Dr. Laurel Davis, Asheville’s homeopathic vet, offers Stories from a Holistic Veterinarian, the blog of a holistic vet and “animal interpreter.” With a clinic in downtown Asheville, NC. Dr. Laurel also offers animal health, lifestyle and vaccination advice for cats, dogs and their human friends across the country.
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Non-toxic Spring Cleaning…for Happy Dogs and Cats
Today, as Asheville’s homeopathic vet, I am going to talk about a few things that can make your spring cleaning adventures safe and fun for you and your furry friends, including some of my favorite animal-friendly cleaning products! Let’s dive right in…
Spring Cleaning Tip #1: Use plant-based, gentle cleaning products.
There are gentle, plant-based options for cleaning any surface in your home. Take a stroll down the cleaning aisle at your local health-food store, and you should be able to find non-toxic multi-surface cleaners, laundry detergents, and dish soaps galore! (Be sure to do a sniff test and get comfortable with their ingredient list.) Below are some products and companies I love and recommend.
Soap nuts! I’m obsessed with these little gems. They add a novelty to the cleaning experience and are perfect for the DIY environmentally-conscious cleaners among us. Soapnuts are little de-seeded and dried fruits that are harvested from the “Soapberry” tree native to northern India and southern Nepal. You can use them as laundry detergent, boil them to make a concentrated multi-surface cleaner, and even clean your stove-top with them. I was excited to discover soapnut laundry capsules crafted by a local company just miles from my Asheville NC holistic vet clinic., We tried Shecology’s soapnut detergent on the laundry generated at Sunvet…with sparkling results. The load came out smelling sweet and fresh and as stain-free as any of our other plant-based laundry detergents. I also like that they really are truly natural; they come from nature, not from a lab.
Puracy makes non-toxic cleaning products that are cruelty-free and safe for animals and babies. I recommend their carpet and upholstery shampoo for cleaning up pesky stains in carpets. I find that when I use plant-based cleaners for my dishes, sometimes I need to use more of the cleaner to solve a particularly greasy situation. This is an okay trade-off as far as I’m concerned.
Clean+Green is another company that creates a plant-based cleaner. It’s renewable, earth-friendly, and non-toxic to peeps and their love muffins. They have a wide variety of products targeted to animals and their humans and they even have different categories for cats, dogs, and other animals!
Biokleen: Odor can be a real concern for clean-conscious dog and cat lovers. For cleaning up smelly situations, I recommend reaching for a cleaner containing enzymes. Enzymes dissolve and break down protein and organic matter, getting rid of odors caused by staining agents such as urine, feces, vomit, spoiled food, and mildew. In my Asheville NC clinic, we use Biokleen’s BacOut Stain and Odor Remover to fight odor and stains. The blend of live enzyme-producing cultures, citrus extracts, and plant-based surfactants has worked well for us for years. It is one of the first cleaners we grab when there’s been ‘an accident.’ The company makes other household items as well.
Spring Cleaning Tip #2: Make your own household cleaners
As Asheville’s homeopathic vet, I am concerned about the chemicals in commercial products. You may be, too! You always have the option to make your own cleaning products. That way, you are in control of what both your two-legged and four-legged family members are exposed to, and, as a bonus, you can save some money along the way!
Petcoach offers some very helpful recipes for home cleaning products in their blog, and if you have any of your own tried-and-true recipes, we would love to hear about them in the comments below. Check out Petcoach’s recipes.
You can also add a few drops of essential oils to your homemade cleaners to sweeten the pot, so to speak. Cinnamon, Thyme, & Oregano oils are wonderful antibacterials. Lemon, Rosemary, Wild Orange, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Pine and Thyme are good for all-around cleaners.
If you’re going to venture into the land of DIY home cleaning products, here are some tips:
- Start with a certain recipe and modify as you see the results to best fit your needs.
- At any time, if the scent is disagreeable to you or any of your four-leggeds, then change the recipe to revamp your cleaning blend.
- Do your homework, and choose ingredients that are safe yet effective.
- Keep in mind that different cleaning jobs may require different ingredients.
Spring Cleaning Tip #3: Take a spring cleaning time-out with your furry friends.
Have you locked them in another room or kicked them outside for a bit so you can run the vacuum cleaner or mop the floor? Take a breather and use that moment to play with your four-legged love muffins. Change can be difficult for our furry friends, especially a huge, spring cleaning overhaul affecting their territory, so it is important to make the time to walk your pooch, lounge around with your favorite feline, and engage your cats and dogs in sweet, bountiful play during your cleaning project. After a while, they will begin to associate your cleaning rituals with a fun time for all. I go more in-depth on this topic in another blog, so be sure to check it out!
Dr. Laurel Davis is Asheville’s homeopathic vet, offering phone and Skype consultations for animal lovers everywhere. Call 828-254-2221 or order an Ask Dr. Laurel™ phone or Skype session or bring your dog or cat to her downtown Asheville, NC clinic. Read more patient stories.
Get to know Dr. Laurel by reading her blog.
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