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Articles and Advice from our Pet Expert

Include Pets in Your Spring Cleaning Routine

Spring has sprung and it’s time to spruce things up! If you are inclined to deep clean this spring, don’t forget to refresh your pet’s home environment too.

Pet parents’ biggest pet peeves include cleaning up fur, stains and odors. Fortunately, there are many affordable and effective clean-up solutions available to ease your frustrations!

I’ve compiled my tidy-up tips below, but if you’d like to share a particular pet clean up pet peeve, send an email to me at I’ll aim to answer your clean-up conundrum quicker than you can spot a pet stain on white carpet!

Indoor Clean-Up

Bedding: Your pet probably spends most of its time indoors. Spruce up his digs by refreshing his favorite places including his bed, kennel or favorite napping spot by vacuuming to remove hair and dirt. Next, launder blankets or bedding and toss any worn items that need replacing.

Shedding: Pet hair tops the list of most difficult pet messes to rid from the home, according to research from BISSELL, and 62 percent of American pet parents say they’d give up a small luxury for their pet never to shed again. To tackle pet hair in your home, try BISSELL’s Pet Hair Eraser® Vacuum ($169.99), which is specially designed to remove pet hair, pet dander and dirt from carpets, upholstery and more. Or for quick clean-up; try the Pet Hair Broom ($24.99) with adjustable rubber bristles that work like magnets on pet hair.

Toys: Throw away any toys that are permanently soiled, damaged or simply ignored by your pet. Gather any plush toys and launder them so they’re fresh and fluffy again. Hand-wash any plastic or rubber toys too.

If your pet has lots of toys, you can rotate them weekly to keep your pet interested. You might also keep a set of durable, Kong-type or rope toys for outdoor playtime, and keep the soft, squeaky plush toys inside so they last longer.

Carpets and upholstery: Unfortunately, your carpet and furnishings can harbor stinky smells from pet potty accidents. If they aren’t cleaned up effectively, odors may live to haunt your otherwise tidy home. Cat urine is especially prone to linger because it is much more concentrated and likely to stain than dog urine. (This is because cats tend to drink less water than dogs.)

For any potty-on-the-floor or furniture clean-up, tend to the accident pronto! Absorb as much of the moisture as possible with old towels – being careful to blot instead of rub – before applying a cleaning solution like BISSELL’s foaming Pet Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner ($4.99) from the Pet Inspired™ line.

If accidents are common on carpets and upholstery, consider purchasing a SpotBot® Pet ($139.99), which is a portable carpet cleaner that gives pet owners the freedom to walk away from messes while it does all the work.

Outdoor Clean-Up

Now that snow and ice have melted (hopefully) and buds are ready to bloom, give your yard and patio a good once-over to check for things you wouldn’t want your pet to get hold of. Eliminate trash or debris that has blown into the yard, pick up any dead critters that your pet might want to roll in, and look for cracks or holes in the fence or screen to prevent Fido or Fluffy from escaping.

Pet Check

Finally, give your pet’s body a mini-physical. Check his ears and eyes for inflammation or infection and look at his nails and between his toes for lumps or scabs. If anything looks unusual, take him to see a veterinarian.

Collar/Tags: How long has your pet been wearing that collar? Does it still fit properly? Is it dirty or in ill repair? If so, wash it or toss it. Also be sure to clean or replace identification tags or rabies license tags that may be worn.

Grooming: There’s no time like spring for a furbulous makeover. Give your dog or cat a good bath, trim his nails and brush his coat regularly. Brushing is a great bonding experience and should become a daily or weekly habit, particularly if your pet has a long coat prone to tangles and matting. If your pooch or pussycat requires a professional salon session, go ahead and schedule a spring appointment.

Spay/Neuter: Finally, springtime is the season of love—and the height of dog and cat breeding season! Thousands of pets end up in shelters each year because there are simply not enough homes for all of them. Please have your pet spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted litters.

Cleaning up isn’t the most fun part of being a pet parent, but simple solutions can make it easier, and may even result in more homeless pets being adopted. So, as you spruce up Fido and Fluffy’s play area this spring, be sure to share your tips and tricks with friends and family. Help us spread the word that pet clean-up can be easy when you work with the right tools!

Kristen Buck60x60

Written by:
Kristen Levine

April 5, 2010

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