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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Community > Blogs > Treat Your Pet And Yourself To Cleanliness

Treat Your Pet-and Yourself-to Cleanliness

September 9, 2010 -

Food and toys aren’t the only ways to treat your pet, although they may be the preferred by our spoiled pet children. (I’m looking at you, Lucy, while you eye the Polly’s Cactus Snack with Peanuts on the kitchen table.) Yet there are things we do on a daily basis that help our pets live long and healthy lives. Yep, I’m talking about cleaning. No matter what type of pet you share your house with, cleaning is something that every Pet Parent has in common.

Food and toys aren’t the only ways to treat your pet, although they may be the preferred by our spoiled pet children. (I’m looking at you, Lucy, while you eye the Polly’s Cactus Snack with Peanuts on the kitchen table.) Yet there are things we do on a daily basis that help our pets live long and healthy lives. Yep, I’m talking about cleaning. No matter what type of pet you share your house with, cleaning is something that every Pet Parent has in common.

Everybody Poops

Eliminating stains and odor tops the list of things that most Pet Parents have trouble crossing off the to-do list but a thorough cleaning can help eliminate bacteria and keep pets from returning to previously soiled areas and re-marking.

When looking for a good cleaner, always read the product description to ensure the cleaner is safe for kids and pets. The ASPCA recommends strictly adhering to cleaning labels. If the directions read “keep away from kids and pet until dry” be sure to keep your pets away from the area. Pet odor is protein based, so use an enzyme-based product be to digest the odor causing proteins. (Check out this PetSmart article for more on odors.)

For cleaning bird cages, and the floor surrounding the bird cage, I like to use Poop Off Bird Poop Remover. It uses active enzymes to dissolve dried bird poop from the floor, the cage, and the wall with a minimal amount of scrubbing. (Don’t ask how the bird gets poop on the wall. I haven’t figured that out either.) I’ve noticed that it also takes care of dried food like spaghetti sauce and smooshed strawberries.

For dog stains I’ve been using Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover which contains enzymes, isopropyl, and alcohol It works great on carpet! I’ve noticed that China does not revisit any carpeted area cleaned with Nature’s Miracle and the smell of the cleaner doesn’t overwhelm me either.

I’ve noticed that many cat owners prefer to keep the litter box in the guest bed or bathroom. As a guest who has had the misfortune of sleeping with a smelly litter box, I beg cat parents to use a cleaning wipe or litter odor eliminator like an Odor Graber which uses Arm & Hammer baking soda to absorb airborne odors.

Hair, Hair, Everywhere

Nothing like sitting on the couch and finding yourself covered in fur. (Or in the case of my house, fur and bird feathers.) The best way to handle fur and feathers? Vacuuming weekly and brushing the dog every other day.

Many vacuum companies now make specialized vacuums for pet owners that are designed to handle hair and other pet debris. I went through three vacuums before getting a specialized brand. (I’ve found that nothing kills a vacuum faster than accidently sucking up a bird feather or wood splinters.) I try to follow the advice of Good Housekeeping and vacuum the house once or twice a week. However, I have an area rug in my living room that shows every piece of dirt, fur, lint, and feather, so there are times when I’ll vacuum the rug everyday.  

To prevent excessive shedding, brushing your pet everyday can help thin out their undercoat. I use a FURminator on my dog every other day to get rid of loose hair. For the couch, I use a lint roller.

If you have removable couch covers, you may want to throw them in your washing machine. Most pet beds can go in the washing machine too. I try to wash China’s bed twice a month to eliminate hair and dirt.

Dishing Up Clean Dishes

You wouldn’t eat off the same plate or drink out of the same glass, day after day, without washing them between meals, right? So it stands to reason that you should keep your pet’s food and water bowls clean as well.

FDA research shows that dogs, cats, and other pets have bacterial microbes in their mouths (people do too!), and these microbes can be transferred to the pet’s food and water dishes. If food is left in the dish, that makes for a good environment for the bacteria to grow and may cause illness—not only in your pet, but also in young children who may play with the food dish.

Make sure to wash your pet’s food and water dishes frequently with warm water and dish soap. Make to rinse the dishes thoroughly. I keep extra dishes on hand so that I can throw the dirty bowls in the dishwasher.

Last Thoughts

Healthy pets live longer, happier lives. Keeping a clean home can help keep you and your pet together for a long time.

What are your favorite pet cleaning solutions? Have you found success with a certain product that you want to talk about? Share your cleaning tips with me! 

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