6 Top Tips for Spring-Cleaning with Pets: Expert Advice for a Fresh Home

Hello Spring! Time to refresh your home and tackle pet odour.

Living with your pet – 6 top tips to tackle spring-cleaning.

Spring cleaning pet peeves? Expert advice for a safe, successful spruce up!

Keeping your furry friends safe during the big spring clean!

The official arrival of Spring on 20th March1 often prompts people to freshen up their surroundings with a good old clean. In fact, Google trends showed the spike in searches for ‘spring cleaning’ peaked on that exact date in 2022 2, so now feels like a great time to introduce some pet-friendly cleaning habits to keep your home feeling fresh as we head into the warmer months.

Catrin George, Animal Wellbeing Specialist at Animal Friends Pet Insurance, shares six top cleaning tips this spring, keeping safety in mind as a top priority with a beloved pet around.

  1. Pre-cleaning exercise

Having a pet under your feet can make even the simplest of cleaning activities feel like a challenge. So, to help keep them from becoming a trip hazard, Catrin says:

“Before making a start on your spring clean, why not take your pooch outside to help burn off any of their excess energy. Simple things like a quick game of fetch, going for a walk, or just sniffing some grass, can tire your dog out3 potentially allowing you some peace to clean when you return home with a tired dog.

“Cat owners should try to establish a routine when it comes to cleaning. Our feline friends feel comfortable with a sense of routine4, so try to stick to a consistent cleaning schedule in the run up to your spring-cleaning efforts. To help with this, you can set specific times for the different tasks, or set aside the same day and time for blitzing through the house, helping minimise the disruption to your cat’s day and keeping their stress levels low.”

“There’s also the dreaded vacuum cleaner to contend with! Some pets can react to such cleaning essentials, but it is possible to help your pet get used to this equipment and minimise their stress during cleaning time. Use positive reinforcement techniques to help your pet associate the ‘scary’ object with something they enjoy. This way, you can regularly keep on top of pet hair and dander without interference.”

  1. Understanding the risks

When choosing your cleaning products, it’s important to research how safe they are, not only for us and our pets, but also for the environment, Catrin explains:

“Some products can contain toxic chemicals which your pet can accidentally consume or come into contact with through inhalation, their paws, their fur, or via other surfaces. So, it’s important to always opt for pet-friendly cleaners wherever possible and keep your dog or cat away from the cleaning area while you use them.

“But this doesn’t just apply to our pets. Many of the household names we’re so familiar with can have a harmful effect on the surrounding environment. A lot of common cleaning and pet related products, from cat litter to poo bags and air fresheners to disinfectant, can contain ingredients that are known to be detrimental to the environment5.

“Eco-friendly cleaning products are made up of more compostable and organic materials, meaning they don’t leave a lasting impact on our planet6.”

  1. Fending off the fur

Owning a pet may result in a lot of fur accumulating in your home, Catrin says:

“It can sometimes feel like our cats and dogs shed more hair around our houses than they keep on their bodies! However, there are some useful hacks to get rid of pet hair that don’t require any harmful products.”

These include:

  • Use a lint roller – A great tool to pick up hair from almost any surface or fabric, from sofas to your clothing.
  • Rubber gloves – Simply wearing a damp pair and sweeping your hands over any hairy areas can lift stray hairs. You can also use your fingers to get into any awkward spots.
  • Baby wipes for emergencies – Good to get any hairs off fabrics when you’re short on time and energy.
  • Window squeegee – This rubber blade is ideal for raking up the cat hair that tends to collect on flat surfaces (like your carpet, stairs or sofa cushions).
  1. Post-cleaning precautions

Ensuring your cleaning supplies are kept out of ‘paws’ reach will help keep your pet safe and prevent accidental ingestion, Catrin adds:

If you’ve mopped your floors or wiped your counters, keep your furry friend away until they’re dry. After you have used your products, including sponges, brushes, or gloves, store them in a place that your pet cannot access.

  1. Hygienic habits all year round

Experts advise that your dog’s bedding should be cleaned once every two weeks7 and the cat’s litter tray cleaned every week8, so there’s no better time to start a new washing routine than springtime. Catrin says:

“Your pet’s bedding, blankets, food bowls and even their toys should be part of your spring-cleaning and regular cleaning plan to help keep everyone happy, healthy, and hygienic. For their bedding, regular washing with unscented, hypoallergenic laundry detergent can also help with managing skin sensitivities and allergies . It’s best to vacuum any excess hair and dirt away first and then remove the cover (if detachable) to pop it in the washing machine. If your dog’s bed is too big, you can place it in the bath or shower for a hand wash.

“For cat owners, the litter box should be your starting point. Empty it completely and wash with warm water and cat-safe soap (or washing up liquid), making sure to remove any residue and drying it thoroughly. To help with the ongoing clean, you can even line the litter tray before adding the litter material and use a mat underneath the tray to trap litter scatter and make the cleanup operation even easier.”

  1. Natural solutions for stubborn odours

We know that pets are part of the family, but while pet parents may become nose-blind to their odour, it doesn’t mean it’s not there (even if some guests are too polite to mention it!). Catrin adds:

“To revive your home this spring, you can try using natural odour eliminators to help your rooms remain fresh for visitors. Simply sprinkle baking soda on fabric surfaces, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum.  For more stubborn smells, you could mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and mist where needed, then simply blot with a clean cloth. And voila, a nicer smelling experience for all, humans and animals alike!”

About Animal Friends

Animal Friends Insurance is a multi-award-winning pet insurer. Founded in 1998, the company was built with the sole aim of providing industry leading pet insurance and first-class animal care create a better life for every animal.

So far, with the support of our policyholders, we have donated over £8.5 million to more than 800 animal welfare charities and conservancies at home and around the world.

By educating and inspiring others to act on current events and responsible pet ownership, Animal Friends believes that together, we can drive positive change for animals everywhere.

As one of the UK’s largest pet insurance providers, Animal Friends offers cover for dogs, cats, and horses with a range of different policies available, covering over 1 million pets nationwide.

To learn more about Animal Friends Insurance, visit: https://www.animalfriends.co.uk/

Don't miss out!
Subscribe To Newsletter

Receive top cat news, competitions, tips and more!

Invalid email address
Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Why not meow a comment to fellow readers?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.