With the arrival of spring comes daylight savings time. As you check your smoke and CO2 alarm batteries, turn your clocks forward, and adjust all the clocks on your appliances, there are a few other things you might want to check.
Many pet supplies have expiration dates. Although consumer experts say now that some can be good past the expiration date, many pet owners prefer to be more cautious and replace expired products.
Look at the date on your pet foods. Fresh and frozen foods have a much shorter life span than dry foods, and while canned foods have a much longer shelf life, you should check them all anyway. Arrange them so that the ones due to expire soon are used first.
First aid supplies and medications also have expiration dates. Replace any pet first aid supplies that are expired or have been used. For example, vet wrap (elastic tape) doesn’t expire but if your athletic dog has needed to have a paw wrapped due to running, dashing, and jumping; then replace that vet wrap.
Food and Water Bowls
Take a look at your pets’ food and water bowls. Although we probably don’t think about this often, these need replacing every once in a while; especially if you are using plastic bowls.
All food and water bowls should be run through the dishwasher daily. But even with regular cleaning bacteria can build up in the pores and cracks of plastic. This can, obviously, cause issues for your furry family member. Dogs and cats can develop redness or acne, as well as bacterial infections, on their chin because of soiled plastic bowls. Stainless steel bowls are best for pets who develop this issue as these come out of the dishwasher significantly cleaner. Steel bowls are best for pets eating raw food diets, too, for the same reason.
Replace steel, glass, and ceramic bowls that are dented, chewed, cracked, chipped, or broken.
Water fountains are so easy to use it’s also easy to forget to clean them. While doing your spring cleaning, empty the water, take the water fountain apart, and completely clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the filters are replaceable, replace them. If the filters are to be cleaned rather than replaced, clean them thoroughly.
If you have lost the instructions as to how to clean them, go to the manufacturer’s website and look up the fountain you have. These sites are great resources for use and cleaning instructions.
Litter Boxes and Trash Cans
How often do you completely replace the litter in your cat’s litter box? If you routinely just scoop the box and then add new litter, use this time to completely replace the litter and scrub the box.
When you scrub it, take a look at the box. Can you get it really clean? Plastic litter boxes, as well as plastic trash cans, need to be replaced regularly because at some point, it just won’t get clean any more. How often depends on the type of litter box, the litter you use, and how many cats use the box.
If your litter boxes have filters to help cut down on odors, this is a good time to replace those. Scrub the litter box top before you put the new filter in.
Trash cans that hold scooped litter (even when in bags) or empty cans of cat food will begin smelling bad, too. Eventually these too will need replacing.
A Few More Things
Is your pet’s favorite bed looking shabby? Take the outer covering off the bed, vacuum the hair off it, and wash it. How does it look now? If it’s good, awesome. If it’s worn, torn, chewed, or still looks sad, maybe it’s time to replace it.
Just like other pet supplies, collars, harnesses, and leashes don’t last forever. Collars and harnesses might be too small or get worn and shabby. Leashes can wear out with cracked leather or chewed fabric. Clips might get loose, stuck open, or be hard to open. These supplies should always be in good shape; your pet’s safety depends on it!
Don’t forget your pet’s identification, too. Is the information on the identification tags up to date?
When Time Changes in the Fall
While you’re taking care of these springtime chores, mark your calendar for the time change in the fall. If you make a habit of checking these things in the spring and fall, as you do your clock and alarms, you will certainly help your pets live a happier, healthier life!