You love your pets, but you also love your home. Unfortunately, taking care of your pets can take a toll on your home. Here’s a pet-lover’s handy guide to keeping both clean and tidy.
Since pet odors can be absorbed by carpet, cloth upholstery and drapes, keeping pets clean means a cleaner, fresher-smelling home. In the case of dogs, regular bathing controls odors while regular grooming and brushing will limit pet hair from landing everywhere. For most dogs, bathing once per week with baby shampoo keeps them smelling fresh without drying out their skin.
Cats, especially indoor kitties, rarely need bathing since they groom themselves daily. Outdoor cats may need occasional bathing, especially long-haired cats. Having long hair cut by a groomer during the hot summer months will help them stay clean and comfortable. Since cats usually react violently to being immersed, using a towel soaked in water for a rubdown can substitute with a lot less trauma. Most cats will adore you for regular brushing to remove loose hair.
Bird owners should clean cages regularly to keep odors away. Birds will bathe themselves if provided a large bowl of water. The bird will then preen its feathers as part of its grooming routine.
Where to groom? Where is the best place to wash a pet, typically a dog? Here are the factors to consider.
Outdoor washing can be difficult, if not impossible, in colder months. A cool bath outside in summer is refreshing to a dog, but winter is no time to bath outdoors.
If you bathe outside, unless it’s a really hot day, the water from the hose could be chilly. Warm it by filling buckets or empty gallon bottles and letting them sit out for an hour to adjust to the surrounding temperature. If you use a hose, use a gentle stream that won’t alarm the dog.
Indoor bathing solves the air and water temperature challenges. When bathing your dog in a bathtub, shower or sink, lay a towel down to keep the dog from slipping and their claws from scratching the surface. To keep hairs from washing down the drain, place a large wad of steel wool in the drain.
For small- to medium-size dogs, a laundry room or garage utility sink is an ideal place. Wash larger dogs in the tub if it’s too cold outside.
Those muddy tracks. When pets come back inside with muddy paws, intercept them at the door with towel in hand to wipe each paw. If the paws are really muddy, whisk your pet to a bath tub, run inch deep water for washing and dry their feet with a towel afterward.