Dog Care

Oct 17

Keeping the House Clean with Pets


Keeping the House Clean with Pets

by Alejandra Roca

Image via Pexels

When you walk in the home of a pet owner, what is the first thing you notice? Is it the sweet family photo on the entry table with man’s best friend prominently perched in front, or maybe the basket full of toys and lovies sitting next to a cushy pet bed? Best case scenario, it’s the wet nose or soft purr of a dog or cat, requesting your love and affection.

Regardless of what you notice first, there are a few things most pet owners hope you won’t notice at all — starting with all that hair! Short hair, long hair, dark hair, light hair — no matter what kind of fur your pet has, it’s guaranteed to get everywhere. Without constant attention, the strands seem to multiply exponentially. Before you know it, hair is covering every available surface. Then there are the smells. Even the cleanest pets carry with them a certain “eau de animal” caused by stinky breath, sweaty paws, and time spent outdoors.

In addition to the things you can see and smell, pet owners also deal with less obvious threats to a clean and healthy home. From allergy-inducing dander to disease-causing bacteria, our four-legged family members can even get us humans sick if we don’t clean up after them.


There’s no doubt about it — the struggle for pet owners is real. The good news is, it is possible for you to keep your home spic and span without relegating your furry friend to the backyard, or worse, getting rid of him or her altogether. Keep reading to find out how!

Step One: Keep Your Pet Clean

The first step to a clean house is a clean pet, and the first step to a clean pet is a bath. For dogs, recommendations for bathing intervals vary based on breed. For most dogs, bathtime once a month will keep them clean enough. Breeds with oily coats, like Basset Hounds, may need to be bathed once a week, while breeds with thicker coats, like Samoyeds, should be bathed less often. Of course, these are just guidelines. You may choose to bathe your pup more or less often depending on how dirty they get (and how bad they smell!). Just make sure to use a mild, pet-friendly shampoo that won’t dry out their skin.

Image via Pexels

Contrary to popular belief, your cat should also be bathed regularly. While cats “clean” themselves by licking away hair, dirt, and food particles, a good bath can go a long way to keeping a cat looking, feeling, and smelling its best. As a general rule, monthly baths will help keep your cat’s coat healthy, reduce shedding, and prevent fleas.

Speaking of fleas, don’t forget flea, tick, and mosquito treatments for your furry friends. Cats and dogs require different types of treatments, so be sure to check with your veterinarian for his or her recommendations. Applied at regular intervals, these treatments will protect your pet from pesky insects and the diseases they carry. No bug bites means less scratching, too, which will help you on the clean-home front.

In addition to keeping your pet’s coat clean and bug free, you’ll want to keep nails trimmed, teeth brushed, and ears and eyes wiped clean. While not as noticeable on their own, these smells combined add up to a lot of stink.


TIP: Brushing pets between baths can help keep them cleaner longer. It removes dander (dead skin and hair) and dirt, and distributes oils that keep coats shiny and healthy.


Step Two: Create Pet-Friendly Spaces

Whether your pet has free reign of the house or is only allowed in certain rooms, the spaces where your furry housemates spend their time should be designed with cleanliness and durability in mind. (Don’t worry — that doesn’t mean you have to cover everything you own in clear vinyl!)

Keeping pets off of furniture is an excellent first step in keeping your home looking and smelling fresh. If that sounds too difficult, try this instead: pick one piece of furniture for your pet to make  his or her own. A chair, ottoman, or corner of the couch are all good options. Then, cover the upholstery with a blanket or slipcover that can be easily removed and washed. Alternatively, place a pet bed in every room of your home. That way, your pet always has a nice, soft place to land, and you can toss it in the wash as needed.


TIP: Baking soda is a pet owner’s best friend. Sprinkle it on carpets and pet bedding to absorb odors, or mix it with water to scrub hard surfaces. It’s inexpensive and non-toxic.


Image via Pixabay

If possible, place food and water bowls, toy buckets, overnight crates, litter boxes, and other pet paraphernalia in spaces with hardwood floors like a mudroom, bathroom, or kitchen. This will make it easier to clean up when Fido or Fancy inevitably makes a mess. Plastic or silicone placemats will catch spills and food particles and are easy to wipe down between meals. Avoiding placing food bags, toys, leashes and other accessories in baskets or fabric totes. Instead, opt for bins and buckets made of non-porous materials like metal or plastic. They’re easy to clean and won’t absorb odors.


