My flat used to be immaculate. We moved in when it was brand new and the walls, floors, skirting boards were all perfect and the flat smelled fresh and clean. I’ve always been a clean and tidy person so it remained that way for the first three years. Today, with our beautiful, wonderful three year old golden retriever in tow things are looking a bit rough around the edges. When Otto first arrived it completely freaked me out how much we had to change in the flat to accommodate him and how much mess he made – I suddenly lost all control!
Over the last three years I have gradually picked up tips and methods to keep our flat looking (and smelling) pretty dog-free despite the ginormous 40kg dog that lives here and gets treated like a prince – ha! So, if you are struggling with maintaining the look and feel of your home due to too much dogginess, hopefully these tips will help you too…
1. Match your decor to the colour of the dog
You might think me mad but this is an important consideration. Our dog is white and therefore, if everything in our house was dark coloured the hair would show up really badly. Having a white floor and white bedlinen, for instance, means that the hair is far less noticeable. When my mum’s black dog used to come and stay it was the complete opposite and the floor and bed looked a state!
2. Brush your dog everyday
The best way to limit dog hair in your home is to brush them everyday, which I usually do in the park. This will really help to keep your home dog hair free as possible (with a golden retriever this is our main battle).
3. Dog towels
Otto is a puddle seeker and a mud lover. During the wetter months of the year the battle to keep him out of mud holes is a futile one. He’ll roll and bathe in that mud until he is completely black from head to toe. Therefore, it is essential to have a steady supply of dog towels that we store in a box in the hallway cupboard. If we don’t put him in the bath immediately after our walks, we’ve trained him to lie down on one of the towels and sleep after his walk until the mud has dried. We can then brush it out.
4. Dog bed
We think it’s a good idea to invest in a really good bed that not only looks good in your home but can be easily washed. We also don’t encourage Otto to use his bed until bedtime. It’s much better if he lies on a dog towel during the day as this way he doesn’t get his bed all mucky and it stays as fresh as possible. After all, it’s much easier to chuck a towel in the wash than the whole bed. Try to get a bed that fits with the decor in your home and won’t stand out like a sore thumb.
I love this bed that was kindly sent to us by Finnish company, Kind For Dogs, who specialise in Nordic inspired design for dogs – right up my street. The bed is made of 100% thick cotton and the Anthracite colour of the bed I chose works perfectly in our flat (they have beds made in other stylish fabrics too – I really like this one). The cover is washable and the whole bed feels extremely sturdy and well made and won’t fall apart in seconds like that last one we bought. Otto loves it! Never before have we found a bed that is big enough for him to stretch out in whilst having a bumper cushion all the way round to help make him feel snug and cosy.
If, like us, you allow your dog on the sofa I would always recommend a wool sofa. The wool repels dirt and grease and covers up stains so well and it won’t snag if it gets caught by claws. It is the best! It’s also a good idea to have a basket of dog throws next to the sofa and bed for those times that the dog is a bit mucky so that they can still come up but you have something to protect the furniture.
6. Rubber gloves
Our wool sofa is amazing in terms of not showing up dog dirt and wear and tear but it does attract dog hair. A really simple way to get rid of it if you can’t be bothered to hoover is to use a rubber glove – it works like magic.
7. Lint roller
We have a lint roller sitting on our hallway table next to the front door. It’s always useful to be able to grab it at the last minute before you walk out of the door, especially if you are wearing black (and guests appreciate it too).
We have a swiffer to help keep on top of collecting dog hair off the floor. It can be more effective (and less hassle) than a hoover as it doesn’t blow hair around the room. I’m also very tempted by a cordless hoover but I have no idea whether these are worth it – anyone have one?
9. Jute rugs
Jute rugs are amazing; they are so hard wearing under big paws and long claws and they show up no dirt and don’t attract hair. You need them everywhere!
10. Toy basket
Choose a lovely basket to store dog toys so they are not strewn around the place the whole time. We have a very aesthetically pleasing fair trade basket and it does its job perfectly and isn’t an eyesore.
So, you will only need one of these if your dog is a complete slobber chops like ours. It comes in very handy to wipe away slobber, especially when guests come who don’t want a big drooling chin planted on their best frock the moment they sit down. Oh, Otto.
So, there you go. These are the things I have picked up over the last few years to keep my home looking as nice as possible whilst allowing Otto every freedom – trust me, he is one spoilt dog and my decor has never come first.
Katy & Otto x
P.S. Lots of chicken was used in the taking of these photographs. However, as you can see from his face, he was not best impressed that his afternoon nap was disturbed by me and a camera.
P.P.S. Do check out Kind For Dogs for more Nordic inspired dog accessories – it’s rare to find stylish dog stuff so it’s been a real treat discovering this company.