The weather is finally warming up, and for many people, that means it's time for spring cleaning! Nothing feels better than doing a nice deep clean to freshen up your space, and your dog or cat will enjoy the feeling of freshness with the changing of the seasons, too. While you're in the cleaning mood, consider adding these to your to-do list so that your furry friend can feel just as refreshed and ready for the warm weather as you are!
Deep Clean Pet Bowls
You probably don't clean your pet's food and water dish every day, but think about it—how would you like to eat off of a plate that never gets washed? Studies have shown that pet food and water dishes are among the germiest items in a house, so give them a thorough washing with hot water and a mild, pet safe dish soap. If you don't want to use dish soap, you can also use a 50:50 mixture of water and vinegar. Some pet bowls may also be dishwasher safe, so check to see if you can save yourself a bit of work on cleaning these.
Sort Through Your Pet's Collection of Toys
Most pets tend to accumulate a decent selection of toys over the years, and you probably have more than you realize! Round up all of your dog or cat's toys and throw away any worn-out toys or toys that your pet doesn't like. If there are any unused or gently used items that you come across, consider donating them to a local shelter or charity shop. For the toys that you do want to keep for your pet, give them a run through the washing machine if they're made out of fabric. Make sure that the detergent you use is safe for pets. Any rubber toys can be washed with hot, soapy water or a 1/2 and 1/2 mixture of water and vinegar.
Collars and Leashes
When is the last time you washed your pet's collar? This is something that often gets looked over, but it's important to keep it clean. To minimize possible irritation, soak the collar in some hot water with a bit of pet shampoo, then rinse and let dry before putting back on your pet. If you use a cloth leash, you can wash that, too. Make sure your pet is in a safe place where he can't escape while he's without a collar, and another thing to add to your spring check list is to get your dog or cat microchipped so that they're identifiable even without a collar.
No one likes sleeping in a dirty bed, and your pet is no different! Many pet beds are easily washable, with removable covers that can be unzipped, tossed in the wash, and put back on for a fresh, clean bed. Check the label or the original packaging if you are unsure of how to wash your pet's bed. Take it one step further by giving the bed a good vacuum to get any hairs that might still be left after washing.
If you have a cat, it's a great idea to fully empty her litter box to give it a nice refresh. Throw out the old litter, wipe down the box and lid, and add new, fresh litter to the box. Make sure to also clean the scooper.
Food and Treats
It's a good idea to check your dog or cat's food and treats to make sure everything is still fresh and not past its expiration date. If you use a storage container for your pet's food, it's also a good time to wipe down the container. Just make sure it is completely dry before putting any food back into it. If you have stockpiles of canned food, look for any cans that show signs of rusting or bulging, which are signs that the food is no longer safe for your pet to eat.
If you have any pet medications around from the last time your pet was sick, make sure that the medication is still in date and doesn't show any signs of discoloration, odor, or change in consistency. If you find any medications that are out of date, they are no longer safe to give to your pet, and you should dispose of them properly. Never flush medications down the toilet, and never throw them in the trash. Bring them with you the next time you go to the vet, and they will be able to properly dispose of any medications for you.