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A doggy clean regime

dog sleeping

Our beloved canine friends may drive us mad with their sometimes mucky, smelly and usually hairy ways, so isn’t it time we included them in our cleaning routines?

DOG WASH: Start with the source — Rover himself! Whether you take your pooch to a professional groomer or you maintain his coat yourself, it’s important to have a grooming regime that’s suited to your dog’s breed and coat needs. Of course, it’s also vital to keep up flea and worming treatments, so mark the dates on your calendar when each dose or application is due.

BED REFRESH: A dog averages 12 to 14 hours’ sleep per day, so if his bed is looking shabby, it’s probably time for a new one. Your dog’s comfort is essential and, with his bed often taking residence in the heart of the home, looks are important too. These days there’s a fantastic choice.

Points to consider are:

• Size – select a dog bed that matches or is roughly 25% bigger than your dog’s measurements when standing, from the tip of the nose to base of his tail, and from top of the skull to the floor, so he’ll have enough space to curl up or stretch out.

• Shape – know how your dog likes to sleep — a flat mattress-style is great for ‘sprawlers’ whereas a donut, or oval bed works best for curler-uppers! Breeds that feel the cold or like to burrow, love a bed they can snuggle into. Older dogs with stiff joints would benefit from the support of a canine memory foam mattress.

• Easy care – since your dog will be taking dirt from his walk back to his bed, make sure the cover, if not the entire bed, is machine washable, and ideally quick-drying. • Good quality – buy the best you can afford. A well-made bed with quality fabric is likely to survive the rough treatment a dog will give it, and withstand frequent washing.

• Removable covers – always get a spare and look for waterproof covers or liners to help protect the mattress to help ensure the bed’s longevity.

BLANKET APPROACH: A good blanket is a must to protect against general muckiness on your sofa or in the car. Have a couple that you can rotate, so you always have a spare clean one.

SUCK IT UP: It is essential to vacuum your dog’s bed regularly, but since pet hair gets everywhere, along with dirt and pesky parasites, investing in a good quality petspecific vacuum with the power and tools to suck it all up makes sense.

TOY TIME: Repair or toss any toys that have been loved to death by your dog. Consider donating clean unused or barely used toys to a local animal charity. Wash the toys you decide to keep in a sink. Why not treat your dog to a stylish new box or basket to store them in?

COLLAR CLEAN – a dog’s collar is a host for muck, so clean it regularly, washing and soaking fabric collars with a little dog shampoo, and wiping leather collars with a soft damp cloth. Don’t forget the lead!

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