I'm pretty sensitive to odors. I can always pick up on a scent like a bloodhound on a hunt, so I like to keep my house fresh, especially when it comes to the dogs. I have three little tiny dogs, so they mostly like to be inside and don't have much chance to pick up a lot of muck and dirt, but they do pick up allergens and the occasional lizard, so I try to keep their coats and their mouths as clean as possible.

Here are my three top tips for spring (and year-round) cleaning for pet owners:


  • photo by Debbie Ray

    Clean Bedding

    I wash their bedding and blankets AT LEAST once a week. Everything goes into the washer on hot with a full dose of Tide and a full dose of bleach, and into the dryer with a sheet of Bounce. (Plus, the dogs love to snuggle in the hot blankets when they come out of the dryer! This is Bella.)

  • photo by Debbie Ray

    Clean Crates

    My dogs love their crates. We used their crates to house-train all three of them. They also sleep and travel in their crates. At least once a month, we bring the crates outside and clean them up, inside and out with some Fantastic and the garden hose, then leave them outside to air dry. (This is Bella in the back seat of the car.)

  • photo by Debbie Ray

    Clean Mouths

    We have never had any luck with brushing teeth. We've tried chicken-flavored toothpaste, various chews and minty treats. They either hated me for subjecting them to the toothbrush torture or hated the chewy breath treats. We finally found a solution in something called Orapup. It looks kind of like a lint brush onto which you squirt a bacon-flavored gel. It doesn't clean their teeth, but it cleans their tongue, which freshens their breath. (This is Chi Chi, who loves her Orapup.)