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Dog parents, it’s that time of the year again where we clean out our drawers, closets, and toss things we no longer need. During this deep clean, you’re likely to clean your kid’s rooms while you’re at it, but what about our fur babies? This article is a message to all dog parents. Just like small children, your pups need help with decluttering and organization of their life. Here’s a spring cleaning checklist for every pet parent.


Tip #1: Clean Toys and Throw Out Old Ones

French puppy playing with red toy

If Fido’s favorite stuffed animals are looking a little shabby, throw them in the washer! Even toys with squeakers and crinkles that are starting to smell can be tossed in the washer. Use an unscented detergent with no bleach or Borax. Make sure to check for loose parts before returning to its owner. For the plastic toys, air dry them before playing fetch with your pups. Lastly, if your dog’s old toys are just falling apart, it’s best to toss them for new toys. It’ll also be a fun time to take your pup to your local dog store to pick out new toys!


Tip #2: Clean Out The Dog Bowls

lab holding his silver dog bowl

When was the last time you cleaned your dog’s water or food bowl? If it’s been a while, you’re not the only one. Dog food and water bowls are some of those things that may slip our minds to clean. They’re used every day, and need to be cleaned consistently. This spring cleaning, place plastic pet bowls in the dishwasher for a much-needed rinse; give them another rinse after removal for good measure to remove any traces of detergent. 


You can also hand wash your dog’s bowls with your preferred dish detergent. Wash them separately from your family’s dishes and use a sponge or rag reserved just for this purpose to prevent any bacterial growth from being transferred. 


Tip #3: Reorganize Your Dog Food and Treats

dog food in container and a cup of dog food spilt on floor

Dog food and treats, wet or dry, have an average shelf life of anywhere from four months to several years, depending on their contents and packaging.


Dry Food: As dry food is exposed to air, the nutritional content reduces significantly. Just like human food, opened bags of dry dog food should be consumed before the expiration date on the package. This will ensure your pup gains the full nutritional benefits. 


Wet Food: Canned foods can last a minimum of one year and can retain nutritional content if stored properly. However, if a can appears rusty or bulging, it should be disposed of as its sterility and seal are broken.


 If you regularly purchase large packages of dog food, consider putting it in an air- and water-tight container instead of the original bag. This can help preserve the food’s nutritional value and extend the shelf life. Store both canned and bagged pet food in a dry, room temperature location. Bags can mold and cans can rust, which may cause health complications in your pet if consumed.


Tip #4: Clean Your Pup’s Bed(s)

Beagle in their dog bed

Your dog has probably been snuggling up in their bed all winter to keep warm. With more bedtime comes more stink and hair build-up on their dog beds. To clean your dog beds, sprinkle baking soda over the bed and let it sit for a few minutes. Then vacuum to absorb the odor and fur. You can also toss your dog bed into the washer for a good wash-through with the toys. 


Tip #5: Spruce Up Your Yard

dog laying out in the backyard

Ah yes, the backyard. It’s not just our BBQ spot, it’s also our dog’s domain. Make sure you clean up any poop that hasn’t been picked up or decomposed in the winter. Then look for any bones or dead animals that can be a disease spreader or choking hazard for your pups. Check any fence repairs that need to be made so Fido doesn’t find a way out. And lastly, clean or replace any outside toys that are covered in dirt or half torn apart. 


BONUS Tip: Get Your Dog on a Play Schedule

dogs playing at Pawderosa Ranch

You may find your schedule picking back up when the temperature starts to warm back up. This means your pup’s schedule should pick back up too! Get Fido on a play schedule when you drop them off for doggie daycare at The Ranch. Our San Antonio dog daycare provides a professionally supervised environment complete with premium care, enriching playtime, and interspersed relaxation in luxury accommodations. Your dog is in good hands while you’re away for the day!

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