Spring cleaning with your dog

As the days get longer and the weather finally warms, we find ourselves energised once again! If you’ve got the urge to freshen up your home, but you’re not too sure where to start on getting your living space ready for the rare summer days, we’ve got you covered!

While our dogs might have a knack for getting in the way of our housekeeping efforts, it’s a good idea to include their bits and bobs in the spring clean, too! Here are some tips to help you tackle the tidying without harming your pooch in the process …

Preparing your dog

Provide some outdoor playtime

Before making a start, why not spend some time outside with your pooch to help burn off any of their excess energy? From spending time in the garden to a quick game of fetch, or going for a walk, returning home with a tired pooch might let you clean in peace!

Create a safe space

Creating a safe and comfortable spot where your dog can relax in while you clean can help make sure you’re not interrupted mid-tidy. You could use their bed space, utilise their crate, or simply create a new spot filled with their favourite blankets or toys to keep them occupied. 

Get them used to the hoover

If your dog tries to attack the scary source of noise when you start to hoover, you can train them to get used to it to help minimise their stress during cleaning time.

Use positive reinforcement techniques to help your pooch associate the hoover with something positive. This way, you can regularly hoover and keep on top of pet hair and dander, without having to worry about your vacuum coming under attack.

Cleaning product choice & storage

Only use dog-safe products 

When buying your cleaning products, or going through the bottles and tubs you already have, make sure you opt for dog-friendly formulas. Some cleaners can contain toxic chemicals which your pooch can accidentally consume or come into contact with through their paws, their fur, or via other surfaces. 

When washing fabrics your pet comes into contact with, including their beds and towels, always be sure to use non-toxic (and ideally unscented) detergent or powder and avoid using fabric softeners, too. 

Avoid products that contain: 

  • Ammonia.
  • Chlorine.
  • Glycol Ethers.
  • Formaldehyde.

When using household cleaning products, for your and your dog’s safety, make sure you have the windows or backdoor open for ventilation. And never mix cleaning products!

Many of the household names we’re so used to cleaning with can have a harmful effect on the surrounding environment as well. There are plenty of different ingredients we should be avoiding for the health of our companions and the world we live in, so, we thought we’d list some brands you could consider instead: 

  • OceanSaver: Born from a deep love of the sea, OceanSaver offer plant-based and non-toxic alternatives to the cleaning products already in our homes. 
  • Ecover: On a mission to make cleaning even cleaner for us, our homes, our communities, and our world. 
  • Eco-mate: Cleaning products made with consideration for the environment, bottled in paper and giving you one less plastic to worry about.

Keep cleaning supplies secure

Storing your cleaning supplies out of your dog’s reach will keep them safe and prevent accidental ingestion. After you have used your products, including sponges, brushes, or gloves, store them in a place that your dog cannot reach. If you’ve mopped your floors or wiped your counters, keep your pooch away until they’re dry. 

A dog sitting next to some cleaning products

How to clean your dog’s living space & toys

How to wash pet bedding

Your dog’s bedding, blankets, and toys should also be a part of your spring-cleaning plan to help keep everyone happy, healthy, and hygienic.

Here are some top tips on cleaning your dog’s bed: 

Hoover your dog’s bed frequently: This will help remove dog hair, dirt, and other debris that might’ve collected on the fabric. 

Remove the cover: If your dog bed cover is removable, do so and load the cover into the washing machine. Make sure you wash this separately from other laundry, to avoid getting any missed hairs stuck to other items. 

Use the bath: If your dog’s bed is too big for the washing machine, you can handwash it in your bath, shower area, or even in a paddling pool outside! 

Drying your dog’s bed: You can either use a tumble dryer (if it’s big enough) or find a sunny, airy spot to dry the bed in. 

Cleaning your dog’s toys

Here are some top tips on cleaning your dog’s toys: 

Hard toys: To start, you should clean any dried or hardened debris with a brush. Then, what you do next depends on the toy and its material. Some toys will be okay in the dishwasher, whereas you’ll need to handwash others with warm, soapy water.

Don’t forget to let your dog's toys dry completely before letting your dog play with them again. 

Soft toys: Soft or stuffed toys can be hand-washed or popped in the washing machine to be cleaned. This will help keep them fresh for your pooch, too. Then, simply let your dog’s soft toys air dry afterwards and they’ll be ready to be played with once again, germ-free! 

Remember: These items can hold onto dirt, bacteria, and other nasties, so washing them regularly will help keep a clean and healthy home environment. 

Tackle odours naturally

Our houses tend to develop a lingering smell that we might be nose-blind to, but can often be noticed by others. You can try using natural odour eliminators to help your rooms remain fresh for visitors. Simply sprinkle baking soda on fabric surfaces, let it sit for a few hours, then hoover it up. 

For more stubborn smells, you could mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and mist where needed, then simply blot with a clean cloth. And voila, a nicer smelling experience for all, humans and animals alike. 

Top tip: Baking soda can also eliminate any doggy smells that might linger in your car, just sprinkle it on the seats or mats and vacuum away after a few minutes. 

Don't forget outdoor spaces

Spring cleaning isn’t just for your indoor spaces, you can spruce up your outdoor areas, too! Why not sweep away leaves and other bits? Be sure to inspect fencing for any signs of damage or wear that will need fixing. You could also paint walls or fences, to help make your space more pleasant during the summer months. 

Don’t forget: If you decide to pressure wash any space, make sure that you keep your pooch away from the powerful sprays of water. Also, only use pet-safe cleaners even outdoors!  

Top cleaning hacks with dogs

Here are just some hacks to make the task of cleaning quicker and easier:

  • Use a lint roller – The perfect tool to pick up hair from surfaces like sofas, beds and even trousers.
  • Rubber gloves are handy – You just need to wear a damp pair of rubber gloves and sweep your hands over the areas that are collecting hair.
  • Baby wipes for emergencies – These are good to get any hairs off fabrics and can even get rid of certain marks or stains.
  • Window squeegee – Ideal for raking up the dog hair that tends to collect on flat surfaces (like stairs or sofa cushions). You’ll be shocked at how much you gather!
  • Consider a doggy bandana – This will help catch some of your dog’s drool before it marks your furniture, clothes, doors and walls. 

That’s it! With a little planning, patience, and the right approach, you can tackle your cleaning chores while keeping your canine companion (and the environment) happy and safe. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to enjoying a clean and fresh home, just in time for the warmer weather. 

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