Tricks to keep your pet’s environment clean

Be a pet detective

It's important to clean up old pet urine and other stains because these are what keep a cat or dog, with its keen sense of smell, coming back. Outline the spots with pieces of string or by lightly tracing with chalk. Then follow our directions for removing urine stains.

Tricks to keep your pet’s environment clean

1. Keep your pet's things clean: bedding, bowls and toys

Cleaning prolongs the life of the equipment, keeps your pet healthy and reduces the incidence of unpleasant odours.

2. Wash food and water bowls daily

  • This is to avoid the growth of bacteria. Put them in the dishwasher, if they are dishwasher safe.
  • You can include them with your own dishes — the high dishwasher temperatures will sanitise everything.
  • Or, hand wash using hot, soapy water. (Do this separately.)
  • Keep two sets of dishes for your pet, and rotate them.
  • Stainless steel bowls are the easiest to keep clean.

3. Leashes

  • Clean leashes periodically to remove dirt and salt, which can corrode the metal parts.
  • Soak non-leather leashes in a sink full of warm water with a squirt of dishwashing liquid and a dash of liquid fabric softener, to keep the leash soft, not stiff.
  • Rub clean with a sponge.
  • Rinse in clean, warm water.
  • Don't wash leashes in the washing machine, because they could get tangled and the metal clasps could dent your machine.
  • Hang to dry.

4. Hand wash dog coats

  • Use the same care you'd use on your own woolens — unless the care instructions say otherwise. Most dog coats are made from the same materials as people coats — wool or acrylic.
  • Fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a gentle fabric wash or a eucalyptus wool wash, or a squirt of mild dishwashing liquid (the eucalyptus wash has the added bonus of repelling fleas).
  • Soak and then gently rub out any stains.
  • Rinse thoroughly in clear, lukewarm water.
  • Gently wring the coat out.
  • Wrap it in a clean towel to remove moisture. Lay the towel out on a flat surface and work the coat into shape with your hands.
  • Let it dry.
  • Alternatively, have it dry-cleaned.
  • If you decide to spoil your dog with an expensive hand-knitted, 100 per cent wool dog sweater from one of those posh, pampered pet shops, treat it as though it were one of your own luxury garments. That means don't put it through a washing machine cycle or in a dryer. Read the care label and follow the instructions. It might belong to your dog, but you should wash it as though you were going to wear the item yourself.

5. Wash pet toys regularly

  • Wash rubber and nylon toys by hand with soap and water.
  • Wash soft toys in the washing machines
  • Discard frayed, torn or broken toys.

6. To wipe slobber off a frisbee (or rubber ball)

Take along a portable travel pack of wipes when you play in the park with your dog — or any other time you're away from your garden hose. All those fellow dog owners you meet and greet with a handshake will thank you.

7. To locate old pet urine stains in a room

Think like a crime scene investigator. Turn off the lights and scan the room with a black-light bulb (ultraviolet light), which makes otherwise invisible stains visible.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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