house is to make sure that there’s nothing to clean in the first place. This is, of course, impossible when you have a pet, but it can be made considerably more manageable. Containing your dog’s myriad messes, therefore, will undoubtedly ensure that the odds will be in your favor.
Note that much of your dog’s mess will be congregated around her food bowl. Dogs don’t exactly have the best dining habits, so bits of kibble and drops of water flying helter-skelter in that specific area are quite inevitable. You can easily counter this by simply putting a mat or tray under food dishes and water bowls to catch the mess. These don’t even need to be costly additions as a dollar-store mat or tray will do the job just fine.
If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, you will most likely encounter a mess that way, too. Muddy paws, in particular, seem to be the norm. It’s a good idea, therefore, to keep a towel by the door so you can wipe down your pup after a walk. Alternatively, you can keep a footbath of sorts outside the house by filling a shallow pan with water.
Even with the best-laid plans, stains and odors will still be unavoidable. As a rule of thumb, it’s good practice to tackle them the moment you encounter them, instead of leaving them for later. So make sure to wipe down accidents with water and heavy-duty detergent as they occur. For odors and stains on carpeting, be sure to use cleaners with added enzymes to speed up the process.
You can also use baking soda or white vinegar to neutralize any odors and keep stains from setting in. It’s a never-ending battle, yes, but staying on top of the task will ensure that you don’t incur additional costs in dealing with them later when they’re harder to remove.
On the off-chance that stains and odors do set in, consider leaving the task to professionals that specialize in addressing pet-produced odors and stains. It’s also easier on the wallet to stockpile cleaning implements and supplies for a messy rainy day.
If you do choose to take a load off your shoulders and get help in cleaning, consider hiring a professional cleaning service (most carpet cleaners charge a minimum of $75 for a job). Despite the added expense, it does come with several benefits that make it worthwhile and even more cost-effective in the long run. This type of service is most helpful when you have trouble dealing with stubborn pet dander, odors, and stains because professional cleaners are so much better equipped for deep cleaning than you are.
In order to get the most bang for your buck, make sure to do your research and find a cleaning service that not only fits your needs but also your all-important budget. On average, the cost to clean a home’s interior in Beverly Hills is between $123 and $209. So even if you hire a cleaning service, say, once a month, the better result you will get is still well worth the time and effort that you save in the process.
Suffice it to say, you really can have your cake and eat it, too—in this case, have your dog (or several) and keep your home clean at the same time. By taking these budget-friendly tips to heart, you’ll find that you and your very messy roommate will have more than a fighting chance at happily-ever-after.