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7 Pet Hygiene Tips You Should Know

Updated: Jun 8, 2023


When was the last time you used soap and water to clean your cat's litterbox or your dog's food bowls? Pets enrich our lives, but they can also be untidy and filthy. Fur, dandruff, muck, and grime accompany their unconditional affection.


Even the cleanest pet parents find it difficult to keep their home clean when they have pets, let alone the specific toys, dishes, and grooming items that must be sanitized. And, let's be honest, a chore or two may occasionally (or more frequently) slip by the wayside.


If keeping your environment tidy was all for show, it would be simpler to rationalize putting off these mundane activities. However, being vigilant about pet-related hygiene duties is equally important for the health of our pets and ourselves. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than six out of ten infectious diseases are zoonotic, meaning they spread from animals to people.


Keeping these diseases at bay is frequently a matter of practicing good and simple hygiene. The following are pet-related housekeeping tasks that you should perform on a regular basis. Do these not only to maintain your place looking and smelling nice, but also to keep your loved ones both furry and human healthy.



CLEAN YOUR CAT'S LITTER EVERYDAY


If the strong odours aren't enough to get you clean your cat's litter box every day, consider that a dirty box is a breeding ground for a variety of germs, including a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. T. gondii, which is spread by cat faeces, can cause toxoplasmosis, a condition that causes flu-like symptoms. Toxoplasmosis can cause birth abnormalities in children born to infected pregnant women. As a result, most doctors and veterinarians recommend handing off litter box duty to someone else in the family during pregnancy. Litter boxes also serve as a breeding ground for intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms, which can be passed to humans, particularly children.


Cleaning litter boxes also reduces ammonia buildup, which can irritate our sensitive nasal membranes. How should a litterbox be cleaned? Stelow suggests using a mild dish soap and thoroughly cleaning and drying the litter after emptying it. "Anything stronger may keep your sensitive cat away from the litter box," she warns.



CLEAN YOUR PET'S BEDDING


Bedding, aside from being a magnet for fur, dirt, and grime, can also harbour flea eggs and larvae, ticks, and other skin parasites. Clean bedding helps keep pet dander and hair to a minimal in the surroundings. This task is especially important if you or someone in your household suffers from asthma or allergies.


Vacuuming is good for in-between cleanings, but dog bedding must be completely cleaned to limit the danger of infectious disease transmission. “Meier recommends washing bedding once a week or whenever it becomes filthy with a mild fragrance- and dye-free detergent. "The water temperature should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and the bedding should be dried for 20 minutes on high heat." She recommends washing cat bedding less frequently, but that fur be removed regularly using a brush or tape roller.



PROPERLY STORE PET FOOD


Why should your pet consume food that has been left out overnight if you wouldn't?


Salmonella contamination in dry cat and dog food, if it spreads to humans, can result in serious sickness. Adults who are younger or older, or who have weakened immune systems, are particularly at risk. Airtight containers should be used to keep dry food. Similar reasoning applies to wet food, which also needs to be chilled since, "once opened, it will support bacterial growth at room temperature."


You should take even more measures if you feed your pet raw meals. Raw foods must be handled with extreme caution since, if not, they carry a higher risk of serious bacterial infection that may result in disease.



BE SERIOUS ABOUT PREVENTING TICKS AND FLEAS


Keeping fleas away lowers your risk of contracting an illness like the bubonic plague, which is frequently brought on by infected flea bites. A successful flea and tick control programme can help stop the spread of Bartonellosis, sometimes known as cat-scratch fever. The bacteria Bartonella henselae, which causes bartonellosis, is transmitted via infected cat bites and scratches that create skin breaks. The majority of cats don't exhibit infection-related symptoms, although they can occasionally have heart issues. People who have been exposed to the bacteria may experience fever, tiredness, and headaches in addition to redness and pus at the entry site. Cat-scratch fever can be stopped from spreading by consistently using a flea preventative.



WASH AND REPLACE PET TOYS


Pet toys, which are prone to attracting coliform bacteria, yeast, and mold, were another item that made the list of unclean items. If your skin comes into frequent contact with a dirty pet item, it could result in localized skin illnesses. Hard toys should be cleaned with hot, soapy water and disinfected with a moderate bleach solution, as per our recommendations. Also, don't forget to rinse well. Soft toys for pets can go in the washer, but if they are worn out or broken and a risk to the pet, they should be replaced. To coincide with grooming, collars should also be washed in a washing machine every four to six weeks.



VACUUM PET HAIR FROM FURNITURE AND FLOOR

Regular vacuuming is essential if you have allergies or asthma (or even if you don't), especially if you have pets. Particularly in their urine, saliva, and skin cells, cats produce Fel d 1, a protein that triggers allergies in some humans. When allergies aren't maintained to a minimum, not just you suffer. Like humans, cats and dogs frequently develop allergies to dust and mites. To lower the number of allergens in the home, it is advised to vacuum frequently. To destroy bacteria, dust mites, and fleas, carpets should be steam cleaned every six to twelve months and floors should be vacuumed at least once per week with a vacuum with a HEPA filter.



WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER CONTACT WITH PETS


Give your pets plenty of affection and attention. Just keep in mind to wash your hands after playing with, feeding, or caring for pets. Any disease whose mode of transmission depends on ingestion is less likely to spread as a result. To reduce your risk of catching any number of zoonotic infections, such as ringworm, salmonella, cryptosporidium, and E.coli, the CDC advises washing your hands with soap and water. To help you remember to wash your hands, try placing a bar of soap or dispenser in several locations about your house.

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