We all know how dirty dogs and cats can be, but how often do we regularly change the cat’s litter box or clean the dog’s water bowl? It can be a challenge for any pet parent to keep their home clean when you have toys, dishes, grooming tools, and more that have to be sanitized. While keeping appearances clean is fine in the meantime, be diligent in your pet-related hygiene chores. According to the CDC, 6 out of 10 infectious diseases are passed from animals to humans. Besides making your home looking and smelling great, keeping things clean will also help keep these diseases from surfacing.

 

Clean your cat’s litter box every day

It may sound like a hassle, but you should clean your cat’s litter box every day. If the smell alone doesn’t compel you to do so, you should know that a number of germs, including a single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma, breeds in these bins. Litter boxes are also fertile ground for intestinal parasites like roundworms and hookworms, which can also be transmitted to people.

 

Wash your pet’s bedding

Bedding can house flea eggs and larvae, ticks, and other skin parasites in addition to the collection of fur and dirt. This is especially important if someone in your home suffers from allergies or asthma. While vacuuming is fine for in-between cleanings, bedding should be washed with a mild fragrance detergent weekly. Cat bedding can be washed less frequently, but fur should be removed as often as once a week.

 

Store food properly

According to the CDC, dry dog food can be contaminated with salmonella, which can be transmitted to humans. Dry dog food should be stored in airtight containers. The same goes for wet food, which should be stored in a refrigerator due to the bacterial growth that happens at room temperature. If you feed your pet raw food, use even more precautions.

 

Clean food and water dishes

According to NSF International, pet bowls are the fourth most contaminated item in a home. If not properly cleaned, bacteria can grow and cause illness in pets. It is recommended the bowls be washed every day or two, in between meals.

 

Vacuum pet hair from furniture and floors

You’re not the only one allergic to dust mites and molds, so are cats and dogs. Vacuuming carpets and floors at least once a week will help those who suffer from allergies or asthma. While vacuuming is great for fur, urine, vomit, and stool stains should be treated with an enzymatic odor eliminator.

 

Wash and replace toys

Pet toys also made the list of most dirty items in a home. They can attract coliform bacteria, yeast, and mold according to NSF. Skin infections can develop as a result of not cleaning pet toys. Hard toys should be washed with hot soapy water, while softer toys can be thrown in the washing machine. If toys become damaged, they should be thrown out as they can pose a health risk to pets.

 

Clean your outdoor space

We know, your least favorite chore to do is cleaning up dog doo-doo. This should be done as often and as quickly as possible, especially if children play in the area. Besides the awful smell that comes from a yard that has not been cleaned up, diseases can be transmitted when exposed to dog poop.