Finding an apartment that allows dogs is hard. Keeping your apartment clean with one or more dogs can be even harder. Our furry friends are worth it in the end, but getting a few hacks and tips from fellow dog owners can be a huge stress reducer.
The American Veterinary Medical Association says that 57 percent of the country's population owns pets. Of that percentage, 38 percent of the pets are dogs.
That's a lot of fur to sweep up.
One of the reasons why so many property owners have a 'no pets' rule is because pets, especially dogs, can be destructive. And oftentimes, the property owner is left with the clean-up bill when irresponsible owners cut out on their lease.
Not all dog owners are irresponsible. But as the old adage says, one bad apple can spoil the bunch. Unfortunately, responsible pet owners are penalized, regardless of how well-behaved their dog is.
In addition to a monthly pet fee, many property owners require a pet deposit. If you're lucky enough to find an apartment that allows pets, keeping your home clean can help future renters with pets looking for a lease agreement.
Tricks to keeping a clean apartment with dogs
While millions of dogs live happily with good families, millions more are taken to the shelter. One of the most common reasons for surrendering a dog is the inability to adjust to apartment living. The Humane Society of the United States estimates more than 3 million dogs are taken to shelters every year nationwide.
Keeping an apartment tidy can help have a positive effect on a dog's behavior. They'll have more room to play if clutter is kept to a minimum. Dog owners can also take a few extra minutes to make sure there's nothing chewable at the dog's level, such as remote controls or eyeglasses.
As an added bonus, your apartment will be ready for any guests that pop by, invited or not. What other steps can residents take to keep their apartment clean while owning dogs?
1. Invest in a robotic vacuum
We see the word 'robot' and we think of "The Jetsons," right? The dog-related tech industry is a booming field. One of the most useful devices for pet owners is the automatic vacuum. Or, more commonly known as the robot vacuum.
You can name your robot Rosie, but the vacuum requires less instruction than the iconic cartoon character. Many robot vacuums get to work with a touch of a button, programmed to work its way out of corners.
Robot vacuums are especially useful if your dog is a breed that sheds heavily. Double-coated dogs, such as Siberian Huskies and Labs, are notorious for shedding.
Just keep in mind, there's a strong chance your pup will be wary of the vacuum, if not outright fearful. On the other hand, your dog can go viral on social media as a vacuum surfer.
2. Cover furniture to keep fur away
The robot vacuum cleans the floor, but what about the furniture where your dog naps? Many dog owners have a “no furniture" rule for their dogs. But let's be real — an equal number of dogs disregard that rule the second their owner is out of sight.
You may not mind the dog fur, but your guests may. The National Institute of Health says that up to 20 percent of the world's population is allergic to pets, including dogs. It's not just fur, either. Pet dander and even their saliva can cause reactions from people who have pet allergies.
One easy and inexpensive way to prevent your furniture from getting covered in fur and other allergens is to cover them with sheets. Using sheets is much easier to clean, as well. You can simply remove the sheet, throw it in the wash and replace it with another sheet.
And let's not forget the pillows that spontaneously explode as soon as the owner leaves the house. Investing in durable materials can keep your home and possessions safe from mysteriously disappearing.
3. Keep your dog's nails trimmed
Keeping your pup's nails short (but not too short) has many health benefits. Shorter nails help your dog walk comfortably. Long nails that impede your dog's gait can cause spinal and joint issues.
If your apartment has hardwood floors, they could easily be scratched or scuffed by your dog. Additionally, keeping your dog's nails trimmed prevents a painful injury of getting the nails snagged on rugs.
4. Use rugs throughout the house
Rugs are a great asset to apartments with dogs. Older dogs often have trouble gaining traction on floors and can easily injure themselves.
Many dog owners find rugs, especially smaller rugs, easier to clean than tiled floors. A small rug can be put through the wash when it gets dirty. They also keep the floor underneath clean, giving you less housework to do.
Of course, if you're bringing a new puppy home, rugs can be a huge no-no. If you have a young pup or a dog you're housetraining, rugs can hold a scent that entices the dog to use it as a bathroom.
5. Wash your pup's muddy feet
Second to pigs, it seems as if dogs love nothing more than to get dirty. Rolling in mud and dead animals are two favorite pastimes many dogs share.
On rainy days or the spring thaw, dogs will track mud and dirt in. Rugs at the door can help a little. However, many dogs will try to self-clean their paws with their tongues. Licking dirt, mud and grime can make your dog sick. You can avoid another costly vet visit by wiping your dog's paws off every time they come inside.
6. Contain your dog to one room
When leaving dogs home alone, there are two types of dog owners. Those who let their dogs have free roam of the apartment. And those who contain the dog to one space.
Dog crates, dog gates and shutting doors are some of the most common types of containment. If you're leasing an apartment, keeping your dog in just one area when you're not home can save you stress and worry. More importantly, it can save you money if your dog is destructive.
Your home is also your dog's home
Dogs are pack animals. They thrive when living with humans they consider pack members. Dogs are even willing to share your apartment with you.
Your dog will likely supervise you while you're cleaning to make sure you're doing it right. But they rarely ever lift a paw to help.
Owning a dog doesn't have to mean never having a clean home again. It does, however, mean never going to the bathroom alone ever again. And dog lovers wouldn't have it any other way.
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