Keeping a House With Pets Clean

We have a very small house with 2 dogs and a Siamese cat. I cannot seem to keep the dirt and hair down and we have had the animals for sometime. We don't want to get rid of them but it seems like its coming down to that as they're becoming a constant hassle especially when its very cold during winter months. Do not worry, we would give them away to a good home. I would like to know any hints on keeping my house cleaner and less smelly. Thank you.


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Hi N.O.,

Don't get discouraged. All of us pet owners have the same problem. We have five cats. One was ours, three were dumped here as tiny kittens and one was inherited when my MIL passed. Pets are like kids-they can be messy. The battle against pet hair is constant. I keep a dust mop next to the fridge. Each morning, I dust mop all of the hardwood floors and use the electric sweeper on the carpets. This doesn't get all of the fur, but it helps keep it down between regular vacuuming days. I also keep a microfiber dust mitt handy to wipe across the upholstery before guests come over. The microfiber removes a lot of the fur and is easily washable. The odor is an entirely different battle. I hate the smell and dust from the scented cat litter, but the unscented doesn't seem to keep down the odor. The only solution (okay, not solution, but a small help) is to scoop each litterbox a couple of times a day. Labor intensive I know! And sometimes, you have to lower your standard of housekeeping from perfect, to good enough. It's hard for those of us who had grandmothers with spotless houses, but it's no help to stress out over a few pet hairs. Especially considering the love and companionship that our pets bring us :)


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When I had cats I used to put baking soda in the liter boxes and know you spray frebreeze around the house and on the furniture. You can wipe the furniture with a damp sponge it will pick up the hairs. Brushing them will help cut the hair loss.

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I only have one small short haired dog in the house but I'm always amazed at how much hair I dust mop up each day so I can understand how you must be feeling. I've found it helps to bathe her regularly and brush, brush, brush. If you can deal with it a little longer it should be spring soon and they can go out more.

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Brushing the dog's fur is a must as well as shampooing them regularly with oatmeal shampoo and rinse which helps their skin. Also, you can get baking soda with a fragrance that is geared toward picking up more pet hair from carpet and it leaves a nice fragrance behind. I also use a Swiffer mop with a paper towel covering to aid in picking up more pet hair off vinyl flooring before mopping. Wiping pet's paws with a hand towel each time they come back into the house also helps keep floors cleaner longer. Have you considered buying doggie boots for your pet's paws? Just remove at the door and their paws are dry and clean.

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There is a rubber broom that picks up hair, I sweep all the time. I make my own air and fabric refresher out of fabric softener liquid diluted with water in a spray bottle. I put about 1 part fabric softner liquid to three parts or so of water in a spray bottle.

The better quality of food you buy for the cat, the smaller and less troublesome the stools are in the litterbox. :)

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We have a dog that doesn't shed and another who does. I got the Furminator ( as a gift for the dog that sheds. Check out the website. If your dogs are small, maybe you could purchase the smallest one. This deshedding tool is kind of costly, but I found them on Amazon for much better prices than pet stores charge. Hopefully, with regular brushing, this could work for you.

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I have a german shorthair as an indoor dog. She loves to be vacuumed daily, loves her showers. She knows she is only allowed on furniture I place a cover on. So I use colorful bed sheets that can drape the rocker she chooses dibs on, as well as a 2nd couch. Take and shake it outdoors daily, switch it out and wash them daily if you want.

We deal with no smells. Believe me, the dog was not my idea, but she is mine, all my allergies come into play in her staying clean. She will steal into the shower with anyone who will let her. This habit started at 6 weeks new. A refreshing bath before bed, like a baby. She slept like a baby.

I used and still only use JOHNSON BABY WASH. Grandchildren and the dog. My dog never scratches, does not have dry skin, etc. A shower weekly is a must!

