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In 2014, I decided to start sharing my journey as a raw feeder. I had been feeding my dogs a raw food diet for a year and wrote about what I had learned as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Looking back, I cringe at how little I knew about raw feeding and decided to update each of those blog posts in 2018-19.
One of the benefits of feeding raw dog food is that our dogs have soft, healthy, shiny coats and reduced doggy odor. Although, with their penchant for rolling into things that are smelly, my dogs do their best to prove that this benefit is false. Everyone's coats are thick, soft, and shiny thanks to the Omega 3 fatty acids, raw eggs, and other ingredients that are great for skin and coat health.
That being said, our house will smell like dogs if I don't keep or home clean or our dogs clean.
Cleaning the House
The main floor of our home has tile and hardwood floors with area rugs. We sweep, mop, and vacuum 3 days a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday). I use water mixed with essential oils when cleaning. It's a nice way to disinfect and add a fresh scent to the house without exposing our dogs to toxins. I source all of my oils from Plant Therapy and I receive a quarterly subscription box from Simply Earth.
- Germ Destroyer (Plant Therapy)
Now that I have Rodrigo's allergy test back (review coming soon), I'm going to dust more often too.
Cleaning the Dogs
We only bathe our dogs every two to three months and I love it. Over the years, I've been introduced to many products that help keep the dogs looking and smelling good and my favorites include:
- 4-Legger Dog Shampoo and Coat Conditioners – I love 4-Legger because this is the only brand that puts thought into each of the ingredients they put in a bottle. Their products are truly all-natural and organic, they avoid toxic and unsafe ingredients, and my dogs smell amazing after a bath or conditioning spritz.
- Pet Grooming Gloves – my dogs LOVE to be brushed and compete for time whenever I pull out a brush or the pet grooming gloves. The gloves make it easier to get all of the loose hair and the dogs' coats look amazing after a quick session. Plus the gloves act as a gentle massage, which is why the dogs love them so much.
- Grooming Rake – I'm not sure if this is what this brush is called, but I always refer to it as a “rake” because that's what it looks like. I use it in the spring and summer to clear the undercoat; I also use it to groom Rodrigo's longer hair.
Making a Dog Friendly Home
Our dogs can get on the furniture, which means that we have blankets covering every surface and washing blankets each weekend sucks. We have a ton of blankets. I finally get fed up with the extra work and the decor we were rocking and went out and bought faux leather furniture.
- I'm trying to be more environmentally responsible and that includes the animals we, as humans, consume. While my dogs are facultative carnivores and my cat is an obligate carnivore – I'm an omnivore. I can thrive on a diet that is primarily plant-based. That being said, I have a problem buying anything leather unless it's necessary.
- Leather furniture is crazy expensive. The sofa and loveseat that I purchased were less than half the cost of the same set in leather. And the furniture industry has made a lot of strides and the furniture I purchased is known to be dog friendly and has stood up well (so far) to my pack jumping up and down on the sofa.
- And, best of all, I don't have to cover the furniture with blankets to keep it clean. I just wipe it down and we're good to go.
Freshen the Air
I love candles and air fresheners, but they're not all safe for pets. Because we're a pet home, I only burn Pet House Candles and diffuse essential oils.
- The reason I choose https://amzn.to/2LJcM3rPet House Candles is that they are made with natural soy wax (not GMO). They use a 100% cotton wick, are paraffin-free, and dye-free, which means that they don't release toxins when burned (like many
storebought candles). Pet House Candles come in a variety of yummy scents (I haven't found one that I don't like) and they burn for hours (up to 60 hours according to the brand) leaving the house smelling great.
- We like to diffuse essential oils because it's an inexpensive way to freshen the house AND improve our health and mind. When I'm feeling stressed out or need the dogs to calm down, then I diffuse a pet safe oil that relaxes everyone in the house. If I feel like I'm coming down with something, then I pick a pet safe oil to boost my immune system. And so on.