A dog brings a great deal of joy into our lives, but there are some aspects of dog ownership that are not so enjoyable. A messy house is the most common grievance and your carpets can take a real beating from fur, dirt, and other debris that your four-legged buddy brings into the house.
Dogs are naturally adventurous animals so they will go places that humans wouldn’t go, and this usually means somewhere smelly and dirty. While it’s impossible to stop your dog from exploring the outside world and getting in a mess, there are several steps you can follow to ensure that your carpets don’t suffer from your furry friend’s playtime messes.
Clean Your Dog Regularly
The most important step in protecting your carpets is to ensure that your dog is clean before he enters the house. You should keep a towel at the door so you can wipe his paws clean and pat him dry, especially after a long walk. It’s a good idea to have a specific area in your home for cleaning your pooch, a utility room or a section of your entryway is an ideal place.
If he is extra muddy, you should wash him in the bath with water only. Natural dog shampoos can be used occasionally, but you shouldn’t use them every time you wash him as they can be bad for your dog’s skin or fur. Try to avoid using chemical based cleaners as they are not only bad for the environment, but also for your dog’s health.
Regular grooming with a good quality dog brush will greatly reduce the amount of dog hair that ends up on your carpets, and it also helps to maintain your furry friend’s coat. If possible, brush him outside so that the hair does not end up on your floors.
Use a Pet Specific Vacuum Cleaner
There is an abundance of vacuum cleaners on the market today, and not all of them are created equal. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer choice, there are a few things to look for when purchasing a pet-specific vacuum cleaner.
A good idea to narrow down the choice is to look for a vacuum that has ‘pet’ in the name. Miele’s Cat and Dog range, Shark’s TruePet range, and the Dyson Animal vacuums are good places to start.
The first thing you should look for is a machine that has powerful suction. Dog hair tends to get stuck in the carpet fibers and you need good suction to remove it. It’s worth noting that a more expensive machine does not always mean more powerful suction, so you have to do your research to find the best one.
Another aspect you should be aware of is the attachments that come with the vacuum. Many pet specific vacuums will have lots of attachments to make your job of removing dog hair easier. Motorized cleaning heads will help to drive the hair out of the carpet, and a crevice tool allows you to clean hard to reach areas where pet hair usually accumulates.
The filters in a vacuum cleaner are an important point to consider when dealing with pets. If you or anyone in your home suffers from pet allergies then a vacuum with a HEPA filter is essential. A HEPA filter catches 99.9% of allergens including pet dander. An activated charcoal filter is also a good thing to have as this will absorb any dog smells and keep your carpet smelling fresh.
Steam Clean if Necessary
Every so often you may find that vacuuming alone does not lift the dog smell from your carpets. If this is the case, you should use a carpet cleaner to steam clean your carpets. This can be done several times per year, but depending on how many dogs you have and how messy they get, you may have to clean more often.
Carpet cleaners can be quite expensive, and if you only plan on using it once or twice a year then you can always rent a carpet cleaning machine. These machines usually come with cleaning chemicals, but the steam will be enough to remove stains and kill any bacteria. Chemical cleaners are bad for your pup’s health, especially if he likes to lie on the carpet.
Let Some Fresh Air in
One of the simplest ways to freshen up a room is to let some fresh air in. Open all of the windows in your home for 10 minutes per day (unless it’s freezing outside!) and let the fresh air circulate in every room. This will help to draw out any lingering odors from your carpet and will keep them smelling fresh.
Being a dog parent is one of the most rewarding experiences of our life, and by following these tips you can spend less time dealing with smelly carpets and more time playing with your happy little canine friend.