Winter is a great time of year for capturing majestic photos of your best friend frolicking through the snow, climbing white mountains, and rolling around the powder. Not to mention, your dog probably loves going out in the snow and running around like the Tasmanian Devil. The problem, however, is the amount of cleaning that also comes with the winter months.
Dogs are famous for tracking snow, mud, and debris into the home in their paws, fur, and tails. It is nearly inevitable. Keeping up with the cleanliness of your home becomes even more challenging when your dog is adding to the mess.
There are some things you can do to help keep your home clean despite the ruckus of the winter months. Just be sure to keep up on these weekly chores to ensure the health and sanity of your home. You never know, this could make spring cleaning and decorating even easier come April.
It All Starts With the Pooch
Keeping your dog well groomed and bathed will do wonders in your pursuit for a cleaner winter home. If your dog is dirty, you can’t expect him to track anything but dirt around the house—dirt that you later have to vacuum or mop.
At least once a month, you should be giving your dog a routine bathing. Some dogs require less washing, but in the winter months, snow melt and mud can build up in their paws and allergens can irritate their coat. Bathing is key during the winter months.
Paw care is extremely crucial in the winter months as well. Due to the excessive cold and dryness of winter, puppy paws are especially susceptible to becoming irritated or damaged. Be sure you are cleaning out their paws and giving them ointment to soothe their rough pads.
Floors = Chores
The floors are probably your most daunting task each week. I never look forward to cleaning the floors because I inevitably end up on my hands and knees scrubbing stuck-on mud and food stains. The floors are certainly the hardest chore of them all.
New upgrades in floor-cleaning technology have certainly made this job easier, but sometimes those items can be rather pricey. The best way to help keep your floors clean during the winter months requires more than just fancy vacuums.
Placing rugs, runners, and mats throughout the house will help limit the dirt on the floor. Carpets are typically easier to clean than hardwood floors and can be easily machine-washed or vacuumed.
Another aspect of clean floors is organization. Help prevent your pup from chewing on your personal items by having a place for everything and keeping everything in its place. Place cute baskets throughout the house for puppy toys. Use linen closets to hide away items that are especially sentimental.
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Dog shedding is probably the most frustrating element of owning a dog. Their hair gets on everything from couches to curtains, to bedding and clothes, and they never stop shedding. If you have a large dog with lots of hair, this problem seems to grow even worse.
The best way to help maintain dog shedding is constant grooming. Your dog should have his hair brushed multiple times a week. If your dog misunderstands brushings or acts naughty during grooming, increasing the frequency may promote familiarity and help improve the behavior.
While grooming your dog, be sure to check the cleanliness of his teeth and the length of his nails as well. Long nails can pick up more debris and dirty teeth can contribute to bad breath and overall stinkiness.
Did Someone Ask for Water?
The winter months bring with them joy and love as well as snowmelt and ice cubes. In other words, water, and lots of it. Water is the enemy to a clean home. It can lead to mildew smells, stains, and mud.
Water and animals can be a difficult mixture as well. Your large dog most likely brings in lots of water each time he goes outside to use the bathroom or have a walk. Help eliminate water on the floors and furniture by wiping him down after he comes inside.
Keep a thick towel at the foot of entryways as well to help keep doggie paws dry. Paw prints will show up all over your floor if you aren’t keeping them clean and dry.
Say “No” to Aerosol
Aerosol sprays like Febreze and Glade seem like great ideas for helping maintain odor and eliminating wet dog smells. Unfortunately, these aerosols can often be bad for pup health. They can cause lung issues, provoke allergies, and create skin rashes.
Luckily, there are some substitutes you can use that don’t contain aerosol gases. For instance, rather than using aerosol to keep your mattress smelling clean, try a mixture of essential oils. Essential oils are a natural fragrance that not only smell incredible, but can be very healthy for animals. Some oils like lavender and ylang-ylang can even act as flea preventatives.
The winter months don’t have to mean excessive cleaning for your family. Let these months be what they should be—fun and enjoyable. Take small but frequent steps throughout the week to help maintain your home during the harsh winter season and keep your guests and their noses happy!