Spring is here and so is that compulsive cleaning urge they call Spring Cleaning. I’ll be honest I’m a victim to the need to spring clean … but I’m also a victim of needing to enjoy the weather before it gets too hot. I love sitting in the shade and reading a good book, or taking the kids to the park. I really love after dinner walks with Max, now that the sun stays up until 7:30!
In between all the fun stuff though I know that some cleaning still has to be done. That said, here’s a few things you can do to make sure your pets are spring cleaned. This is a great weekend project. so take this weekend to get your pets and their stuff nice and clean and then download my printable pet cleaning schedule so you can keep everything Spring fresh all year long.
When I’m spring cleaning my pets I start with the animals themselves and then move onto their stuff.
Take a bath
Dogs, cats, reptiles, small mammals, birds. Almost every type of pet can take a bath, and should from time to time. With all the new pollen, dust, and fleas sprouting up now is the perfect time to give your pet a really good bath.
Take a spa day
For dogs and cats a bath is just the first step to spring cleaning. Spend some time primping your pet. Some quality time brushing will thin out that winter coat, and reduce shedding. This is the perfect time of year for a fresh haircut or a new style too. If you have a white pet grab some gentle wipes or this special cleaner and get rid of those brown eye lines. Trim claws (bonus points for adding some cute color) and add some adorable Spring accessories just for fun.
Get the fleas before they start
If you live in the south your pets are probably on flea medication all year long, but no matter where you are the weather is warming up and the fleas are on their way back. I have a personal vendetta against fleas and do all I can to keep them far away. Treat your pet for fleas, in whichever way works for you. You may want to consider treating your yard as well. I also use this time to go through my pets with a flea comb every couple days, just so I can catch any problems early.
With the weather warming up and the April showers in swing ear infections will be on the rise. Wash your pets ears thoroughly and make sure to keep them clean and dry. If your pet really won’t tolerate having ear solution squirted in their ears (because that’s not comfortable for anyone) squirt a cotton ball instead and use it gently rub out the dirt.
This is something you should always do, but if you haven’t started yet, there’s no time like the present. Find a pet specific toothbrush and a toothpaste your pet likes. There are many types of brushes and paste, finding the combo that works for your pet is just trial and error. If you’ve never brushed your pet’s teeth start slow. Brush only as long as they’ll allow and reward with lots of treats and love. The experience will get more positive I promise. I love this dog toothpaste recipe. It’s all natural and there’s details on every ingredient!
Now that your pet is all clean it’s time to clean all their stuff
Chances are your pet is already shedding that winter coat, and will keep doing so, to some extent, even with daily brushing. So vacuum the areas they use most. In my house that’s the couch and the immediate area.
Wash their bedding, toys, and sleep aids
Remove all the cases from pillows and pet mattresses and throw them in the wash. Don’t forget to include stuffed toys and any cloth sleeping buddies (such as T-shirts) in this load to make it all fresh and clean.
If you have a dog or cat house don’t forget to scrub this out as well. If you have a reptile, bird, or other type of pet, this includes cleaning the bedding, washing toys (note – just throw plastic toys and hide boxes in the dishwasher), and cleaning climbing structures. Bleach is safe to use on your pets environment as long as you rinse it really well and let it dry completely in the sun.
Wash food and water dishes
This is something you should do everyday, but if you’ve let it slip, now is the perfect time to pick up the habit. Wash your pet’s food bowl thoroughly with soap and hot water. This will not only clean out food residue and all that spit, it will also prevent the buildup of harmful germs and bacteria. Check out this post to get more info on that slimy stuff in the bowl. If you have a reptile, bird, or small mammal cleaning food dishes regularly is also a way to keep your pet safe from fecal contamination (because we all know they poop everywhere) which is more than unsafe, it’s just gross.
For cat and ferret owners
Take that litter box out for a deep clean. Dump the litter and really give the box a deep clean outside. Go ahead and use some bleach for this. You’d be amazed at how much smell gets trapped on the box and keeps it from ever smelling really clean.
Now that you’ve spent the weekend getting your pets shiny and bright follow the schedule in the pdf below to keep them that way. Even if you’re not a cleaner, keeping your pets clean only takes a few minutes a day and it is so worth it for the health and happiness it brings to your pets.
Download the Pet Cleaning Schedule here. Put it in a page protector and it becomes a dry erase check list.