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Keeping Your Home Clean in Winter with Outside Pets

snow-213948_640Keeping your home clean in the winter can seem to be an impossible task, with snow, mud, sand, and slush being constantly tracked in the door. It is difficult enough when one is cleaning up after humans. Adding animals who spend time outside into the mix can be even more frustrating. Following these recommendations will help keep you and your pets happier and healthier in a clean home all winter.

Sweaters are for dogs, too.

Make a sweater part of your dog's winter wardrobe. Anni Sofferet at Yahoo Voices recommends it for keeping your dog warm and its belly fur clean. "Devote a sweater to all outside trips, even going...in the yard. This is especially helpful with smaller, shorter dogs." Protecting your dog from the cold and snow will also protect your floors; far less debris will be brought in on his or her coat.

Keep hair from piling up.

Melissa Stoneburner at Examiner reminds us that cats spend far less time outdoors in cold weather and this can lead to shedding buildup in the home. "Even cats that go outdoors part of the time during the rest of the year tend to stay indoors during cold weather months." Groom your cat faithfully; bathe and brush it to help the cat keep itself as clean and healthy as possible. Investing in a pet hair vacuum is another helpful option.

Clean paws, clean floor.

Sandra Ketcham of Demand Media suggests that a bin of water by the front door is a great way to keep your pet's paws clean. "This is also beneficial for removing debris or snow from between his toes after an outing. Have him step on a towel to dry off some of the water." Lorene Bartos at UNL has another suggestion for those occasions that you are in a rush. Simply leaving a towel by the door to give your pet a fast wipe and dry will help with the mess.

Groom dogs regularly.

Ketcham suggests: "Be consistent. Keeping your house clean of paw prints will be a lot easier if your dog knows what to expect and cooperates because of it." By leading the dog to the same door and through the same cleaning regimen, it will come to expect it and be less resistant to the extra grooming. She also recommends "using treats for distraction and positive reinforcement."

Following these steps will make it far easier to keep a clean home during winter, even if your pets enjoy playing in the snow and tracking it into the house.

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