It’s Spring and we all know what that means. Mud, dirt, allergens…all in our home, tracked in by none other than our beloved DOGS. We have two Great Danes and a small dog here, not to mention dark-stained hardwood that shows literally everything. Today I’m sharing how I keep floors clean from muddy paws and how I keep a nice home with pets in it!
In addition, I’m also sharing:
- How I remove that ‘wet dog’ smell from the furniture
- What I use to bath my dogs after they play in the mud
- My favorite floor mop for muddy paw prints
- The best washable rugs
- How to reduce allergens in the home that cause itching, hotspots, and more!
Let’s dig in…(then clean up the mess we make, of course)
How to Keep Floors Clean from Muddy Paws
I’m a big fan of letting my dogs play in the dirt and mud. I believe Great Danes especially benefit from free play on soft, varied terrain. That includes digging in the dirt! My dogs are always out in the yard and they track in EVERYTHING!
We have dark hardwood floors (yikes) and every one of those paw prints (and all of the gunk and bugs that come with it) are all over the place by the end of the day. I have two secret weapons for this:
On especially rainy and muddy days, I use inexpensive towels and throw rugs that can go in the wash. This makes it easy to keep entryways clean, but it doesn’t catch everything.
Enter my secret combo, the Mudbuster + Shark HydroVac!
The Dexas Mudbuster Paw Cleaner
This handy device is fantastic for cleaning muddy dog paws as they come back into the house.
I use this mostly when I’m looking at crusted, caked-on, super dirty paws, or when one of the Danes steps in POOP. (yeah, we all know how that goes).
How to use a Mudbuster:
Simply fill the Mudbuster with warm (not hot) water and a tiny amount of soap (I like this itch-soothing dog shampoo from Pet Honesty) and then use it to wash each paw one at a time.
Then fill it with clean water and rinse each paw! The whole process takes just minutes and most dogs don’t mind one bit.
The Mudbuster makes it simple to clean up pets that had a fun time playing in a puddle and yes, it works! As a bonus, dogs with seasonal allergies can benefit from the nightly use of the Mudbuster to wash allergens off of their paws.
The Shark HydroVac Vac Mop For Homes with Dogs
I know a lot of bloggers claim to love things.
Sometimes, it’s true. The Shark HydroVac is hands down the best money I’ve spent this year on my dogs (and my home). I LOVE MINE.
The Shark HydroVac vacuums and mops at the same time and then…it cleans itself.
I’m not kidding. It takes just seconds to clean an entire patch of muddy floor, and somehow it does it beautifully. The final result is just as clean as, if not cleaner than it would be if I had mopped the traditional way.
Traditional mopping just pushes the muddy paw prints around and takes several runs to clean it up. The brush roller on the Shark HydroVac is always spinning and cleaning itself, so at most it takes 2 passes to go from muddy mess to beautiful shiny floors.
It can be run on any hard floor and on your area rugs, too. I regularly run mine through the entire house.
Does the Shark Hydro Vac Pick Up Dirt & Crumbs?
Yes! The Shark HydroVac replaces your stick vacuum. It will pick up dirt and crumbs at the same time that it’s mopping. It even picks up a TON of pet hair.
Once your floor is clean, you dock the HydroVac and it cleans itself with a robust cleaning cycle. All you have to do when it’s finished is empty and rinse the water + dirt reservoir.
If I’m using it a lot, I also occasionally pop off the roller and clean out the suction head (from dog hair).
You can get a SharkVac in a cordless or corded model. I have the corded one which I love because I know it’s always ready to go. The corded version is also more affordable.
The Best Cleaners for Dog Odors
In addition to mopping up muddy messes, it’s important to keep your house fresh! Once the mud is gone, your house may still smell like a muddy wet dog and that’s where finding a good pet odor cleaner comes into play.
The Shark HydroVac comes with a special cleaner that removes pet odors and leaves a light, fresh scent. This is perfect for the floors and area rugs, but what about the furniture?
I have three favorites:
Rocco & Roxie Pet Odor Eliminator – This light odor remover has a nice herbal scent that takes away the wet dog smell quickly.
Angry Orange – This heavy-duty urine remover smells like orange and vanilla and works like a dream! The scent is strong, though, so use sparingly.
Skout’s Honor – This one doesn’t have much of a scent. It is incredible at removing odors though; just spray your couch, curtains, and textiles anytime you want a refresh. It’s also amazing at removing urine odors!
