Living with a Dog - Tips for Keeping Your House Clean

Living with a dog doesn’t mean your house has to look and smell like a dog house. Not wanting to spend my entire day cleaning, I’ve learned how to clean up in the quickest (and by the way - cheapest) way possible.

Keep The Fur From Flying

Brush your dog every day. This is especially important if you have multiple dogs like I do. You’ll be amazed how spending a short five minutes a day brushing your dog, will cut down on all that hair floating around your home. Brushing daily also gets rid of flaky skin by distributing natural oils through your dog’s coat. You’ll notice that your dog looks and smells better. And since most dogs love being brushed it counts as quality time with your dog.

The Quickest Way to Make Dust Bunnies Disappear

If you need to get rid of hair in a hurry, go for the Swiffer.
It works tons better than a broom. These little cloths grab hair, dirt, and dust, and other dirt quick, and you just throw away the cloth when you’re done.

Lint rollers are also another must-have. Keep a couple around the house if you need to get hair off clothing or furniture in a hurry.

Use Common Household Items

Baking soda is a miracle when it comes to getting rid of pet odors. Sprinkle it on your carpet and let it sit for a couple of house and vacuum. You’ll notice the room smells much, much better.

For a quick, easy, and cheap air freshener that really works:
Mix 1/4 cup baking soda with water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray. The baking soda absorbs the odor. You can also add a couple drops of essential oils, vanilla extract, or even cinnamon for variety.

Another quick way to keep your house from smelling like a kennel is to spray vinegar into the air. As the vinegar smell goes away so does the doggie odor.

And here’s an extra tip: put a fabric softener sheet in an envelope under the sofa or chair cushion where your furry friend like to hang out. This is a simple way to keep the area from smelling like a dog house.

Like a Breeze

As a dog owner you might already have a bottle of Febreze around the house. If you don’t, get one. Its great for freshening up dog bedding and other furniture dogs like to call their own. If a member of the family is allergic to dogs, use the Allergen Reducer Febreze. They claim it reduces up to 75% of allergens from pets and dust mites that can come off furniture. We have noticed less dust and a it does make the room smell fresher.

Stop Dirty Paws At The Door

Stop muddy paws at the door. Place mats at both the outside and inside of every door. They really help cut the dirt down. Be sure to get a washable mat.

Another way to keep the mud out - pet wipes. It only takes a few seconds and you’ll be amazed to see how much dirt comes off your dog’s paws when they come in. Most dogs don’t seem to mind the routine.

Clean Messes ASAP

When accidents happen, clean them up as soon as they happen.
If you leave a mess, it will spread, stain, and smell. Also your dog will want to come back to that spot and use it again thinking that’s his toilet.

It’s best to use products made especially for pet messes.
These products are made to break down organic waste and to neutralize odors. Don’t use cleaners with ammonia - they smell just like urine to dogs.

Keep a “Clean-Up-Kit”

To avoid a catastrophe keep the following must-haves in your cleaning closet or somewhere handy: spray stain removers, old towels, paper towels, and disposable disinfectant wipes.

In case you are out of pet stain remover here’s a stain remover you can make yourself: Mix 1 quart of hot tap water, 1 teaspoon of dish soap, and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar (it gets rid of the odor). Shake or mix together; blot the area with towels and wet with cleaner to cover area. Let it sit 15 minutes, and blot again. Repeat as necessary.

Stop Dog Barking

Barking is normal for a dog, and a little bit here and there is ok. However a dog barking all day long can be annoying even to the most patient dog lover.

Here are some simple ways to help stop excessive barking:

* Exercise your dog often. Tired dogs spend their time sleeping rather than barking.

* Give your dog some good chew toys. Chewing is a good stress reliever and is a great way to occupy your dog’s time. Your dog will have a hard time barking if his mouth is full.

* Try to mask outdoor noises. This can be as simple as turning on the stereo or TV for your dog. You might even consider investing in a white noise machine.

* Acknowledge your dog’s barking. Sometimes your dog is simply trying to tell you something, and if you acknowledge him, he will often stop barking.

* Teach your dog the “Quiet” command. If your dog keeps on barking after you acknowledge him, say “Quiet” sternly without yelling. If he stops barking, praise him.

