Spring cleaning, animal pet safety

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)- Spring is on its way, meaning spring cleaning is about to begin!The yearly ritual of rejuvenation isn`t just for your home, your pet`s 'home' will benefit as well. March is "Poison Awareness Month" so keep your pet`s safety in mind. Dr. Kelly Ryan, Director from the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, stopped by to tell us more.

Safety Tips:

1. FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS: Most household cleaners are safe for your pet as long as you follow directions on the product label. If the label says it`s unsafe for a human to ingest the product, then it is unsafe for your pet.

2.       USE WATER: Keep pets away from recently cleaned areas until everything has dried. If you`re worried about the chemical residue potentially left behind, dilute the product with water. It will still do its job, but the chemicals won`t be as strong. Or, rinse with water after cleaning to wipe away any residue.

3.       SAFE, ALL-NATURAL ALTERNATIVES: Maybe chemical cleaners are not your thing. An online search can get you started with easy, all-natural ideas, for example a baking soda scrub to clean up that sticky area around the dog bowl.

4.       CLEAN YOUR PET`S 'HOUSE' TOO: Inspect and clean the toys in his toy box to ensure his toys are all up to snuff. Throw away any that are no longer used or are too worn. Clean your pet`s cage or kennel and bed just as often as you would clean your own room. Use non-scented detergent or cleaners when washing your pet`s things. Inspect and wash your dog`s collar and leash. Clean, wash and disinfect all of your pet`s bowls. Consider emptying the pet food bin and disinfect it as well.

Above all, always keep potentially harmful chemicals out of reach of pets and children.

5.       YEARLY CHECK UP: Spring is a great time to ensure your pet`s health is in check. Are his vaccinations up to date? What about his flea and tick medication? As spring rolls around, your pet will be outdoors and ready to play and so will the fleas and ticks. Be prepared.

Schedule an appointment for veterinary services by calling the Humane Society of Missouri`s Animal Medical Center of Mid-America at 314-951-1534.

6.       GET FIDO LOOKING FRESH: Brush, bathe, cut and style your pet to scrub away excess fur or mats he may have acquired over the winter. This also keeps your pet cool and cuts down on annoying seasonal shedding. A deep condition can add moisture after a long, dry winter. And, keep his nails trimmed at all times for healthy paws.

For additional information visit: hsmo.org or amcma.org.