Nine spring cleaning tips for dog owners

Spring is in the air and with it many home and pet owners are cleaning and sprucing up our home and garden so we can let a little sunshine into our home as well as enjoy the great outdoors.  However, some of our spring cleaning may not be safe cleaning for our dogs.  Use these nine spring cleaning tips to keep your dog safe and healthy and your home clean and fresh.

Use natural cleaning agents whenever possible.  Not only are natural cleaners like vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice better for the environment but they are also better for your health and the health of your dog.  Not only can dogs breathe in the harsh chemicals that many cleaning products contain, but they can also accidentally get them on their paws and coat.  Should they lick these cleaners they can in same cases end up with vomiting and diarrhea but it can also lead to serious injury or allergic reactions. Start with these clean, green basics.

Don’t clean with ammonia.  It smells like urine, and your dog will just want to make his mark to cover up the scent.

Vacuum in between couch cushions and underneath furniture to get any dirt, grime, and hair that your dog may have shed. However, all this sweeping and moving of furniture can get your dog excitable.  You may want to leave your pet outside or kenneled while doing some spring cleaning chores.

Just as the wrong medication, either prescription or over the counter, can be harmful to your health it can be harmful to your dog’s health also.  Did you know that many standard medications in your medicine cabinet like aspirin, Ibuprofen, amphetamines, and Tylenol like products can be toxic to your dog? As you are cleaning out the cabinets make sure to properly dispose of medications. According to the FDA, you should

  • Take them out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash.
  • Put them in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
  • Take them out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash.
  • Put them in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.

Medications are not the only risk. Be sure to properly dispose of old cleaning products, cosmetics, and lotions where you dog cannot get into them.

If possible clean with the windows open to quickly air out the house as well as dissipate any chemicals in the air.

You may be taking the time to do such outside chores as washing the windows. Be sure to keep your dog inside during these cleaning tasks to keep them away from the risk of drinking water that contains window cleaner.

As you clean out the garage be on the lookout for spills, especially harmful products like anti-freeze or oil.  Even just walking through the garage to take your pet for a walk can offer them the opportunity to stick their nose some place it really shouldn’t be.

As you clean out your garden and replant keep these gardening dangers in mind, these include plants to avoid as well as garden tools and supplies.

Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer) says “dogs might not always make maintaining a clean environment easy, but it’s crucial to keep it up.”

“When you have a pack of dogs like myself, cleaning is the most important part of the environment,” Millan says. “To me, cleaning is part of being part of a responsible dog owner. Not just for your dog, but for your own well-being.”

Spring cleaning is in the air, but in our quest for cleanliness and attractiveness both inside the house and out, let’s not forget about the health and well-being of man’s best friend.

Sources:

Personal experience

FDA

People Pets

Pet Place

Vet Live.com

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