Even your pet's belongings and sleep area could use a "spring cleaning"
One of the lesser known signs of spring is letting a dog outside and he fails to scoot right back in. This beautiful season means longer days and warmer temperatures and time to relax outdoors. My dog's face when she sees the sun and the nice weather is priceless! She runs around the living room with joy when I tell her "Let's go outside".
Another sign of spring is the "deep clean." There is nothing like a freshly cleaned home! Our pets enjoy it too "“ a clean environment keeps pets healthy and happy.
Here are 10 essential spring cleaning tips for pet owners:
1. Check The Pet Pantry
Even though the expiry period for most animal food and snacks is a long one, it doesn't hurt to check the best-by date for food and snacks. The last thing you want is your pet to get sick from spoiled food. The couple of minutes it takes you to check your pet's pantry are totally worth it.
2. Clean The Pet Bowls
How many times do you clean your pet's bowl? We studiously make sure the food and water bowls are filled, but how often do we remove built up saliva and bacteria? According to study from the National Safety Federation, pet food bowls are the fourth germiest item in a house. Two of the top were the kitchen cloth and remote control.
To get rid of these germs, wash your pet's bowl with hot water and mild soap or use a 50% water and 50% vinegar solution. It is recommended to wash their bowls on a daily basis.
3. Restock The First Aid Kit
Pets are not exempted from having an accident. Take a look for any missing or expired items in your pet's first aid / emergency kit. If you don't have a first aid kit for pet, you can start by buying a kit for a people and adding pet related items such as muzzle or strips to prevent biting, proof of rabies vaccination, picture of your pet, towels, nail clippers, and non-prescription antibiotic ointment.
4. Deep-Clean The Litter Box
Spring is a great time to give the litter box a detailed cleaning which includes throwing out the old litter and adding a fresh new one. After emptying the litter wash the litter box in and out with warm water and mild dish soap, you can also use the 50% mixture of water and vinegar. Don't forget to wash the lid if it has one and the scooper. Dry the box with a towel before adding the new litter.
5. Clean The Pet Collar
I am the first one to admit there have been times I have washed my dog and forgot about taking the collar off. Remove your pet's collar and soak it in warm water with a little bit of pet shampoo. It is important that you use this shampoo as you don't want your pet's skin irritated. Rinse the collar after about 15 minutes and let it air dry. Make sure to keep your pet indoors or use another collar while cleaning.
6. Rid The House Of Dog Hair
You may notice that as the weather gets warmer, your dog sheds more than usual which requires regular grooming and brushing. You will find dog hair everywhere. Don't worry because it can be easily removed thanks to rubber gloves. Slightly wet the rubber glove on your hand and pass it over the places that have dog's hair such as furniture and drapes. Wash and dry the rubber gloves between uses.
7. Make The (Doggy) Beds
Who would want to sleep in a dirty bed? After a long and exhausting day the last thing you want is lay down in a stinky bed. You want you furry animal companion to have sweet dreams and a comfy and clean bed. Pets bring germs into the house which accumulates where they relax and sleep. Start by vacuuming hair and dirt off the bed, then wash your pet's bed in hot water with a mild detergent.
Tip: Use a non-scented laundry detergent and softener as it won't irritate your pet's skin.
8. Wash The Pet Toys
As you are cleaning your children's toys why not clean your pet's toys too? According to the National Safety Federation, pet toys are number seven of the top 10 germiest things in a house. Wet toys are great places for bacteria, yeast, and mold. You can clean them up by washing them with hot water and mild dish soap or by placing them on the top shelf of the dishwasher. You can washed stuffed toys in the washing machine with non-scented detergent.
9. Organize The Toy Box
Something I did at least every spring was clean around my son's toy box. At least twice a year I do this with my dog's toy box. I have to laugh at my dog's face when she sees I am cleaning her toy box; she gives me an angry look as if she thinks I am going to take her toys away forever. Check each of your pet's toys and create three piles: keep, donate or toss. Whatever you decide to keep or donate should get a thorough cleaning!
10. Clean ALL the Teeth
Do you see after washing your pet that continues to have a bad smell? Plaque and tartar can build up on your pet's teeth which could lead to periodontal disease. Senior dogs and cats are prone to bad breath. You will see the difference with a thorough tooth-brushing. The task may take some time and require patience but it helps them have a better health and live odor-free.
Share your favorite spring cleaning tips with us below!