One of the upsides of the Covid-19 pandemic has been an increased number of households that have pets in them.
It makes sense. We are created to be social beings, and if you can’t hang out with your human best friend, then spending time with a furry best friend is the next best thing (or just the best thing for some of us!).
We know that consistent cleaning and disinfecting surfaces is key to keeping healthy, but owning a dog, cat or any other non human companion can be a challenge for even the cleanest person. In fact, according to a public health and safety study, pet bowls and pet toys ranked among the five germiest items in any home. They can actually be a breeding ground for mold, yeast and a host of bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. Bedding, crates and pet collars are also a likely breeding ground for microbes as well.
- But before you get too grossed out and banish your pet to the outdoors, here are three tips to help you eliminate those germs:
- Toys: Clean off visible dirt and soil with a brush and hot soapy water. Soak them weekly for 10 minutes in a solution of one ounce of bleach in one gallon of water. Follow manufacturer directions while washing plush toys. While the inside squeaker may not survive, it is worth it to have squeaky clean toys.
- Pet Bowls: Wash your pet’s food and water bowls daily with hot soapy water. The inside of the bowls can develop a slimy film. This is a result of a colonization of bacteria known as biofilm. If you have a dishwasher, toss your pet’s bowl in at least a few times a week, but first make sure that the bowl is dishwasher safe.
Bedding: If your pet has specific bedding they spend time on (other than the couch and/or your bed!) you should clean it on a weekly basis. If the beds have a removable cover, wash them at the hottest setting in your washing machine. Adding ½ cup of white or apple cider vinegar can help eliminate or reduce any stubborn odors. If the bed does not have a removable cover, soak it in a bathtub with mild detergent and 1/ cup of vinegar. Check manufacturer labels before putting them in your dryer, otherwise, hang to dry.
Slobbery puppy kisses may give you the warm fuzzies but make sure to clean your pets’ stuff to keep away the heebie jeebies in your home!
Here’s to hoping you have time to Paws and Enjoy Life!® today.