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I realize it’s only just February, but spring will be here before we all know it and that means not only changes in the weather, but also in our daily routines indoors. If you’re a pet lover or know one, then I have some easy tips for you today based off my own experience in the last few months with improving our home with some simple changes to make it a safer place for everyone, pets included.
This year our family has had to focus a great deal on changing what we do in our daily routines in terms of cleaning and safety around the home, mainly due to mom’s recent illness and her low immunity. We’ve also changed a good bit of the foods she’s been eating and have also made other changes around the home as well. It’s been a great experience, actually, as it’s helped improve our family’s home and their awareness of what exactly we’re coming in contact with daily.
One of the ways that I’ve focused on making our home more human and pet-friendly this year while also safer for her, is to simply change the types of products we buy for our home, even right down to pet supplies. It’s been a somewhat timely process, but it’s been nice to make gradual changes with the items we put in our home so that the change doesn’t feel overwhelming to her (or to mine or her wallet).
5 Not-to-Miss Household Safety Tips for Pet and Human Health
In light of this entire process, I decided to share five of my Spring Renewal Household Tips with you here on the blog so that you can get an inside glimpse to five simple changes that we’ve made that I truly feel anyone can do and would benefit from. If you have pets, children, or even just live alone, these are tips everyone can benefit from and keep as a reminder for the future if your household circumstances change.
So, let’s dive in!
1. Keep Items Out of Arm’s Reach and Your Pet’s Reach
Let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t realize just how mischievous and curious pets can be, especially cats. Our new kitty Charlie loves to get into all kinds of things around our home, (as you can see, he loves tables!), so we’ve had to put all our cleaning products (even the non-toxic ones we buy) out of his reach just to be sure he won’t get into them, not to mention keep food away from him and keep him out of the kitchen (and yes, I clean after he gets on tables).
Much like products should be kept away from children in case they try to get into cabinets and drawers, be sure to keep household cleaning items and other similar types of items out of pet’s way. You never know what they might end up in!
2. Check Your Pet’s Food
One of the most important tips I could give to any pet owner is to choose better-quality pet food. Don’t just assume the $8 bag of dog or cat food at the store that’s on sale that week is good for them because it says, “natural” or “made with whole grains” or a similar message. Spend a few extra seconds, turn over the product itself, and read the ingredient list. Do you recognize them? Don’t buy products with animal by-products, GMO corn fillers, soy, or something similar.
Buy products that list (optimally organic) fruits and vegetables, whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and oats, and if lean proteins (such as peas, lentils, etc.). One of our favorite pet products that we’ve been buying for a while now is one that Charlie loves that’s made with real fruits, veggies, brown rice, and his favorite protein, wild salmon. There are zero GMOs, fillers, antibiotics, hormones, or artificial ingredients in the pet foods we buy our animals. And guess what? They like these products much better than what we ever bought before and don’t get sick to their stomachs or have accidents around the house like they used on the other products. No wonder! 🙂
3. Change Your Pet Care Items, Such as Cat Litter
Okay, fellow kitty owners. Let’s talk about the odor in your home, and I’m not just talking about when your cat does their business. I’m talking about the odor of your pet litter, too. You know those awful scents that cat litters have from artificial fragrances and dyes? These are typically made from chemicals and can create scents that linger in the air; they may even irritate yours or your pets’ skin. Not to mention, most of them don’t cover up the ammonia smell of the litter box, which is another feature I’ve always hated about most cat litter products.
In fact, one of the first things that mom’s doctor told her to do was to stop coming in contact with cat litter–period. Not only because of the cat’s “creations” in the litter box but also because of the chemical-based fragrances and dyes found in cat litter. Yikes! I now take care of the kitty litter duty myself and immediately switched to better cat litter for Charlie.
I chose TIDY CATS® Free & Clean™ Lightweight Unscented because it’s from a brand we have bought from our entire life and because we love their products, so I was excited to see the new Free & Clean line by Tidy Cats available because it’s free from fragrances and dyes and it even has a special ammonia-blocking absorption feature from activated charcoal (a feature I just love). We all know that it’s hard to cover up that litter box scent and it can be a pain to manage unless you find a great product to help you out AND that your cat loves too.
That’s why we love the new TIDY CATS® Free & Clean™ Unscented Clumping Litter. It does more than mask pesky odors– it works to destroy them thanks to the odor-absorbing power of activated charcoal. We absolutely love this new product and couldn’t be happier. It allows me to change the litter and go on with my business instead of constantly having to worry about that awful smell or worry about harmful chemicals from fragrances and dyes in the air. Charlie likes it better now, too (and he’s super finicky about the litter box!).
