You don't. LOL, Come on, let's be honest. There will ALWAYS be little puppy foot prints across your floors, and a puddle by their water bowl for you to step in in the middle of the night. It's part of the job description when you bring a scruff into your house. BUT, that being said, there are things we have done to accommodate having our stinky rescue roommates.
If you live in apartment. Don't even bother reading this. Crate your dogs. It's not mean, it's not inhumane, and dogs actually like the cave like atmosphere. All three of my dogs are crate trained in case they need it, and they love it. Now that I OWN my property and won't lose a security deposit if they eat something, they get to prowl around my house. The last thing you want is your maitenence man coming in to fix your stove and Tobie eats him. Crate your dog.
If you choose to let your dogs man the house, here's some of my tips that work in my house. These may not work for everyone. It's your responsibility as a pet owner to decide what works for you and your dog. These are just the rules for Big Blue.
1.) Don't stress out about it.
- Everyone knows you have dogs. This means that rogue tumbleweed, even after you just swept, is kind of expected. Do guests want to see a weeks worth of dander floating across your floor? No. But your home doesn't have to be perfect. If someone thinks it should be, have your meanest dog kindly escort them to the door.
2.) Keep the guest room closed and put a towel under the door.
- Many of my family members have animal allergies. They want to enjoy time with us, but they can't stay if they are miserable. I know I can't eliminate dander floating through the vents, but I can give them one room in the house where there's not dog hair all over the furniture and they can escape if they are tired of being jumped on.
3.) Ask people before they come to your house if they have any animal issues.
- I have animal issues. I was bit by a Great Dane on the neck when I was a kid. I don't do Great Danes. I try to show the same respect to the people that I expect Nate's family to do when I visit with their Great Dane, Sparty (though Sparty and I have come to an agreement that he has to sit for me to pet him and he can't look at me, then we are cool) I ask people, "do you have any issues with dogs? we have three." That way, they don't come to the door and are shocked when three dogs start barking and jumping on them (or worse if they aren't sure who you are) If people are uncomfortable with the dogs, I put their water bowl in the back yard and that is where they get to stay while I have people over. They are also trained that AFTER we acknowledge that someone is at the door and go to answer it (so they get to do their guard dog thing), that they are to go to the back door to go outside. This makes it so a.) Seamus can't pee on someone (he gets excited) and b.) people can take off their coats and set their stuff down BEFORE they get attacked. Then, the guests can decide when/if they want to go say hello.
4.) Jute Rugs
- A lot of people don't like Jute rugs. I LOVE THEM. I think that they stand up so much better to 12 paws full of claws than a wool or thick pile rug does. Plus, you just take them outside and shake them off when they need to be cleaned. World Market has a fantastic collection and you can stack coupons. I've gotten an 8x10 rug for under $100 before. Be prepared though, they do slip and slide over hardwoods during crazy laps, so make sure you add a couple strips of caulk on the back of them so they don't slide everywhere. I have to rearrange my rugs that don't have this (even if they're anchored) 5 or more times a day
5.) Don't own anything you couldn't stand to lose.
- Yep. Just saying it now. I think the same rule applies with small children. Don't own anything that you would be devastated to lose. You can be bummed and broken hearted, yes, but this is one reason I DIY so much. Why pay $90+ for a lamp they could potentially knock off a table and be devastated, when I can make one for $12 and if it breaks, whoops! Not the end of the world! I am a firm believer in making your own throw pillows (or buying them on clearance) as well for the same reason. If you come home and a pillow is destroyed, you can make another one for $10
- On the topic of pillows, does anyone else's dog have it out for a specific pillow? My dogs ONLY destroy stuffed pillows and they will go after the exact same pillow no matter how many times I re-stuff it and close it up. They don't mess with pillow covers on pillow forms. We've learned this, so we only have pillow formed pillows.
6.) Put your pretties up
- If you own dogs, I'm sorry- you can't have vases full of sticks in your living room. a.) dogs want to eat the sticks and will not be happy if you get in their way, and b.) it's gunna get knocked over. Do yourself a favor and get a cool textured basket full of logs instead of a glass vase of sticks. Same goes for tall candle holders. Let's be logical.
