Every dog person knows it: you love your dog, but the cleanliness of the apartment suffers as a result. The apartment smells like dogs, there is dog hair everywhere and the floor is dirty. What can you do? Depending on how fastidious you are, the lack of cleanliness or the dirty apartment can be stressful.
There are some tips on how you can keep the household with your dog as clean as possible with little effort and maximum effect. We divide our tips into four categories:
- Setup tips
- Care tips
- Parenting tips
Furnishing tips for the dog household
Tip 1: Washable dog beds
Some manufacturers offer dog beds where you can remove the cover and wash it. A distinction is made between covers for dog beds, which can be removed in one piece, or individual parts, such as the inner cushion. We recommend choosing a dog bed where you can remove and wash individual parts. This allows you to keep the dog bed fresh quickly and easily. Regularly washing dog beds etc. helps to neutralize dog odor and remove the unpleasant dog smell that can arise.
When it comes to dog beds, it makes sense to take a closer look when buying them so that they are easy to use in everyday life - so your apartment no longer smells like a dog.
Tip 2: Food & water place
The food and water area is probably the messiest place in your home. As soon as our dogs drink, it is like a small flood. Any food that has fallen down is carefully licked up; the drinking water that has spilled over remains. Position your dog's food and water area in a place that you don't go to often in the house. The hidden corner helps you prevent the water from being spread unnecessarily by stepping on it. For parquet, a protective mat for office chairs is also recommended to protect against moisture. A hidden place helps you not to bring this rather unclean place to the fore by not attracting attention when you enter the apartment. Furthermore, a hidden place allows your dog to eat in peace and relaxation.
Tip 3: Aroma oil diffuser
As an animal household, you have to use scents or perfume sparingly. What can you do about the dog smell? It is better to maintain good hygiene in your household instead of masking odors. Determine whether your dog's smell has health reasons. Feeding affects your dog's bad breath and general smell. If everything is in order, you can neutralize the dog smell with an aroma oil diffuser. Be thrifty – Animals don't like artificial scents. Too much perfume may help the house stop smelling like a dog, but it can lead to behavioral changes in the dog. Dogs have a much better sense of smell than we humans. In general, you should avoid using strong scents to remove dog smell. Aromatic oils not only give a pleasant scent, but can also have an effect. Your apartment no longer smells like a dog and the scent has a positive effect. Essential oils are particularly useful lavender oil or Chamomile oil. Lavender oil can have a calming effect, while chamomile oil helps with nervousness. Please remember that all essential oils are aggressive and irritating to sensitive skin and mucous membranes. If you or your dog are allergic or have sensitive skin, you should avoid direct skin contact. Use a few drops in an aroma diffuser and enjoy the gentle scent in your home. When purchasing, make sure that you buy 100% pure oils.
Tip 4: Clean paws
In rain, mud and disgusting weather it goes without saying: wipe your paws. Why not every time? We and our dogs carry most of the bacteria and most of the dirt from the outside in. Just as you take off your shoes in the entrance area, you can wipe your dog's paws in front of the door or in the entrance area. A small microfiber cloth in the entrance area is sufficient for this. For sensitive dogs or dogs with allergies, cleaning their paws is an excellent measure for better well-being.
Tip 5: Regular grooming
Depending on the individual coat condition and sometimes regardless of the breed, a dog sheds more or less. Some breeds require special grooming, while other breeds only require more or less regular brushing. Grooming your dog according to its type will save you a lot of vacuuming around the house and allow your dog to feel better. Especially for dog breeds with special fur, such as long fur or particularly frizzy fur, we advise you to make a consultation appointment at the dog salon. Be careful when washing dogs! Dogs have a natural fatty film that protects their skin and fur against dirt, sun and moisture. If you wash your dog too often to neutralize the dog smell, the protective layer will be destroyed. When dogs are washed too frequently, dogs tend to intentionally soil their fur in order to acquire a natural scent. Washing your dog too often with dog shampoo is neither healthy nor good for your dog. If your dog's coat is dirty because you walked through the mud, use clean water and rinse your dog with lukewarm water without any shampoo.
Tip 6: Robot vacuum and mop for pet hair
A robot vacuum for dog hair and a robot mop isn't the cheapest investment you'll make, but it will be worth it. Before you decide on a robot vacuum cleaner for dog hair and mopping function, you must be clear that it will not replace your normal vacuum cleaner. The robot vacuum cleaner for dog hair and the robot mop sometimes runs twice a day, every time we are outside with the dogs. A robot vacuum cleaner for dog hair and a robot mop assists you in the household and provides good support in keeping the floor clean. The wiping function of the robot vacuum cleaner helps to neutralize and remove dog odors through regular wiping. Especially when changing fur, it is worth its weight in gold not to have to vacuum every few minutes and to use the vacuum robot for the dog hair that falls out. When buying a vacuum and mopping robot, make sure that it is tailored to your dog's coat. Many manufacturers now offer models of robot vacuum cleaners specifically for dog hair.
Tip 7: Replace detergent
Dogs, like all other animals, do not like strong perfume. Detergents and fabric softeners contain a lot of perfume, which our dogs perceive more intensely than we humans. What you perceive as a pleasant, fresh scent is unpleasant for your dog. Unknown smells or smells that your dog can't handle are marked. This can be the case, for example, with a new dog bed. You buy a new dog bed with strange smells and your dog marks. You wash the dog bed with detergent because it stinks and the vicious cycle begins. Your dog will mark the washed dog bed again to eliminate the smell that is unpleasant to him. If the apartment smells like dogs, you can clean smelly dog items with natural household products. This is good for the environment, hygienic, odor-neutralizing, inexpensive - and above all pleasant for your dog. When washing dog equipment such as collars, leashes or dog beds, do not use detergent, but rather washing soda or vinegar.
