The Ultimate Spring Cleaning List for Dog Parents
Hooray for spring! It's that time of year when dogs are so excited to play fetch and frolic through the park, we can practically feel their tails wagging. The season of new life also offers a tremendous opportunity to get your furry friend and your home in tip-top shape. Cross these duties off your spring cleaning list and start the season off right.
Bathe and De-Shed Your Dog
When you live with a furry friend, giving your dog a bath is the perfect starting point for spring cleaning! Baths help loosen up your dog's coat and rinse away excess hair that would otherwise build up on furniture and throughout your home. It's up to you to decide how often to bathe your dog, but most dogs need a bath at least once every six weeks. Use shampoo that's compatible with your dog's fur type and wipe their face with a washcloth to keep soap away from the eyes. When it's time to dry off, rub your pup down with a towel—shaking can make a mess!
Dog shedding season peaks in spring, so keep your grooming supplies handy. Brush your pup before bath time—outside if possible—and then again after you dry them off. A well-balanced diet prevents excess shedding, so feed your dog plenty of wholesome foods to promote healthy skin.
Wash Collars, Tags, and Leashes
Now that your pup is bathed, you can knock out lingering doggy odors from their collar, ID tag, and leash. Prepare a bowl of hot water for each item. Pour in a tablespoon of dog shampoo into the leash and collar bowls, and soak for 10-15 minutes. Once the water cools, scrub away remaining dirt and let dry.
Squirt some dishwashing liquid into the dog tag bowl and follow the same process. You can use an old toothbrush to scrape away excess dirt. Make sure your contact information is legible on the dog tag—otherwise, it's time for a new one.
Inspect the Toy Box
As pet parents, we know how much dogs love to play with toys! Rinse your dog's playthings and replace any items that are damaged, sharp, or worn down. Clean Nylabones under warm water using mild, nontoxic detergent and rinse thoroughly. If your dog needs some new Nylabones this spring, check out our Custom Product Finder Tool to guide your search.
Clean Out the Pet Pantry
Use spring cleaning as an opportunity to ensure your pantry is full of fresh foods. Check the dates on all items and search for discolorations or questionable smells—when in doubt, throw it out! Move products that are nearing their expiration date to the front of the pantry and use them before they spoil. This is also a great time to restock your dog's favorite kibbles and treats.
Stock Up on First Aid Supplies
Take some time to refill your dog's first aid kit. Restock equipment like gauze, disposable gloves, alcohol wipes, hydrogen peroxide, and cotton swabs. Be sure replace any medications that are expired or in short supply. You may also want to take your dog to the vet for a checkup and ask about any additional first aid supplies you may need.
Wash the Food Bowl
You should wash your dishes and your dog's bowl after every meal. Food that's left out for too long invites bacteria, so it's important to run the bowl through the dishwasher often. If your dog's bowl is not dishwasher safe, wash by hand with hot and soapy water. Don't leave any perishable food out in the open—refrigerate it or throw it away when your dog is finished eating.
Pick Up Dog Hair
Spring and shedding go paw in paw. Luckily, a pair of rubber gloves is all that stands between you and virtually hair-free furniture this dog shedding season. Moisten the gloves and rub them over upholstered surfaces—you'll be picking up hair in no time. Just remember to replace them once they get too dirty. Use a mop or broom to remove hair on hard surfaces and run a vacuum over carpet. To pick up the excess, dampen a dryer sheet and run it over just about any surface. Since some dogs shed more than others, figure out a hair-removal schedule that works for your home.
Clean the Doggy Bed
Your dog's sleeping area should be as clean as it is cozy. Dog hair sticks to wet fabric, so vacuum the bed to remove as much hair as possible. You can also use a lint roller for some additional touchup. If you have a dog bed with no removable cover, check the washing instructions to see if you can load it into the washing machine. Wash the bed with hot water and use a dog-friendly detergent. Then, dry it thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew—a dryer is ideal, but air drying will also work. For heavy stains, you may need to spray the bed with a stain remover. Aim to wash your dog's bed at least every two weeks.
Brush Your Dog's Teeth
If your dog is new to brushing, start by putting a small dab of toothpaste on your finger and let them lick it off. This will help familiarize your dog with toothpaste and make them more comfortable when you use a brush.
Of course, you don't need to wait for the new season to follow this spring cleaning list! Use these tips year-round to maintain a clean and tidy lifestyle for you and your dog. Here's to a happy, healthy spring!