TIP: Wipe your paws!  To ensure outdoor dirt stays where it belongs, keep an old towel and some grooming wipes by the door, and give pets a wipe-down as they come into the house. You can also invest in an absorbent pet mat that traps dirt and moisture before it makes it to your carpet.


Step Three: Invest in Pet-Specific Cleaning Supplies

Image via Pexels

From carpet cleaner to vacuums, there is a pet-specific version of almost every cleaning product and tool you can imagine. While these extra-strength products are usually a little more expensive, it’s almost always worth the extra cash. They are designed to combat the issues pets are notorious for, hair and smell. And they don’t just clean better. In many cases, they also make cleaning faster and easier.


TIP: Keep a lint roller in each room of the house where your dog or cat is allowed. Use it for quick clean-up before company arrives or as a last-minute outfit touch-up before walking out the door. Note from Knowing Dogs blog owner, Melanie Schlaginhaufen---a pet "slicker brush" works better than a lint roller on things such as pet beds, or anything where you don't have to worry about scratches (don't use one on a leather couch, but you can use them on bath mats, even most pillows, but they are especially useful for pet beds, from lambskin all the way to Kuranda Kots).


There are also several tools and products designed solely for pet owners, like silicone grooming and de-shedding mitts. Simply place it on your hand and run it over upholstery, rugs, and even your pet itself to remove excess hair between cleanings. Then just rinse the mitt in warm water, and it’s ready to use again.

If it’s the microscopic dirt, germs, and allergens you’re worried about, invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter. It will remove the smallest particles of dust and dander, which will help neutralize odors. You can also purchase allergen reducing air filters, pillow and mattress covers, and bedding.

Image via Pexels

It is possible to have both a clean, healthy home and a happy, loved pet. You just have to remember that no matter which step you’re on, consistency is key. You don’t have to spend your whole life picking up after your pet, but nothing will make more of an impact on the state of your home than sticking to a regular cleaning schedule.


Reprinted with permission, original post found at



Jun 16

Real Life Benefits to Dog Ownership

How Dogs Help You More Than You Think

by Helen Rayner

Your dog is your best friend, and so they should be. They’re always there for you, are always excited when you walk through the door, and aren't they just aren’t the cutest creatures on the planet? But did you know that your canine friend brings a lot of hidden benefits to your life? From making sure you’re getting exercise to raising your mood, your dog proves again and again that dogs really are man’s best friend. In this article, we’ll take at look at some of surprising side effects of owning a dog, which will either make you love your pooch even more or be good ammunition when it comes to convincing your other half that it’s time to get a pet!

Reduced Allergies

Want to remedy your children against annoying allergies and other mild illnesses? A dog may help. A study conducted by scientists at the University of Cincinnati found that children exposed to dogs at an early age were up to four times less likely to develop the conditions than children who grew up without a dog. And if you’re debating between getting a dog or a cat, then know that cats actually increase a person’s sensitivity. Just one more reason in a long list of reasons why dogs are better than cats (ok, cats are pretty cute too, but not a patch on canines).

They Get You Fit

Imagine two scenarios. In the first you don’t own a dog. You’ve had a busy day at work, you’ve made dinner, and you’re pretty tired. Do you do that exercise you planned or do you think, pfft, let’s do that tomorrow - there’s some good TV to watch!

In the second scenario, you have a happy, bouncing dog eager to go outside to play. You’re tired, but you just can’t resist those eyes, and soon you found yourself outside on a nice summer’s evening, playing with your dog.

In which scenario are you healthier? The second of course! You might not always feel like taking your dog to get some exercise, but when you do you’re also giving yourself that all important exercise you need to be at your best. You’ll feel much better for going outside and thirty minutes to an hour a day - we promise!

They Improve Your Mental Health

Your body gets a workout when you have a dog, and your mind also gets a thorough workout too. Dogs have been shown to ease stress, symptoms of depression, and much more. If you have a child suffering from mental conditions, such as depression PTSD, or ADHD, dogs can help. A psychologist from London Medical Centre describes the act of owning a dog as better than Prozac or other medications. Though we’re not entirely why, something to do with the responsibility of taking care of another creature, the companionship they bring, and the all out love they give to the humans in their lives make us feel good. Give it a try.

