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Thinking about doing some spring cleaning this year? Don’t forget your pet(s)! Check out these 14 pet-related spring cleaning chores for pet owners, along with plenty of in-depth tips and how-to instructions, and give your household pets a little springtime TLC.
In this post…
Before You Get Started
You can do these pet-related spring cleaning chores at whatever pace you wish.
They can also be broken up and done over time, while some people may prefer to do a few all at once.
We recommend bookmarking this page so you can come back later and pick up where you left off.
We’ve included helpful tips and information below that we thought you might find useful. Some tasks are kept short and sweet, while other points might be expanded upon in another post.
We also realize that each reader is different. So we’ve made it possible for you to expand each step, using the white arrow to the right of each task if you wish to read a little more information.
You can collapse the tasks by clicking the same arrow again if you want to see less.
Ask your vet.
While I have some experience as a fellow pet owner and former vet receptionist and as a part-time groomer (many moons ago), the advice, tips, and suggestions within this post are not considered professional.
Always consult a veterinary doctor or local groomer if you have any questions or health concerns regarding your pet or before performing any of the steps below if you’re uncertain. And always use pet-friendly and safe practices on your pet, including any shampoos or conditioners.
Pet-Related Spring Cleaning Chores
Tackle these pet-related spring cleaning chores at your own pace. Some may take longer than others or may need to be broken up, depending on the severity of the mess to clean up or your household’s needs.
1. Wash your pet’s bowls or feeders.
Take a little time to make sure that your pet’s bowls or feeding equipment are thoroughly washed.
Your pet’s food and water bowls and feeders should be regularly cleaned at least once a week to remove bacteria.
Plus, it’s an easy, free, and kind way to show your pets that you care, and it can be a lot healthier for them as well.
Types of Bowls & Feeders
Directions: You can wash their bowls by hand and using mild soap or by putting it in your dishwasher. This should also include any outside bowls.
Tip: Set a reminder for yourself to clean out your pet’s bowls daily or even once or twice a week as part of your weekly chores.
Tip: You can turn cleaning your pet’s bowls into a habit by stacking it on top of another one you do already, such asfilling up bowls with food and water and washing them before you do so each time. Or at least wiping them out.
2. Groom your pet or have them groomed professionally.
Grooming your pet consistently can be highly important for their health.
If you’d rather not do the job yourself, consider hiring a professional, including professionals that might be mobile and willing to come to you.
You can find excellent groomers by checking out customer reviews through sources such as Yelp, asking your vet, going by word of mouth, or hiring a mobile service.
Typical Grooming Tasks
Oral Care Tips
It’s crucial to make sure you brush your pet’s teeth several times a week, if not daily, and try to treat them as you might your own.
This is more so the case for breeds prone to dental diseases.
Some chew treats and dental aids, such as Plaque Off, can also help maintain their oral health.
Pet Oral Care Breakdown
Tip: Set reminders for yourself to stay on top of your pet’s dental care, particularly if you and your pet are new to the experience or have a tendency to forget.
Tip: You can start gradually to allow both of you to grow used to it and then build up in frequency as time passes.
Nail Care Tips
Keeping up on nail care for your pet is also another essential task that should be done regularly
Excessively long nails can cause accidental damage to your pet, you, another person, or even items within your home (i.e., floors, furniture, etc.). It’s also recommended to do it before bathing too.
Super-long nails can hurt your animal when they grow too long, particularly with dogs. It’s like trying to walk in ill-fitting stilettos with pebbles inside them and down a slippery or icy road. No fun!
Long nails may eventually start to cause the toes to twist as the animal walks or can injure its legs.
Nails that are too long can also cause the animal to slip or slide on smooth surfaces or even begin to curl underneath their foot and into the pads of their feet, resulting in pain and possible infection.
Nail Car Tips
Tip: Set reminders for yourself to stay on top of your animal’s nail care, particularly if they don’t have hard surfaces, like streets and sidewalks, to walk on consistently to file them down naturally.
Tip: Nails should be trimmed every 3 to 4 weeks, although some people may do it weekly if their pet’s nails grow fast.
Bathing & Brushing Your Pets
How often you bathe your pet can vary on the type of animal and other factors, such as their breed, how often they’re outside, etc.
You can also do in-between maintenance care to increase the time in-between bathing and reduce dirt and dander.
Cats are usually not bathed very often, if at all, since they typically bathe themselves…all day long. This especially tends to be the case for indoor cats, unless they happen to be pretty filthy, flea-ridden, or smelly.
