AKC is a participant in affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to akc.org. If you purchase a product through this article, we may receive a portion of the sale.
This year, while you’re airing bedding, flinging open the windows, mopping the floors, and dusting everything in sight, don’t forget to include your dog’s living space too. It’s important to take a yearly audit of your pet’s supplies and sanitize any items such as toys that may be used often.
Make your annual cleaning ritual pup-friendly by adding these dog-specific tasks to your checklist. Remember to always use pet-safe cleaning products!
Pick Up Your Yard
If you live in a colder climate, you likely already know why you need to clean your yard. When the snow melts, it reveals everything you neglected to pick up during the colder months, including your dog’s droppings.
When the warm weather hits, your pup will want to indulge in the sunshine, so make sure your yard is a safe place for them to hang out and play. Along with picking up your dog’s poop, walk around your yard and pick up sticks, stones, branches, or anything else your dog may try to play with and chew.
Refresh Your Kitchen
Annual cleaning isn’t complete until you give your kitchen a good deep clean—and that includes your dog’s supplies as well. When did you last clean or replace your dog’s food dish or water bowl? You don’t need to replace bowls regularly, but consider purchasing new dishes if the bowls have been chewed or are too dirty to save.
You should clean your dog’s bowls out at least every day, but it is always a good idea to give them a deep cleaning every so often. If your dog has a rug or mat under their dishes, clean that too.
Check Expiration Dates
Make sure to check your puppy’s food, treats, and medications, and dispose of anything that’s expired.
Get Rid of the Dog Hair
If your dog sheds often, you know that stray strands and dander are among the biggest house-cleaning challenges. You’ll want to go over every corner and surface of your house with a pet hair vacuum.
Take preparatory steps to improve your chances of making a clean sweep. On carpets and upholstery, for example, a light misting with water and fabric softener followed by a once-over with a stiff-bristled brush can loosen and pull up embedded hairs. You can also go over surfaces with a lint roller, pet-hair remover, or other hair-grabber after vacuuming. Once all your surfaces are free of pet hair, go over your fabrics and carpets with a fabric spray to finish the job.
Clean and Discard Old Toys
Decluttering is a crucial part of any cleaning. Along with organizing your closet, take a look at your dog’s toy basket. If the toys are dirty, give them a good clean with soap and water (fabric toys can go in the laundry) but toss out any broken or potentially dangerous ones.
Once you’re finished cleaning them, don’t forget to have fun replacing the toys you had to discard.
Wash Bedding, Blankets, and Collars
While you should frequently wash your dog’s bedding and blankets throughout the year, give them an extra-thorough cleaning occasionally. Consider also cleaning the baseboards, carpet, and walls near your pup’s sleeping area, and give all your windows a good polish to wipe away nose and paw prints.
This is also a good time to thoroughly clean crates, carriers, collars, and leashes with a mild soap, like dishwashing detergent, and a highly diluted disinfectant. Many people do a final wipe-down with water, to reduce the chance of pets coming in contact with chemicals.
Don’t Forget Grooming
Don’t forget the most important part: keeping your pup clean! Your dog should already have a regular grooming routine, but, after a long winter, their thick coat will begin to shed, which often requires special care. To refresh your grooming knowledge, read our spring grooming tips and invest in safe, quality grooming products.