With the better weather well on its way, it's that time of the year when people start thinking about spring-cleaning their homes and if you share it with a dog or two, it's time to give them a once over too. It would be fair to say that even dogs love it when spring arrives because it means lighter evenings and longer walks. They can lie in their favourite sunny spots outside to watch the world go by.
For owners, it's the warmer weather sees things getting moved around the home so they can be cleaned. Paint cans and brushes appear around the place as rooms get the once over. All of these things can upset our canine companions a little because they've had all winter to get the home smelling and looking just the way they like it! With this said, it's the perfect time to get all your pet's bits and pieces looking good and smelling nice again ready for the months ahead.
If you keep your dog's dry food in large plastic containers so it stays fresher, it's the perfect time to give them a good clean out. The same goes for any containers you keep doggy treats in. It's always a good idea to throw any of the “bits” that remain at the bottom of containers because the chances are they are old and no longer hold any nutritional value. They may even be a little mouldy in which case it could have contaminated any fresh kibble that had been placed on top of it.
You may not have bathed your dog over the winter months, so it's a good idea to check doggy shampoos and any other products you use on your dog to make sure they are still okay to use. You may also like to check your grooming kit to make sure the brushes and combs are in good condition or whether they need replacing, this includes your pet's nail trimmers and if you clip your pet, it's a good time to check clippers are still in good working order.
It's also the right time to check all the equipment used to clean your home of dog hairs which includes things like lint brushes and to replace any that look tired and old. Having new equipment makes cleaning up after your pooch that much easier and less of a chore to do.
It's also a great time to check your doggy first aid kit and to make sure that any medicines used on your pet need to be thrown away or not. This includes ear and eye drops! You may have antibacterial creams and ointments which need to be replaced because they're passed their “best by” dates. If you are unsure about anything even if it's a topical medication, it's best to throw it away and buy a new product because using an old cream or ointment on your dog might trigger an allergic reaction.
Most dog owners tend to collect a lot of toys for their pets, some of which turn into real favourites which means they start to look well used and a bit dirty, tired and even broken. Although your dog may love them to bits, it's best to throw very worn toys away because they are so grubby and the chances are they are a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive in. Soft toys as well as plastic toys need to be either thrown away and replaced with new ones or very well washed and dried before being put back in your pet's toy box again.
Soft toys can usually go in the washing machine, but plastic ones need to be washed by hand in the sink using a pet-friendly detergent or you can use a warm water and vinegar solution. If you find any toys that are so chewed up and very damaged, it's time for them to go in the rubbish bin and be replaced by new and therefore safer ones.
It's the time of the year when collars, leads and dog tags need to be checked over and replaced if they are a bit tired and worn looking. It's nice to get a new collar and lead for your dog in the spring, but if your pooch loves to play in water, consider getting them an all-weather collar which will stand the tests of time a lot better than an ordinary one.
All-weather collars are great because by wearing one it reduces the chances of your dog getting any sores under their collars which could get infected and cause all sorts of other problems, not to mention the discomfort your dog has to go through.
Dog beds tend to get a bit smelly over the winter months, mainly due to your pooch lying on them when they are a little damp. Most good quality dog beds can be put in the washing machine, but you need to check the instructions before you do or you might end up destroying them. Very often the filling clumps together in a large solid mass which means you have to throw the bed away.
If you can put the beds through the machine, then make sure you use a dog-friendly detergent and conditioner or you could end up with your pet having an allergic skin reaction which could prove hard to heal.
Old and worn beds need to be replaced, it's time to buy some new and comfortable ones for your dog to sleep on. There are some really brilliant dog bed designs on the market which are high quality items and if you share your home with an older dog, you may want to consider investing in one or two that are specifically designed for older dogs that suffer with arthritis.