We think of spring as the time to clean out and organize our homes, but it’s also important to make sure our pets have a fresh start to spring, too. These are some of my favorite hacks for making sure my pets are clean, safe and happy in their home.
Wash your pet’s beds.
Washing your pet’s bedding is one of the more important steps in keeping your furry friend happy and healthy. If you’ve got a dog, chances are you’ve got some kind of bed for it to rest in after a long day of play or work. However, those beds can get pretty foul—even the best-trained puppies have accidents from time to time! Luckily, cleaning them isn’t too hard: you just need to keep it simple and follow these guidelines:
- Use only mild detergent (no bleach)
- Wash in a front-loading washer (don’t use an agitator)
- Dry on low heat
Clean the litter box.
Clean the litter box at least once a week. It’s best if you clean the box before it becomes soiled, but if it does get dirty, clean it immediately. You can use a small amount of warm water and a mild detergent to clean the litter box. You may also want to add some vinegar or baking soda while washing it out to help remove odor from your cat’s waste. Make sure that you thoroughly rinse all traces of soap or other cleaning agents away when washing out your pet’s litter box!
Once you are done cleaning out your pet’s litter box, empty it completely and give it another thorough wash with hot water and dishwashing liquid (you’ll need to do this every time). Then let everything air dry completely before putting in fresh new kitty litter again!
Soften and remove pet hair from your bedding, carpets and upholstery.
- Use a lint roller to remove pet hair from clothing, bedding and upholstery.
- A vacuum with a brush attachment can be used to pick up pet hair from carpets, rugs and other hard flooring.
- A shop vac is another great tool for removing excess fur in your home.
- A broom is also an effective way to clean up after your pets as well as any dirt that may have gotten tracked into the house if you live in an area with snow or mud during the winter months. If you do use a broom, make sure that it’s clean before using it on your carpeted floors!
Clean all pet supplies that can be washed, including chew toys and leashes.
- Clean all pet supplies that can be washed, including chew toys and leashes.
- Check the washing instructions on each label. While many items can go straight into the washing machine, some require hand-washing or only need to be spot-cleaned with a damp cloth.
- Wash toys and leashes in hot water (at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit), then dry them in the dryer on low heat or air-dry before returning to their owners. This will kill bacteria while keeping bacteria from spreading to other items. If you don’t have either of these appliances available, you can also wash these items in your dishwasher with hot water and detergent; they’ll dry as they circulate through each cycle of clean dishes that are ready for use!
Make sure the humidity in your home is at the proper level.
When it comes to keeping your pets healthy, a clean environment is important. You can help prevent illness and discomfort in all kinds of ways—by making sure that the humidity in your home is at the proper level, for example.
Humidity levels should be fairly consistent throughout the year: a good rule of thumb is that if you live in an area with dry air, you should aim for 30-50% relative humidity. If it’s too high or too low, problems will ensue. Too much humidity can cause mold growth on surfaces like walls and floors; this can also lead to skin irritation if pets lick these areas (and they will). Excessive moisture encourages other types of bacteria growth as well–not something any pet owner wants! At the same time, too little moisture means that dry skin may become an issue for both humans and their furry friends alike–especially during cold months when heating systems run full blast in many households all over North America.
The best way to keep on top of these factors is by using either a humidifier or dehumidifier depending on where you live (or live most often), so find out which one might work best based on whether your climate tends toward hot summers vs colder winters:
If you’re not going to bathe your pet, consider doing a grooming session yourself.
If you can’t bathe your pet, consider doing a grooming session yourself. It may seem intimidating at first, but it’s not that hard and can be very relaxing for both you and your pet.
Here are some tips to make sure your grooming session goes smoothly:
- Get all of the tools ready in advance so they’re easily accessible when needed (you don’t want to be fumbling around while holding your wiggly dog).
- Be prepared to put in some elbow grease—this isn’t something you want to do quickly! If you have long hair pets like rabbits or hamsters, make sure their fur is neat with minimal tangles before brushing out the rest of their coat.
- Stay calm when dealing with these little guys; otherwise they’ll get scared or agitated themselves! And remember—like any pet owner would say—don’t panic!
Check plants around your house for toxicity.
- Always ask your vet before giving any plant to your pet.
- Monitor plants in the house and yard that are toxic to people and animals, including: azalea, boxwood, holly, lilies (can be toxic if eaten), oleander (can be toxic if eaten), philodendron, rhododendron and sago palm.
- Keep poisonous plants out of reach of pets or remove them from the house altogether so that your pet doesn’t try to eat them accidentally or intentionally consume them as a way to harm himself or herself (like with antifreeze).
Stock up on flea and tick prevention measures.
While you’re pulling out your vacuum, now is the time to stock up on flea and tick prevention measures. While it’s easier to treat fleas than ticks, both can be harmful for pets—and for humans who come into contact with them. If you have a dog or cat that frequents public parks or wooded areas, check with your vet to see what products are best for your pet. Buy a product that is safe for your pet and check the product before using it on him or her (or yourself!). Some products are safe only in certain situations; make sure that you’re using one that won’t harm either yourself or your pet.
Check for mold growth and household toxins that might be dangerous for pets.
It’s important to check for mold growth and other household toxins that might be dangerous for pets. Molds are a common problem in homes, but they can also be toxic to your furry family members. If you find mold growing somewhere in your home, it’s important to get rid of it right away. Contact an HVAC professional if necessary so they can remove the mold safely and thoroughly before it can spread or cause health problems for anyone in the house.
To prevent future mold growth inside your home, stay on top of cleaning up spills as soon as possible—especially those involving water—and keep humidity levels low by keeping windows closed during high heat waves (or use a dehumidifier). You can also invest in an air purifier that filters out bacteria from the air before circulating it throughout rooms of the house where people spend most of their time (like bedrooms).
Consider getting your pets microchipped if they’re not already tagged with one.
If your pet is not already tagged with a microchip, consider getting one.
Microchips are small devices implanted under the skin of your pet that can be scanned by animal control services, shelters, and veterinarians to determine ownership. While they do not replace traditional tags (which are much more visible), they make it easier for these organizations to return lost or stolen animals home safely.
At the end of the day, make sure you get rid of anything that could potentially be hazardous to your pet’s health. If you’re not sure how to clean something or what it’s made of, consult a professional before exposing your pet to it.