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10 Easy Tips for Cleaning Up After Your Dog
Cleaning Confidential

Our canine pals do plenty of great things — provide love, guard our homes, save Timmy from mine shafts — but they’re not too concerned about domestic tidiness. However, there are smart, easy ways to collar canine clutter and keep your dog safer.

1. Store everything you need for outings — leash, pick-up bags, paw wipes — near the door. Speaking of pick-up bags, reuse plastic shopping bags or the plastic bags your newspapers come in; store them in an empty tissue box for one-at-a-time dispensing.

2. Make it easier to hook up for walks by attaching a large carabiner to the clip on your dog’s leash.

3. Instead of wrestling with that humungous bag of dog food, divvy it up into smaller, sealable containers for storage. This keeps pests out, too.

4. Assign baskets or bins into which you can quickly toss those well-chewed balls, bones and other assorted playthings; for extra points, teach your dog to put them away herself.

5. To keep food and water bowls from sliding, place them on a rubber-backed mat or piece of rubberized mesh.

6. Use a self-refilling water bowl to cut down on your trips to the sink. Recirculating fountains are a nice option; many dogs like to drink running water, and the aeration and filter keep the water fresh. Find them at pet supply stores.

7. To neutralize the gamey aroma wafting from full pick-up bags in your garbage bin, toss in a few handfuls of cat litter.

8. Position the dog bed away from your home’s main traffic flow and cover it with an easily removable “doggy duvet” that you wash regularly.

9. Create a file folder or binder dedicated to your dog’s paperwork: vet visits, vaccination records, medication lists, insurance info, license receipts, microchip code number.

10. Scan all these important records — plus photos of your dog — and store them on your PDA or a small flash drive so you have this vital info at hand while traveling.

This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 61: Sept/Oct 2010
Tom McNulty is the author of Clean Like a Man, which is full of guy-friendly housekeeping tips and tricks. Visit cleanlikeaman.com for more. cleanlikeaman.com
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Submitted by Roberta | October 5 2010 |

Good information - now, I need to extrapolate it to the sanctuary dogs who live with me - currently 5 of my own plus 15 others (one moving to my sister sanctuary later in the week). They live inside and outside of the house! Keep up the good work.

Submitted by Mary Long | October 5 2010 |

I don't think that the plastic bags mentioned in the "10 easy steps for cleaning up after your dog" are biodegradable. Wouldn't it be better to use bags that are.

Submitted by Lyssa Newhall | October 5 2010 |

While it's true that biodegradable bags are ideal, you already have those other bags, and it's better that they are reused rather than just being tossed into landfill after one use.

Submitted by Pamela | October 5 2010 |

#7 - cat litter! Duh, can't believe I never thought of that before. Thanks!

Submitted by Anonymous | October 5 2010 |

I always carry several bags, but before leaving for a walk I ask my
dogs to do their business. I would rather clean up in my yard into
one closed lined can than use multiple bags.

Submitted by Anonymous | October 5 2010 |

The self-refilling water bowl is a nice idea, though you will never know how much your dog is drinking then. It's always a good idea to monitor your dog's water intake, since an increase or decrease could mean a health problem.

Submitted by Anonymous | October 6 2010 |

Most of these tips have more to do with organizing than cleaning. I'm pretty well organized, but I could use some help with cleaning!

Submitted by Lisa H | October 6 2010 |

Hmmmm, the intro to this article said "need some help with those muddy pawprints"... Did you mean to say something about those muddy pawprints? That would have been nice.

Submitted by chloePcharlie | August 16 2013 |

We have trained our dogs to "wait for paws" and we wipe their paws every time we come inside, regardless of the weather and the cleanliness or dirtiness of their paws. We have a towel at the door and everyone's paws gets wiped before they go into the house. Judging by the appearance of the towel some days, we've eliminated a lot of dirt on the floors! If the paws are too dirty to get cleaned with a dry towel (on a rainy, muddy day) then they go into the tub for a paw bath.

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