- If you do own things that are precious to you, they need to have a place out of the way. I have a stuffed teddy bear that I got when I was like, 2. He lives on a shelf in my bedroom where he can not get knocked over. I would die a thousand times if something happened to pudgy bear. But, I acknowledge that he's a stuffed toy and a dog doesn't know the difference between the bear you got him at the pet store and the bear your nonna got you.
- This being said, I also keep my bedroom door closed because I don't want those little punks sleeping in my bed while I'm gone. If I make the damn thing, I want it to look just as pretty when I get home.
7.) Washable couch covers
- Upholstered things are your enemy when you have dogs. Yes, you can steam clean, but I much prefer the IKEA lifestyle of damnit, it rained and there's a perfect Teagan paw mark on my couch. Throw it in the wash!
8.) Remember that they live there too, and that while you're in charge, they should feel comfortable in their own home. Accomodate it.
- Why have dogs if they aren't allowed to DO anything. I've never understood it. I understand wanting to keep your things nice and whatever...but then why did you get a pet? CATS TOO. Like, I'm going to have a dog, and they're ONLY allowed in the kitchen. Now, is that just me, or is that a really sad life for your dog? I want to snuggle my dog on the couch, I want to play on the living room floor with them, and I want them to sleep on my toes. They're the closest things I have to kids and I like to THANK them for making me feel safe when Nate is at work or school. So what do I do? I have throw blankets on my couch, and a storage ottoman I can stuff them into when we're having guests over. I keep a fluffy blanket at the foot of my bed to sleep at, and I live with the fact that I am going to step on a dog toy. Part of the joy.
- Speaking of dog toys. Sometimes dogs destroy things because their toys don't present enough of a challenge. I fully endorse Indestructible Dog. It's an amazing small business (going BIG) and has a 60 day guarantee on all toys. If your dog destroys it, send it back and Anthony will send you a new one. Anthony is always one to hook people UP. Click here for our first giveaway which is brought to us by the awesome guys over at ID.
9.) Bad Towels, Bathtime, and a Furminator
- My dogs get washed every 2-3 weeks. Every. Two. To. Three. Weeks. NO EXCEPTIONS. This keeps the dog stank down, it keeps them used to the process and it cuts down on the dog hair in the house. They also go to the groomers a few times a year to get a haircut and their ears cleaned. Nothing is worse than stinky dog ear.
- After bath time, they get brushed with the Furminator, which will literally save your life, and get their nails trimmed. Buy your furminator on amazon. Don't buy it from a pet store- they will rip you off. This isn't a commercial for furminator, it's me telling you to get a freaking furminator. It'll help them stay healthy AND it will keep hair out of your house/off your floor, etc. Win win win. Trimmed nails also will extend the life of your hardwoods. If you have carpet, get a floor furminator. The first time I did my carpets in my apartment I was appalled at how much dog hair was compressed into it, even after vacuuming a few times a week. Just rake your carpet to create static, then squeegee it up. Prepare to be disgusted. But it will also keep your carpets looking fluffy and fantastic. I still use this on my area rugs that aren't jute.
- I keep bad towels by my back door. I don't know about you guys, but my guys can destroy a backyard to mud in the matter of months. Keep a couple old towels back there to wipe paws off. It takes 5 extra minutes and if you do it often enough your dogs expect it. It will also save you time mopping.
10.) Always remember why you wanted a dog and everything they do for you to say, "thanks, mom"
- It's so easy to be mad at a dog. They will love you no matter what terrible things you say to them. They're the kind of animals where you can scream at them and bop them on the nose and they'll come snuggle you to apologize for YOU getting mad. If you come home and a pillow is destroyed, remember you thought about that AHEAD of time. Instead of getting violent with your dog AFTER the fact (which they won't remember what they did anyway), throw them outside, mutter some obscenities and clean it up. Only punish if you catch them in the act of something. It's too easy to be mad, it's much harder to remember that yes, he ate your throw pillow, but is he not getting enough exercise? It's easy to say, "that little bastard scratched the front door!" but it's harder to remember that he might have been defending your house from an intruder when you were gone (or worse, the dreaded mail man) You don't know what happens when you're not there. Just remember that while dogs can do bad things, that doesn't make them bad, because at the end of the day, they just want to watch TV and snuggle on the couch with you to say, "thanks for giving me a really awesome dog house."