Spring is the perfect time to open up the windows, let in the fresh air, and give your home a deep cleaning after the cooped-up winter months. But when spring cleaning with pets, there are some extra considerations to make your spring cleaning pet-friendly and safe. Here are some tips for giving your house a thorough spring cleaning while keeping your pets healthy and happy.

START SPRING CLEANING WITH PET AREAS

cat riding roomba for spring cleaning with petsBegin your spring cleaning mission by tackling the areas your pets frequent the most – their bedding, toys, food areas, and any surfaces they tend to sit on, scratch, or rub against. Completely wash all pet beds, blankets, and plush toys in hot, soapy water or use an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed to remove tough pet odors and stains from accidents. Disinfect hard plastic bowls, toys and carriers by soaking in a diluted bleach solution or running them through the dishwasher.

Use a vacuum attachment to remove any hair, shed dander or ground-in dirt and debris buildup from furniture, windowsills, shelves and other surfaces. Be sure to get under couch cushions and in other nooks and crannies where pet hair and dirt can accumulate. Don’t forget to vacuum or wipe down any pet ramps, stairs or climbing structures.

CLEAR THE AIR WHEN SPRING CLEANING

Pet hair and dander can significantly contribute to poor indoor air quality over time. Be sure to vacuum all floors, carpets, furniture, drapes and corners thoroughly using a vacuum with a HEPA filter to trap allergens. You may also want to have your air ducts and vents professionally cleaned to remove built-up hair, dander and odors that your regular vacuum can’t reach.

Open windows whenever possible to let in fresh outdoor air and use air purifiers with HEPA filters in rooms where your pets spend the most time. Washing walls and ceilings can help remove stuck-on hair and grime. Replace HVAC air filters and consider having air ducts cleaned as well.

CHECK FOR HOUSEHOLD HAZARDS TO PETS

As you clean each room, be on the lookout for any potential hazards to pets:

  • Loose items: Pick up stray rubber bands, strings, children’s toys, buttons or any small objects that could pose a choking risk if swallowed. Move any dangling cords or wires out of reach.
  • Toxic cleaners/chemicals: Make sure all harsh chemical cleaners, bleaches, detergents, paint supplies, etc. are securely stored away where pets can’t accidentally get into them. Many traditional cleaning products can be toxic if inhaled or ingested by pets.
  • Open doors/windows: Ensure you don’t inadvertently let indoor pets escape to the outdoors through open doors or windows while moving between rooms during cleaning. It’s safest to keep them contained.
  • Houseplants: Check that any houseplants are non-toxic to the types of pets you have, as many plants can be poisonous if chewed or ingested.

USE PET-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS

Whenever possible, use natural, pet-safe spring cleaning products rather than harsh chemicals during your spring cleaning. Many common household cleaners contain ingredients that can be toxic to pets, causing problems ranging from skin/eye irritation to intestinal issues or even poisoning if licked or ingested.

Great pet-friendly cleaning options include:

White vinegar
Baking soda
Hydrogen peroxide
Enzyme cleaners
Plant-based, biodegradable cleaners
Gentle, fragrance-free dish soap

Always let cleaned surfaces dry completely before allowing pets back into those areas. Provide plenty of ventilation when using any cleaning products and be sure to store them securely away from pets when finished.

SPRING CLEANING WITH PETS OUTDOORS

While you’re working on the inside of your home, don’t neglect to give your outdoor pet areas a good cleaning as well. Pick up any leftover waste in the yard, sweep off patios and decks, and wash out dirty pet carriers, crates, kennels and litter boxes.

Check for any new plants coming up that could be toxic to pets and remove them. Clear out areas where foxtails, plant burrs or other seed casings could get stuck in pets’ coats and cause infections. Consider spraying down or replacing surfaces like dog runs and outdoor litter boxes.

SET UP A COOLING STATION FOR WARM WEATHER

dog stands in baby pool cooling offMany pets can struggle in warmer spring and summer weather, so create a cool, comfortable space for them to retreat to when it heats up. Set up a crate or bed with a cooling mat or pad in a shaded area. Provide plenty of fresh, cool water and limit prolonged time outdoors on very hot days. Close curtains and blinds to keep rooms cooler.

By taking some extra pet-friendly precautions and making safety a priority during your annual spring cleaning routine, you can ensure your home stays fresh, clean and hazard-free for your furry, feathered or scaled family members. Happy spring cleaning!

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