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I installed a doggie door in laundry room and put in a small fenced area. I let them out in am and let them in in pm they can run and go in and out of laundry room only during day and when they come in and mess up house I put them in lr for the evening and now they dont mess the house up. Before I did this I have small dogs I put the in playpens durring day. lol

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I also have 2 small dogs and a manx cat. I always brush the dogs daily outside. This keeps loose fur off the dogs and out of the central air unit. I change my air filter on the first day of every month. I bathe the dogs at least once a week. If you take their bedding outside and shake daily it will also keep dry skin, excess fur and dirt from building up in the house. I keep my dogs fur clipped short, but not short enough to be ugly. lol I also sprinkle baking soda on the carpets before vacuuming. Hope this helps.

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Well in the winter you really can not bathe them. It is too cold out for her to go outside and shake her self out. I have a wired terrier mix dog and sometimes when she goes #2 I take baby wipes and wipe her back their. Also since she was smelling not to hot. I brush her and then took the baby wipes again and rub her down.

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I really understand what you mean, I had two, one of my babies died Oct 5, still so sad. I have a dachshund and she sheds a lot, but we make a commitment to take care of them as long as they live. I give her a bath in the winter, I wait for a sunny day, I put her outside for her to do her thing and then bathe her and keep her in for as long as possible before I have to put out again. What helps me is I put covers on the sofas and chairs and just wash them frequently, so no hair on the couches or chairs. Please be patient.

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There are two vacuum cleaner attachments that are available. One is good for carpets in the house and the other is good for pet hairs in the car. I found this is the best method I've come across, so easy when vacuuming. Google for more info, they go by the name "Hairyhog" and "Seathog".Hope this helps!

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First, do not use scented carpet cleaners or baking soda in your carpets. This is very bad for pets and most good vets will tell you this.

Secondly, dogs shouldn't be washed daily or even weekly. This dries out their skin and cause serious issues. I've heard monthly, but I think every 3 weeks could probably work. If it is too cold to do this on your own call a mobile dog groomer or take the dog to the doggie spa. There are ways to keep them clean so that you don't feel the need to give up.

Brush your pet regularly! With 2 very hairy kitties I have found that daily brushing decreases my vacuuming tremendously. And I have a Dyson - Animal vacuum. Yes, people. It really is THAT good. Best investment I ever made.

The litter boxes ... the rule is 1 for each cat and then 1 extra. Yep! And they should have enough room in the litter box to do their duty without being hunched over. Most experts will say they should be able to do a 360 without any problem. Yep, again! The litter boxes shouldn't be filled with perfume litter, again the odor and powder being bad for the cat. Covered litter boxes present an even bigger challenge because it's quite difficult finding one large enough to accommodate a bigger than average cat. BUT, doing these things will eliminate litter box mishaps, which will seriously reduce odor and clean-up.

Feed your animals food that isn't full of bi-products, ash and filler. When an animal is on a high-grade diet, they have less waste, the waste is not as stinky (so has been my experience) and the animal in general doesn't have as pungent an odor. Well, this is true for my male cats. Plus, would you want to live off of Taco Bell and McDonalds? How would we function on a permanent diet of that caliber?

Vacuum, change your air filter, get a doggie door for a fenced-in area, and just remain committed to doing all of these other things daily. There simply is no easy answer and no quick fix. Pet ownership is a serious commitment. And, yes, there are most definitely days when I'm cleaning yet another pile of kicked litter or seed that's been thrown from a food bowl when I'm convinced I've just HAD IT. But then when I walk by the Java tree my Catalina Macaw looks at me and says, "I love you."

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We have no more stinky litter boxes since we started using a litter called Yesterday's News. It's made of compressed paper and it's amazing, no smell at all! We tried Feline Pine and that is good too but one of our cats is allergic to it. There's another one made from corn husks (don't remember the name) but she was allergic to it too! Our vet advised us against using scoopable litter as two of our cats are Persians and if they ingest any of that litter while grooming themselves they can get an intestinal blockage.

Yesterday's News is a bit pricey but there's no dust to clean up and we don't have to use as much in each pan. We try to buy it whether it's on sale or not, it's that good. BTW. I don't work for the makers of YN nor get any compensation from them. I just think they have a great product!

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Home and Garden Cleaning AdviceJanuary 29, 2009
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