Your Chihuahua might be cute and cuddly, but your dog probably has a big personality and makes even bigger messes on a daily basis. That said, they are family, and you can’t imagine your life without them. Here are a few ways you can keep a clean house and still enjoy your cuddly canine companion. The best part: It won’t kill your kibbles-and-bits budget.

Start at Their Level
Your small dog can’t help but be close to the floor. Unfortunately, carpets tend to hold onto odors. If your dog is one of the 37 percent whosebehavior problems include peeing or pooping on the floor, you know all too well how unsightly a urine-stained carpet can be. However,vinegar — which you probably have in your pantry right now — is your best friend when it comes to cleaning pee out of soft surfaces. In addition to diluting urine, vinegar is also effective in combating the ammonia odor it leaves behind.

Aside from bathroom breaks, your carpet is also subject to collecting all of the mud and muck your pup tracks in. According to Carter’s Carpet, the most important thing you need to know when it comes to getting mud off the carpet is that ithas to be dry. Once it’s no longer moist, use your vacuum to slowly loosen and eliminate the dirt. The carpet cleaning company also advocates vinegar to help remove any residual gunk left behind.

If you have not invested in a good vacuum cleaner, take a quick look atthese Amazon reviews. Pet owners have no problem dishing out the pros and cons of their Hoover, Dyson, or Bissell.

Stop Odors at the Source
If your house smells bad despite your best cleaning efforts, there’s a chance the scent is coming directly from Tank the terrier or Chopper the Chihuahua. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health conditions. There’s a good chance that the offensive odors are caused by something simple, such asfood allergies. In this case, switching your dog's diet can help keep your house a harmonious place for everyone. If all else fails, the Farmer’s Almanac has a suggestion that won’t cost you a dime:open the windows.

Dog-Proof the Kitchen
One of the biggest concerns with pet owners when it comes to messes is the trash. Dogs are curious little creatures and they want to sniff, scratch, and bite everything in sight — and your trashcan is a treasure trove of potential snacks. Unfortunately, once the bin has been knocked over, your dogs can scatter bits and pieces of whatever was in there all throughout your house. The only way to circumvent this is to restrict your dog’s access to the kitchen or invest in a trash can with a lid that seals in the temptation. Doggy Toggery runs down a few of the besthere.

Be Selective
Dogs can be hard on their toys, and cheap toys often break or shred easily. This can leave you with a bored dog and pieces of plastic in all of your nooks and crannies. Spend a few extra dollars on quality dog toys, such as those made by Kong or Nylabone. This one is a longshot, but depending on how receptive your dog is to following orders, you may be able totrain them to put away their own things.

When you got a dog, you probably knew that they were going to change your life in many ways. What you may not have realized that you were going to spend half of your time cleaning up after them. However, it’s a labor of love, and with a few tricks — and a visit to your vet to rule out real problems — you can keep your home livable and your wallet full.

Guest Post written by Nick Burton