We spotted the new Free & Clean products by Tidy Cats at PetSmart where we take all our pets, Millie, Sophie, and Charlie (our kitty). They love to visit PetSmart to get new toys, new feeding bowls, and new treats. I always keep my eyes peeled for higher-quality pet items whenever I go, and this last time I went, I spotted the new TIDY CATS® Free & Clean™ Lightweight Unscented products. It comes in two sizes, an 8.5-pound size, which we bought, and a larger 35-pound container for larger kitty households.
You can easily find all sorts of wonderful products for your pets at PetSmart and even take your pets in to let them explore toys, treats, new beds, and even play centers and more. PetSmart is our family’s favorite place to take our pets since it’s right near our home and because the employees are always so friendly there.
If you have a kitty, I definitely encourage you to try the new Tidy Cats Free & Clean! Or, pass this message along to a cat owner you know! You can find it right at your local PetSmart in the Cat and Kitty section next to the toys, litter, and feed. Speaking of which, Charlie gets a new toy everytime we go, it seems! 😉
4. Treat Your Cleaning Supplies and Hygiene Items Like Your Food: Know What’s in the Products You’re Buying
It’s important to read the ingredient list on products you come in contact with directly, inhale, and put in your pet’s and children’s paths. Many cleaning products on the market are full of all kinds you harmful ingredients and some contain allergenic ingredients that you may or may not react to.
I started making a good bit of my own hygiene items (like a homemade body butter above) as a result of never finding a “clean” enough hand lotion that moisturized my skin like I wanted. I now make a vinegar-based cleaner for the kitchen and buy more eco-friendly and safer products for the kitchen, for cleaning our laundry with, and for washing our pet’s blankets and bedding with. It’s important to take the time to read labels and choose products that don’t contain toxic chemicals, dyes, chemical-based fragrances, or ingredients that pose a threat to you, your pets, and your children if you have them. Knowledge is power!
If you need tips on what to look for or simple shopping suggestions, feel free to reach out to me anytime and I’d be happy to help.
5. Go Allergen-Free
This is an especially important tip for spring because allergens from spring pollen may cause our immune systems to go into overdrive and may also mask other types of allergenic responses we may be having. For example, if you or your pet have a pesky skin problem that won’t go away or seem to get sick more often than you should, consider looking into an allergen-free diet free from all the major allergens like wheat (and gluten), corn, soy, dairy, shellfish, peanuts, and nuts.
Many times, we and our pets may get skin rashes, sniffles, or other pesky issues because something we’re in contact with–whether it be laundry detergent, cleaning products, or something in our food–is stimulating our immune system and creating an allergy response.
I’m not saying this tip is necessary for everyone, but our family and our pets have experienced wonderful results from results from eliminating some problematic foods to lower the allergenic response. Eliminating allergenic foods may also help you and your pets feel better this spring, even with the arrival of allergy season. You might try switching out whole food options instead of processed options or choose to eliminate the top allergens mentioned above to see how you feel. Or maybe, just choose organic versus conventional products to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals in the food supply.
There are lots of ways you can experiment with this tip to see how it works for you. If you need tips with this process, feel free to reach out to me anytime!
This year, I encourage you to make it a spring where you make some simple changes in your household to make your home a safer place for you and your pets. Once you make the changes, it’s effortless and will become second nature, I promise!
You can also check out some very helpful safety tips from ASPCA for more safety tips for pets so you can keep them as healthy and happy as possible this spring.
When it comes to your pets, head to your local PetSmart where you can find all you need for healthy and happy pets, including the entire TidyCats line by Purina. Take advantage of a special savings for the new Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Litter below, and find more inspiration for using TidyCat in your home with your kitties right here.
Special Spa Savings: For a limited time, buy one (1) 35-lb. TIDY CATS® Free & Clean™ Unscented Clumping Litter at PetSmart, and Get one (1) $5.00 code for Spa Session (one transaction, 1/8 through 4/8/18). Simply send a photo on your mobile phone of your PetSmart TIDY CATS® Free & Clean™ purchase receipt to the number: 30364 with the code “GIFT” in the message portion, between January 8th, 2018 and April 8, 2018. You’ll receive a special $5 Spa Session gift card! Get the details on this offer here.
As you can see, Charlie’s all about relaxing more these days and taking it easy this spring. And with that in mind, here’s to a happy and safe spring for you and your pets! 🙂