Spring is here and you need to start spring cleaning!
For pet parents, spring cleaning is not only about cleaning our homes from top to bottom. It’s also the perfect time to consider refreshing things for our fur babies, too.
That goes for everything. From their bowls and bed to their leash and collar. With such heightened senses of smell, our fur babies love a clean and fresh smelling environment, and a good spring cleaning makes them happier and healthier.
Spring Cleaning to Avoid Springtime Allergies
What’s the Main Cause of Spring Allergies in Pets?
When the immune system identifies some agents in the environment as dangerous, an allergic reaction occurs. The most common allergens in Spring include grass, tree and weed pollens. Dust, mold and mildew are also fairly common allergens.
Parasites, such as fleas, can also produce reactions similar to those of allergens.
Allergy Prevention in Pets
Seasonal allergy symptoms in our pets in Spring can easily be prevented or reduced through regular bathing to remove pollen, dander, dust and bacteria from the skin. Ear cleaning will also help remove bacteria and dirt that could contribute to irritation or inflammation.
What Should You Do Before You Begin Spring Cleaning?
Clean up your cleaning products
Before you begin Spring cleaning, start with taking a close look at your cleaning products.
Sure, you want to clean your home, but you also want to keep both your human and furry family members safe. The best approach is to review your cleaning products and see if any of them might be unsafe for your pets.
There are plenty of cleaning products available in the market as well as DIY products you can easily make at home.
That said, if you have unsafe products that you still need to use, consider doing so when your pet is not in the vicinity and ensure proper ventilation.
Some DIY Pet Safe Spring Cleaning Products Include:
1. Odour Absorber, Dog Deodoriser and Scrub
Baking soda is well known for its mild abrasive and odour-absorbing qualities. It is simply a must-have, all-natural and safe cleaning product to use, not only for Spring cleaning, but all year round.
Baking soda scrub – Make a thick paste by mixing baking soda with equal amounts of salt and warm water. Using circular motions, scrub your fur baby’s bowls using a rag or sponge or rag then rinse well using warm water.
Odour Absorber and deodoriser – Baking soda can be used both on your pet and in the home. Lightly sprinkle it on carpets and rags, leave it to settle in for 15 to 30 minutes, then vacuum up.
Depending on your pet’s size, you can also take a handful or two of baking soda and gently rub it into their coat to freshen them up.
2. All-purpose Floor Cleaner: Vinegar and Water
A vinegar and water solution is perfect for wooden floors, linoleum, ceramic tiles or vinyl flooring.
Simply mix in 1 cup of vinegar into 1 liter of water and mop your floors! This easy-to-make, inexpensive and natural solution cuts through grime and grease on most surfaces. Additionally, you can use this solution to clean your pet’s plastic or rubber toys and grooming tools to freshen them up.
3. Glass Surfaces and Window Cleaners: Lemon Juice and Water
Lemon juice and water, as simple as they sound, work wonders when cleaning glass surfaces. Five tablespoons of lemon juice added to 2 liters of water and a lint-free cloth are all you need to wipe your surfaces clean.
Remember to always use these products as directed. As much as they may be safe to use around your fur baby, you don’t want them ingesting any of them.
If your pet happens to get into your cleaning products, call your vet or animal poison control immediately for further instructions.
Let’s Get Down to the Spring Cleaning Guide for Pet Owners
Okay. So you are now ready to get started on spring cleaning. Here’s a Spring Cleaning Guide for Pet Owners to help you clean quickly and easily. With the cleaning out of the way, you and your pet will have more time to actually enjoy the outdoors in spring!
1. Let The Air In
The first thing to do when you start Spring cleaning is to open up the windows. The feel and smell of fresh air after the winter months isn’t just great for deodorising but is also great for the soul!
Open your windows a few centimetres if it still isn’t warm enough outside. A quick fresh air blast for a few minutes can also do the trick.
2. Wash Pet Bedding
Toss all pet bedding, towels and clothing into the washing machine. Don’t forget their bed too cover if it comes off. To disinfect, use detergent and the hottest water possible. Put them in the dryer for not less than 15 minutes and hang them outside to air.
Some beds may be too stinky that they warrant being replaced with a new one. If that’s the case, buy one with a removable cover because it’s much easier to keep them clean.
3. Check Medication, Treats and Food
Spring cleaning is a perfect opportunity to get your fur baby’s shelves in order.
So go ahead and replace that kibble that’s been lying around for ages. Throw out those treats that are a year past their best before date. It’s time to replace these and restock. Perhaps it’s time to try out the all-natural doggylicious rainbow cookies! Your dog will fall in love with their amazing coconut scent.
Remember to give your pet’s container a good scrub when you clean out the refrigerator. Any leftover food or crumbs left behind become a health hazard and a breeding ground for bacteria.
Don’t forget to throw out old and expired medication and restock what’s necessary. Remember to dispose of them correctly. Depending on where in Australia you are, you might be able to return unwanted or expired medication to the pharmacy for proper disposal.
4. Tackle Pet Hair
Is fur getting on every possible piece of furniture and surface in your home?
As it gets warmer, pets shed more than usual, even with frequent grooming.
To remove fur from fabric and upholstery, use dampened rubber gloves to run your hands over the surface to attract fur. Rinse off the gloves and repeat as many times as needed.
If you do not have rubber gloves, try slightly wetting a sponge instead and use the same technique.
You could also lightly spray a water and fabric softener mixture onto your furniture then wipe it off.
5. Deep Clean Carpets
Spring is the perfect time to deep clean or shampoo the carpets in your house. Spring cleaning is a sure way to clean out ground in dirt and dander, fur and the oh-so-unavoidable residual pet accidents.
