Clean up Crew: 3 ways to freshen up your house and your dog at the same time
Spring is in the air and so are the dust bunnies under your couch! Cleaning windowsills and de-cluttering closets shouldn’t be the only things on your spring-cleaning list. Consider these three ideas for getting your pet involved in your chores and you wont be the only one feeling clean and cheery. Open the windows, turn on your favorite music and start your spring-cleaning routine!
Hide N’ Seek
- Dogs have a tendency to hide their favorite things. Why not make a game out of finding those things by calling your dog over to help you peek under every couch cushion, chair, and pillow. If you happen to spot one of the errant toys (so that’s where that ball went!) praise your dog by saying “good find it!” and continue the search for another toy. Don’t forget to also look under outdoor hiding spaces (e,g., flowerpots & woodpiles). A long winter outside can dry out even the toughest toys. If your dog’s toys have become brittle or excessively torn, toss them in the trash and start fresh with a new one!
- Food and water bowls often get overlooked because we rinse and refill them every day. Unfortunately, the fat found in your dog’s food is the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria and a rinse is not nearly enough to kill what’s lurking in those bowls. If you don’t already scrub your dog’s bowl weekly, now is the perfect time to start. The best material for bowls is either stainless steel or lead-free ceramic. Cleaning them in the dishwasher on “sanitize” or using a non-abrasive cloth with one cap of bleach, diluted in one gallon of water will do the trick. If you’re doing it by hand, be sure to get down to the very bottom of the bowl where bacteria find the best hiding places and don’t forget to rinse very well.
Collar Me Clean
- Another item that’s often forgotten about is a collar. Because a collar is the one thing that stays on your dog 24/7, giving it a real cleaning is not only a good idea, it’s a practical one. First, remove all ID tags and check if they are still legible. All that clanging around ever day can wear down the print of that vital information. Once all the tags are removed, wash the collar in a pet-safe laundry detergent like Seventh Generation and hang it out to dry in the sunshine and fresh air. Try putting a drop of lavender or chamomile oil on the inside of your dog’s collar. Your dog will not only smell good, he/she will feel good too. Don’t forget to re-attach tags before snapping your dog’s collar on.
Some scents are harmful for dogs. Before spraying perfumes or diffusing oils, do some research and contact your veterinarian to be sure that your pets aren't accidentally being exposed to toxic scents.