Cat And Dog Care Tips | Anyclean

updated: 18/11/2023

 Keeping pets is good for you (unless you have allergies to cat or dog hair). Keeping pets lowers your stress levels and if you have a dog that pleads to be taken for a walk, getting a good bit of aerobic exercise into your day is much easier – a dog makes a good “personal trainer”. Animals are soothing and comforting – even when nobody else wants to listen, an animal will, even though they can’t talk back.

With all the good things that pets give to people, it’s important that people are good back to their pets. Animals need food, water, health care, exercise and medical care – and love! And you need to take care of yourself, too. While pets are good for you in many ways, they can be downright unhealthy in others – animals seem more resistant to bacteria than humans and can eat, snuffle in and get covered in things that can make you ill. And even the best house-trained animal can have accidents at times if they are shut in the house by mistake or are upset (a cat belonging to this writer used to sneak indoors and misbehave in the spare room after losing a few fights for territory against the local top tomcat – very annoying!).

Fleas are one thing that will annoy your pet as well as you. Regular house cleaning and vacuuming is a must, as fleas reportedly get battered to death in the turbulent environment of a vacuum cleaner. This will kill any fleas that make their way in. To prevent fleas coming in the first place but without using toxic flea collars that often irritate pets’ skins, use pennyroyal, either as an essential oil or the herb itself, fresh or dried. A sprig of pennyroyal in your pet’s bed will shoo the fleas out, and if you suspect that your pet is infected with fleas, try rubbing them with a handful of pennyroyal leaves. Alternatively, mix some essential oil of pennyroyal in some water or vinegar and spray it on the pet’s bedding. You can also add some pennyroyal oil mixed with water to the rinse water after bathing your dog. A third option is to put a bit of pennyroyal oil on a mitten or on a bristle brush and use this to groom or stroke your pet. A very strong decoction of catmint is also said to repel fleas – and your cat will love it!

You will need to wash out your pet’s food containers periodically, but DON’T wash them along with your crockery – do them separately, preferably not in the kitchen but in the laundry sink. Your food areas and animals’ food areas should be kept separate – never feed animals if they beg beside the table (better still, banish them at mealtimes) and do not let them jump up onto the table or food preparation surfaces. Definitely do not let them lick plates clean – I can’t believe that people do this! However, you can feed pets leftover “people food,” especially dogs, who are fairly omnivorous and are scavengers by nature. Having said that, it’s best not to give dogs things with a lot of chocolate or onions, as these can be poisonous to dogs in quantity, and for your own convenience, avoid giving too much carbohydrate-based food, especially white bread, to your dog, as this makes them pass wind frequently and offensively. Dogs can quite happily eat leftover meat and bones, egg products, dairy products, a little bit of bread and starch, and some starchy vegetables such as pumpkin and potato (this writer’s dog used to eat bananas and windfall apricots as a puppy).

Never declaw a cat – it is cruel and means that they lose some of their “climbing equipment” and they are unable to defend themselves against threats such as dogs and other cats. To deter cats from clawing the furniture, dab a little tea-tree oil on the items they prefer to scratch to deter them. Provide an alternative, such as a proper scratching post (you can make your own using a piece of four-by-two, old carpet and something to use as a solid base. Add some catmint to attract your cat to it. Letting a cat outdoors to trees will also give them a chance to scratch trees instead. If protecting the local birdlife is your concern, the old method of putting a collar with a bell on it is best, but make sure the collar is elasticated so if it gets snagged on something, your cat won’t get strangled. However, you cat will not be able to catch and kill mice or other vermin if it is belled.

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.