However, some situations may require some help or more frequency, such as dealing with a senior cat, a hairless cat, a morbidly obese cat, or where a cat can’t or won’t adequately bathe itself.
It’s, more or less, on an as-needed basis.
Tip: If you want to bathe your cat often but don’t want to dry their skin out, consider lightly spritzing them with water or a pet-related waterless pet shampoo and wiping them a with a microfiber cloth, or lightly simply a damp cloth.
Dogs may need more frequent bathing, but it’s also important not to bathe them too often. Bathing a dog too often can lead to stripping them of its natural oils that may protect its skin and coat.
It’s usually recommended to bathe them no more than once a month, but every 2-3 months is often the recommended time frame between baths.
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Microfiber cloths are great on fur since they can help trap dander and debris with their fibers.
My usual go-to is, of course, this version by E-Cloth. I typically use an older one for the dog or designate one for him by color.
Note: Don’t forget to check for ticks, fleas, suspicious growths, or lumps, as well as any potential skin irritations like hotspots.
You can alleviate many issues when it comes to your pet and their grooming needs by getting them used to it while they’re still young.
However, it’s also possible to teach new dogs (or other animals) new tricks by rewarding, praising, and going slow.
You can also use positive reinforcement around things that they’re fearful of, such as turning on a nail grinder in front of them and throwing a ball.
Let them get used to noises or sensations, such as grabbing their paw as if you were going to trim their nails but without doing so. Release their paw and immediately praise them with words, a treat, or playtime.
Trainers, some professional groomers, or consulting your vet may be another option to consider if you’re still having trouble or if your pet is showing signs of aggression.
You can also find plenty of how-to videos online or ask your vet if they can show you what to do, such as trimming nails.
Grooming your pet isn’t just an act of love, necessity, or kind gesture.
It can also help reduce your cleaning efforts and time around the home—and not just as your pet-related spring cleaning but also year-round.
This is why we usually recommend taking care of your pet’s needs before cleaning your home and keeping up with it consistently, like brushing them before you vacuum or dust. Repeat at least once a week.
NOTE: Please avoid human shampoo, household soap, or essential oils on your pet since it may be unsafe or toxic. Stick to pet-formulated products instead.
3. Clean your pet’s bedding and blankets.
You can show a little love to both your pet and household by cleaning your pet’s bedding and condos.
Doing so can help reduce household odors and reduce the chances of other factors, such as fleas and dust mites.
Wash Your Pet’s Bedding
Some bed types come with a removable cover, while others can be thrown completely in the washer in their entirety. And, in some cases, other styles may need to be spot treated or cleaned with an upholstery cleaner.
The best rule of thumb is to follow the care instructions that came on the bed, which you’ll usually see a tag of on the bed itself.
Common Cleaning Methods
If the instructions have been removed or lost, you can try some of the following steps.
- Vacuum the bed before cleaning it.
- Wash the bed by doing one of the following:
- If possible, remove the cover, throw it in the washing machine, and treat it per the care instructions.
- Shake out the insert well outside if it’s not washable and vacuum when possible.
- Spot-treat the bed to remove any stains using an upholstery-type cleaner or soap, water, and a cleaning cloth.
- Use a spot upholstery or carpet cleaner with upholstery attachments on more durable beds, such as large dog beds, that look more like a couch than a pillow, assuming it can handle it. Don’t oversaturate the piece or use too much soap, and make sure to rinse with water only. Do at your own risk.
- Allow the bed to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area, particularly if you washed the entire bed vs. just the cover.
Other Bedding Tips
4. Deep clean your pet’s area.
It’s a good idea to keep up on cleaning your pet’s areas consistently, particularly since they can be challenging to clean if left alone for too long.
This can include anything from the litterbox and litterbox area, dog runs, kennels, feeding zones, bird or small animal cages, as well as aquariums and terrariums.
Place to Deep Clean
Place to Deep Clean
Things such as pet houses and cat trees or scratching posts can be shaken and/or vacuumed out in most cases. You may also need to wipe them clean since animals, such as cats, love to mark their happy zones.
Other items and areas, such as cat boxes and dog runs, may need a more thorough cleaning and should be done consistently so that things remain easier to manage and clean.
Cages and terrariums should be dealt with accordingly, using pet-safe products.
Some areas may also require unique products, such as enzyme-based options and odor eliminators, to help combat common pet smells, stains, and other concerns.
For instance, while it may not fight stains, this product by Zero Odor is one of our favorites for banishing odors without the perfumed stench of your run-of-the-mill air fresheners.