To remove dog smell from dog accessories, you can use washing soda. Washing soda is environmentally friendly and reduces wastewater pollution. Thanks to its alkaline properties, soda neutralizes the acidic breakdown products of surfactants that are found in most common detergents. For each wash of dog products you will need 1 tablespoon of washing soda and optionally 10 drops of essential oil. Washing soda is not suitable for animal materials such as wool or silk. Soda removes and neutralizes stubborn odors such as dog smell in textiles and is therefore particularly suitable for dog beds.
There is a lot to be said for washing with vinegar: Vinegar is biodegradable, natural and odor-neutralizing. Vinegar protects your laundry from fading and keeps the colors bright for a long time. Because vinegar works against limescale, you can avoid using fabric softener with vinegar (which you should avoid anyway). When it comes to lint and dog hair, vinegar is an insider tip because vinegar reduces the static charge and therefore the lint doesn't stick to the fabric. Add approx. 100 ml of light table vinegar to your laundry in the fabric softener compartment and wash your laundry or dog laundry in the normal washing program. Vinegar has an odor-neutralizing effect on dog odors.
Tip 8: Dryer before the washing machine
Unfortunately not the most sustainable tip, but definitely very helpful if you have a lot of animal hair. If you have a dryer, you can put clothes full of pet hair in the dryer before washing. Set your dryer to the coldest setting and start the drying process for about 10 minutes. The fabric becomes softer in the dryer and the animal hair loosens. Before you wash the clothes, you should shake them out briefly and then wash them as usual.
Tip 9: Vinegar spray for upholstery and carpet
Upholstery and carpet suffer the most when it comes to dog odor. Not all carpets and upholstery are machine washable. To clean dog smell from carpet and other upholstery, you can use vinegar. Vinegar is an easily biodegradable agent that is effective against dirt and odors. Vinegar is unbeatably cheap compared to carpet and upholstery cleaners and is also harmless to your dog's health. Vinegar is a household remedy for the unpleasant smell of dogs and is completely natural. The acid in vinegar has an antibacterial effect, which is why vinegar is a good odor neutralizer. By the way, the unpleasant sour smell of vinegar disappears shortly after cleaning. For example, our dogs happily and easily lie down on our carpet again immediately after cleaning the carpet and upholstery with vinegar. So it doesn't seem to bother her at all. Mix vinegar (e.g. light table vinegar with 5% acid) in a 1:1 ratio with warm water in a spray bottle. Before spraying the upholstery and carpet, you should test the vinegar spray on an inconspicuous area to see how it reacts to the fiber. After a successful vinegar test, you can spray the entire textile with the vinegar spray and work it into the fibers by dabbing with a cotton or microfiber cloth (note: do not rub!). Allow the room to air for about 30 minutes until the textiles are dry.
Tip 10: Box with dog toys
Most dog people know the problem: dog objects are lying around everywhere. A simple idea is a dog knick-knack box where you put all the dog items when you clean up. Toys are more interesting for your dog if they are not constantly available. This is a perfect argument for leaving a maximum of one toy for your dog. It's best to choose a chewing stick or root or a chew toy. Change the toys at regular intervals so that they provide a new stimulus for your dog. Everything that is always available becomes boring over time - even for your dog.
Tip 11: Lint remover or pet hair glove
Every animal household with a dog or cat knows the eternal fur problem. With fabric, the individual hairs work their way into the fabric and are difficult to remove. A lint remover is ideal for clothing. You can get it in the form of an adhesive roller, a brush with rough material, or as a metal lint remover. Animal hair gloves are made of polyester with a type of barb that picks up any type of lint. Brushes, metal lint removers or animal hair gloves are more sustainable, because they can be used more frequently than the adhesive roll. They do not produce any additional waste.
Tip 12: Taboo zones for the dog household
House rules with taboo zones are a simple educational measure to keep certain areas in the house clean. One room where a taboo zone makes sense is the kitchen. If you make the kitchen taboo for your dog, the kitchen automatically becomes cleaner because the dog doesn't regularly lose fur or dander and bring in additional dirt. You implement taboo zones by separating this area and setting boundaries with body language. To do this, you can use child gates, lock the door or repeatedly prohibit the dog from accessing this area. We have made the kitchen taboo for our dogs, even though we have an open kitchen-living room. Through constant blocking, expulsion and alternative behavior, our dogs understood from the start that the kitchen was not their area.
Tip 13: Rituals
Rituals are of great value in everyday dog life and training, as they give the dog a line, improve communication between you and your dog and generally lead to an improvement in the dog's well-being. There are studies that have shown that rituals among animals are spiritual medicine and increase the animal's general happiness. If we build up ritualized behavior patterns in dog training, they will one day become automatic. Rituals are guideposts for our dogs about what they can expect and how they should behave.
Wait at the front door
Just as you teach your dog not to rush out the front door in front of you (impulse control), you can teach your dog to wait at the front door when you come back. Every time you go for a walk, without exception, repeat that your dog sits in front of the front door before you enter the house. You can combine this ritual with brushing your paws. Your dog will quickly understand this constantly repeating process. The more often you do this with your dog, the easier it will be for your dog to do it without your help.
After the walk to the square
A ritual that we implement in our house rules is to lead the dog straight to the dog park after the walk. On the one hand, this helps your dog to get down in a targeted manner and on the other hand, the remaining dirt from the paws is not spread around the apartment. The advantage is that you can get the dirt from the dog bed and the area around the dog bed under control much better. It also has many other educational benefits that we won't go into in detail now.
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