A spring clean for your dog!

It’s now officially Spring! And before the weather really hots up into Summer I wanted to do some major cleaning projects around the house. One of those is to get all the dogs’ food, accessories and information organised. So below are my top 8 tips for a doggie spring clean!

Spring cleaning for your dog

1. Clean out your dog’s food and treat stash

Do you have a dog food section in your pantry or is your freezer stocked up with raw dog dinners? Whatever the case now is a great time to do a quick clean and stocktake.

Treats: If your pantry is stocked full of treat jars, pull them out and give them a good clean. Rinse out all the sediment that gathers at the bottom and replenish them with your dog’s fave treats. There are some great ideas around for DIY dog treat jars if you don’t have any.
Freezer: If you have frozen meals for your dog, go through all the packages and check their dates. Anything past its use-by or that’s been hanging around for a while (you know the stuff!) should go in the bin. Also ensure the dinners have not frozen into one giant lump at the bottom of your freezer!
Dry food: If you have big bins or bags of dry food check they are still in date. With the bags check no holes have been made in the bottom from dragging them around or the gnawings of sharp, hungry doggie teeth. (It’s happened to us!)
Cans: If you have cans of dog food in your pantry make sure they are in date and the cans have not rusted. I also don’t trust dented cans but maybe that is just me 🙂

2. Check your dog grooming supplies

Our dogs go to the groomers regularly but in between their appointments they get a good old dog wash at home! After the ordeal I usually have a sore back and two wet dogs are rushing about the house trying to dry themselves on every surface, so our grooming supplies get shoved quickly back in the cupboard. Now is a great time to check if you have enough shampoo and conditioner for your next wash and to make sure all brushes, scissors and towels were returned to their rightful place, free of fluff and fur.

If your grooming supplies don’t have a rightful place I recommend a cheap basket from your local $2 dollar shop! If your supplies are low, go and buy some new products now as you don’t want to have to dash about on the next perfectly sunny day when your dogs can dry in the sun, or that inopportune moment when your dog rolls in blood and bone fertiliser at the local park — I am looking at you Cress! I would also think about the season you are heading into. For example, in summer I like to use natural flea and tick shampoo and conditioner on the dogs, while in the winter I use more moisturising products.

3. Replenish your dog first aid kit

First aid kits are always one of those things we use in a rush and then shove back in a cupboard and forget about until another emergency. Grab out your dog’s first aid kit and make sure it has gauze, swabs, bandages, antiseptic cream, tweezers and whatever else you like to keep in there to care for your pup.

If you don’t have a first aid kit for your dog now is the time to put one together. If you need inspiration check out this DIY Dog First Aid Kit. Or to buy one we highly recommend the Creature Clinic First Aid Kits.

4.Check your dog’s collar, tags, harness and leads

Dog collars, harnesses and leads can wear out, depending on their durability. Also, like us dogs can grow and change shape. As owners we also change our details from time to time, especially phone numbers, so tags need to be kept up to date!

Collar: First of all check your dog’s collar in still a comfortable fit. Your dog might have grown (sometimes not up but out). Also check that the collar is still secure and not about to fall apart. Eddie and Cress both currently have material collars and so these can be tossed in the washing machine for a good clean. But if your dog has a leather collar they are usually sealed and waterproofed so just give them a good clean with a damp cloth, and rub them with a little leather conditioner. It may just be time for a new collar, if so hit the shops!
Tags: Firstly, check that your dog’s tags are still attached and not about to drop off. Secondly make sure the details are readable. This might involve removing some grime with a damp cloth or perhaps they have been scratched beyond recognition, if so a new set is required. Lastly, check the details are up-to-date. Is that your current mobile number? Or if online services check your online record is current.
Harness: My dogs both wear harnesses which do suffer from a fair bit of wear and tear, thus need to be replaced more often than their collars. So if you have one of these check it still fits your pup and isn’t hanging by a thread under their armpits or anywhere else.
Leads: Leads are fairly durable devices but check yours is not about to break or has any weak points, including any of the clips and loops. If you are getting a new collar it is always also a good time to grab a new lead to match!

5. Check your dog’s microchip records

Here is Australia — like many other countries around the world — dogs need to be registered and microchipped. Where I live I had to register them with the local council and to be honest it was a bit of a hassle. I had to fill out paper based forms and take them into the council offices and then pay a fee. Once done you want to check that off your list forever. BUT remember you will need to contact your council (or body that manages dog data in your area) again if any of your important details change like your address and phone numbers. Now is a great time to make sure these records are all in order. I have an ‘Eddie and Cress file’ in our filing cabinet with all the details.

6. Check your dog’s vaccination records and health check

Are your dog’s vaccinations up to date and has your dog had a check up lately? Annual vaccinations are important and also provide a great opportunity for your vet to check your dog for any other health issues you want to ask about or might not have noticed. Don’t let your dog go years without a trip to the vet, so if you have been putting it off give the vet a call now and book in a consultation. It is also great to file the vaccination certificates in the same file as your microchip details as they might be needed if you have to book your dog into any boarding facilities.

7. Clean their beds

Our dogs have several dog beds that I clean now and then, but take this opportunity to give them a really GOOD clean. Remove all the fur, fluff, dirt, dust and hidden snacks. If the cover is removable put it in the wash. If it is a trampoline bed give it a good hose and wipe down. If the bed is unable to be cleaned properly then it is time to change it. There are lots of great beds on the market from the luxury varieties through to those that have removable covers that can be stuffed with old clothes and towels. Have a look around and choose something that suits your dog and your home.

8. Get rid of old dog toys and accessories

Gather your dog’s toys and accessories and figure out those you wish to keep, clean and repair, donate or throw out. Just create a pile of toys your dog loves and are in good condition. These toys should then be returned to their storage place. If one of their favourite toys is damaged but you feel they won’t want to part with it see if it can be repaired and cleaned up, then place it with the others.

Toys that are in good condition but are not used should be collected together and bagged so you can take them to your local dog shelter. Include in these bags any in-date treats your dogs doesn’t like, plus old towels, collars, and coats that are all in respectable condition.

Do you have any additional doggie spring cleaning tips? Let us know!

Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller is a blogger, digital strategist, business coach, zoologist and crazy dog-lady! Lisa lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband, two kids, two dogs and two cats. That equates to a lot of fun and vacuuming. Her dog’s names are Cresswell and Edwina (or Cress and Eddie).