Yuck! Nearly One-Third of Pet Parents Are Unaware Pet Toys Collect Dirt, Bacteria, Yeast and Mold
Spring cleaning season is upon us, and pet parents should remember their pets during spring cleaning too! It’s necessary to care for their pet’s products, toys and accessories. Nearly one-third of pet parents who responded to Petco’s March survey* are unaware their pets’ toys collect dirt, bacteria, yeast and mold. What’s also alarming is 1 in 5 pet parents wait at least a month to clean their pet’s eating and drinking bowls – even though pet bowls are one of the dirtiest items in the house.
“Pets shouldn’t be overlooked in spring cleaning. For pet parents, cleaning their pet’s belongings may be obvious, but the importance of replacing other items may not be. That’s where we come in,” said Whitney Miller, Director of Veterinary Medicine for Petco. “We’re proud to be the go-to resource to keep pets happy and healthy, so pet parents can stay focused on spending quality time with their furry, scaled, finned and feathered family members.”
- Bowls & Feeding Accessories: A study by National Safety Federation revealed that pet bowls are one of the dirtiest items in American homes, yet Petco’s survey revealed they’re often easily overlooked by pet parents. While it’s recommended to wash pet bowls daily with hot water and antibacterial dish soap to avoid germs that can upset some pets’ stomachs, 1 in 5 pet parents are guilty of waiting at least a month to scrub their pet’s eating or drinking bowls. Pet parents should also replace dishes and bowls if they are cracked, chipped or scratched.
- Bedding: Sixteen percent of pet parents are unaware of how often their pet’s beds and blankets should be cleaned, even though 76 percent are aware they should clean their pet’s bed at least once a month. Petco recommends rotating pet bedding once a week to rid your home of the dirt, bacteria and allergens that dogs and cats drag in. If any tears or other damage, like loose stuffing on the bedding cannot be fixed, Petco specialists recommend replacing the items completely.
- Toys: Around one in five pet parents are unaware of how often to replace their furry friend’s plastic and rubber toys. While many toys can be cleaned with hot water and mild dish soap, Petco urges pet parents to diligently throw away toys once they become ripped, or if the stuffing or a squeaker starts to come out. Damaged rubber toys can have sharp edges that could injure pets’ mouths and stomachs.
- Litter Boxes and Accessories: Litter boxes serve as a host to a variety of bacteria and parasites, but one in five pet parents believe their cat’s litter box never has to be replaced. Petco specialists recommend replacing the litter box at least once a year to keep your cat happy and healthy.
- Pest Prevention: Make sure the only scratching your cat or dog performs is reserved for the scratching post. Nearly half of survey respondents don’t routinely clean out their pet’s spa supplies, including brushes. Even more surprising, 12 percent of pet parents are unaware of how often their dog or cat’s flea and tick prevention products need to be replaced. While clean bedding and toys can help avoid pests with dogs and cats, Petco also recommends ensuring products, like flea and tick treatments, are tossed and replaced before their expiration for optimal results.
Just like pet parents, change can be tough for pets. Keep them comfortable when cleaning or replacing their belongings by incorporating something old with the new. Familiar scents and treats, in addition to offering praise to reinforce using the new product, should keep pets happy. After all, a clean home is a healthy home for both humans and pets.