Tips for Keeping a Clean Home with a Dog

Melinda wearing a hat and purple jacket smiling while her small white dog noses her on the cheek
Melinda Benbow
A black and white dog sitting on a slate Orvis Dog bed inside a home

Keeping your home clean can be a difficult task when sharing your space with dogs! However, it's very important that your living environment is as clean as possible for both you and your dog's mental and physical health. Here are some tips and items that can assist in a cleaner, dog-friendly household.

A brown dog's wet paw on a grid water trapper mat

Mats and Rugs

As soon as your dog comes through the door, they deposit all of the microscopic particles they have picked up from outside your home. Keeping dirt- and moisture-trapping utility mats in your entryways is a great first defense at lessening the spread of debris through your home.


  • Since entryways are high-traffic areas, make sure to purchase a mat that is durable and mildew resistant. These mats will help contain debris in specific areas rather than your whole home. There are a variety of different styles and colors of utility-grade mats available.
  • Depending on how many dogs you have, we recommend vacuuming and/or shaking out your rugs at least once a week and sanitizing them at least once a month. To wash, simply hose it down and drape it somewhere to dry. For sanitization, use a dog-friendly, bleach-free outdoor cleaner to spray down your mat and follow up by rinsing and letting it dry completely.


Recommendation: Grid Recycled Water Trapper® Mat

A woman wiping off her dog by the door entryway

Paw Towel

Another effective way of cutting down debris on your floors is cleaning your dog's paws as soon as they come in from outside. Keep a designated paw towel by your doorways to give their paws a quick wipe down before they return indoors. During muddy times of the year, paw wet wipes provide additional cleansing. Wiping your dog's feet can greatly reduce the number of bacteria that could be spread to your dog, yourself, and your family.


Recommendations:  

Orvis Super-Absorbent Drying Towel

Puppy Wipes

A black dog laying on a green velour couch with a furniture protector

Furniture Covers

Many households welcome dogs on the furniture. Dog bodily fluids, hair, and dirt can be difficult to get out of particular materials, and some furniture does not hold up well to dog claws. Furniture covers create a barrier between your dogs and these comfortable yet delicate spots around your home. They come in many different sizes and shapes to fit whatever style of furniture you may have in your home. You can also find durable bed covers that keep your bedding clean and safe from a napping pup. Find items that are machine washable, so you can sanitize them whenever needed.


Recommendations:

Grip-Tight® Quilted Furniture Protector with Zip-Off Bolster

Dog-Proof Fleece Coverlet

A small girl and her yellow lab sitting on a light-colored couch cover

Air Filters and Air Purifiers

In general, a normal household with an HVAV system should change its air filters at least once every 90 days. Having pets ages your system at a faster rate. Check your HVAC filter every couple of weeks to see what state it is in. If it's dark and dingy, replace it with a fresh filter. In addition, your air ducts should be cleaned every three to five years.


Additional air filters around your home can also help limit the bacteria and dander floating through the air. Tabletop filters work well in smaller rooms while standing air filters are effective in larger spaces. Filthy air filters do more harm than good. Make sure to buy additional filters for each filtration product you use, so you can change them as frequently as needed.

A black and white dog being bathed under running water

Groom Your Dog

Putting your dogs on a regular bathing and grooming schedule will help keep your home clean and benefit your dogs' health.


  • Regular bathing helps decrease the amount of dirt and bacteria brought into your home and also cuts down the amount of dander and hair deposited.
  • A consistent grooming schedule promotes good skin health for your dog and helps deter environmental allergies that can be caused by extra dust in your home or their crate. Keeping them fresh and clean will help decrease their risk of asthma or other lung issues.


Talk with your groomer or vet about a good grooming/bathing schedule. The frequency will depend on breed, hair type, skin type, environments they play in, and many other factors. Do not let your dog go for more than three months without giving them a thorough cleaning, bathing them sooner if they are extra dirty.

A man in a laundry room showing how to wash a dog bed cover

Clean Dog Items Regularly

It is important to clean any surface that can collect dust and grime, including your dog's bed, toys, crate, dishes, clothing, and more. Consistent cleaning eliminates extra debris and bacteria while protecting your and your dog's health.


  • Use a dog-friendly, bleach-free sanitizer on items made out of solid materials like crates and platform beds.
  • Machine-washable dog beds and linens can be thrown in the wash as often as needed. In between washes, use a vacuum to eliminate debris in the creases of the beds.
  • Throw plush fabric toys in the washer and dryer for proper cleaning.
  • Rinse dog food and water bowls to eliminate dust, drool, and hair before any food goes in them. Fill your dog's water bowl with fresh water.
  • Sanitize dog bowls and other enrichment toys, like Kong® and Nylabone® toys, on a weekly basis by scrubbing them down and then sending them through the dishwasher. Solutions such as Bissell. Mr. Clean, and other cleaning product recommendations can be found in the next section.
A black dog sitting on a chair in a living room with green patterned carpet

Cleaning Products

As you work to keep your home clean, it is important to have effective cleaning products and agents and know how they can affect the health and well-being of your pup.


  • Cleaning products: The ingredients that make cleaning products effective at killing bacteria and diseases can be very harmful to our dogs. It is very important that you give cleaning products time to dry before allowing your dogs on or around an item. Keep cleaning agents out of reach of any dogs.
  • Vacuums: There are many stick cordless vacuums that are marketed for pets, but any sturdy, corded, bagless vacuum works just as well! In addition to a good vacuum, an All-in-One vacuum and floor cleaner helps on days when you want to freshen your floors but don't have time to mop and vacuum separately.
  • Mop & Broom: Every so often, move the furniture to sweep and mop underneath and behind these items. A floor steamer could also be beneficial for hardwood floors and tiles.
  • Carpet Cleaner:Carpet fibers can unknowingly hold a lot of grime and bacteria. We highly recommend investing in a shampooer/extractor and using it regularly.
  • Dusters: Dust particles from your dogs don't just fall straight to the ground but can extend to higher areas. Keep dusters available for high, out-of-reach places.
  • Cleaning Wipes & Sponges: Regularly wipe down baseboards and other areas that get dirty from dog traffic.


Recommendations: 

Laundry Detergent  

Vacuum  

The measures you take to keep a clean home may differ with the number of dogs you have and the lifestyle you live, but they should always be a priority. There are many reasons to keep your home dust-free and sanitized, and your health and your dog's health are at the top of that list.