I think it goes without saying that I am a dog lover. Their presence just warms up a home, and I honestly couldn't imagine our house without a dog running around causing a ruckus. It's endearing, and after a long day of work they always know how to make you shut things down and be present. BUT, I also love a clean, organized, hair-free home - so I've found a few things that really help me find that balance.
TRAINING: Otto won't get on a couch. He doesn't even know its a possibility. We taught him this from the very beginning, and spent the majority of his first year on the floor with him, so he had no real desire to get on the couch. If your dog does get on the couch, try placing throw blankets in the spot they sleep or invest in a sofa with easy to clean surfaces. Society Social (that's one of their beauties above) has some fabulous fabric choices. that would be perfect for a dog. We did, however, fail with keeping him off the bed, so you can see the next tip.
WHITE DUVETS: This may seem like a crazy tip, but we use white duvets on our bed so we can easily clean them and more importantly, bleach them. Also, it hides his golden hair in between washes.
BASKETS: All of Otto's toys are in a basket hidden under a side table in our family room. They've been there since he was a puppy, and he knows that's where they will always be. I wish I could say I taught him to clean up after himself after a long day of playing - but I'm not that good. I just make sure to pick up everything before I head to bed.
TOTES: I have an obsession for LL Bean totes, and probably own more than I should admit. In our mudroom, we have one for his leash, extra collars, poop bags, etc. so we can just grab and go before our walks. It also helps manage clutter. We have another one that's always packed and ready to go for his overnight bag - because we are always on the road, and where we go, Otto goes.
SOGGY DOGGY: These are amazing. Otto has such long hair, and during this time of year he's constantly disgusting and wet. This is like a sham wow for dogs and soaks up all that gross muddy mess before he leaves the mudroom.
INDOOR / OUTDOOR RUGS: I swear by Dash & Albert rugs. They are so durable, stains come out easily, and they are gorgeous. I also have a jute rug in our family room - and that sucker hides everything.
GROOMING: Otto is a fluffy dog, so hair can be an issue. We get him professionally groomed about once a month, and I brush him throughout the week as well (which he hates). I use a standard dog brush, and then a furminator when things are getting really gnarly or during big shedding seasons.
SMELL CONTROL: My biggest fear is that our house smells like a dog (ok, not my biggest fear, but you get it). I use a little doggie perfume on Otto when I brush him (he hates it), always have a candle going - and this is a tip from a good friend of mine - I leave a bowl of vinegar in our kitchen. Apparently it soaks up the odors!
FOOD BINS: Those big bags of dog food are such an eye sore. Keep things contained with cute, stylish bins you won't mind having in your pantry.
DAILY CLEANING: Now, I don't vacuum every day, but I usually at least take a swiffer to the situation (when the hair is visible). I do love my vacuum though. We got the Dyson Animal as a wedding gift five years ago, and I don't know what I would do without it.
What did I miss, dog-lovers? I would love to hear your tips!