Poppy helping withe the hoovering

Cleaning tips for dog owners

The recent Covid-19 Virus outbreak sweeping across the globe has highlighted the importance of good hygiene and cleaning practices. So we thought we’d share some of the cleaning habits we’ve adopted since becoming dog owners.

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I have to admit cleaning isn’t one of my favourite pastimes, but boy do we need to do it with two dogs.  It’s all self-inflicted though, as we have a home with two hoomans and two very active working cocker spaniels. Things can get messy very quickly in our house, especially after walkies.

This winter has seen relentless rain here in the UK, so for several months we’ve had to deal with wet stuff. Wet dogs, harnesses, leads, raincoats, dog beds, blankets, rugs you name. If the dogs can get on it when they’re wet they will, its like a challenge too them how much can they cover 🙂 And don’t get me started abouy the EIGHT muddy paws several times a day!

So, what do we do to tackle the daily mudfest?

Towels, lots of them

There’s a basket full of clean dog towels in our hallway under stairs cupboard. They’re essentially old hooman towels that we’ve recycled into dog towels. As soon as we come in from a wet and muddy walk, the dogs are told to wait on the hessian door mat whilst we grab their towels and make a fun game of drying them off before they get to shake. They can’t wait to be released to zoom around and shake.

Micro fibre cloths

I have a pile of micro fibre clean cloths ready for use all around the house. They’re great for wiping up water bowl spills and nose art off the windows (rather than using my nice tea towels DT!). They’re also useful damp to wipe muddy paws from the garden, which I’m doing regularly whilst house training Coco the pup. We will get there eventually! I then just throw the used micro fibre cloth in the washing machine. Very economical and we’re saving the planet from wet wipe overload.

Daily vacuum cleaning

To save my sanity our house is now all wood flooring. It’s just so much easier to clean hard floors with a hoover and mop. Carpets with dogs, in my opinion, are too much like hard work. It’s impossible to keep them clean, odourless and stain free with dogs. I’m keen that our house doesn’t smell of ‘dog’ when we have visitors, so the carpets had to go. Instead we have a number of small (machine washable) rugs in each room, these are much easier to manage.

Due to the amount of mud and dog hair we seem to produce in our house, I hoover every single day. Usually the vacuum cleaner is whipped round the house early evening before dinner when the dogs have had their main off-lead muddy walks. Their last bedtime walk is always on lead so they don’t get muddy (isn’t it Dave?? Yes Miche :-).  

Each evening I scoop up any muddy blankets, soft toys and dog towels used during the day and throw them in the washing machine. Whilst dinner is cooking I zoom round with our cordless V10 Cyclone Dyson vacuum cleaner. I literally fill up the Dyson cylinder with dry mud and fur every day, it’s crazy but true. Thank you, Mr Dyson we love you.

Daily floor cleaning

Once the Dyson has been whipped round and emptied, I then disinfect the floors using a Vileda floor mop. These are brilliant. The mop has a chamber running inside the handle that you fill with floor cleaning product (I use Zoflora). There’s a trigger on the handle that releases cleaning fluid onto the floor just in front of the mop head. Talking of which, a good tip is to purchase extra floor mop heads. I have several so that I can mop each room with a fresh attachment. You then simply unclip the used mop head and throw it in the washing machine ready for the nightly ‘Dog Wash’. Simple.

Sofa throws, dog blankets

Again, to help protect our home from the muddy dog paws (and scratchy puppy claws – DT), we have covered our sofa and bed with throws. These are washed on a weekly basis to keep them clean and reduce any wet dog smell.

Separate dog beds

Poppy and Coco have their own dog beds rather than sharing one big bed. There are several good reasons why we use separate beds:

  • Both dog beds are machine washable, so again that I can chuck them in the washing machine on a weekly basis. No need for stinky beds in the house.
  • It gives the girls personal space and quiet time when they want it. Mainly Poppy when the puppy gets too much.
  • The girls sleep in their own beds in our bedroom at night time.
    • This means we don’t get kicked out of bed during the night (dog owners know all about this).
    • Also, our motorhome has a drop-down bed, which would be a little too cosy with two dogs as well. It doesn’t drop right to the floor, so we didn’t want to encourage the girls to jump on and off it high up and hurt their legs. So when we’re away in the van the girls will sleep in their own beds, snuggled up warm with fleece blankets – I know we spoil our pooches.

Disinfectant spray for high use areas

We’ve struggled, like many, to buy certain household items over the past 2-3 weeks. The toilet rolls and cleaning product aisles are constantly empty each time I go shopping. Thankfully one or two of the smaller stores still have stock of Zoflora, which I mainly use around our home anyway.

As well as diluted in my floor mop, I use diluted Zoflora in a spray bottle to gentle mist over areas that we regularly touch throughout the day. Such as door handles, light switches, fridge, oven and microwave doors, TV remote controls. Everything has a micro fibre wipe then a fine mist of disinfectant each day to help kill off any germs we or the dogs may have picked up during the day.

We’re also doing our bit to save the planet with this tip by saving on single use plastic bottles. I no longer buy spray bathroom, kitchen cleaners, instead I’ve recycled a couple of spray bottles, which I fill with diluted zoflora and use around the house.

Create a cleaning caddy

I like to keep things organised and tidy so I pinched one of Dave’s DIY tool caddy’s, which is now used to carry our essential cleaning bits and bobs around the house. Very organised, quick and easy to grab when needed. Why not make one and jazz it up, I’m sure this could be ‘a new thing’ soon. I haven’t jazzed mine up (yet), I’m keeping an eye out for some fun dog stickers or maybe I should brand it with Touring Tails what do you think 🙂

Coco helping with the cleaning, showing
Coco showing off mum’s cleaning caddy

Anyway, if you’re thinking this list sounds like a lot of work, don’t be put off. Once you get into a routine like this, it doesn’t take too long at all. And in the current climate with a nasty virus sweeping the globe my routine is giving me comfort that I have done all I can to protect my family and fur babies.

Find a time that works for you and give it a go, find your own daily routine, in our house typically it’s around 5-6pm whilst the dinner is cooking. We can then sit down and relax in a clean and fresh smelling home with a glass of wine (or beerDT).

If you have any top cleaning tips for dog owners then please do share them using the comments section below. We’d love to hear what you come up with.

Next week we’re taking Coco on her first adventure in the motorhome. Two hoomans and two dogs in a van eek! Pop back and visit us next week to find out how we got with our first night, did Coco actually settle and let us all sleep eek! Wish us luck.

Stay safe, look after yourselves and your fur babies.

Touring Tails xxx

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