Tried and True House Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

Pets are family members, and they make messes just like the rest of the family. We have to be able to stay on top of the odors and messes to maintain a clean home and our furry friends come with their own set of cleaning challenges.

  • Shedding hair
  • Muddy paw prints
  • Litter boxes if you have cats.
  • Occasional accidents that stain the carpet
  • Leaving unpleasant odors in our homes.

It can be tricky to keep a clean home when you have pets. I know this to be true because, at one point, we had four dogs and two cats in the house. We also let our dogs on the couch as if we could keep them off.

Keeping a clean house with your four-legged friends can be a challenge, but these 15 house-cleaning tips for pet owners will help you control the mess and odors that come with having furry family members.

1. Invest in a Good Vacuum Cleaner

Canister of vacuum filled with pet hair
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Vacuuming regularly will keep pet hair buildup under control. Invest in a good upright vacuum that’s up to the task. Look for one that says it’s for pets—that’s not just hype; it actually makes a difference. Use the vacuum to clean hardwoods as well as carpets, and be sure to use the attachments to clean your furniture, soft furnishings, and hard-to-reach areas where pet hair likes to accumulate.

2. Use a Handheld Vacuum

handheld cordless vacuum charging on counter
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Handheld vacuums are great for quick cleanups on furniture and soft furnishings. They’re also great to use on stairs to get rid of pet hair. I have a cordless one that is rechargeable so I can take it anywhere in the house. They don’t have nearly the suction of a regular upright vacuum, so they are best to use for quick touch-ups in between your regular vacuuming schedule.

3. Get a Robovac

robot vacuum cleaner in a modern living room
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A Robovac can be set to clean at night while you’re asleep. It picks up the daily accumulation of dog hair off the floor making regular vacuuming a lot less time-consuming. Be sure to empty your robovac daily so it can do it’s job.

4. Use Duct Tape to Remove Hair From Furniture

small dog and Australian Shepherd playing on a couch
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You know how sticky duct tape is. It is the perfect way to remove pet hair from your furniture! IMO it’s better than a lint roller (although you could use one of those instead). Wrap it around your hand, sticky side out, or wrap it around a paint roller and make your own lint roller. When it gets full of hair just add more duct tape to it.

5. Invest in a Carpet Cleaner

dog sitting on carpet with muddy foot prints
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A carpet cleaner is necessary to deal with pet accidents, stains, and odor caused by your four-legged friends that can settle into the carpet. Let’s be honest, even the best-trained pets will have accidents.

Having your own carpet cleaner is a great way to save money on carpet cleaning. No more renting a carpet cleaner or paying a professional to come out and do it for you and spending all the $$$. Be sure to use a carpet cleaning solution that works for pet odor and stains for the best results.

6. Get a Spotbot

spot bot carpet cleaner
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Bissel’s SpotBot is an amazing invention! It’s a genius little machine that you can use on tough pet stains. It’s hands-free so you can set it up and walk away while it does its magic. My mother-in-law first introduced me to this carpet cleaner that is great for when you don’t need to clean the whole carpet.

7. Get a Good Spray Mop

mopping floor with a spray mop
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Instead of dragging out your mop and bucket every time your pets come in with muddy paws, get a good spray mop. You can use it multiple times before washing the reusable pad.

8. Use Vinegar to Get Rid of Pet Odor

bottle of vinegar for how to clean a Keurig
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Pet odors are the worst! Nothing is worse than walking into the house to the smell of pet urine or the smell of a dirty wet dog. We love our furry friends, but we don’t like the smells they bring into the house. You can eliminate pet odors easily and naturally by using a spray bottle with a solution of white vinegar and water. Spray it on carpets and soft furnishings and allow it to dry. It’s also great for refreshing your pet’s bedding in between washes.

9. Baking Soda as an Odor Eliminator

Box of baking soda
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Baking soda is another great way to eliminate pet odors from your home. Sprinkle it directly onto the carpet and soft furnishings. Allow the baking soda to sit to absorb the odors, then vacuum it up. Super simple!

10. Carpet Deodorizer

Two dogs on a rug
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You can also use a carpet deodorizer especially formulated for pet smells. These products come in several different scents to help make your space smell great.

11. Dust Using a Fabric Softener Sheet

dryer sheets laid over a wooden table
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Pet hair dander will float through your home every time your pet shakes. Let’s be honest, with some all they have to do is walk through the house and their hair falls on the floor. It will land on all the surfaces in your home, it’s a fact. Dusting with a fabric softener sheet will give your surfaces a repellant against dust and dander and keep them from settling.

12. Invest in an Air Purifier

changing an air purifier filter
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Having an air purifier in the space where your pets normally hang out will cut down on the amount of hair and pet dander that will accumulate. Just be sure to check the filter often and replace or clean it as needed.

13. Clean Pet Spaces Regularly

Australian Shepherd laying on a dog mat
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For different pets, these spaces will be different. If your dogs sleep in cages at night, it’s important to keep them clean. Dog beds should also be cleaned regularly.

  • Make sure to wash pet beds at least once a month, if not more.
  • Clean cages and the plastic tray that slides into the bottom.
  • Vacuum up the hair that will most certainly accumulate around the perimeter of their sleeping space. I almost always vacuum up a whole dog when I clean our dogs’ cages!
  • Clean out litter boxes frequently. That kitty litter won’t mask the smells forever! A self-cleaning litter box is a splurge, but totally worth it.

14. Keep Pet Feeding Areas Clean

Raised dog bowl stand
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Our dogs are messy eaters, they like to take a mouthful of dog food and carry it away from their bowls then eat it. I don’t know where this habit came from, but they always leave behind crumbs or a stray piece of food that needs to be cleaned up.

Invest in a good raised dog bowl stand for your pet’s food bowls and water bowls. It’s easier on your dog’s posture and may help eliminate the mess of splashed water on the floor or dog food scattered everywhere. You can DIY your own raised dog bowl stand and save money. It’s a simple, beginner-friendly DIY anyone can do!

15. Keep Your Pets Clean

large dog getting a bath
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Make sure to bathe and brush your pets regularly. Bathing your dogs will help reduce smells. Be sure to use a shampoo that won’t irritate their skin, and don’t bathe them so often that their skin gets dried out. If battling fur is your number one pet-related cleaning issue, then brushing is the best and most simple thing you can do.

Daily brushing, preferably outside, will allow you to be proactive about your pet’s shedding and keep the fur build-up in your home from getting too out of control. Get a recommendation from your groomer or vet for the best pet brush to use for your pet.

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dust hard to reach areas with micro fiber cloths
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woman unloading the dishwasher to keep your kitchen clean and organized
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Anika Gandhi

Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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