Spring Cleaning is for the Dogs (&cats)
We all get that spring itch to start cleaning up the house, purging the junk we no longer need and just freshening up the areas we spend time in. So, what does this Spring cleaning mean for our furry roommates? While Fluffy isn’t going to help you scrub and mop, their areas and daily essentials are in need of a good freshening just as much as your garage is.
So let’s get started
For all the soft or plush toys: check for rips & tears first. If there is stuffing coming out or a stray ear pulling away from the toy, set them aside to either mend or toss. All toys in good condition can be thrown in your washing machine. To keep them in the best condition put them in a pillowcase then knot the top. For cat toys that have a refillable pocket for catnip, be sure to empty it first and refill when the toy is clean and dry. Instead of using your regular washing soap add a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of baking soda then line dry.
Photo Credit: Metro Paws
Need to wash a Metro Ball? They do great in the washing machine and dryer and make great toys at the dog park.
For all solid or rubber toys: this is a good time to check for chunks that have been chewed off, or areas that have worn down and throw them away. For all intact toys just soak them in a sink or bucket of warm water and a cup of white vinegar for thirty minutes and air dry. Many hard cat toys have bells or other noise makers inside, be sure to check for rust, as water and slobber tend to build up.
Next stop all of their cozy spots
Washing a dog or cat bed isn’t just for spring cleaning but it is a great time to evaluate the state of their beds, check for damage and deep clean. Just like with soft toys, beds can easily be tossed in the washer. Since they are not going in your pet’s mouth regular washing soap can be used. If your beds have a removable cover be sure to take that off to clean. Many dog bed inserts are not intended to be put in the washer. This is also a great time to check for possible pests. Fleas are out and about in full force and love all the skin and danger on beds. A good washing will kill them, but don’t forget to de-flea your home and pets if you find any signs!
One thing to remember is that with all the nice weather we often spend more time outside with our pups. Outdoor dog beds need to be cleaned more frequently than indoor ones, once a week will keep them fresh and pest free.
Photo Credit: Metro Paws
Treats and food containers wrap things up.
We know you are cleaning out your pantry, don’t forget the pet treats. Check for old and stale treats and open packages as well as signs of bugs… bugs are bad.
This is also a good time to look at your food storage containers. While plastic totes and tubs are popular for cat and dog food storage, more people are using them incorrectly. Best practice is to open the top of your food bags and lide the whole thing into a plastic container with a tight fitting lid, not just pour the food into the container. Why?
Well for a couple of reasons. First, it is also a good idea to have the food’s lot number and date information in case of a food recall or alert, the only place for that information is on the actual bag. Second, is due to the make-up of that plastic container. Every time you pour food in it or scrub it with a sponge, little mico-fissures are being created that hold in oils and create bacteria… not so great for your pet’s food. This goes for plastic food dishes as well!
While cleaning isn’t on the top of most people’s favorite activities list, it is a bit more enjoyable when it benefits our furry friends. After you clean out all the toy boxes, beds and treats.. Why not take your bestfriend to their favorite local pet store for a new squeaker toy and a snack, they will surely enjoy the great weather and treats!