If you know me or if we have worked together reclaiming your space, you know I love animals more than words can express. You probably also know how I tend to the needs of my furry friends with the same importance and urgency I take care of my work.
When working with a new client with pets, I make sure those little ones have an adequate, clean and comfy place to sleep (I will celebrate big if I hear they sleep on the bed!). I will note where they eat and drink. I will inquire about and observe the type of relationship my clients have with their animals. I can’t help it. It’s in my nature to look out for these defenseless, loving beings.
Many have never noticed when I clean their companions’ bowls and feed them fresh food from their pantry and serve them clean, fresh water. I try to be discrete to avoid my fellow humans from feeling self-conscious.
But today I’d like to say a couple of things about that.
- Feeding Bowls – Please wash your animal companions’ bowls daily with soap and water. It does not matter that you only feed your furry-friends dry food. Their dishes should be thoroughly cleansed daily.
- Water – Grant them constant access to fresh, clean, abundant water. Their water should be changed at least once a day. Water gets dirty when they drink. When changing the water, thoroughly wash the bowl so the new water stays fresh for longer.
- Food – If you feed your animals dry food, consider transferring the food to a sealed plastic container and place this container in your pantry (floor level). Food will remain clean and fresh this way. You will easily know when to buy more, and the food will be accessible and easy to serve. Do not keep their dry food open bag in the garage! If you feed your animals wet or raw food, it is even more important that you adhere to a schedule, so that the leftovers are removed after feeding time and properly stored or discarded. In this case, food bowls should be washed after every feeding.
- Veterinary care – provide routine veterinary care, including immunizations, general check-ups, and professional dental cleaning at least once a year. Bacteria in the gums can affect their hearts! Spay/neuter your cats and dogs. There are too many animals without owners out there.
- Bathing – Bathe your animals (if appropriate) at least once a month. I’m tired of listening to people say they don’t cuddle with their dogs or let them inside because they smell. Whose fault is that? What do you think will happen if YOU don’t bathe in weeks?
- General cleanliness – Even when bathing your animals regularly, homes with pets tend to develop strong odors when proper hygiene is not followed. Wash their beds and clean their quarters as often as possible. Make this part of your cleaning routine (as in schedule it!)
- Microchip and ID collar – Microchip your dogs and cats. Don’t forget to register them in all possible national registries. This will substantially increase the chances of finding your animal if he/she ever gets lost. Keep their collar on all the time (with proper ID plate). If your animal sleeps in the room with you and the metallic sound of their ID plate bothers you, consider following a routine to remove the collar last thing before going to be and putting it back on first thing in the morning.
- Don’t leave your animals outside – If you have chosen to share your home with an animal, then be a responsible owner and be kind. They deserve so much better from us. They did not choose to be your pet. You did. Don’t get an animal to ignore them or leave them outside. They have socialization needs, strong feelings, and they too feel the heat and the cold.
- Adopt, don’t buy – Millions of animals need a good home out there! Don’t pay hundreds of dollars for an animal. Whenever money is involved unscrupulous behavior follows. Nothing good ever comes from seeing animals in terms of dollars and cents. If you only knew the horrors these animals go through in places like puppy mills (that supply pet shops), you would absolutely consider adopting instead of buying.
If you have the privilege of sharing your home with an animal, then honor that. Honor them!
Don’t consider that a privilege? Then allow someone else to give those creatures the happiness, care, and honor they deserve.