5. Inspect, declutter, and clean any pet toys.
Try to make an effort to go through your pet’s toys as you spring clean and throughout the year.
Declutter, Discard and Repair
Look for and discard any toys that have been destroyed or that might be a danger to your pet or young children
You can also try to repair some things, such as plush toys that need to be re-sewn back to good health.
Wash the Washable
Try to wash any toys that can be washed. For instance, rubber or silicone toys can typically be washed by hand or in the clothes washer. You can also try to ash them in the dishwasher if you’re one of those brave and fearless souls.
Bribery and shadiness can sometimes help.
Try to have a new one or duplicate on hand. That way, you’ll likely feel less guilt or shame and won’t be so moved by their highly skilled look of disbelief and utter disappointment when Fluffy goes in the bin.
You’ll go from treacherous and villainous Zero to Hero in a blink. So long, Fluffster. It’s been real!
So Many Toys You Didn’t Know What to Do?
No worries—all that bribery and spoiling had to catch up with you at some point!
Fortunately, your pet can get all posh and sophisticated by having their very own toy bin.
Toy bins for pets can be great as an organizing solution as it keeps toys in their own area and your house looking less cluttered.
They can even look cute, and your pet will love seeing what’s inside their basket and getting something out.
Tip: Try to buy washable pet items. It can also be beneficial to get in the habit of washing your pet toys consistently, such as every quarter or during seasonal cleaning. This can help keep toys clean, and you’ll likely experience fewer household odors as well.
Tip: If you’re lazy like I can sometimes be, try teaching your pet to put away their toys to help you avoid the trouble of picking up their daily crime scene. Just make sure that it’s the appropriate height for your pet.
6. Tidy your pet’s food storage area or pantry.
Ever so often, it’s good to clean up where you keep your pet’s food, especially if you tend to stock up.
This is also an excellent time to ensure that your products, such as canned food and treats, are appropriately rotated, with older items upfront and newer cans toward the back.
Organize Your Pet Pantry
Ensure the Best Storage
To avoid issues like pests, dirt, and dust from getting into your food, and to keep things fresh, consider using containers to store large or small bags of food.
We love this rolling container in our garage, which holds up to 55 quarts or more of dry food, depending on the size you get.
7. Spruce up, restock, and organize pet tools and supplies.
Tidying up and keeping track of your pet supplies can be beneficial and a great way to see what you have or might need to restock.
Items in this category might include nail clippers or grinders and other grooming tools, ear cleaning solutions, terrarium or tank maintenance and cleaning products, hotspot treatments, treats, kits, travel items, etc.
Organize Tools & Supplies
Tip: It’s an ideal time to organize what you have, such as putting pet items and tools away in containers or organizers so they’re easier to spot and will be better contained. And, of course, it’s also good to try to declutter what you don’t need.
8. Check leashes, harnesses and collars for any tears or other concerns.
Things such as harnesses, leashes, and collars can go through a lot of wear and tear over time.
As a result, they may be at risk for breaking apart, even during the worst times and when you need them to work the most.
What to Look For
9. Set up health-related checkups for your pet and make sure vaccines are up-to-date.
If you haven’t already, consider setting health-related appointments in advance for your pet.
This usually includes any potential annual exams, vaccinations, dental cleanings, and whatever else might be the norm for your pet.
You can also schedule other things for your pet, such as grooming or training appointments.
Set the Date: You can then mark it in your planner or calendar, or set a reminder on your phone.
10. Check, process, and organize your pet’s paperwork and files.
Make sure to keep your pet’s paperwork organized, up to date, and filed in a safe place.
These documents can be vital and should be easily accessed in an emergency or other situation where your pet’s information might be necessary.
It’s also important to make sure that you have both digital and hardcopy versions when possible.
Common Pet Files
Lost and Found
If you’ve misplaced papers, you can contact the facility, whether the vet, county, or groomer, to get a copy made for you. However, you’ll likely have to pick the documentation up.
If you’re having trouble finding old vet papers or changed vets, your current vet facility should be able to get into contact with that facility to update records and know what your pet might be due for or any health issues.
11. Organize or create a pet emergency first aid kit. (Optional)
Believe it or not, it can be crucial to have some sort of first aid kit as well as an emergency event and/or evacuation kit for your pet(s) in the event of an emergency.
Pet First Aid Kits
Emergency aid kits are helpful to have around at home or in your car if your pet is injured while on vacation, traveling, camping, on a walk, on trails, and hiking, as well as at home.
A good emergency aid kit might include things that are similar to a human first aid kit but geared more towards animals. This may vary on the kind of animal you have.
