Pet Spring Cleaning: What to Keep, Clean and Toss



March 9, 2020

Spring cleaning is a great way to get your home and mindset ready for the season ahead. Purging the old and sprucing up what you keep is a great habit to avoid clutter. But what about your pet’s stuff? You can toss what doesn’t spark you and your pet’s joy too!

Know What to Keep

Let’s be real here… how many leashes and other pet accessories are too many? You’ve likely accumulated pet goodies over the years, but probably only use a select few collars and leashes on a monthly basis. Keep the accessories you use on a regular basis and donate the rest!

To help you make the necessary cuts for your home’s storing capacities in addition to your own sanity, we’ve made a top list of pet necessities to keep.

Food| Now this is an obvious one. Of course, keep your home stocked with your pet’s favorite food and treats! However, if you have old bags of food or brands your pet didn’t like, now’s the time to toss or donate it to another family whose pet would gobble it down. Don’t forget to keep your pet’s food and water bowls too.

Pet Toys| Your pet likely has his favorite toys or balls. Put those safely in the keep pile before the decluttering gets the best of you.

Accessories| Keep your pet’s collar, short and expandable leashes, poop bags and other necessities. But the promotional leash you got as a door prize and have never used? Lose it and give it to someone who’d use it regularly.

Bedding| Your pet likely has a safe space they like to retreat to, whether that’s a padded bed or a crate. But what about past bedding or crates they’ve outgrown? Give them to a new home!

Litter Box| This is an important “keep” for your feline friend. However, if you have more than you need, you can cut down on clutter.

Clean What You Can

Now that you’ve pulled out what you’re keeping, it’s time to do a deep clean. After all, when was the last time you popped your pet’s food bowls into the dishwasher? Wash what you can in the dishwasher and laundry. While those items are being cleaned, run a mop or vacuum along the area where your pup normally eats, sleeps and keeps their toys. You’ll be surprised with how much grime and hair can build up over time! For ongoing maintenance, we’d recommend washing your pet’s bowls and bedding once a week.

An easy item to forget to clean is your pet’s collar! Give it a quick soak in hot soapy water with a bit of pet shampoo.

As for your pet’s toys, you’ll have to use your best discretion on what can be cleaned. According to the National Safety Federation (NSF), pet toys are number 7 on the top germiest items in our home. Yuck! Stuffed toys? Throw them in the laundry! Gooey tennis ball? May be time for a swap. We’re sure your pet will grow to love their new tennis ball in no time.

For the feline friends, you’ll want to give their litter box a deep clean. Toss out all of their litter, throw on a pair of gloves, and grab the pet safe dish detergent. Don’t forget your litter box lid and scooper too. Make sure the box is fully dry prior to adding more litter. This is an important step to keep your cat healthy.

Toss (or recycle/donate!) What You Don’t Need

It’s time to toss or donate what you’re not using. Spare food that hasn’t gone bad? That’s great! A shelter or fellow pet parent would appreciate your contribution. However, be sure to check expiration dates. You’d hate to pass on bad grub!

Other important items to toss are expired medication or pet treatments. Just like it’s bad for humans to ingest old medication, dogs and cats can be similarly impacted. Toss the old and make room for the new should they need additional medications. (pssst: and Bivvy may be able to help you pay for those!)

How many of the same item does your pet really need? If they have duplicates of leashes, collars, food bowls, etc. those are great items to pass on to another pup or cat in need. What a great way to start a pet’s adoption journey: with a new-to-them leash, collar and food bowls for their new home.

For toys that have been a bit too loved, don’t feel bad about tossing them. Just like you wouldn’t donate a teddy bear with one arm hanging by a thread (sorry, Teddy!) to Goodwill, shelters would prefer toys in good condition too.

While you’re cleaning up after your pet, take a look at other areas of your home for items to donate! Spare blankets and cleaning supplies are items shelters generally accept. Another appreciated household item you can donate are office supplies! Come the end of the school year,consider donating any extra school supplies like notebooks, pens and pencils to your local pet shelter. They help keep volunteers and staff stocked and ready to help adopting pet parents, write grants, etc.

With all donations, we recommend calling your local shelter to see what they accept. Shelters have different needs and you may need to make a few stops to pass items off to deserving homes.

We hope these spring cleaning tips help you feel refreshed and organized! In between your tidying, keep Bivvy pet insurance in mind as a way to organize your financial life. Accidents and illnesses can occur to any pet, and trips to the vet can add up fast. With Bivvy’s affordable pet insurance, you can have financial support should your pet incur pricey vet bills. Plus, our supportive team ensures our coverage is simple and transparent, so you feel confident in understanding your cat insurance or dog insurance policy. Checkout our coverage today!

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