The weather is (slowly) getting warmer and everyone is anxious to get back outside! Even here at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital, that means it’s time to give everything a thorough scrubbing. Here are the top 5 pet items not to overlook during a thorough Spring Cleaning:
- Pet Bowls
Did you know that a study done by the National Safety Federation found that pet bowls are the 4th germiest item in the home? Gross! If pet bowls are dishwasher safe, place them on the top rack for an easy clean. Otherwise, wash with hot water and a mild detergent (Dawn® is great & gets rid of stuck on debris!). Aim to wash all pets’ bowls daily.
Pet toys are the 7th germiest item, according to the same National Safety Federation study. It makes sense – those toys spend a lot of time in your pet’s mouth! Rubber toys can easily be cleaned & sanitized in the top rack of a dishwasher. Fabric toys can be hand washed with hot water and a mild detergent, or tossed in the washing machine if they’re more durable. Remember to be sure fabric toys are thoroughly dry before giving them back to Fido or Fluffy. This is also an opportunity to evaluate the types of toys pets have–are they too hard, posing a chew hazard? Is there a rip in a seam, exposing that “tasty” stuffing and squeaker? Replace any damaged or risky toys for safety.
Pets often bring dirt, debris & allergens in to your house after playing outside. These things can accumulate on your pet’s bedding, creating the perfect environment for germs. Bedding can be vacuumed to get rid of hair & debris. All bedding should be washed weekly with hot water & a mild detergent. Again, be sure bedding is completely dry before returning it to a pet. Also, try wiping off those furry feet each time pets come inside to reduce the amount of dirt/allergens tracked in.
Ideally, every litterbox should be thoroughly cleaned weekly-monthly, depending on how often it is scooped out and how many cats are in the house. To clean & sanitize, toss all litter and allow the litterbox to soak in hot, soapy water for 10 minutes. Make sure to use a non-scented soap, as strong odors of any kind can deter cats from using the box! Don’t forget to clean the lid (if there is one) and the litter scoop. Allow box to dry completely before adding litter. Best practice is to replace each litterbox every 6 months.
We know to bathe pets regularly, but when’s the last time that collar was cleaned? This is often forgotten during regular grooming. Collars can accumulate dirt and grime quickly, potentially causing skin irritation & infections…but spring is the perfect chance to get that collar squeaky clean again! Put some hot water in a bowl and add a small amount of pet shampoo. Allow the collar to soak for 15 minutes and let it air dry completely before replacing it. Remember that only 2 fingers should fit between the collar and the pet’s neck…any less is too tight, and any more means your pet could easily slip out of it. While you are cleaning the collar(s), make sure pets stay indoors or have backup collar(s). This is also a great time to think about a microchip!
As always, please ask a staff member at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital any questions about cleaning products, toys, or anything pet-related…we are here to keep pets happy and healthy!