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The Best Pet Hygiene Tips You Should Be Doing
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The Best Pet Hygiene Tips You Should Be Doing

Critter Culture Staff
Updated Nov 29, 2022

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Owning a pet is a great joy in life, but they certainly come with a lot of chores to keep them happy and healthy.

Self-grooming isn't just a human characteristic, and because we've domesticated our pets, it's a good idea to provide a cleaning routine to keep them free of harmful parasites, bacteria, and general dirt and dust.

Creating good hygiene habits from the start of pet ownership is key to maintaining your pet's health and home. Include these things in your checklist of pet hygiene items, and you'll have a clean, loving pet for years to come.

1

Bathe your pets regularly

Adorable and funny puppy of white dwarf poodle having bath. Selective focus. Home indoor shot.

One of the most essential grooming aspects of having a pet in your home is to bathe them regularly. Use warm water and shampoo specifically for pets once per week to keep your pets smelling fresh and clean. Towel-dry your pet afterward; if you have a long-haired creature, it may be a good idea to give them a quick blow-dry.

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2

Use flea and tick preventative

Small yellow dog laying down in bed and biting his back Kerkez / Getty Images

Some of the most common illnesses and diseases that affect domestic pets come from fleas and ticks. Yes, we're talking about Lyme, tapeworms, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. These are serious conditions that require expensive veterinary treatments, so it's critical that you choose a preventative routine for these nasty bugs and stick to it.

Flea and tick prevention comes in many forms, like collars, liquid drops, or pill tablets. Your vet can recommend the best product for your pet based on its age and species.

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3

Wash food and water containers

English cocker spaniel puppy eating dog food from ceramic bowl Switlana Symonenko / Getty Images

One thing often overlooked in pet hygiene routines is cleaning their food and water bowls. Just as you probably wouldn't want to eat your meal out of dirty dishes, your pets don't either.

Contaminated food and water containers can harbor harmful bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and giardia. These parasites can cause your pet to have nasty gas, upset stomachs, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cleaning your pet's food and water bowls daily will help stop bacteria from growing and spreading.

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4

Schedule regular grooming appointments

Cute small white dog in a pet's barbershop Iuliia Bondar / Getty Images

If you've got a fur baby with long hair or a busy calendar, schedule regular grooming appointments with trained professionals to keep their pet's coat in tip-top shape.

Groomers can help with your pet's hygiene routine by bathing and drying them, cutting their hair and fur, trimming nails, and even expressing anal glands in smaller pets. Even if you bathe your pet regularly at home, a quarterly visit to a professional will keep your pet smelling fresh and looking their best.

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5

Scrub your buddy's ears

cute jack russell dog working on laptop at home. Technology concept cute jack russell dog working on laptop at home. Technology concept

While yellow to tan earwax is good, inspecting and removing dirt and grime should be done regularly. Give your pets' ears a good wipe with a damp cloth after each bath, and you should have no issues with buildup.

If your pet is scratching too much, shaking their head, or whining while you touch their ears, they may need a thorough cleaning.

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6

Got a cat? Clean that litter box daily

Maine Coon Cat Using The Litter Box. Thorsten Nilson / EyeEm / Getty Images

Sorry, but you've got to scoop the litter box daily for proper upkeep. Depending on the number of cats you have, you might have to clean up litter more than once daily. Plan to change your litter entirely and wash the box with mild soap and water at least once per month, if not more.

Never use bleach to clean your litter box — cat urine contains ammonia, which creates mustard gas when mixed with bleach.

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7

Dental care is important

Cleaning your dog’s teeth for maintaining a good dental hygiene. Daily routine when living with pets. Bonding with pets concept. Oscar Wong / Getty Images

Everyone knows the importance of good dental hygiene; the same applies to our pets. Brushing or wiping your pet's teeth regularly is part of a balanced hygiene regimen. You can also find specially designed chew toys and treats that help keep your pet's teeth fresh and clean in between brushings.

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8

Feed your love muffin high-quality food

Woman feeding her pet dog training him to wait for his food Sally Anscombe / Getty Images

Your pet will thank you for providing a diet of high-quality food that can help maintain good health.

Cheap pet food usually contains many by-products and fillers instead of the valuable nutrients your pet needs to look its best. Choosing a quality food brand can help maintain your pet's health and appearance while providing them with a balanced diet.

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9

Launder bedding and toys

Dog Resting in Bed SolStock / Getty Images

Like most cloth items, bedding and toys can harbor dirt, dust, and nasty bugs.

Cleaning these items regularly with hot water and soap will help keep allergens out of your home and smelling much less like a pet lives there.

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