As spring approaches and the goal to clean and cleanse your home develops there are several things to remember when maintaining a clean environment for your pet.
- Deep clean/sanitize your dog or cat’s food and water bowls. Without doing this regularly, the food and water dishes can develop a biofilm that promotes bacterial growth.
- Thoroughly wash your cat’s litter box once a month with disinfecting cleaner and ensure that all the cleaner is removed. Try to use a disinfectant that does not contain a scent. It is recommended that litter boxes should be replaced every 1-2 years.
- It is important to periodically pick up the fecal material left by your dog in your yard as this can help prevent intestinal parasite infection, as well as, maintaining your pet on intestinal parasite prevention monthly.
- A spring grooming is often a priority for many pets, however, over grooming/bathing can be detrimental to your pet’s healthy. Dogs that are bathed too frequently, 1-2 times a week, can develop dry itchy skin that can lead to skin infection and hair loss. Also, it is important to use a pet friendly shampoo that is completely rinsed off. Additionally, ear cleaning after a bath can help prevent ear infections. This can be accomplished with veterinary approved ear cleanser and cotton balls.
- If your pets are anything like mine, vacuuming the house can become an anxiety inducing event. Though this is a necessary chore, especially with the amount of dog hair shed in a given week, strategies are used to help reduce the stress this chore promotes. If your pet has a phobia of the vacuum, you can place your pet outside for the time it takes to vacuum. However, if your pet is like mine, simply going outside creates more of an issue than just modifying their behavior to the vacuum itself. I recommend starting out by placing the vacuum in a room that is vacuumed frequently. Allow your pet to smell and get accustomed to it’s presence and after a short period of time, turn the vacuum on and let it sit idle. I advise not to push the vacuum toward your pet as this can create a since of “attack” and lead to more anxiety. Giving a treat during and after vacuuming or encouraging your pet to play with a toy during this chore can create positive reinforcement for a particular event that may be stressful for your beloved pet.
If any of the recommendations listed above promote further questions about your pet, please do not hesitate to contact the doctors that The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt.
C. Smith, DVM