Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Is your home YOUR castle or is it your dog’s castle? When someone walks into your house, can they tell that dogs live there? How does your house smell? Does it smell clean or does it smell doggie?

As anyone can attest to that owns a German Shepherd, probably our biggest complaint is that they shed too much. Hair on the furniture, hair on the bed, hair on the table……hair everywhere! How do you live with your dogs? Do you find yourself cleaning your house much more than usual? Or are you of the belief that a little dirt never hurt anyone?

When you own a dog that sheds as much hair as the German Shepherds do you start looking to buy “heavy duty” types of cleaners to help make your home more livable. Most people buy a heavy duty vacuum cleaner and now the manufacturers have taken notice and advertise how great their product is about picking up dog hair and dander. Some pet owners have taken to vacuuming their homes every day or at least every other day. There is much debate over which vacuum cleaner is best for picking up dog hair. I still haven’t found one that I like very much. Either they’re too heavy to use or they don’t pick up the hair as well as they claim.

Muddy paw prints are something to be expected when owning dogs. How many of us wash our floors everyday? There are a number of products on the market now to help make this an easier task. Many people love the Swiffer mops for washing their floors. I confess I haven’t tried this product yet but it’s on my list of things I want to get.

Our computers, printers and other office equipment pick up dust very easily and it’s wise to keep these things clean and dust (hair) free to ensure that they are working properly. The dog’s fine hairs fall in between the keys of your computer very easily so we have to stay on top of this on a daily basis. I find I like to use the pre-moistened clothes like Windex to clean my office equipment. They’re easy to use because I’m only using one product and then I throw it away.

If you let your dog on the furniture, do you put a throw on it to protect the fabric? Do you allow your dogs on the bed? Do they sleep with you? How many times do you find that you are your washing your bed sheets and blankets? I don’t allow my dogs on the bed so this is one less chore that I need to worry about. Although they don’t sleep on my bed, of course they go into my bedroom (because they are so nosy) and their stray hairs will find a place to land on my blankets and sheets anyway.

Besides the fact that they are always shedding, nothing is worse than when they “blow” their coats. This is when their coats start coming out in hunks. You’ll find the bitches blow their coats right before they come into season. Also they’re blowing their coats with the changing of the seasons throughout the year. If you don’t strip them of this dead hair, you will have a mess all over the house. I have a bitch losing her coat now. I brushed her a couple of times and then took her outside on the back deck and thoroughly stripped her coat out of her. There are many good grooming combs on the market for this chore. The Furminator comb that I reviewed a few months back is excellent for this. Check out the Furminator ad in this article.  There is a video you can watch of animals being groomed including the German Shepherd using this product!  Grooming your dogs on a daily basis or several times a week will help cut back on the amount of time you’ll be spending cleaning your house.

Because my house dog doesn’t share my bed with me, she has her own rugs that I put down for her that she likes to lay on. If you do the same thing or have a doggie bed for your dog, make sure you clean this often as well. Shake out the rug and wash it in the washing machine if the instructions say you can do that. If your dog sleeps in a crate and you put towels or blankets in them, make sure you shake them out and wash them as well.

If you feed your dog in the house, make sure their water and feeding bowls are kept clean as well. Don’t leave a bowl on the floor that your dog ate from without picking it up and washing if with hot sudsy water. If you leave it on the floor without washing it, you may attract unwelcome “guests” into your kitchen……bugs or mice or both!

There are many products now that leave a lovely scent in your house. There are sprays, plug-ins, candles, etc. There really isn’t any reason that your house should smell doggie as long as it is kept clean and most importantly that your dog is clean. Grooming is an essential part of dog ownership.

Can you be a fussy housekeeper and co-exist with dogs living in your house? Can you tolerate them putting their noses on the counters, the tables, the stove and any other place that attracts their never ending investigating noses?

Remember you chose a very intelligent dog when you got yourself a German Shepherd. Because they are so darn intelligent, their “nosy noses” must investigate everything! Besides all the paw prints on the floor, expect nose smudges on EVERYTHING! There is nothing you can hide from this breed. You bring something new into the house and I don’t care how small it is, they’re going to know it and look for it and won’t rest until they find it.

Oh yeah, and let’s not forget while we are trying to keep the castle clean, you better have some clean clothes to change into because just take a look down on what you are wearing right now. I bet YOU ARE NOT dog hair free! I “betcha!” Can I tell you how totally I HATE it when I get out of the shower and I’m all powdered up, smelling just divine and “their” noses are all over my newly laundered flannel p.j.’s that I just put on!!!! It never fails!

My rating: Must haves: heavy duty vacuum cleaners: (4), good mops: (4), disinfectants/sprays: (4), good grooming combs: (4)

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