Spring cleaning while in lockdown

By now, we all know the importance of a hygienic home and many people use the lockdown period to spring clean their homes. Here is a guide of what to keep in mind for the health of your family and pets.

1. Sanitise touch points

Walk around the house to identify all the places where the family members touch physically. Regularly wipe down these areas with sanitiser. And no, that doesn’t include the pets. The high alcohol amount of sanitiser is really bad for your pets. By now, you will also know that pets don’t transmit the COVID-19 virus.

2. Get smart about parasites

For every flea you see, there are probably about 50 more hiding elsewhere. Start and maintain a regular tick and flea control programme. Environmental sprays are formulated to target the life stages of the parasite that occur off the host animal. Products are sprayed onto carpets, furniture and the pet’s bedding. They are most effective when used with a good tick and flea programme.

3. Know your breed

Depending on the size and breed of your dog, you may have to deal with different problems. Some breeds are known for drooling, while others shed loads of hair. For example, if you have a Saint Bernard who drools, keep a few dedicated cloths around your home to wipe his muzzle. This will prevent drool on furniture and floors.

4. Brush up on grooming

Keep your dog as clean as possible. How often you bath him will depend on his coat type and lifestyle. Start a daily brushing routine to prevent debris from sticking to his coat and remove loose hair.

5. Handle hair

Some breeds don’t shed at all, while others shed throughout the year. Dealing with pet hair on clothes and furniture can be difficult for the house-proud pet owner. Additional brushing will help to cut down on some of the hair in your home, but certainly not all. If hair sticks to furniture upholstery, consider covering them in throws. A simple sticky lint roller works like magic to remove hair from clothing and carpets. Keep one handy and use whenever you need to quickly remove a patch of hair. If you’re in a fix and can’t get out to buy some, use duct tape. A pumice stone will also pick hair off fabric.

6. Scoop up poop

While you are house-training your puppy, he may have a few accidents. Puppy training pads work well to soak up urine, so that it does not penetrate through to the carpets or wood flooring below. If puppy does have an accident on a rug, place paper towels over the puddle and mop up as best you can. Use surgical gloves to blot it well, or stand on it (with shoes on). Wipe down the area with water and soap, but avoid cleaning products that contain ammonia, as this smells like urine and puppy may go back and use the same spot again. Baking soda helps to neutralise the smell or you can purchase a dedicated product from your local vet store.

Poop accidents should be cleaned up immediately. As puppy gets older, he will learn to go outside to ‘do his business’. Practise good hygiene by cleaning up stools every day. This will help to cut down on the number of flies in your garden. Use a simple plastic poop scoop and dispose of the stools in the garbage or down the sewer system.

7. Washing pet linen and toys

To prevent unnecessary odours, regularly wash your pet’s bedding. Have an assortment of blankets, so that you always have a set of clean bedding on hand while another set gets washed. Choose machine-washable fabrics that are able to take heat – so you can wash them on a hot wash. Soft toys should also regularly be hand-washed. Allow them to dry in the sun. Plastic toys can be washed in antiseptic liquid, rinsed well and hand-dried.

While you’re at it, it is also a good idea to check all toys for safety. If toys have loose bits, discard and replace them. Check collars, leads and harnesses and give them a good scrub in warm, soapy water. Check that lead clips are in good working order. Replace old or broken items.