Pets are such a significant part of Canadian life, we’re spending close to $7billion a year on them, up from $3billion ten years ago. According to Stats Can, 50% of us live with pets.
But these house mates need special consideration, like regular walks, and frequent cleaning, since their little paws track in muck and water.
If you work from home, you’re lucky – and so are your pets. You can walk them and yourself during the day. Otherwise, you need to find a local dog walker. Since they’ll be letting themselves into your home, make sure you vet them carefully and preferably hire one who is bonded. You should also invest in smart home technology, like the Nest system that monitors your home. (You will also be able to see what mischief your pets get up to during the day.)
The reality of life with pets is they do generate more dirt, especially at muddier times of the year like winter and spring. The Dunpar advantage is its layout – a ground level foyer right next to the garage, perfect for storing cleaning supplies and wiping down wet mucky dogs.
Here are a few tips for keeping water, dirt and salt down to a minimum:
- If you drive your dog to the park, invest in a waterproof “hammock” that covers the back seat of the car and absorbs a lot of the dirt and moisture by the time you get home. (available at amazon)
- Keep a supply of old bath towels in the car to start the dry-off process before returning home. And keep a stack of towels by the front door. A second towel of microfibre waffle weave, which is very absorbent, will dry fur quickly, eliminating moisture and wet dog smell.
- Since a dog walker doesn’t have the time to thoroughly dry your dog after a wet walk, invest in an appropriate-sized crate so your dog can dry off by the time you come home from work.
- Keep a bucket of water in the foyer – easily refilled from the garage spigot – for dunking dirty paws before giving them a light squeeze and toweling dry.
- In the foyer entry, put down a flat weave mat with rubber bottom. When it gets salty, a scrub brush will loosen the salt and dirt, and a quick vacuum will do the rest.
- Dedicated hooks by the front door – or just inside the garage at your Dunpar townhome – will dry your outer clothes and the dog’s, too. Some dogs need coats in the winter – ones with Velcro at neck and tummy are easier to get on, but those that go over the head cover the stomach better. Protect their paws – the little snowballs that get between pads can be removed while you’re out, but salt stings. If you’re not ready for doggie boots, try coating the pads with a waxy balm that is carried in most pet stores.
- And those “four on the floor”? They’re more likely four on the furniture, so it’s probably wise to consider slip-covering furniture. In mucky weather, though, even slipcovers can’t keep pace so towels draped over your pooch’s nap spot is a good idea.