How to Keep Your House Clean With Dogs

Dogs can bring incredible joy to any home. But they also shed and make messes. So today I'm sharing my best tips on keeping your house clean with dogs, no matter how much they shed or how much dirt they track into your home. We had the most amazing Boxer for nearly 13 years and now we have a huge, hairy dog, so I speak from experience!

woman snuggling Bernese Mountain Dog

If you follow me on Instagram, y'all know I'm OBSESSED with our Bernese Mountain Dog, Riggins. Y'all probably also know we are pretty obsessed with keeping a clean and tidy house. So I get lots of questions in my DMs about how in the world we keep our house clean with such a big, hairy dog that sheds a lot.

I won't try to sugarcoat it and tell you it's easy to keep your house clean with dogs, but it absolutely is possible. And it's totally worth it–there's no substitute for the love of a dog, and we wouldn't trade it for the world!

The right tools help A LOT. So in this post, I'm going to share what works for us!

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Tools to Help You Have a Pristine Home When You Have a Pooch

Powerful Stain Removers

We had it fairly easy in the potty training department, but here are the ones that we try to always have on hand:

  • An enzymatic stain remover: You need a good stain remover that includes enzymes! This is our favorite one. It uses enzymes that work through the stain all the way to the subfloors. This is great for inevitable accidents when you are potty training a puppy, but it's also good to have on hand for older dogs as well (you never know when they may get an upset stomach and vomit on your rug).
  • A carpet spot remover: We live in North Carolina, the land of red clay. Sometimes on a wet day that red clay gets on Riggins' paws and onto our area rugs and carpet. Folex is by far the best carpet spot remover we've ever used and it's way less expensive than most other options.

Vacuums That Can Handle Dirt and Dog Hair

Your vacuums matter whether you have one tiny dog or several big dogs! Even if you have a small dog and/or a breed that doesn't shed, TRUST ME when I tell you they drag more dirt inside your house than you realize. We often have people say, “I wouldn't even know you have a dog!” That's exactly the kind of cleanliness we are going for. So let's talk about our vacuums…

  • A good cordless vacuum cleaner: If vacuuming feels time-consuming, you will be less likely to do it regularly. And you MUST do it every single day to keep your house clean and free of dog hair. This is the cordless vacuum that we have used for about 4 years now. It's lightweight, and the fact that it's cordless makes it so quick to grab and use.
woman with vacuum cleaner beside Bernese Mountain Dog
  • A good robot vacuum is a big bonus: We also invested in this robot vacuum cleaner back in 2021 (the current model looks a bit different than ours) during a huge sale. I was a bit skeptical when I first ordered it because we had tried a robot vacuum cleaner many years ago and it was not great–it wandered around aimlessly, was super inefficient and LOUD. This robot vacuum cleaner is TOTALLY DIFFERENT and does an amazing job. It uses a laser to map your house out so it vacuums in a pattern that makes sense. And you can set up “no go” zones for it to avoid completely. Most importantly, it works well in getting up dirt and dog hair (we use ours on max suction)! I love that it has cut down on the amount of manual vacuuming we do.
Eufy robot vacuum cleaner for helping keep house clean with dogs

A Carpet Cleaner

If you have pets (and even if you don't), you should clean your area rugs and carpet regularly. So I think a carpet cleaner is a wise investment for anyone with carpet or area rugs, especially if you have dogs. We've had this carpet cleaner for nearly 5 years now and still LOVE it. It's incredibly easy to use! You just push it forward to clean and pull it back to dry–it's basically the same as vacuuming, but you move the machine a bit slower. You can see me using it with a TINY baby Riggins in our old house below. We use it with this cleaning solution, which is specifically formulated for homes with pets.

hoover carpet cleaner for keeping area rugs clean when you have dogs

You will be SHOOK when you see how much dirt and nastiness this machine gets out of your carpet and area rugs. Don't believe me? You can see an example of what our machine gets out of just ONE rug (and we typically clean ours every few months).

dirty water in hoover carpet cleaner after cleaning rug

A Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner

I also highly recommend a hard-surface floor cleaner if it's within your budget. For over 10 years, we used a Hoover Floormate, but our old one needed a replacement part that we couldn't find (I'm not even sure they are made any longer). So, about a year ago, I purchased the “viral” Tineco hard floor cleaner when it was on mega-sale on Amazon. This is the exact Tineco model we bought (there are several different options).

