[dropcap]A[/dropcap] change in the season brings a new set of challenges for the pet owner. We look at ways to cope with spring shedding, allergies, parasites and how to keep pets safe outdoors
Take a few hours and do a complete spring cleaning of your pet’s equipment and toys
* If you use a large pet food storage container, empty the food into another clean container and give the storage bin a thorough clean.
* Wash all bedding and pillow covers in the machine on a hot wash, where possible.
* Collect all toys and give them a check. Throw away toys with loose bits that may be choking hazards. Wash or soak all remaining toys, either in the machine where possible, or in a basin to which a little antiseptic liquid has been added. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.
* If you use a pet travel crate, give this a good clean. Plastic travel crates can be hosed down in the garden and washed with a mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly and dry thoroughly.
* Take off your dog’s collar and give it a good scrub. Dirt often collects under the collar and may lead to skin irritation. Rinse well and allow to dry in a sunny spot.
* Check leads and harnesses. Make sure that catches, hooks and ties are working properly and close securely. Wash and dry thoroughly before use. Replace old or worn leads and collars.
Tips for getting rid of pet hair
* Prevention in this case is better than cure! If your pets are shedding this spring, cover your couches with cotton throws or bed sheets. These can be popped into the washing machine as often as necessary.
* To remove hair from soft furnishings and couches, dampen a rubber glove with a little water and run it over the surface of the item to pick up the hair. A dry sponge also works for finer hair that doesn’t hook on the fabric fibres.
* A sticky lint remover is cheap and works very well, even for stubborn hairs that catch on the fibres. They also work well on clothing, so keep one in your car’s cubbyhole to use in emergencies.
* Double vacuum carpets regularly to remove hair – if not every day, at least every other day. For stubborn hairs, generally rub a pumice stone over the surface of the mat. The stone can also be used to pick up hair on car upholstery.
* Use a plastic mop with a detachable microfibre head to lift hair from tiles or wooden flooring. Most mop heads can be removed and popped in the washing machine.
* Brush pets regularly during this period and wash bedding at least once a week.
Text: Gina Hartoog
The full article appears in the September issue of Animaltalk.