The Pet Expert: Deep Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

The Pet Expert: Deep Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

Nobody wants their home to smell like a dirty dog.

Having pets undoubtedly brings a world of joy and companionship to our lives, but the reality is having pets in the home comes with a fair share of dirt and odours. While everyday tidying and basic cleanup helps to keep on top of it, there are some deep cleaning tasks that should be performed regularly to keep the homestead extra clean, too.

Change Your Furnace Filter

The furnace is the lungs of your house. The quality of the air in your home is largely dependent on the cleanliness of your furnace. Dirty furnace filters limit the ability to circulate clean air throughout the home.

Furnace filters come with the manufacturer’s recommended changing schedule, often dependent on their thickness. Some furnace filters should be changed annually, others suggest replacing every six months. For homes with air conditioners, filters should be changed as frequently as every three months.

Homes with pets can build up fur, dander, and odours much faster than in non-pet households. Households with multiple pets, air conditioning, and more, should be changed as often as every two months for cleanliness and hygiene.

Clean Your Vents

Pet dander, fur, and even crumbs from tasty treats can often make their way into floor vents. Over time, this can contribute to musty smelling air and diminished air quality. To keep your vents in optimal working order, vacuum out your vents at least once a month with a shop vac or a vacuum with a long hose attachment, and consider having your ducts professionally cleaned as needed.

Scrub Your Tub

If your dog is like mine, he requires a few baths per month due to the amount of time we spend hiking our many beautiful, but sometimes muddy, trails. After a good thorough bath, wiping down the tub can help keep it looking fresh, but a monthly or bi-monthly deep clean is still a good idea. Oil, grit, fur, and more from your dog’s coat are removed with every bath, and over time it can create a thin layer of grimy film over the tub and tub walls. It may be difficult to see, but it’s there!

Know Your Flooring

Carpet can feel wonderful on the feet, and is cozy in the wintertime, too. Unfortunately, carpet can stubbornly cling to pet hair, and holds odours more than any other type of flooring. While vacuuming regularly will help remove pet hair and dirt from the carpet, odours may continue to linger.

Due to the pandemic, many homeowners have taken to renovating their living spaces. If you’re having any flooring replaced, consider something other than carpet to keep pet odours at bay.

Clean Curtains and Couches More Often

Like carpets, fabric couches and curtains are more apt to hold onto pet odours, fur, and dander. Depending on the number of pets you have in your home, it is worth washing curtains and couch covers as well as throw blankets and pillows, at least once a month. Vacuum couches – get in the hard to reach places where fur, crumbs, and spare change like to hide. A portable upholstery/carpet cleaner is a cost-effective way to give your furniture a thorough deep cleaning as well.

This cleaning regimen should apply for fabric ottomans, chairs, and even mattresses in the home.

The Smell Test

If you leave your home for several days for any reason (like going to the cottage, or a camping trip), pay close attention to how your home smells when you return: this is how it smells to other people. Nose blindness happens when we lose a sense for how our home smells due to the amount of time we spend in it.

Following these simple deep-cleaning tips, on top of your regular cleaning schedule, should have you on the right track to keeping your pet-friendly home looking (and smelling) fresh and clean.

Brandon Forder, known as The Pet Expert, is vice-president of Canadian Pet Connection, an industry leader in healthy pet lifestyles. Brandon is certified in pet nutrition, and has more than twenty-five years’ experience specializing in pet health and behaviour. He has written hundreds of informative pet-related articles for newspapers, magazines, radio, and the popular Ask the Pet Expert Blog. Brandon is highly skilled in pet problem solving, and enjoys teaching others about smart and responsible pet ownership. To learn more, visit

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