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Busy Bee: Cleaning Basics for Pets and Humans in the Home

Right now it's Spring, which therefore spells shedding season. Even when our dog scratches his neck, hair flies everywhere; however, shedding isn't the only problem with keeping the house clean with pets. Sometimes we find dirt marks, places where the dog has had accidents, and drool. Which leads me to the dilemma of keeping the house, myself, and the dog clean: where do I begin? I found a few quick tips that help maintain a clean house, clean humans, and clean animals.

  • If you can, brush your pet outside. If weather is bad, or your pet is typically an indoor animal, find a quiet room that is not carpeted. This makes for a much better clean-up later.
  • Brushes that look like they are made for humans are not the best choice for brushing pet hair. Ideally, thin pin-like brushes work really well for removing loose hair, just make sure they don't scratch your pet's skin harshly. They should have rubber tips on the end.
  • How much you need to brush your pet each week depends on the type of animal you own. This link also contains a lot of useful tips on pet grooming and brushing. For our Labrador, I find that I need to brush once a day.
  • Make brushing fun. Some pets, like our dog, enjoy being brushed. However other pets run away from brushings which can make the process difficult. In this case, try distracting them with a toy or something to focus their attention away from being brushed.
Bathing, Drying, and Wiping Vacuuming and Cleaning
  • Vacuum frequently, for your health and your pet's health.
  • Even on hard wood or tile, vacuuming is better for cleaning than sweeping. To me it seems that sweeping often stirs up hair more than getting rid of sheddings.
  • Conveniently, vacuums come with many different attachments, and the smaller ones are especially good on vacuuming furniture and in small cracks between sofa seats where hair often gets stuck
  • Getting safe cleaning products is absolutely important. Recently they have created products marked as pet safe, but still make sure before you buy. If your case is like mine, our pet licks EVERYTHING and I would never want him to lick something dangerous.
  • To prevent sheddings from getting stuck into the fabric of your sofa, put a slip cover or even just a blanket over your furniture. These can easily be washed to remove hair.
  • Along with protecting your furniture from hair, blankets also keep your furniture clean from dirt stains or any accidents your pets might have.
Lint Rolling
  • Especially during shedding season, this is the most effective way to keep clothes and other fabrics clean. It never fails that before I have to go into work, I'll find dozens of black hairs on my clothes, and this is the quickest solution for me before I go out the door.
  • If you transport your pet in a vehicle and have a difficult time getting a vacuum in the car, lint rollers work well to pick up sheddings from seats and carpet. Plus you can keep the lint roller in the car in case you need to clean a seat quickly for guests.
  • Lint rollers also work well on delicate fabrics that you might worry about putting a vacuum to.
Life is much easier for us when we don't have to worry about finding hair everywhere. Keeping our dog groomed also gives him a nice clean coat that doesn't irritate his skin. So not only do these tips help keep a clean home, but they create a safe and healthy environment for both you and your pet!

Keep your Pets Safe

Toxic Plants

Tomatoes, grapes, edible flowers -- many plants and the fruit that they bear are delicious and work wonders for our bodies. However, there are many plants that also have the potential to cause harm to us and the pets and animals that we love and care for. The following is a collection of resources that will shore up your knowledge of toxic and poisonous plants, along with the safety measures that should be taken with them. Click around and rummage through our selection to discover your ideal aids.

Botanical Text References

  1. Kingsbury Poisonous Plants.  This is a link for you to purchase the famous botanical reference written by John Kingsbury. This is a resource used by experts in the community.
  2. Poison Plants. Alan Eshleman constructed this frequently used reference to analyze poisonous pants. It is highly recommended. 
  3. Human Poisoning from Native and Cultivated Plants. This resource was penned by J. and J. Arena Hardin. It was created in the 1970s, so it's best understood in light of historical precedent.
  4. Toxic Plants of Northern Amazonia. This work deals with the plant life of the Amazonian rainforest. It's a compelling read and has been widely praised.
  5. Field Guide to Poisonous Plants. This is a great and handy resource for pet owners and pet lovers. It provides a clear and comprehensive set of information on plants that aren't safe.    

Veterinary Text References

  1. Merck Veterinary Journal. The Merck Journal is arguably the most reputable and respected source for information on animal care. Click here for an accurate database of poisonous and toxic plants.
  2. Edible and Poisonous Plants of Northern California. Outdoor lovers and their pets frequenting California will love this resource. It offers important facts about plants to avoid.  
  3. NY State Dangerous Roadside Plants. New York's Department of Transportation has compiled this important listing. Check here to learn what plants might bring about illness upon consumption. 
  4. Understanding Poisonous Plants. The University of Illinois provides this database of poisonous plants found in Illinois and other states. It's a quick and concise resource for this variety of information.
  5. Some Kentucky Weeds and Poisonous Plants. This classic poisonous plant resource was first published in 1914. It brings a historically substanial field of information to the table.  

Veterinary Journals

  1. Equine Veterinary Journal. Horse lovers and fans will rally around this important veterinary journal. You can also find information here on equine veterinary education.
  2. Veterinary Ireland Journal. This journal is updated monthly, and every article is reviewed by selective professionals. Large and small animals are both featured.
  3. Pakistan Veterinary Journal. This journal produces four editions annually. Its editorial board features members all throughout the world.
  4. AVMA Journals. The American Veterinary Medical Association composes two great journals, both of which are recommended. One of them is specifically focused on research.
  5. JVDI. This is the homepage for the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. It's an excellent resource for those looking to study veterinary medicine.    

Source: Indiana Toxic Plants

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