* Make a noise shaker. Throw a few coins in an empty water bottle or soda can and tape it shut. If your dog is not responding to your quiet command, shake the can. Dogs really don’t like that sound and will often stop when they hear it.

* Give him a squirt. Give your dog a stern “No,” and give him a quick squirt with a water bottle. Remember to aim for your dog’s body rather than his face.

* Try a trainer collar like the Gentle Leader. This collar is similar to the halters worn by horses. When your dog starts barking, pulling the lead will gently press your dog’s mouth closed for the next few seconds. The nice part is that you don’t have to scold your dog. All you have to do is pull when he barks.

* Know when to switch strategies. If you don’t see any improvement with a particular strategy, try another one.

Dog Obedience for the New Dog Owner

Dog Obedience: The basics

Teaching basic obedience skills to a dog can be exciting as well as challenging. Having problems on where to begin? Start by doing your homework. A student can only be as good as his trainer, right?

The first lesson in obedience is to get your dog to pay attention to the commands. You want to start by calling his name and then using a keyword like “watch” or “look” afterwards. This way, he will associate the words to a command. Once you’ve got his attention, the lessons can begin.

You want your dog to be able to pay attention for a short length of time. Try keeping his attention by doing attention exercises. One example would be to hold a toy or dog treat in near your mouth and then give him the keyword command. Each time he takes the time to watch, praise him. The more you do this exercise, the more time he should be able to pay attention to you. Try getting him to watch for at least a minute. Let him know that he is doing a good job by rewarding him. Dogs learn best this way.

Because dogs have such short attention spans, they get distracted pretty easily. Choose a place that is free of other distractions such as other pets, children or loud noises. Training sessions should only last approximately 30 minutes tops. Usually, if you go over this time limit, the dog will get restless and easily distracted.

If your dog isn’t learning very quickly, you may become frustrated. Don’t take that frustration out on your animal. A few things to remember before starting your obedience lessons:

1. Never cause pain to your dog (this will cause him to shy away or become aggressive to you.)

2. If he begins to become distracted, change the tone of your voice (this doesn’t mean raising it)

3. Consistency can not be stressed enough (animals are like children, if you’re not consistent, they will become confused as to what is expected)

Teaching your dog basic obedience commands will make for a more obedient and more pleasant dog to be around.

The first command to start off with would be to sit. You must use the word sit while teaching him so that he can relate the word with the action. Start by gently pushing his backside down and saying the word “sit.” Eventually he will catch on to the concept.

The second command is “down.” Dogs can become pretty hyper when they get excited. Jumping up on their owner’s lap is usually how they express their excitement. If you have a big dog or have other people over, you might not want them pouncing about. When they jump up, tell them “down.” Do not pet them or act excited to see them while they are on you. Continue to tell them “down,” and even place their legs down if you have to.

Next is the command of “stay.” This command is a good one to know especially if you have a rambunctious hyper dog. You can teach him stay, for example, by putting a treat or something desirable on the ground. As he moves toward it, tell him “Stay.” Another good idea would be to put your hand up while saying the word “stay.” When he begins to become obedient in this area, you can move further away from him. This will cause him to become more daring and he will probably take a step forward to see how much he can get away with. When he does this, continue to put your hand out and tell him “stay.” He has to know that even though you are moving away, you can still see what he’s doing and expect him to continue to obey.

After you’ve mastered the stay command, you will move on to the come command. Once your dog has learned to sit and stay, he will need a command to know when it’s ok to get up and approach you. They may be a bit confused at first, but with a change in the tone of your voice, he will soon understand. Put a little excitement in your voice when saying the word “come”. He will pick up on it. You might also want to pat your leg when you say come.

Stand is the last command to achieve. This is where your dog is allowed to get a little excited but not in a pouncing kind of way. When teaching your dog to stand, pat your hands on your chest and, once again, put a little excitement in your voice, so that he knows he’s aloud, under certain circumstances. He will begin to know the difference.

Teaching your dog basic obedience, if possible, should be taught as soon as you and your dog are ready. Remember be consistent with the commands and don’t forget to have fun!





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