They Make You a Better Person

We promise we’re not making this up, but dogs can make people...better, especially if they’re exposed to them as children. Having a pet teaches us a whole host of life lessons, from responsibility to loss to how to treat those who are less able than you and more. Children benefit in particular because they quickly learn than they’re not the center of the universe, that even though they’re young, there is something else in their life that requires that they take some sort of control.

Boost Your Social Life

As if dogs don’t do enough for humans...they also help us make friends! Owning a dog opens you up to a whole world that was previously cut off from you, and studies have shown that dog owners are less lonely than the dog-less. Take your dog regularly to a local park and you’ll soon have plenty of fellow dog-owning friends with whom you can chat. You’ll even find that you’re approached on the street much more when you’re walking your dog than when not. Even if these random interactions don’t lead to long lasting friendships, you’ll enjoy feeling part of the community.

These are just a few of many benefits of owning a pet! Did you experience any surprise benefits when you finally took the plunge and got a dog? We would like to hear your comments!

Many thanks to guest blogger Helen Rayner for the above article.

Jun 14

Wysong Speaking Truth!


What do manufacturers, nutritional scientists and regulators do when faced with the discovery that their "100% complete" processed foods haven't passed the red face test of not causing disease? First, they may deny and attack critics. Then, when faced with mounting evidence, research begins. When the nutrient problem is identified, it is repaired  usually by "reformulation" with added synthetic nutrients.

This event is then heralded as a marvel of pet food science. The new repaired food is declared "100% complete." But wait. The former, unrepaired food was also "100% complete." See a problem? The industry doesn't. After all, the problem has been "fixed." Further, why should anyone expect perfection? Mistakes are made. Shouldn't we measure the pet food industry by its willingness to make the necessary corrections?

Does an eventual explanation of causes justify results like disease, suffering and death? Correcting nutritional errors after disease results merits accolades only if the real lesson has been learned, and the new improved food is not being foisted on the public as "100% complete."

Things would be more forgivable if producers, regulators, nutritionists, and veterinarians weren't claiming perfection in the first place  and if they weren’t causing disease by so doing. "100% complete" means total, absolute perfection. Look “complete” and “100%” up. It's not like horseshoes and grenades where close is plenty good enough. 100% does not mean 99.99%. Complete does not mean incomplete. Neither is it valid to argue that "100% complete" has a special loose definition that is qualified by matching a food to NRC minimal standards or feeding trial tests. The average person should be able to read a package and understand "100% complete" to mean just that, not a special case definition based on esoteric pet food industry argot and caveat emptor. Real food consists of nutrients by the myriad, likely well over a hundred. Some known, some not. Even if all the essential nutrients are in the starting materials, processing destroys or alters practically all of them. There is also every reason to believe that only the more obvious tip of the nutrient/disease iceberg has been noticed and corrected. The hidden jagged edges of exclusively fed "100% complete" foods will continue to tear at the health bow of companion animals, robbing them of vitality in numerous subtle ways until they ultimately sink from decoys such as "infection," "old age," "degenerative disease," "genetics," "fate" or "unknown causes,” such as described in the previous Truth (note from Melanie, Dr. Wysong has published a series of articles called Wysong 100 Pet Truths, look for them on

All is not well if "100% complete and balanced" (fixed) foods are fed exclusively. Although the pet food industry cleverly embroiders the truth and is charitable with itself for past errors (and the millions of animals diseased from reliance on the "100% complete" claim), the caring pet owner should not be. The lesson is, become cynical and skeptical, or the past will be prologue.

Thought for the day: "What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected." Chief Seattle, American Indian Duwamish Tribe.

Word for the day: Omega-3  An important class of Fatty Acids (EPA, DHA) found primarily in fish, flax, hemp, chia, and other seeds, and also in grass fed or wild eggs and meats. Modern western diets are deficient. These fatty acids are a part of the structure of every cell membrane and also form compounds that control metabolism at the micro-level. Omega-3's are anti-cancer and important to cardiovascular and brain health, immunity, and also have been shown to help with arthritis...and about every other disease condition. (For a complete discussion of these important compounds and fats and oils in general, see Lipid Nutrition Understanding Fats and Oils in Health and Disease, by Dr. Wysong.)


(c) Dr. Randy Wysong, all rights reserved. Permission was given to Melanie Schlaginhaufen to reprint.  For more articles by Dr. Wysong, please visit their website,

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