Pet Evacuation Bags
An evacuation and emergency situation should also be considered when thinking of your pet in the event of a natural disaster or other emergencies, such as a house fire or wildfire, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood, etc.
This can be more so the case if you live in an area prone to severe weather or where severe weather might be an increasing possibility.
Pet evacuation bags, or bug-out bags, can be made at home and/or purchased online. They’re usually a portable bag or box with your pet’s daily must-have essentials if you need to leave your home in a hurry or get stranded. Small first aid kits may also be included.
What Should Be Included?
Ideally, these kits should be compact and portable for easy transporting.
They should be in an easy to access location, preferably near your own evac or emergency tuff. This might be near the kitchen or garage, in the car, and close to human emergency kits or evac bags, etc.
Some people keep travel or compact kits for pets for traveling or in the car. Many people tend to prefer having several kits available in designated areas.
Tip: You can make your kits or choose to buy them pre-stocked. However, you may need to ensure that products inside the kits haven’t expired, whether DIY or store-bought, haven’t expired. Some types are even super-small kits that are designed to be taken out on hikes or other outdoor activities.
- Gauze or bandages
- Small and medium gauze dressing pad
- Plastic syringe, disposable
- Emergency blanket
- Exam gloves
- Triangle bandages and various sized bandages
- Adhesive patches
- A collapsible bowl
- First aid tape
- High elastic bandage
- Self-adhesive bandage
- Tick remover
- Antiseptic wipes
- Tongue depressor
- Saline solution
- Benadryl (for emergencies and at proper dose per weight, ask Vet first)
- Styptic pencil
- EMT Gel or Spray
- Pet food
- Collapsible bowls for food and water
- A soft blanket
- An emergency blanket
- A spare toy (optional)
- Poop bags
- Copies of their crucial paperwork (i.e., microchip info, vet info, rabies info, your info)
- A spare collar and leash, preferably with reflective for night visibility
- Brush (optional)
- Any spare must-have item (i.e., prescriptions)
- Disposable or travel litter box and spare litter (**lifesaver for evacuations, just not literally)
- A few key emergency aid type items, such as styptic pencils or gels, gauze, pads, Vetericyn, etc., or a small store-bought kit
12. Deal with any residual pet stains and odors around the home.
Try to take the time to deal with any residual pet stains around the home, particularly if you can’t carpet or upholstery clean any time soon.
Such stains will typically include urine or feces stains, vomit, drool, along with other concerns.
Treat Based on the Type of Stain
When cleaning up stains, try to use a method or product that is designed to treat them specifically.
For instance, you can usually treat urine stains and eliminate the odor by using a product with urine-fighting enzymes. Enyzme urine-fighting products are designed to target urine ammonia crystals and other organic matter like feces or vomit.
Double-Check What You’re Buying
Make sure to double-check whatever pet stain remover you plan to buy. Some types may specifically be designed as a pre-treat for carpet cleaning
Other products, such as foams and certain spray products, may be designed for cleaning up stains by hand and vacuuming up.
Some products may only treat odors rather than stains, such as our go-to choice by Zero Odor, which are more suited for general odors on soft surfaces.
13. Consider carpet and upholstery cleaning.
Regardless if you prefer to spot clean your carpets and rugs, DIY it, or hire a professional, it’s a good idea to make sure to treat your carpet, rugs, and furniture to a good deep cleaning ever so often, if not twice a year or every quarter. Especially if you have pets.
Household soft surfaces and fabrics can hold a lot of dirt, bacteria, debris, fur, dead skin cells, body fluids, food, and odors. These items can also be a safe space and vacation hot spot for things such as fleas, ticks, and even dust mites.
Quick Carpet and Upholstery Tips
! Worried about dust mites? Check out 14 Easy Tips to Reduce and Prevent Dust Mites next (new tab).
14. Make more time to spend time with your best friend.
Animals have social requirements just like humans do. And because we humans often get distracted, busy, or have a tendency to forget things, it’s good to set time aside to make sure that your pet is getting the social interaction and exercise that it needs.
Before Taking Them Outside
While it’s essential to clean and maintain your home, it’s equally important to include pet spring cleaning chores as well.
Not only will doing some of the tasks on this 14 pet-related spring cleaning checklist be beneficial for your pet and your overall peace of mind, but it will also make spring cleaning your home easier.
More so if you see to your pet’s needs, such as grooming, beforehand and by doing some of the following.
In This Post, We Covered
What’s your favorite pet-related activity? Let us know in the comments! 🐶🐱