Pets bring a special joy to any home. Whether you lived alone and wanted a buddy to spend time with or always dreamed of your kids growing up with a furry friend, there are endless reasons to adopt a pet. You would do anything for them, but have you thought about their quality of living?
It takes more than daily meals and attention to give your animal a good life. They also need you to think about their health, which means monitoring their environment for invading bacteria or other risks. You’re the only one who can keep them healthy and happy, so make sure you know what’s best for them.
Read on to learn 10 easy tips to practice healthy hygiene with your pets. A few minor adjustments to your routine will make both of you happier.
1. Clean the Litter Box Daily
Your cat’s toys may be all over your home, but you’ve found a discreet place to tuck away their litter box. It often has an odor you’d rather ignore, but you should clean it daily to give your cat a cleaner place to relieve themselves.
Whenever your kitty uses their dirty litter box, their paws track bacteria throughout your home. Cleaning it once a day will remove waste and keep their paws clean, ensuring your home stays clean, too.
2. Keep Waste Outside
After you bag up your cat’s waste, you may toss it in the trash and move on with your to-do list. Before that happens, though, you should throw the waste bags outside in a designated trash can. You’ll keep the smell and bacteria out of your home and make it a cleaner place to live.
3. Wash Your Hands Often
Whether you just played with your pet, cleaned up after them or put food in their bowl, wash your hands thoroughly to follow the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines. Even if your pet sits in a terrarium all day, they can carry microscopic bacteria that threaten your health.
4. Remember Their Bedding
Your dog’s bed is fluffy and soft, but it also harbors the dirt and grime they carry into your home. Wash any pet bedding frequently so that they always have a clean place to rest. A trip through the washing machine will also kill any bugs or eggs trying to make a home in the fabric.
5. Rotate Their Bowls
When was the last time you washed your pet’s food and water bowls? Rotate them often so your pet always has something clean to eat and drink from. If you feed your pets twice daily as experts recommend, you can pick up the dishes after breakfast and let them soak in the sink.
6. Consider Food Storage
Leaving your pet’s food out could spoil it before its expiration date. Consider the food storage method you use and switch to airtight containers to ensure you can feed your pet correctly while keeping bacteria from growing.
7. Monitor for Fleas and Ticks
Any animal that spends time outside is at risk for fleas and ticks. Talk with your vet to discuss treatment and prevention options, so your furry friend never deals with an infestation. Your cat may prefer a flea collar, or your dog could need stronger monthly medication.
8. Care for Their Toys
Slobber and dirt cover your pet’s toys, plus anything else they come in contact with. Throw them in the washing machine or dishwasher to sanitize them regularly. This process will kill off any growing bacteria colonies, even if your pet is a turtle who enjoys hibernating in their enclosure.
9. Vacuum Carpets Regularly
If you’ve been sneezing or itching your eyes more often than not, there may be pet dander in your rugs. Dander contains things like dried skin, hair, saliva and urine that your animal leaves in their wake.
Vacuum your carpets regularly to remove common pet allergens and reduce how often you trigger allergic reactions. Consider scheduling a deep carpet cleaning every few months to take extra precautions.
10. Prioritize Yard Cleanup
After you take care of your yard and remove debris, you can spray it for pests to control how many bugs call it home. When you reduce the pests in your grass, mulch or pine straw, your pet stays safe from risks like ticks and fleas. You’ll also keep you and your family safe from ant bites or diseases from bugs.
Want to Practice Healthy Pet Hygiene? Make a Schedule
Are you worried you’ll forget these tips as you go about your daily plans? If so, make a schedule on your calendar or to-do list. These reminders help you form healthy new habits, such as washing your pet’s toys or vacuuming the rugs. Once you start, you’ll quickly find what works for both you and your pet.