Even the most avid dog owners can become frustrated trying to keep their homes spick and span. They’re perky, playful and cute, but all that dog hair, saliva, dander and general funk make housekeeping a real chore. Caring for a canine companion can be costly, but cleaning up after him doesn’t have to be. With a little research and some experimentation, you can keep your festive holiday home smelling green and looking clean with some cost-conscious cleaning tools and strategies.

Stock up

You can’t fight the war against doggie disorder unless you’re well-armed, so stock up with supplies that allow you to address each need as they arise. If yours is a particularly hairy breed, stockpile lint rollers to keep upholstery and clothing clear of accumulated hair, and make sure your vacuum cleaner has plenty of attachments so you can reach hairballs in the corners and underneath furniture and appliances. If you’re trying to remain eco-friendly, consider using a lemon-and-water or vinegar-and-water solution as a spray to keep Fido’s malodorous influence from overwhelming your home’s indoor air quality. Keep plenty of enzymatic carpet cleaner on hand for those periodic accidents with which dogs make their mark on the carpeting.

Healthy breathing

Pet fur and dander have a way of getting into your home’s ventilation system and piling up in inopportune spots, which is one reason it’s important to change or clean your air filter regularly if you have a pooch. It’s a problem that can cause or exacerbate asthma and other breathing problems, especially among homeowners who rarely or never change air filters. If you need to get in the habit of swapping out your air filters, subscribe to an air filter delivery service, which will give you a ready supply of filters and serve as a reminder to stay on top of things.

Address the problem at the source

Most dogs bring lawn debris, dirt, mud and an assortment of microscopic pests indoors after a romp in the yard. Try addressing the problem before it becomes part of the household by keeping a full complement of cleaning tools inside the door. That means having plenty of beat-up old towels ready to go whenever puppy’s ready to come in. Keep a stash of wipes on hand to wipe off those filthy paws.

Drool spots

Many dog owners love allowing their pets to share the couch and their bed. It’s cute and a great way to bond with your furry friend, but when a dog spends a lot of time on the furniture, you’ll have to deal with plenty of drool spots. It’s a good idea to address them before they set in and become a permanent part of the furniture. Use hot water to loosen and dilute the stain, apply a few drops of dish soap to help mop up the oils, and add a little vinegar to prevent staining. It’s a cost-effective solution to a persistent problem using common, everyday substances most people keep under the kitchen sink or in the pantry.

Urine spots

Every dog owner sometimes comes home to find a stain waiting for them on the living room plush. There are plenty of industrial cleaning fluids on the market, but it’s difficult to know which ones might end up doing more harm than good by leaving a stain once the urine sample’s been soaked up. Go the natural route instead using vinegar and water as well as baking soda, two of the most potent natural cleaning materials available. Pat the stain with a paper towel (don’t smear), apply a few spritzes of your half-and-half water/vinegar solution, and apply some baking soda to soak up anything that remains.

Dogs make wonderful companions and add a lot to family life, but they’re an ongoing source of hair, smells and stains. The need is ongoing, and investing in top-of-the-line industrial cleaners can get costly. It’s amazing how much of a dog’s mess can be cleaned effectively (and inexpensively) with common household substances like vinegar, lemon and baking soda.

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