So your cute pandemic puppy is now a messy dog
Sometime last year, in the midst of the chaotic grocery runs, shutdowns, Zoom calls, isolation, and building pandemic fatigue, you got a puppy. And it was the best decision you made last year. No regrets. Except, that puppy is now a dog, and you have lost control of your house, which you still can’t really leave. You want to keep your home clean with a dog. How do you regain control?
The 2020 puppy boom
At the beginning of the pandemic, when metropolitan areas began to enter shutdowns and many non-essential employees were asked to work from home, people started adopting dogs. Many shelters, rescues, and breeders reported more demand than they had dogs and puppies to fill. Back in August of 2020, many breeders had waiting lists extending into 2021.
Why we love pets
Creating a connection with a pet can be very fulfilling and studies have shown that having a pet comes with a variety of health benefits. Many of these benefits aligned with needs created by the unique conditions of the pandemic. Just a few of the ways a pet can make us healthier:
- Companionship. Many single adults turned to adopting a pet during the pandemic because they couldn’t spend time around other humans. Having a pet helped to stave off the loneliness of isolation.
- Routine. No one keeps you to your routine better than a pet who needs to be walked and fed and played with at precise times each day. If you’re distracted or running late, your pet will be sure to get your attention. Since the pandemic upended many of our daily routines, from work to school to weekend activities and working out, having a pet helped people maintain a semblance of routine and create structure in an otherwise unstructured day.
- Purpose. Having a pet is a serious responsibility. For many people, this sense of purpose can be extremely valuable on its own and has been shown to help ease anxiety and depression. Caring for a pet also helps to teach young children responsibility.
- More exercise. Daily walks are a great source of exercise, and your dog will thank you for it. Energetic dog breeds like border collies often benefit from regular runs and can be a powerful motivation if you need one to meet your running goals. Cats love to play daily and many cats can be leash-trained and enjoy walking and exploring outdoors. Beyond the benefits of exercise, it’s also beneficial to spend time outdoors, in the sunshine and fresh air.
- Lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that pet owners tend to reduce your risk for heart disease. That’s not just because of the extra exercise opportunities—sitting and petting your dog or cat lowers your blood pressure and pulse rate.
You probably already know all of this. You love your pet and you’re so glad they’re a part of your life. But that cute, chubby little puppy is now a full-grown dog. And kind of a mess.
Puppies are messy in their own way, but usually that mess can be contained within a fairly small area. Most dogs are much less containable. They track dirt, mud and leaves in from outside, all over the wood floors and the carpet. When they eat, they send food flying. Getting a drink of water inevitably ends with half the water on the floor. They leave drool spots all over the floors and hair all over the furniture. And more hair on the floors. Really, the floors are just a dog-created disaster all around.
No matter how clean you are, having a dog forces you to change your cleaning routine. You must clean more frequently, and with more attention to certain areas than you might have before. It’s more work to keep a tidy household with a full-grown dog in it. We do it because all the benefits outweigh all the mess. Still, it can be hard work keeping your home clean with a dog.
6 tips for a clean home with a messy dog
If there’s anything Clean & Simple understands, it’s the importance of a clean and healthy home. We also love our furry friends. We’ve put together this pet-approved list of tips for keeping the dirt and fur from overwhelming your home.
- Regular grooming. One of the perennial pet owner complaints is all the fur—the tumbleweeds of hair that roll along the baseboards or the upholstered couch that used to be white but now is whatever color the dog is. Regular grooming can cut down on shedding significantly. You don’t need to go to a professional groomer, just brush your dog a few times each week. This can also be great fun for your dog and help you bond. Brush outside if you can, to reduce skin particles in the home that can contribute to allergies. Regular bathing is also essential in minimizing the “dog smell.” A clean dog is a crucial component in a clean home with a dog!
- Wipe down muddy paws before they come into the house. Try to keep a towel and possibly even a shallow tub of water near the door to wipe down paws as your dog comes in from the backyard or a recent walk. My parents’ black lab is an expert at slinging mud all over herself on a walk, so they always have multiple towels set out to wipe her down after each walk.
- Exercise your dog regularly. Don’t skimp on the walks—a bored dog is a destructive dog. Take your dog on regular walks (or runs, depending on the breed). Give them enrichment toys while they’re hanging out around the house or outside to keep them focused on constructive fun, i.e., not tearing the stuffing out of the pillows or bulbs out of the garden.
- Use a placemat under your pet’s dish. Preferably a placemat that can be easily wiped down with soap and water, or a small mat or rug you can throw into the washing machine with a load of towels once a week. This will help to reduce the food and water splatter. While we’re on the subject, use stainless steel or nonporous silicone food and water dishes for your dog’s food. Porous materials like many plastics can harbor bacteria that might harm your pet.
- Vacuum as much as possible. There’s no way around it. Even if you are brushing your dog and wiping their feet, there is still going to be pet hair and dirt in the house. It’s inevitable. The more you vacuum, the better things are. At Clean & Simple we recommend households with pets to vacuum the whole house at least once a week, with higher traffic areas vacuumed more frequently. If you have multiple pets, or pets and kids, you might need to do a full-house vacuum twice a week. It’s a lot of work, but it will make a huge difference.
- Hire the professionals! If this sounds like a lot of work, we won’t lie—it really is. That’s why professionals like Clean & Simple are here to help. We know Snohomish county residents love their dogs, so our recurring service plans offer many options to dog owners: our thorough floor cleaning system (by hand—no mops that miss corners and small spots), vacuuming upholstered furniture, vacuuming under beds and couches, wiping down baseboards, sanitizing surfaces, products without strong scents or unsafe chemicals, and much more. Plus, our compassionate, expert staff are specially trained to clean homes with dogs. Give us a call today to learn more (425) 673-4733.
It is possible to get control of your home back from your messy dog. Just follow our simple steps. And if you want to free up the time you spend vacuuming every week to play with your dog instead, we’re standing by to help.