How to Stop Itchy Paws and Itchy Dogs!
I can write an entire post on the reasons why our dogs are all itchy and scratchy. Many people blame this on chicken, but there are so many other reasons for itchy paws and hotspots!
This goes hand-in-hand with the muddy floors discussion because environmental allergens play a BIG role in how itchy your dogs are.
To soothe itchy fur and skin, I recommend:
- Using a MudBuster to clean paws of allergens and dander nightly
- Consider a soothing shampoo that provides relief from itching and hotspots, like this Veterinary Formula
- Add fish oil to the diet
- Use a damp microfiber towel to wipe down fur each night
- Make sure your dog is on veterinary flea & tick medications (flea and tick bites are a common and overlooked cause of itching)
- Use a Shark HydroVac to remove dust, dander, fur, and pollen from your floors regularly
Keep in mind that puppies and dogs with poor immune systems will also be more susceptible to allergy responses.
Work with your veterinarian or a veterinary dermatologist if your pup’s itching doesn’t seem to resolve with a proper diet and measures to reduce allergens in your environment.
Remember that “chicken allergies” are way over-diagnosed, and that switching to a grain-free diet may be dangerous to your dog’s health.
The Best Washable Rugs for Pet Homes
Washable rugs may initially seem like just another trendy product, but for pet owners striving for a pristine living space, they’re far from a gimmick – they’re truly game-changers. As someone who’s embraced this innovation, I can attest to the sheer satisfaction of watching these rugs emerge spotless from the washing machine, even those as large as a sprawling 9×14′ rug.
When contemplating washable rugs for your own home, one significant factor to weigh is the cost. While they may require a greater upfront investment compared to traditional rugs, the long-term benefits they offer in terms of cleanliness and convenience make them well worth considering.
Here are some other considerations:
- Stain Resistance: Opt for rugs treated to repel stains or made from inherently stain-resistant materials. Good washable rugs will not allow liquid to seep through the fabric.
- Non-Slip Backing: Ensure the rug has a non-slip backing or rug pad for safety. Most washable rugs come with some kind of underlayment that doesn’t go into the wash.
- Pet-Friendly Design: Consider patterned rugs to camouflage pet hair and dirt while in between washes.
- Environmental Considerations: Opt for eco-friendly materials or sustainable manufacturing practices.
- Style and Design: Choose a rug that matches your decor while meeting practical needs.
You can purchase washable rugs from Amazon or even Costco!
Here are some of my favorites:
Kamran Rug by Ruggable
How to Remove Dog Smell From Furniture
Using cozy dog blankets to protect the couch is a simple yet effective solution for pet owners looking to maintain their furniture’s cleanliness and comfort. By draping a soft, durable dog blanket over the couch, you create a barrier that shields the upholstery from pet hair, dirt, and accidents. Not only do these blankets provide a cozy spot for your furry friend to relax, but they also offer peace of mind, knowing that your couch is safeguarded against daily wear and tear.
Plus, with a wide range of colors and patterns available, you can find a dog blanket that complements your home decor while keeping your furniture looking fresh and inviting.
To make sure that your home doesn’t smell like dogs, the following tips are also very helpful!
- Spot Clean: Start by spot-cleaning any visible stains or soiled areas using a pet-safe upholstery cleaner like Skout’s Honor Odor Remover. Blot the area with a clean cloth to lift the stain, avoiding rubbing, which can spread the odor.
- Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the entire surface of the furniture, focusing on areas with strong odors. Allow the baking soda to sit for several hours or overnight to absorb odors effectively.
- Vacuum: After the baking soda has had time to work its magic, vacuum the furniture thoroughly to remove the baking soda residue along with trapped odors. Use a brush attachment to ensure you reach crevices and seams where odor-causing particles may be hiding.
- Sunlight: If possible, place the furniture outdoors in direct sunlight for a few hours. Sunlight helps to naturally disinfect and deodorize upholstery fabric, reducing lingering pet odors.
- Skout’s Honor Odor Eliminator: Spray Skout’s Honor Odor Eliminator on the furniture, focusing on areas with lingering odors. This product utilizes BioKore technology to break down and neutralize odors at the molecular level, leaving behind a fresh scent.
- Professional Cleaning: For stubborn odors or heavily soiled furniture, consider hiring a professional upholstery cleaning service. They have specialized equipment and expertise to deep clean and deodorize furniture effectively.