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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring Cleaning With Dogs

Spring Is In The Air & So Is Spring Cleaning

Its that time of year at Dogs About Town. Spring cleaning is upon us.

Dexter, Maisie and Charlie are lending a helping paw and have come up with 5 areas they need to focus on.

  • Beds and Blankets
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Collars & Leads
  • Car Seats and Carpets

Plus, they'll be helping out a local shelter at the same time...

Dog in dog bed
Dog on flat cushion bed

Beds and Blankets

These can be a haven for doggy smells, dirt and bacteria but with a little regular maintenance they needn't be. Here's how...

Try to choose a bed with removable covers and cushions

Hoover regularly to get rid of excess hair and dander.

For stubborn hairs, get your rubber gloves on. Wet them under the tap and then rub the hair on the bed. It will ball up and become easier to pick off.

If it's machine washable, pop it in the machine, follow the manufacturers instructions and try not to use harsh or fragranced detergents.

Get Some Help, If You Need It

If you can't face putting the bed in your washing machine (& sometimes Dexter's has just gone too far, particularly the one in the boot of the car) find a local business that will clean it for you.

Often they started out cleaning tack and blankets for horses and then branched out in to dog bedding. Make sure they'll use a hypo-allergenic detergent that won't leave the bedding excessively fragranced.

Dog with soft dog toys
Dog playing with treat toy


If your doggy toy cupboard is anything like ours, it's full to bursting and there are some clear favourites. I'm pretty sure Dexter and Maisie would be happy if we just kept the tennis balls. And the fluffy animals. And maybe the squeaky ones (you see how it starts...)

This year, we're going to be strict, though and sort out all the toys into 3 piles...

Keep - All the toys to be kept are being washed. The soft ones are going in the washing machine (in a garment bag to protect dangly legs) and the hard ones are going in the dishwasher

Bin - Any toys that are no longer safe (stuffing coming out, pieces missing, sharp edges etc) are going in the bin but we'll be recycling what ever we can.

Donate - Any toy still in good condition, but that the gang don't need anymore, is going to our local shelter so it can either be sold in one of their fundraising table top sales, or given to resident woofers to keep them entertained while they wait for their forever homes.

Dog treats


As well as the toy cupboard, we're giving the treats store a good clear out. Any treats, still in date but not needed will be going with the toys to the shelter and any that are out of date are going in the bin.

Leather dog lead

Collars & Leads

Leather - most can be cleaned, by hand, using an appropriate leather cleaner such as Saddle Soap and many manufacturers will have cleaning instructions on their websites. As a general rule, always hand wash and air-dry and don't rub patterns and motifs too hard.

Webbed / Cotton / Woven - many can be machine washed following relevant instructions. We put Maisie's in a garment bag to protect the buckles (on old pillow case would do just as well). If washing by hand, again, don't rub too hard on patterns or raised motifs.

Stitching - is often functional (load bearing) as well as decorative. If it gets grubby, try to avoid rubbing too hard a this may cause it to fray, which could weaken the collar.

Dogs in the car

Car Seats & Carpets

If your dog travels in the car with you, chances are they bring with them a pungent cocktail or mud, leaves, fur and maybe the odd stick or two to chew on the journey home - sound familiar?

As well as washing the beds they sit on, Jo is using her favourite cleaning hack to get excess hair of the upholstery, particularly the backs of the seats that Maisie and Dexter lean on.

Grab your rubber gloves, get them wet and then rub the hair. It will "ball up" making it easy to pick up or hoover.

This works brilliantly on carpets too and for larger areas, use a wet squidgee blade instead - be careful not to get too enthusiastic and rub the pile to hard as this could damage it.


Spring is Sprung

And to finish off, keep an eye out for these plants popping up in your garden or out on walks - all toxic to dogs by varying degrees.

  • Azaleas
  • Daffodils
  • Foxgloves
  • Hyacinths
  • Lillies
  • Tulips

These are just a few of the plants that are dangerous to dogs, see more from The Kennel Club.


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