Tips For Living With Dogs

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I get a lot of questions about my dogs and how we live with them. After all, a pet is an animal and living with an animal can sometimes be a bit challenging. There are plenty of gross moments and times I have to shrug it off when they get into something they shouldn't. I thought it might be helpful to share some tips for living with dogs... it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style or your interior aesthetic, it just means doing things in a different way. Click through for the post!

First of all, you can read all about my fur babies here. Most of you already know I have a Giant Schnauzer (Finn) and a Wire Fox Terrier (Johnny Cash). The two are best buds. They also instigate and get each other into a lot of trouble. That brings me to my first point...

T H E   B R E E D

If you don't already have a dog or are considering adopting one, some breeds are easier to live with (from an interior perspective). We've had Finn since he was a puppy and one thing we immediately loved about Giants is their hypoallergenic and non-shedding qualities. Unlike a lot of my friends, we don't suck up mega fur balls floating around the house on the daily. It definitely makes things easier! Both of our dogs have a hard coat and that means less hair to vacuum. Notice how I said less? Don't be fooled... just because a dog breed is labeled "hypoallergenic and non-shedding" doesn't mean they don't shed at all. A dog is a dog, and they're furry by nature. That means it still requires work to keep your home in a tip top, clean state.

T H E   C L E A N I N G   S C H E D U L E

My cleaning routine is a little out of wack due to our renovation, but typically I have a strict cleaning schedule and I stick to it.

  • I like to vacuum every other day, or at least 2-3 times a week to control the pet dander and dog hair.
  • Dusting is my least favorite thing to do, but it's another frequent chore to tackle if you're a pet owner. I try to dust once a week.
  • Both dogs get regular baths. This is KEY. Clean dog = a clean house. Since Cash is much smaller and easier to bathe, he gets a bath at least once a week... sometimes more often. Finn's baths are either weekly or once every two weeks. Keeping your dog clean makes a huge difference in keeping the rest of the home clean!
  • Along with regular bathing, they both get brushed often (2-3 times per week). This pulls out and detangles any hair that will be shed. It's healthy for your dog and better for your home.
  • In addition to brushing and bathing, they also get coat spray in betweens baths that keeps them smelling fresh and their coats shiny.
  • Before the dogs get their baths, I always wash all of their bedding. This makes a huge difference in smell. You'd be surprised how quickly their bedding gets stinky and gives our house 'the dog smell'. In between baths, I'll spray the bedding with Febreze or fabric freshener.

T R A I N   T H E M

Training also goes a long way in saving your home. Both of our dogs know to sit at the door before entering and exiting our home. Not only does this keep them safe... so a visitor or houseguest doesn't accidentally let them outside (dogs darting out the door is never good), but it gives you an opportunity to wipe their feet. We keep a 'dog towel' by the back door to clean their feet before they come back inside from playing in the yard or taking their potty break. There's nothing worse than muddy paw prints on a white sofa- trust me. If it's snowy or rainy outside, we even go as far to put rubber booties on their feet. I swear by those things!
You can catch a peek of Finn as a puppy below... what a cutie! He was a fast learner.

D E S I G N   Y O U R   H O M E   W I T H   P E T S   I N   M I N D

Like I mentioned previously, you don't have to compromise style for your pets.

  • When shopping for furniture, choose an outdoor or pet-friendly fabric when it comes to upholstery, like sofas and chairs (if they're allowed on the furniture). These fabrics are more durable and capable of withstanding pets.
  • Consider a slipcover. We have a white sofa and two(!) dogs.... and they're both allowed up to snuggle. Most people think I'm crazy, but the slipcover washes to bright white every time and it's not a huge deal if it gets dirty.
  • Add personality and character to your home with portraits of your dogs or interesting unique artwork. I love a good pet portrait or vintage object featuring one of our breeds. It's quirky and represents our family.
  • Disguise the pet goods and create designed places for their things. My dogs LOVE toys. We have way too many of them. I hide them in baskets throughout the house. I even have toys stuck in baskets on shelving that we'll periodically switch out. It's like Christmas every time we trade them and you'd never know I was hiding ugly / obnoxious toys in our beautiful built-ins.

I also wanted to share a few cool ideas that I stumbled upon while searching Houzz...

I've seen lots of people make use of negative space in the best way! I love this nook for a medium sized dog. It's simple, minimal, and perfectly functional, all while blending with the architecture.

I also love when dog eating areas are built into kitchen cabinetry. I posted a couple DIY projects for similar dog feeders, check them out here!

Laundry rooms and mudrooms are another great place for dog baths, built-in crates, and eating stations.
In the end, I don't think I could ever live without dogs. They seriously add so much love and joy to my life. We've made so many memories because of them and I wouldn't change it... even if my house gets a little dirty along the way. How do you guys keep your house tidy with pets? I'm sure there are more tips and tricks I should know about!

For more house tips: How To Paint Furniture Like A Pro | Modern Laundry Rooms

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Sarah Gibson is a full-time designer located in the Midwest. With an emphasis on both graphic and interior design, her projects are varied. Sarah's areas of expertise range from rebranding, website & blog design, print and social media marketing, to creative direction, such as styling and photoshoots. As an interior designer, Sarah also specializes in full-service interior design, custom projects, styling, and renovations. Aside from her day job, she spends evenings and weekends creating content for her lifestyle blog, Room for Tuesday, which features content in design, interiors, travel, fashion, and creative inspiration. She enjoys balancing both trendy and eclectic pieces with classic elements, for a curated aesthetic.