Spring Cleaning Around Pets
This is the second article in our Spring Cleaning Series, with a focus on where pets hang out, eat, and play. Instead of trying to get all our spring cleaning done at once, go ahead and break it up over several days.
The toughest thing to clean can be a cat litter tray. The hard plastic bottom takes quite a beating.
Clean the trays as part of your seasonal clean up routine, unless you see them on sale someplace and opt to replace them. That’s my favourite kind of cleaning for this particular item – get a new one!
To keep the outside area tidy, use a “boot tray” or a cute rubber mat outside of the litter box entrance. You can also use a big tray that sticks out all the way around the tray if you don’t use a covered box. The tray will catch lots of the litter that the cat flings about when covering his poop, and it’ll also catch some of the litter that gets caught between their toes.
Your cat(s) will be very happy to have a clean area for doing their business, and so will you!
Cat and Dog Beds
Can there be anymore hair anywhere, than in your pet’s favourite place to sleep?
Lightly dampen some paper towel to help “lift” the bulk of the hair, then vacuum the area with an upholstery brush to help remove the remainder. Depending on the fabric and the type of hair you’re dealing with, you can also use a tape roller or the sticky side of packing or masking tape, to pick up what’s left.
Remove zippered covers and prepare to wash the outside of the beds. If you can wash the insides, that’s a bonus too. If not, throw the bed away if there are signs of wear or pests, and always replace them if they stink. Sometimes it’s hard to pick up unpleasant odours in your own house, so ask a visitor if they can smell animals when they come in the door. If they can, you know you’ve got some deeper cleaning, or replacing, to do.
Be sure to wash water and food dishes daily. Hot soapy water is usually all you need, and use some vinegar to rinse them, then rinse again in clear water. While you are spring cleaning, be sure to wipe the walls behind the dishes (Mr. Clean erasers or Microfiber cloths are great for this), the dish holder, and wipe up the floor. Clean the mats (or replace them with something colourful and fun if they are beyond saving), and the area where you store animal food and treats.
Using Cedar? Try Wool!
If your pet beds have cedar in them (sometimes dog beds are filled with cedar chips), then washing the bed will destroy the power of the cedar to ward off bugs, so these do have to be replaced regularly. If you are tempted to restuff the bed yourself, you’ll need to be very careful with what you select, since certain types of cedar can be toxic to pets.
As a great alternative, check with your local wool shop or a sheep shearer (there are a few in Alberta) and pick up some washed, 100% wool roving to stuff the bed. Wool has properties that make it naturally antibacterial, resist moisture and mildew, and they are washable [though you have to clean them carefully to avoid shrinkage]. Wool can last for years if you keep it free of moths, and you’ll find that cats and dogs both love laying on a wool stuffed bed.
As always, if your pets tend to chew their beds and remove the stuffing, then a padded bed is not recommended, whether you are using cedar, wool, or polyester.
Pat Yourself on the Back!
Now that you’ve got the pet stuff cleaned up for spring, it’s time to take a break and spend some time tossing a ball for Rover, or playing chase the light with Felix. Enjoy!
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