Customer Service: Contact Us Here +1 (844) 673-7287 • 9am - 5pm EST (M-F)

Spring Cleaning With Pets 

A fog carrying a rake doing spring cleaning in the backyard with grass and flowers

As the winter melts away, embrace the urge to shake out the cobwebs and refresh your space. That’s right, it’s time for spring cleaning! An annual overhaul of your living space is good for hygiene and health, especially if you have pets. Between pet hair, muddy paws, bedding, and slobbery toys, a furry roommate adds a significant burden to the household cleaning regimen. Make your annual ritual pet-focused and pet-friendly this year with our actionable guide to Spring Cleaning with Pets!  

Table of Contents:

Pet-Safe Spring Cleaning 

First, all cleaning supplies should be reviewed for pet safety before use. Household products came in at #6 on the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s annual Top 10 Toxins list. Common household cleaners, such as Lysol and Pine Sol, are not recommended for homes with pets. This is because many cleaners contain chemicals that are toxic to animals, including: 

  • Ammonia 
  • Chlorine 
  • Bleach 
  • Isopropyl alcohol  
  • Formaldehyde 
  • Phenols 
  • Phthalates 
  • Essential oils 

The level of toxicity and a pet’s reaction is determined by the concentration, dosage, and pathway of exposure, meaning whether the chemical was ingested, inhaled, or exposed to skin. If you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic substance, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 or visit your local veterinary hospital immediately.  

The APCC also hosts a helpful guide to household products for safe cleaning practices around the home. Many chemicals that are toxic in concentrated doses are safe when diluted correctly, washed away, and thoroughly ventilated while cleaning — such as bleach and disinfectants. For an extra level of safety, filter your online purchases for pet-safe products and products that contain an EPA label. If in doubt, mixtures of baking soda and white vinegar can make excellent cleaning solutions that are non-toxic to pets. However, all cleaning materials and solutions have the potential to affect your pet if ingested or inhaled. No matter what you use, keep your cleaning products away from pets during use and store them securely out of reach of curious noses.  

Spring Clean: Your Pet’s Sleeping Areas 

Did you know that your dog sleeps between 12-14 hours per day, depending on their age? Lucky pup. The areas where your pet is putting in those hours of shut-eye will require a deep cleanse. Dog bedding and other soft furnishings, including sofas and cushions, can trap pet dander and natural oil from dog’s skin, making them ground zero for dog smells due to direct and constant contact.  

Dog bedding and blankets should be machine-washed throughout the year, but Spring might be the ideal time to replace old bedding altogether. Give the area around your pet’s bed a clean too, including the baseboard, windows, and walls, where paws, tails, and noses make regular contact.  

If your dog favors a particular area rug or couch, consider targeting those areas for deeper cleaning. Pet hair and dander are made up of tiny, microscopic flecks of skin shed by dogs. These proteins have the potential to provoke allergic reactions and should not be allowed to accumulate. If your dog enjoys the secure comfort of a crate or carrier, you’ll discover these confined areas can get grimy fast. For hard surfaces, use a mild, natural soap and a highly diluted disinfectant to kill any germs. Taking the time to do any extra rinse with clean water will ensure all chemicals are washed away before your dog comes into direct contact.  

Spring Clean: The Kitchen 

The heart of the home always demands a little extra elbow grease — don’t overlook your dog’s eating area and food storage in the process! Water and food bowls need regular cleaning throughout the year, but Spring is your chance to replace chewed-up bowls and clean the mat or area underneath bowls too.  

Check the area where you store your dog’s food and give it a once-over clean to ensure it remains safe and hygienic. Sweep up dropped kibble and check for any signs of rodents, which could chew their way into bagged dog food and cause contamination.  

Spring Clean: The Yard 

The yard is your pet’s play palace … but it’s also their bathroom. For the health of the household, it’s essential to thoroughly pick up after your dog. Snow melt may reveal a minefield that should be cleared away, including potential animal droppings or debris. As plants emerge, it’s also a good time to keep an eye out for potential new animal habitats or toxic plants that may have sprung up.  

Spring Clean: The Kennel 

If your dog has living quarters outside the home, such as a kennel or yard shelter, they can be easily overlooked during the regular cleaning regimen. Spring is the ideal time to get into those long-forgotten corners. Clear out any old chews, bones, or toys and sweep out the entire area. Use a diluted disinfectant that is effective against common canine diseases, such as parvo, as well as the bacteria and other microorganisms that can thrive in kennels. If you have a hose, try to spray down the entire area after disinfection for safety.  

Dealing With Dog Hair 

Introducing the ultimate enemy of a clean home: dog hair. If you’ve ever watched a tumbleweed of your pet’s fur roll through your living space, you understand the struggle. Spring is also the time most dogs will typically begin seasonal shedding, particularly breeds with double coats like huskies, malamutes, and shepherds. Pet hair removal is a manual process, requiring a thorough vacuum of every corner of your home to remove dander, stray strands, and even parasites that can accumulate.  For stubborn, embedded hairs, you can follow up after vacuuming with a lint roller or specialty pet hair brush. On fabric, a light misting of water can help prep the surface for cleaning. Area rugs that can be removed may benefit from professional cleaning surfaces, which will remove microscopic dander, fur, and smells from rug fibers.  

Dealing With Dog Smells 

No matter how hard you try, it sometimes feels like that distinctive doggie smell can linger throughout the home — or even worse, wet dog smells. This distinctive odor is a combination of oils, dander, sweat, saliva, and bacteria found on fur. Addressing dog smells in the home requires routine cleaning on top of an annual deep cleanse. Utilizing air purifiers with HEPA filters, replacing air filters regularly, and turning to natural deodorizers like baking soda and vinegar can make a significant difference in maintaining a fresher home.  

Don’t Forget: Grooming  

For the most effective house-cleaning approach, start at the source! A cleaner pup equals a cleaner home. Try to establish a regular, year-round grooming routine for your dog, whether that involves professional groomers or just at-home baths and brushing. Read ElleVet’s guide on how often to bathe your dog for an in-depth examination of when and how to clean your dog.  

The Bottom Line 

Spring into a new season feeling refreshed with a clean home and yard free from doggie smells and dander. All your hard work will reward you with improved air quality and a safer, more hygienic environment for you and your furry companions.  

At ElleVet, we’re committed to helping pet parents understand their dog’s behavior and needs. Visit our blog for further insights into the world of pet care.  

Please reach out to us if you have any questions or would like to talk about your dog’s needs. Contact us at [email protected] or (844) 673-7287. We are here to help!