Your pet is much more than a four legged companion, they are a cherished, loved family member in your family. Just like your human family members, your pet needs to practice good hygiene. Considering your pet doesn’t have hands to do this themselves, they depend on you to keep them healthy and clean. Great hygiene practices are not only beneficial for your pet, but also your entire family as it reduces the chances of bacteria spreading in the household. Consider the following hygiene tips to keep your pet in tip top health:
Clean Your Cat’s Litter Box Daily- Not only do the smells that come out of your kitty’s litter box smell funky but it’s a breading ground for germs. Intestinal parasites like hookworms and roundworms breed quickly and thrive in litter boxes and can be transmitted to humans. Toxoplasmosis is a disease that thrives in litter boxes causing flu-like symptoms and may cause birth defects in children of pregnant women. It’s spread through cat feces and is the reason why pregnant women should avoid cleaning litter boxes. Cleaning your cat’s litter box out daily is recommended to reduce the risk of these germs and parasites from breeding.
Clean Food and Water Bowls- Pet bowls are infested with germs. When a pet drinks or eats from their bowl, the bacteria in their saliva is transmitted to the bowl. This bacteria can grow, causing illness in pets and young children who may play in the bowls. Therefore, cleaning your pet’s bowls every 1-2 days is highly recommended.
Flea and Tick Prevention- Does your pet continuously suffer from the nagging itchiness of fleas and ticks? Being diligent about flea and tick prevention will keep your pet healthy and comfortable. Fleas and ticks are pests that carry many diseases that make it easy for your pet to develop diseases if your pet is not on a monthly preventative. Bathing your pet at least once every three months is recommended for hygiene. Additionally, it’s crucial for your pet to be treated with a flea and tick preventative every month. Even missing one month’s dose is enough to cause a flare up. A flea infestation is the last thing you want in your home. Don’t forget to clean your pet’s collar and toys too!
Brush Your Pet’s Teeth- Does Fido have awful breath? It could be a sign of poor dental health. One way to combat this is to ensure you’re cleaning your pet’s teeth. Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is recommended, but if that’s not possible brushing them as often as you can is still beneficial. Periodontal disease is caused by poor dental hygiene and can have serious side effects to your pet’s health. Initiating a dental care routine and maintaining it will go a long way in keeping your pet healthy.
Keep Your Pet’s Ears Clean- Clean ears are vital to pet health and must be a part of your pet’s hygiene routine. This is important to remember even if your pet is not displaying symptoms of ear issues. Signs of ear issues include rubbing or scratching at the ears as well as foul odor, redness, or discharge coming from the ears. Never use Q-tips to clean your pet’s ears as this can result in serious ear damage. Instead use cotton balls and an ear cleaning solution.