As the seasons come and go, our homes require a certain amount of upkeep to handle the change in weather. Soon our winter wonderland will begin to turn into a spring oasis, bringing with it a lot of home maintenance and cleaning. For dog owners, home maintenance works a little differently. To keep your home clean and your dog safe, use these dog-friendly spring cleaning tips.
Clean up dog poop
For many families, snow on the ground means that dog poop cleanup might take a backseat. Eventually, the spring thaw will reveal that mess, which requires more cleanup than usual. Once your grass is beginning to thaw, you can start mowing your lawn. However, don’t forget to pick up the dog poop you’ve left over the winter.
Running over your dog’s feces with the mower can create a mess. When deciding on a yard tool like an electric mower, knowing the difference between corded and cordless mowers can save you one less worry, as the latter can be more expensive, but also far more convenient. The number one rule is to not drive over the cord, but you should also remember not to run over any dog poop as well. A push mower or a gas mower will run into the same issues with dog poop.
Dog owners should either keep up with dog messes over the winter or prioritize cleanup during the spring thaw, so you don’t damage your yard.
Prepare for shedding
Two things come into play in terms of dog hair and seasonal home maintenance between winter and spring:
Number one, in the winter, your dog is probably inside more often. That doesn’t eliminate your dog’s grooming needs. It might there’s even more dog hair inside your home. Instead of bathing them outside with the hose, you might be bathing them in the tub. This means more dog hair cleanup on your floors and furniture, not to mention your tub. Pay particular attention to your winter pipe maintenance and learn how to unclog the drain.
Your dog will start shedding more as the weather gets warmer. Be prepared for extra fur maintenance for your home during this time of year along with your other seasonal maintenance obligations. You can help this by brushing them more often or scheduling appointments at the groomer.
Avoid toxic chemicals
Seasonal home maintenance brings about the need for some spring cleaning. That means being more thorough with your cleaning than routine maintenance. It might involve cleaning air vents, polishing floors, beating area rugs, deep cleaning the stove, rotating the mattress, etc. If you’re a dog owner, this might mean washing your pet’s bed or doing a thorough cleaning on their food container or water bowl.
As you get your home clean and ready for spring, remember to keep an eye on your pup as you work with dangerous chemicals. This includes inside as well as outside chemicals. Ingesting these chemicals can make your dog very sick — potentially leading to death.
Know when to keep them inside
Seasonal home maintenance has a lot to do with outdoor as well as indoor upkeep. Some essential spring home maintenance items include checking your HVAC system, checking your roof and gutters, and examining your outdoor walls and windows. Though a person who doesn’t own a dog can do these tasks without worry, a dog owner will have to be cautious if the dog around. If you’re on a ladder, keep the dog inside for your safety as well as theirs, so they don’t bump the ladder, causing you and whatever you’re holding to fall and possibly land on the dog.
The same goes for outdoor equipment like weed whackers or lawnmowers. Your dog may be agitated by the sound they make, which is similar to the vacuum and react negatively. Whether they bite at the machine or cower away from it, it’s better to keep them indoors while you use it.
Create a dog-friendly yard
While you watch your yard transform from a dead winter landscape to a flourishing scene of grass and plants, be sure your yard is animal-friendly. Make sure your deck doesn’t have any warps or splinters that could injure your dog’s feet or cause them to trip, that the plants growing aren’t toxic to animals, and that your perimeter hasn’t been compromised by seasonal changes.
Keep an eye out for mushrooms growing in your yard due to excess moisture. Many of these mushrooms are highly toxic to your dog. Prioritize using non-toxic fertilizers and pesticides for your yard.
Seasonal home maintenance and dog ownership can easily coexist as long as you’re prioritizing your pup along with your other home maintenance tasks. They may add an extra element that can make your maintenance a little more difficult, but practicing dog-friendly spring cleaning is a small price to pay to have a loving, happy dog as a member of the family.
Devin Morrissey prides himself on being a jack of all trades; his career trajectory is more a zigzag than an obvious trend, just the way he likes it. He pops up across the Pacific Northwest, dragging his dog around whenever possible. You can follow him more reliably on Twitter.