How Pet Owners Can Embrace Spring Cleaning
Focused outdoor activities help dogs avoid springtime mud puddles while getting their extra energy out.
Spring is in the air — and even if warm weather hasn't arrived in your neck of the woods — the equinox makes it official. So you'd better dust off the mop and don a pair of rubber gloves because spring cleaning is at hand! But for all you dog owners, take extra care that while you make every nook and cranny gleam, your scrubbing and sanitizing methods are dog-friendly.
"Be careful not to leave your cleaning supplies and chemicals in a place that your dog has access to because they contain harmful ingredients," said Michelle Barlak, of the American Kennel Club. "There are some companies who make products that are economically friendly and pet safe so look for those when replenishing your cleaning supplies."
In addition to keeping your pet safe and healthy, Barlak also contends dog-centered spring cleaning will help you stay in love with your pet.
"There are some ways in which dogs contribute to the mess owners have to contend with during the spring — shedding, tracking in mud from outdoors — and being proactive will keep dog owners from becoming frustrated with their dogs," Barlak told Zootoo Pet News. "Yes, many dog owners do dread the 'mud season' because of all the dirt that their dogs track inside due to the frequent rainfall, melting snow or ground thawing."
Aside from tracking mud into the house, Barlak suggested that dogs seem to seek out mud which is why she says it is so important to engage your dog "in training activities like AKC Rally, Agility and Obedience, so you can help your dog get some of the energy out."
But to avoid having your cleaning efforts undone by the sheer nature of spring, here are some tips for a dog-friendly springtime:
Is Your Name Mud? Avoid a pawprint-smudged floor by teaching your dog to stand at the door so you can wipe his paws and any fur that may be caked in mud. Use a soft, damp cloth -- and forget to get between the toes!
Roll Over Rover! Dogs don't understand why it's OK to roll on the furniture after a bath but not when they are covered in mud. Put slip covers on any furniture your dog is normally allowed to sleep on. To protect carpets, use floor runners and mats near entryways — they are easier to wash or replace.
Tumbleweed Dust Bunnies. Dogs shed year-round, but it's slightly more obvious in the spring when they shed their winter fur. Brush your dog more often to collect dead hair before it gets stuck on the couch and carpet — or before dust bunnies form a herd rolling across your hard-surfaced floors.
Beach Bod Ready? More outside activity might be strenuous on your dog if he's been snoozing on the couch all winter long. Be sure to schedule a vet check-up to make sure he's healthy — and ready for hitting the doggie parks with a vengeance!
Spring Breeze Fresh. Go to a commercial laundromat to wash your dog's bed, or use your home washer if the bed has a removable cover, which has the added benefit of standing up to more washings. Be sure to always use non-scented detergent, and skip the fabric softener and dryer sheets to avoid irritating your dog's skin — or simply hang it out to dry for extra spring freshness!
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