Archive for March, 2012

Spring Cleaning for Dog Owners

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Spring time is just around the corner and your dog can already sense the fun times running around in the park, rolling in the mud, and tracking all that fun back into your home. While your dog is not maliciously trying to ruin your carpet and furniture, they are bound to make more of a mess during spring than any other season of the year. Take some pre-emptive measures that will ensure a happy spring for both you and your playful pet. Here are seven simple tips you can follow to keep your house and promote a healthy and happy puppy.

1.     Shampoo the Upholstery and Carpet: This is a good addition to anyone’s spring cleaning list, but it is a must for a dog owner’s—especially if you have an indoor/outdoor dog. Upholstery and carpet slowly collect dirt and grime buildup, not only making fabric colors dull and dingy, but also creating odor. Cleaning the carpet and upholstery is as simple as purchasing a cleaner like Bissell Upholstery Shampoo and renting out a carpet shampooer from your grocery store. When everything has been shampooed, take your pooch out for a day of fun so that everything can dry out.

2.    Prevent Mud Tracks: One of the best dog tricks in the book will help you keep the mud outside this spring. Dogs wear their shoes all the time, and they can’t take them off to come inside. Nor do they understand how to wipe their paws. In order to stop the mud tracks before they start, train your dog to stop and wait for you at the front door where you can wipe off their feet and fur before they are allowed in. Start training them now so when the mud does start piling up your dog is already a professional.

3.    Clean the Water and Food Bowls: When was the last time you thoroughly cleaned your dog’s water and food bowl? Many people simply overlook cleaning the bowls because they figure dogs can handle it. In reality, dog bowls gather tons of bacteria and dirt that you wouldn’t want your dog ingesting. Throw both bowls in the dishwasher to ensure a deep cleaning and give your dog a fresh bowl to eat from.

4.   Wash Blankets and Pillows: Your dog probably spent most of the winter bundled up in their blankets and pillows which have just been gathering dirt, hair, and bacteria. If the pillows have removable covers, take them off and throw them in the washer with any blankets the pet uses to get a fresh start this spring. Skip the dryer sheets and scented detergents, though—they could irritate your pet and deter them from snuggling up in their trusty blanket again.

 Dog Lying on a Blanket

5.    Non-toxic House Cleaners: A lot of people forget that pets can be sensitive to toxic cleaning agents, just like humans. Pets don’t have the rationality to not lick surfaces that have been coated with chemicals, however. If you have a puppy running around the house, make sure all of your cleaning supplies are non-toxic to both humans and pets. It is always better to be safe than sorry in this situation. Even the safe cleaners should still be kept out of reach from your dog; anything but healthy dog food will likely cause vomiting and diarrhea.

6.    Brush Consistently: This spring cleaning tip takes place right on your pet. When a dog begins to shed their winter coat, homeowners will find little dust bunnies and hair in every nook and cranny. Months later, you’re still finding hair in random places, not to mention the hair that always seems to find its way to your clothes. Take the time to brush your dog more often and on a regular basis outside where you can safely collect the mounds of hair before they are spread all over the house. Regular brushing helps to decrease your pooch’s tendency toward shedding, and it’s up to you to help. After all, Fido can’t help it!

Extra dog owner’s tip for spring:

Physical Fitness: Sure, this doesn’t fall in to the spring cleaning category, but consider giving your pup a tune-up this spring as well. Depending on the age and breed of your dog they might be a little stiff after the long inactive winter. It couldn’t hurt to take your dog to the vet and have them do a physical examination to determine if your pet is ready to run around top-speed without any aches or pains. If it has been a while since your dog has chased other pets around dog parks or the beach, limit their exercise the first couple times so they don’t overwork themselves.

Dogs Playing in the Grass

“The Dogs – actually in the same picture!” Photo Credit: kansas_city_royalty

“Hans” Photo Credit: Aaron Jacobs

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