I will admit that I tend to be a bit skeptical when something like this goes super viral on social media and I see soooooooo many people jumping on the bandwagon and posting about it. So I held onto the packaging for over a month until I had used it a while and was certain I wanted to keep it, lol. It has absolutely lived up to the hype. It's completely cordless and can clean wet and dry messes at the same time. It also cleans itself when you are done using it. I could not possibly love this machine more! It's disturbing how much it cleans off of floors that seem clean.

Tineco hard floor cleaner being used on hardwood floors
Sorry for the blurry photo–it's a screenshot from a video :)

How to Deal With Dog Hair on Surfaces You Can't Vacuum

Riggins isn't allowed on most of our furniture, but he is allowed on our bed since we can easily wash the bedding :) So, every single day, I “de-hair” our bed in the morning when I make it. Since I do it so often, it would be way too expensive to use traditional lint rollers. And our vacuums have too much suction to use on our duvet cover (they suck the fabric into the nozzle). After trying many alternatives, I found this genius little pet hair remover and it is the best. It's quick, easy and works so well on our bed. I'm confident it would work well on other furniture as well!

Chom Chom pet hair remover

Tips for Bathing and Grooming Your Dog

Giving your dog a bath when they stink and/or their hair starts to feel dirty is also pretty crucial to keeping your house as clean as possible. And keeping their nails properly trimmed will help keep your hardwood floors from getting completely destroyed. Here are the things that help us with bathing and grooming!

Helpful Stuff for Dog Baths

It shocks a lot of people to learn that we bathe Riggins at home. After all, he's a 120-pound hairy beast. And while I would love to outsource the job, it's expensive and I don't want to spend the time driving him to a groomer.

Riggins is too big to bathe in any of our bathtubs, so we actually bathe him in our walk-in shower. I bought this shower attachment about a year ago and it makes things so much easier! It's easy to install and use. The other thing that is super helpful in keeping Riggins content while I bathe him is a dog-licking mat that has suction cups to stick on the shower wall. We load it up with peanut butter and it keeps him happy!

For drying, we use old towels and then wrap him in this dog bathrobe (the XXL fits him perfect) until he's fairly dry. It looks ridiculous on him, but he doesn't mind it at all.

Trim Your Dog's Nails

Like zillions of dog owners, we have hardwood floors. Your dog's nails can do a number on hardwood floors if you aren't careful! We keep Riggins' nails not only trimmed but rounded so that they are easier on our floors by using this dremel on his nails. We started using it on him when he was a tiny pup, so he doesn't mind it anymore. But please know your dog probably won't love it the first time you use it, lol! What we love about it is that it gives us the ability not just to trim his nails, but shape them. Our floors appreciate the extra effort.

Phew! Those are all my best tips for how to keep your house clean with dogs in it! We had the most amazing Boxer for nearly 13 years before Riggins, so we have learned a ton about what works well. Did I forget anything?! Any tips you have for keeping a clean house with dogs that I missed? If so, I'd love to hear from you!

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blog post signature with photo of Tasha Agruso of Kaleidoscope Living

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  1. Great tips! How do you protect your floors when using the carpet cleaner on area rugs? I have wood floors under mine.
    Thanks 😊

    1. Hi Debbie. We have wood floors under ours too. Because the carpet cleaner sucks up the dirty water, we don’t have to do anything to protect the floors. We’ve never found that the rugs get wet enough to soak through the rug and/or carpet pads. I hope that helps!