Keeping Your House Clean When You Have Dogs

Have you ever walked into a pet owner’s home and immediately knew they had pets? It’s always the smell that gives it away.

When we first got a dog I was determined to not let that be our house. I don’t want it to smell and I don’t want there to be tumbleweeds of dog hair floating about.

Here are all of my tips for keeping your house clean when you have dogs.


Vacuum and Do It Often


My number one tip for keeping your house clean when you have dogs is to vacuum and do it often.  Dogs are constantly shedding and bring dirt in the house. If you let this go, your house will get dirty and it will get smelly. Keeping your house clean when you have dogs is impossible without a good vacuum.


I recommend getting a vacuum that has a special attachment made for dog hair. I have a Shark Navigator that was designed to deal with pet hair and it works great. It even gets dog hair up off my wood floors. The attachment makes it easy to get dog hair off my couch, dog beds, etc.


best vacuum for dogs


When we first got Thor I did a TON of research on vacuums. The one we had just wasn’t cutting it. I kept coming back to the Dyson, but could not stomach spending that kind of money on a vacuum.


Eventually, I came across the Shark Navigator, read a whole bunch of positive reviews and decided to go for it. I have been so happy with this vacuum. It has never let me down.



Also, clean out your vacuum often. Dog odor seems to get caught in the vacuum. When you run a dirty vacuum it starts putting out the dirty smell. The Shark Navigator is a canister vacuum, which makes it really easy to rinse out in the sink.


Let Dogs in the Back Door


The second biggest obstacle to keeping your house clean when you have dogs is how much dirt they track in. When it’s wet outside I do my best to let the dogs inside through the side door of our house. (We don’t actually have a back door.) This brings them through a little hallway, and into the kitchen.


Their first few steps are always the dirtiest. Bringing them in this door means their puppy paw prints will be left on the rug in that hallway and not on the wood floor/rug in the living room.


Clean Their Paws Off


Cleaning a dog’s paws when they come in the door is a common tip. Most people recommend keeping a towel by the door to make this easier. This is something I’ve always been lazy at.


I’m wondering if using a Dog Paw Washer will make this even easier?!


I came across this Dog Paw Washer and thought it seemed a bit unnecessary, but possibly genius at the same time. Is that even possible?



I’ve never used this product, but it looks pretty simple to use. Let me know if you have ever used one and what you think.


Brush Your Dog


I got this really handy dog brush for my dogs and it is crazy how much dog hair comes off of the dogs.


Thor is constantly shedding, especially in these warmer months. He is going to lose his hair no matter what. I can either let him lose it in the house and spend all of my time cleaning it up, or I can brush him outside and save myself the time and headache.


Pet deshedding brush

Have a Backup Bed Set


This is for those of us dog lovers who let the dogs get into our beds with us. We try to limit the amount of time our dogs spend in our bed, but sometimes their cuteness wins us over.


Having an extra comforter allows me some extra time to get the bedding washed if the dogs have left a mess. It’s not anything elaborate either… I just picked one up from the Walmart clearance section.


Use Throw Pillows With Covers


This goes along the same lines as having the extra bedding. My couch pillows all have covers on them. This makes it way easier to keep them clean. I even have new covers over old pillows that didn’t have covers.


Throw Pillow Removable Covers


I just take off the covers and throw them in the wash. It can be impossible to find pillows with zip-off covers these days. I haven’t had any luck in any retail stores in a few years. I did find some great options on Amazon recently.

Throw Pillow Removable Covers

Additional Quick Tips for Keeping Your House Clean When You Have Dogs:


  • Wash their dog beds often
  • Put an old blanket where they often lay down
  • Have a basket where you keep their toys/bones
  • Use Dishwasher safe dog bowls

Cleaning Up Urine and Vomit


To keep your house from having that “we own a dog smell.” You have to clean up messes right away. I use the same 4 steps when cleaning up their most disgusting messes. (Only use steps 1 and 2 for hard surfaces. )


  1. Soak up the mess and get the spot as dry as possible
  2. Clean up with vinegar – Spray and wipe away on hard surfaces, dab onto cloth, rugs, etc.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and let it dry for several hours.
  4. Vacuum up the dry baking soda


I hope keeping your house clean when you have dogs will be easier now that you have read these tips. No one will ever know you have a dog… until they get attacked with puppy kisses. 🙂