21 Nifty Cleaning Tips EVERY Pet Owner Should Know

19 Nifty Cleaning Tips EVERY Pet Owner Should Know


Owning a pet is a delight, but it isn't always easy! Cleaning up after furry friends can sometimes feel like a full-time job, but it doesn't have to!

Today we're sharing some truly genius cleaning tips that will help every pet owner keep on top of their housework easily.

Ready for fur-free floors and fresh-smelling sofas? Then let's get started.

Editor's Note: This post was originally posted in September 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in November 2018.

Dog cleaning tips

Has your home developed a 'dog smell'? Try out the tips below and it'll look like a dog-free zone!

1. Hoover your dog

No...really! Dyson have a fantastic grooming tool called the Dyson Groom that could save you so much time - especially if your dog moults a lot.

It attaches to your vacuum to remove loose hair and dead skin, collecting allergens from your dog before they're left around your home.

Not only will it keep your home fur-free, but it's also said to be more comfortable for your dog than a standard brush. 

2. Mask smells with lavender

It turns out dogs can benefit from essential oils too!

Lavender essential oils are said to soothe dogs and also help keep fleas and ticks at bay. Just apply regularly between their shoulder blades.

Additionally, it's great for on the go. Mix 10 drops with some water in a small spray bottle and pop into your car. It'll keep your dog calm on long journeys and your car smelling fresh.

3. Quickly clean muddy paws

muddy dog
What a mucky pup!

The key to keeping the house clean post dog walk is to get prepared pre dog walk!

Before you head out, place a shallow tray or bowl of water and a large towel by the door. Upon your return, dip your dog's paws into the tray and then rub clean with the towel - they'll be no paw prints in sight!

4. Deter dogs from digging

Some dogs are sensitive to citrus so if you have a few places in the garden where you don’t want them to dig up, simply scatter some orange peels around the area.

This will keep your garden looking nice and their paws much cleaner too.

5. Keeping smells at bay

That 'wet dog' smell is hard to avoid, unless you know this trick, that is!

Pop a fabric softener sheet into an envelope and keep it under your dog's bed, sofa or chair cushions where your dog likes to rest to keep the area smelling clean and fresh.

6. Treat them to a bandana

For excessive droolers, dribblers and messy eaters, a doggy bandana is the ultimate accessory!

It'll keep their drool off their fur (and your furnishings), and when it gets too wet you can just chuck it in the wash with the rest of your washing load.

7. Invest in easy-care throws

If you've got anything that's light-coloured, you'll know how perilous it can be to have your dog near it.

Easy-care throws provide a simple solution to muddy paw prints on your soft furnishings. Scatter some throws on your bed, sofa and anywhere else your dog likes to jump onto. You can chuck them in the wash every time they get dirty and your bedding and sofa won't get ruined.

They're easy to whip off when the guests come over too - what dogs?!

Cat cleaning tips

Cats are, in general, relatively clean, but going the extra mile to keep your home looking spotless is never a bad idea.

8. Keep litter trays fresh

Add a thin layer of baking soda to the litter tray before adding kitty litter and it should help keep any smells under control between litter changes.

9. Line litter trays

litter tray
It doesn't have to smell bad.

When it comes to cleaning out your cat's dirty litter tray, there's nothing that makes it easier than when it's lined with a plastic bag.

Placing a plastic bag at the bottom of the tray before adding the litter will mean the tray itself will never get stinky, and removing dirty litter will be a super quick task.

More essential cleaning tips for pet owners

Dog, cat, tortoise, bunny - these are the essential cleaning tips every pet owner should know.

10. Remove fur with a lint roller

Is hair around your home driving you crazy?

We have some good news - a lint roller can pick up hair from almost any surface.

It's great for those emergency moments when your friends stop by unannounced.

For easy pet bed cleaning, first vacuum the cover to suck up any large clumps of hair, dirt and other debris. Next, go over it with a lint roller to catch any trapped hairs and dust that you may have missed.

11. Wash bed covers with baking soda to soak up smells

Baking soda has so many uses, and today we're showing you how to use it for the pets, too.

When picking a pet bed, make sure you opt for one with a removable cover - it'll make washing so much easier.

Use a mild detergent – no dyes, fragrances or fabric softener – and add a cup of baking soda to the load. This will help neutralise any stubborn odours. Wash on a hot cycle to kill allergens and other bacteria that could be lurking.

12. Deep clean collars

When was the last time you gave your pet's collar a good clean?