Take smaller area rugs outside and give them a good shaking. Let them sit out for a while then thoroughly vacuum and spot clean if needed.
For wall to wall carpeting and larger rugs use a carpet cleaner. You could also consider having them cleaned professionally.
6. Flea Treatment
Spring cleaning to get rid of fleas includes cleaning your pet, house and yard.
Use hot water to wash your pet’s bedding then dry it on the highest heat setting. You can take your pet’s bed to a dry cleaner, but be sure that the soaps used are pet friendly.
Next, wash your pet with flea shampoo. Ask your vet about the best available options for your pet.
Comb your pet with a flea comb, concentrating more on the neck and tail areas where fleas typically reside. Remember to have a bowl of soapy water handy to dunk the critters once you comb them out of your pet’s fur.
Talk to your vet about topical or oral flea remedies and ensure your pet receives this treatment regularly.
Fleas thrive in shady, warm and humid areas. Start by observing where your pet likes to lie down because these become the preferred areas for fleas.
Fleas also like hiding in tall grass. Mow your lawn and thoroughly rake the exposed surfaces. Remove dead leaves and twigs from under any bushes and flower beds, leaving shady areas as exposed to sunlight as possible.
Vacuum any floors, mattresses and upholstery. You can also use a steam cleaner for upholstery, carpets and pet beds, paying special attention to spots where your fur baby usually lies down.
Wash all your bedding in hot water then use the highest heat setting to dry them.
Use chemical treatments under beds or other places that the foggers may be unable to reach. Choose an insecticide that contains both an adulticide to kill adult fleas, and an insect growth regulator that kills the eggs, larvae and pupae.
Both humans and animals should avoid contact with the spray until it has dried. Only spray when everyone is away from home and be sure to wear gloves.
Go Through the Toy Box
Are your pet’s toys strewn all over the house? Does it feel like your fur baby has more toys than the kids do? Then it’s time for some Spring cleaning. Time to sort through and toss out the damaged ones.
Toys are great. But they can sometimes be the perfect breeding ground for dust mites and germs. Luckily, giving them a thorough Spring cleaning is no big deal. Simply load soft toys in the washing machine then dry them in the dryer. For that extra burst of Spring freshness, put them out in the sun for a few minutes.
Place hard toys in the dishwasher to quickly and easily clean them.
If there are slightly worn out or unused ones, consider donating them to a local shelter.
Lastly, check for any damaged toys as they may be dangerous to your pet.
Set up a Pet Cleaning Station
Sounds like a brilliant idea not to let that dirt and mud into the house in the first place, doesn’t it?
That’s why we suggest setting up your entryway with a heavy-duty mat. That way, you can trap as much mud and dirt as possible and keep your house clean.
Also, keep a microfiber towel and a spray bottle with water easily accessible to clean your fur baby’s muddy paws. Within no time, your pet will know that they need to get their paws cleaned before they come into the house.
Clean Collar and Leash
Spring cleaning your pet’s collars is essential because they often get stained with dirt and skin oils and may also retain odors.
Every pet parent knows that leashes are often accidentally peed on or dragged on the ground. Giving them a good scrub not only makes them look more attractive, but it also helps keep your fur baby’s fur and skin healthy.
To clean collars and leashes, remove any tags and hand wash in warm water. Scrub any stained areas using an old toothbrush.
Collars can also go into the washing machine along with the beddings.
Be sure to dry them thoroughly, preferably in the sun, before putting them back on your pets.
If they look frayed or like they might break, it’s definitely time to invest in some new gear.
Clean Pet Carriers and Crates
Apart from being more pleasant for your pet, a clean crate will not contribute to pet odours or harbour parasites. Spring cleaning is therefore a good idea.
Clean the padded bit of the carrier or crate in the washing machine on the hottest cycle possible. Vacuuming the interior of the crate will suck up flea eggs, crumbs and fur.
Use warm water and detergent to clean metal or hard-sided crates and rinse thoroughly then let it dry in the sun.
Clean up the Yard
The snow has now melted and left you a not-so-pleasant surprise. That’s right! Dog poop. The only option you have, really, is to pick it up and dispose of it.
While you’re Spring cleaning, survey your perimeter. Check your fence for any gaps, damage or weakness that need to be repaired. You don’t want your pet to be able to escape.
If you have a wooden deck, check for rotting, splinters or any other type of damage. A composite deck will most likely just need a good scrub and it’s set for the season!
If you intend to use fertilisers and pesticides to keep the lawn nice and green, read the labels carefully. Most of these products might be toxic to pets. You can ask your vet before using them around your pets.
Planning on doing some Spring planting? Take caution because certain plants, like cyclamen, dumbcane, oleander, azaleas and ferns, can also be toxic to pets.
It is also very important to clean outdoors to prevent spiders and snakes. Snakes feed on birds, frogs, moles and even fish. If you have any of these animals in your yard, consider getting rid of them.
Snakes prefer damp, dark places and live and hide in crevices, cracks and holes. Carefully inspect your compound and repair any holes or cracks you find. Repair damaged piping, gutters and ventilation ducts. Snakes love to hide in wood piles so where possible, store firewood in sealed, lockable areas. Clean out any piles of wood chip mulch, leaves or straw mulch that may have collected on your property.
Spring cleaning can be fun, and just like the new season, a very welcome change for both you and your pet.
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Causes of allergy in pets
return unwanted or expired medication to the pharmacy for proper disposal.
Poisonous plants for pets
Toxic and non-toxic plant list
How to spring clean your yard
Getting rid of fleas in your home, pet and yard
Keeping snakes away from your home
Image Source within the blog article: PETStock