Spring-Cleaning for Dog Lovers

Spring arrives this month—on March 20th, to be precise. For many of us, this time of year inspires a “spring-cleaning” of our home, yard, garage, car, office. And, even though these can be arduous tasks, we are energized by the extra sunlight hours and milder temperatures to tackle them. Plus, the anticipation of a clean, tidy, and organized environment is such a pleasure, we persevere.   

If your household includes a dog (or dogs!), there are additional cleaning activities to consider. Here are some suggestions:

Dog Beds, Blankets, Kennel-Crates

  • Wash all dog bedding, including the bed itself*, not just the coverings, in the washing machine. Use hot water and a detergent that is perfume-free. (*Wash the dog bed, with the cover removed, following the guidelines on  the manufacturer’s tag.)
  • Store extra bedding in a cupboard or closet with blocks of cedar or sachets of dried lavender sprigs; both are natural flea-repellants and agreeable scents for most dogs.
  • If you keep blankets and throws on your sofa, upholstered chairs, your bed or in your car as protective covers because your dog likes to hang out there, wash all such blankets in hot water and a detergent that is perfume-free.
  • If you have a dog kennel-crate for travel or for when you leave your dog at home alone, wash it with warm soapy water and rinse well (use a bathtub, shower, or your backyard for this job).
  • While the beds and bedding are in the washer, wash the floor and walls adjacent to where you keep your dog’s bed/s and kennel-crate.

Clothing, Toys, Collars & Leashes, Water & Food Bowls

Dog with soft toys
  • Wash, dry, and store any cold-weather dog clothing; store in a cupboard or breathable box with cedar blocks or sachets of dried lavender sprigs.
  • Wash your dog’s toys in hot soapy water. Rinse well.
  • Unless the collar and leash are leather or another material that should not be washed, wash these items in hot soapy water; remove tags** before washing. (**Make note of your dog’s ID tags: are they still legible and up to date? Replace them if they are not.)
  • If you are not in the habit of washing your dog’s water bowls and food bowls, run them through the dishwasher, and wash the areas where they live. Make a mental note to wash the bowls daily from now on.

Area Rugs, Wall To Wall Carpeting, Upholstery

Dog on couch

Puppies have “accidents” in the house; that’s just a fact of life, no matter how careful and consistent you are about house-training. Older dogs have “accidents,” too, as a result of age, or a surgery, or a prescription. Even No doubt, you clean up the urine or poop as quickly as you can but if the accident occurs when you’re in the middle of making dinner, or heading out the door to work, or otherwise engaged in a time-sensitive activity, you may not have done as thorough a job as you would have liked. Use this year’s spring-cleaning fever to deep-clean your carpets (area rugs or wall to wall) and upholstery that have been “accident scenes.”

As a person who has shared her home with dogs her entire adult life, I’ve cleaned up many canine-caused messes. I have tried dozens of cleaners over the years and, hands down, there is one line I rank as the best: Bissell. From products to equipment, Bissell makes what works, particularly for households that includes dogs.

It’s a 146-year-old family-owned American company with an interesting history—including being home to America’s first female CEO. It’s also a company that loves dogs, and that’s one more reason I love them; every purchase saves pets. The BISSELL Pet Foundation helps save shelter animals, noting, “With products designed for pet parents, we’re relentless in tackling stains, odors, AND pet homelessness.”

Happy cleaning!

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