A Spring Cleaning Task List for Dog Owners
It’s that time of year when the days are longer and the nights are shorter. When winter transitions to spring, many people start some significant cleaning projects. This year is no different except many of us have found that we have extra time on our hands and many of us are spending that extra time doing some extra cleaning so here is a spring cleaning task list for dog owners.
Your dog’s dishes, toys, bedding and even your dog herself can benefit from a spring-cleaning overhaul. Here’s how to get started.
Dog grooming must-dos
Create a grooming schedule and stick to it. It is very important to have dogs who are more likely to retain moisture/skin yeast, such as Cocker Spaniels and Bulldogs, start a routine bathing/haircut schedule during this time. Many groomers are still open and are offering curbside service. If your regular groomer is not open right now, most locations have mobile groomers who will come to your house.
Keep dogs well-brushed
Spring is the seasonal shedding season. And all dogs shed their winter fur irrespective of coat length and texture. This means different dogs have different shedding patterns. Not surprisingly, some dogs need a bit of extra care based on coat or breed. Dogs with a double coat will start shedding the dense winter undercoat for a fluffier and lighter undercoat that will allow more air to circulate, protecting the body from overheating. That’s why it is so important to keep dogs well-brushed.
Don’t bring the outside inside.
Taking a nice long walk on a spring day is a healthy habit for pets and humans, but bringing all those allergens into the house can be counterproductive. Cuddling with your dog after a walk is cuddling with a furball full of pollen. Wiping your dog with a damp washcloth or dog-friendly wipes is a good way to remove pollen and dust.
Don’t stop at the coat. New plant growth in the spring can mean debris that can get stuck in your dog’s feet. Checking them after your walk during the wipe-down process is a good routine to prevent any problems. Remember that most dogs only sweat through their pads and tongue, so keeping them clean is key for their health.
Clean their ears.
Ears also warrant some extra care. Ear infections are becoming more and more common, and the transition to spring can cause ear problems. “We always recommend using an alcohol-free, sting-free, non-oil based solution to help soothe and clean ears, especially since dust mites seem to multiply as seasons change.”
Update your dog’s ID.
Warmer weather means more trips to the park, longer walks and more chances for your pet to wander off! Make sure your dog or cat has a microchip for identification and wears a tag imprinted with your home address and any other relevant contact information.
How to clean your dog’s stuff
When you start spring cleaning, set aside a few hours to focus on the items your dog uses daily.
Start with cleaning beds and toys.
Use a non-toxic pet deodorizer to spray down dog beds and give them a fresh new smell. You can also use a non-toxic pet shampoo to wash bedding and toys. Stay clear of what we use for human clothes. The detergents are typically a bit too harsh for a pet’s sensitive skin.
Clean bedding can also mean healthier bedding. Washing bedding not only refreshes the fabrics and removes stubborn pet hair but also eradicates dust mites, a common household allergen causing allergic reactions in pets. These minuscule mites live on dead skin cells and other detritus in house dust. Most pet beds have removable covers that can be machine-washed. And they should be done regularly — not necessarily only at springtime. Consider using a detergent that is recommended for babies to ensure that your pooch doesn’t have an allergic reaction to her clean bedding, too.
How to deep clean your dog’s bowls.
While food and water bowls should also be cleaned regularly, this is a good time to give bowls a deep cleaning with a mild bleach solution or wash them in the dishwasher using a sanitize cycle, if you have one on your dishwasher.
Throw out old toys.
If you’re like me, your dogs have a big pile of toys in various stages of disarray. Spring is a great time to go through the pile and throw away ones that are frayed or dirty or nearly destroyed.
These tips are designed to make cleaning a little easier on you — and your dog — once spring has sprung and while many of us find that we have extra time on our hands.
As always, Karla’s Pet Care, your Elk Grove pet sitter, is available for all your dog walking and pet sitting needs.