They can get grubby and smelly pretty quickly, so you should really be washing them every other week or so.

The easy and most effective way to deep clean them is by putting a couple of squirts of dog shampoo in a bowl and filling it with hot water. Pop the collars in to soak for at least 15 minutes, then rub the collars against themselves to extract any dirt. Rinse under a cool tap and pat with a towel before hanging to dry.

13.  Easy fur removal

black and white cat
Do you let your pets on the bed?

Another amazingly easy way to remove fur from your furniture, curtains, cushions and any other fabrics is with rubber gloves.

Pop a pair on, dampen them slightly, then sweep your hands over the hair-ridden areas. Use your fingers to get into those hard to reach areas, and hair will quickly stick to the rubber. Baby wipes also work well to remove hair from fabrics.

14. Deep clean toys in the dishwasher

Dishwashers aren't just for cleaning plates, pots and pans.

Wash plastic toys in the dishwasher to keep them germ-free and in good condition. You can wash any soft fabric toys in the washing machine, just pop them into a small garment bag before and don’t use a detergent unless it’s pet safe. 

15. Invest in a robotic vacuum cleaner

Technology can really benefit your cleaning routine too...

...why spend hours vacuuming and cleaning up pet hair when a robotic vacuum will do it for you?

Roombas and other robotic vacuums have come a long way since they first appeared on the market, and they're more affordable than ever.

Programme it to clean up for a certain amount of time and it will happily hoover up all that pet hair. It could even provide some extra entertainment for your pets.

16. Tidy eating area

pet bowls on mat
That should keep mess under control.

Do your pets tend to end up with more food on the floor than in their mouths? 

Don't spend time scrubbing the floor - a wipe clean mat will make the job much easier. Place one under their food area to keep everything nice and tidy.

17. Pet-friendly pot plants

Some plants are particularly good at filtering the air in our home.

Pet-friendly plants such as Cape Marigolds, Bamboo Palms, Brazilian Orchids and Duffil Ferns are a fantastic way to get rid of pet-related odours.

Keep a plant (or two) in areas where your pet likes to rest, like the living room, and it should have an odour-neutralising effect.

18. Pet urine cleaning

It's something all pet owners dread! A petcident on the carpet not only looks bad but the odour can be hard to get rid of too.

We have the answer!

Pet-friendly kitchen cupboard ingredients make an effective stain remover with added odour neutralising properties. Mix 1/2 a bottle of white vinegar with water and add 4 heaped tsp of baking soda. Keep it in a spray bottle and bring it out when your pet has an accident.

First blot the stain, then spray your stain remover liberally on top. Leave for 10 minutes then blot again.

19. Reed diffusers

reed diffuser and photoframe
They look pretty good too!

Never underestimate the power of room deodorisers!

Whether you use scented candles, diffusers, linen spray or plug-in air fresheners - room deodorisers are essential when you have a pet. Use them regularly to keep your home smelling fresh and clean. Just be careful when lighting candles and ensure sure your pet isn't allergic to anything.

Don't forget the importance of fresh air, either. Air out your home every week by opening all the windows. Pop an electric fan on to try and get the air circulating around - it'll make a huge difference to how your home feels and smells.

20. Easy pet bowl cleaning

Providing your pet's diet won't be affected, a light mist of low-fat cooking oil sprayed onto empty feeding bowls will prevent food from sticking and make cleaning them easier than ever before.

21. Put pet bowls in the dishwasher

pet bowls draining board
You don't have to wash them by hand.

This is a slightly controversial one, but most pet bowls can be safely washed in the dishwasher. 

If you live in shared accommodation, just be sure to get everyone's permission to do this before you start chucking them in alongside their plates.

Next, read our article all about if fleas can live in human hair. You might just be surprised! 

Thanks for reading! If you've enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends and family.

Anushka F


A keen money-saver and fan of all things natural, Anushka enjoys making her own beauty products and is partial to a bit of crafting. Never short of a clever tip or two, she's always looking for new ways to make her money go even further.

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  1. Author Karen Bryan on October 2, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Room diffusers are lovely BUT they are a chemical so be aware that it doesn't get on your pet as it can cause burns. "experts at the Veterinary Poisons Information Service have released their own warning that the liquid inside is a potential hazard for cats."

    1. Author Anushka F on October 12, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Thanks for bringing this warning to our attention Karen! I think it's always best to keep these items well out of reach from pets and children.

