Dog mom sweeping up shedding from her two pets.

A Spring Cleaning Checklist for Pet Parents

Spring is almost here, which means that we’re due for warmer weather, more hours of daylight, and, of course, spring cleaning. For many pet parents, cleaning up after your furry friend can be a full-time job, but tackling a deeper spring cleaning with a pet is a bit more involved than day-to-day maintenance. It’s easy to procrastinate a deep clean, but you (and your pet) will be glad once your to-do list is complete.

To get started, we recommend opening your windows to let in some fresh air, putting on your favorite music, and moving through the spring cleaning checklist below.

Indoor Cleaning Checklist

Dividing your spring cleaning list into smaller tasks can make the undertaking more manageable and can also allow for plenty of snuggle and exercise breaks with your pet.

Here’s a master list of everything you’ll need to do to kick off spring cleaning:

  1. Clean Up Pet Hair: You might be tempted to use a lint roller to pick up stray dog and cat hair in your house, but use rubber gloves instead. Wet the gloves with a little bit of water and run your gloved hand over the area you want to clean. The gloves will pick up hair like they’re velcro. Continue to rinse the gloves and repeat the process until all stray hairs have been picked up. Afterwards, use a vacuum for carpeted areas, moving the vacuum in different directions to pick up unwanted pet hair. If you have hardwood floors, forgo the vacuum and use a mop with a microfiber attachment for best results.
  2. Deodorize Smells: Your pet might be loveable, but they can also stink on occasion. Carpeted areas are hot spots for odors, so take extra care to clean and deodorize your carpets while spring cleaning. If you’re concerned about chemicals in over-the-counter products, consider making a home remedy with baking soda, which is not harmful to pets. If you’re still in need of something to freshen up your home this spring, an air purifier can do the trick.
  3. Launder Pet Linens: Spring cleaning is a good time to start washing! Although your pet’s bed should be washed regularly, throw it in the washing machine (or hand wash) if you’ve skipped a few cleaning cycles. It’s also a good time to wash pet collars and leashes by soaking them in separate bowls of warm, soapy water for 30 minutes. Gently rinse them, squeeze out the excess water, and lay flat to dry before the next use.
  4. Clean The Litter Box: We’re certain that you do this on a regular basis, but use this time to do a serious deep clean of your cat’s litter box. Go beyond simply changing out the litter and actually clean the box that the litter sits in (or replace it if you can’t bring yourself to clean it). Wash the box with warm, soapy water, or a 50/50 mixture of water and cleaning vinegar. Wash the scooper and the lid as well. Be sure that everything has completely dried before adding the new litter into the clean box.
  5. Disinfect and Organize Toys: Pet toys can get grimy if you don’t take the time to clean them. Many toys can be cleaned on the top shelf of the dishwasher, and others can simply be cleaned by soaking them in warm, soapy water. Stuffed toys can typically be placed in the washing machine and left out to air dry or put in the dryer on a low heat. Additionally, take stock of your toy collection and make decisions about what to toss and what to keep. You may even find toys that your pet no longer plays with, but are in good condition, that can be donated to an animal shelter after a thorough cleaning.
  6. Take Stock of Pet Food and Accessories: Do you have an expired, half-used bag of treats in the back of your pantry? Now is the time to throw it out. Pull out all of your pet’s food, check the expiration dates, and toss whatever is no longer safe to eat. Also, use this opportunity to clean your pet’s food and water bowls, and consider purchasing new ones should you find that your existing bowls are cracked or not aging well.

Outdoor Cleaning Checklist

  1. Clean Up The Mess: If you let your pet relieve themselves in your yard during the colder months, you should do a once-over of your property and clear any visible pet waste that was left behind. If the job seems messier than you can handle, purchase a pooper scooper or special rake that can aid in the clean-up effort.
  2. Remove Harmful Toxins: If you’re planting new flowers in your yard, be sure to securely place fertilizer or pesticides out of your dog’s reach. While you’re being vigilant about weeding, be aware of certain toxins for pets that can lurk in your yard and present dangers for your furry friend.
  3. Rid Your Car of Pet Hair and Odors: Cars often get overlooked during spring cleaning, but pet owners need to give their rides some extra love. Remove all pet toys and accessories, and then work on removing left over pet hair. Try the damp rubber glove to begin and follow that up with a hand-held vacuum. If your car has a lingering pet odor, sprinkle some baking powder on the floor and seats, or invest in a scented car freshener or diffuser.

There’s no need to work through your entire spring-cleaning list in a day. If these tasks become overwhelming, slow it down and choose three to complete before moving on to the next batch. Most likely, however, once you start seeing how fresh and clean your home looks, you won’t want to stop. Happy cleaning!