Pets and Your Home

28 Aug

puppyThere’s nothing like the dog days of summer to remind you how your four-legged friends can impact your home environment. While many of us consider our dogs and cats as members of the family, their presence requires a little extra effort to ensure their comfort and safety – and ours.

Consider these tips to pet-proof your home while protecting Fido and Fluffy:

Pest Control

  • The best way to avoid fleas and other pests in your home is to keep them from living on your pets. Your veterinarian can offer the best solution to keep your pet pest-free. Natural products such as garlic may also help.
  • If your home becomes infested with fleas, bathe your pet outdoors and apply a new flea collar or flea treatment. Then clean and vacuum all surfaces, including crevices. Use a flea spray that contains an Insect Growth Regulator to end the reproduction cycle. A flea bomb or fogger may be needed for larger infestations.

Odors and Germs

  • Incorporate a thorough cleaning of all surfaces frequented by your pets. If your dog lives on the sofa, be sure to vacuum regularly and spray with a fabric refresher. Better yet, cover his favorite spot with a blanket that can be tossed in the washer.
  • Vacuum and clean your pet’s crate weekly. Scoop litter boxes daily, replace or add fresh litter weekly, and empty and thoroughly sanitize once a month.
  • Clean toys and replace occasionally to avoid odors. Don’t forget to clean the box where you store them.
  • Remember that cats can jump seven times the height of their tails. Use anti-bacterial wipes to clean countertops where your cat may have landed when you weren’t around.
  • Check for treats, food or bones that have been hidden by your pet.

Safety

  • Get on your hands and knees and view the world from your pet’s perspective. Look for hazards like wires, electrical cords, gum wrappers, game pieces, strings, coins and pills that may have dropped and rolled out of sight.
  • Keep tempting “chewables” like shoes out of your pet’s reach. Use pet-safe sprays with a bitter taste like lemon or apple to deter them from nibbling on furniture.
  • Store chemicals, cleaning supplies, medications, sharp objects and toxic houseplants away from your pets.

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