  2. Author Lucy Walden on October 2, 2015 at 11:10 am

    could you be able to find some good tips for bird owners please

  3. Author Sadie Rutherford on February 9, 2016 at 7:47 am

    Lovely and quite helpful post! Our girl just got a cute Chihuahua puppy for her birthday and we also have a year-old Russian blue female cat, so the cleaning tasks are increasing. The tips you've shared are definitely going to be of a great help and I'm sure we'll handle caring for our two pets properly . Thank you for sharing!

    1. Author Anushka F on February 19, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      Oh that's great to hear Sadie. How lovely, a Chihuahua and a Russian blue - both beautiful breeds.

  4. Author Sam on February 29, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Putting vinegar and baking soda in the same bottle is pointless and wasteful. From ThinkQuest: The acetic acid (that’s what makes vinegar sour) reacts with sodium bicarbonate (a compound that’s in baking soda) to form carbonic acid. It’s really a double replacement reaction. Carbonic acid is unstable, and it immediately falls apart into carbon dioxide and water (it’s a decomposition reaction). The bubbles you see from the reaction come from the carbon dioxide escaping the solution that is left. What’s left is a dilute solution of sodium acetate in water. In fact, it's mostly water. It just has a small amount of a salt (sodium acetate) in it. There may be a mild grease cutting factor left, but by and large the combination has rendered all cleaning benefits from both the vinegar and the baking soda ineffective. You should never mix the two in advance but only immediately as needed (*if needed...usually they clean better on their own).

    1. Author Anushka F on March 22, 2016 at 11:19 am

      Hi Sam thanks for sharing this information. That's really useful, so when combined they shouldn't be left for too long? I'll do some more reading about this. Thanks!

    2. Author Sharon on August 18, 2019 at 4:45 pm

      For accidents I always just use half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle, spray on wait for it to dry then vacuum. I have found it doesn't really matter which vinegar but if malt is used it can smell a bit like a chip shop until vacuumed. Great tips though thanks

    3. Author Joanne A on August 19, 2019 at 12:07 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Sharon!

  5. Author SHIRLEY on March 27, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Lavender oil really does help. I have got 2 dogs and the one is always a nervous wreck on and around bonfire night with the fireworks, I read some where that Lavender Oil helps so I purchased a bottle applied it between the shoulder blades on my dog and it worked perfect he lay on the sofa and did not flinch when the fireworks where going off. My mom also used it on her dog when travelling as he is normally travel sick but he was calm for the whole journey. So I would recommend it. I have not heard of it for flee's and ticks so it could be worth a try as if it does work it will save a fortune in flee treatment. One tip when buying the lavender oil shop around I found Boots and Holland and Barrett very expensive I got mine from Body Care for under a £1.

    1. Author SHIRLEY HICKINBOTTOM on August 18, 2019 at 7:53 pm

      I have also used lavender oil for years on my dogs for bonfire night it really does make a difference

    2. Author Joanne A on August 19, 2019 at 11:34 am

      Thanks for sharing! It's amazing what essential oils can do.

  6. Author Mahmud Hossain on April 2, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    That is unbelievable tricks. Thanks a lot for your valuable tricks that I extremely like to appreciate. That kind of tricks are so much helpful especially for the pet owners those are totally connected with pets and pet vacuums.

    1. Author Anushka F on April 6, 2016 at 10:16 am

      Thanks I'm glad you enjoyed them!

  7. Author Anne Ballinger on May 26, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    I was told that all "smelly room sprays or burning incense sticks" are bad for people with asthma, and they are not good for dogs too! Remember that a dogs sense of smell is much greater than humans, I often find my dog rubbing her nose if I have used any smelly products, I now use dog friendly ingredients for cleaning as advised by you, lemons, bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar and Good old elbow grease!

    1. Author Stephanie C on May 30, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Hi Anne. I'm glad that our natural cleaning tips have helped you find dog-friendly solutions for your home :) Natural is always best in our eyes!

  8. Author Lawrence on January 28, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Thanks for sharing this information.

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 28, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      You're welcome, Lawrence!

  9. Author anne wigglesworth on March 13, 2021 at 9:47 am

    I’ve always used biological washing powder and warm water to remove urine stains/smells. Rub into area with a soft brush or cloth, allow to dry and vacuum. And please avoid synthetic room fragrance, they can be toxic to pets. Check which essential oils are safe for pets before using, even some that seem harmless can be dangerous and affect the respiratory system.

    1. Author Joanne A on March 30, 2021 at 12:06 pm

      Great advice! Thanks, Anne.


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