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Cage Cleaning Tips for Small Pets

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Critter Nation Small Pet Cages

Cage Cleanliness = Pet Happiness

Most animals are fanatic about the cleanliness and organization of their surroundings. In fact, when it comes to taking care of their homes, wild animals and humans share many similarities. Many animals designate individual areas in and around their dens as sleeping quarters, storage locations, and bathrooms. To keep each area ordered, they will spend hours moving objects, piling bedding, building nests and, in some cases, stockpiling food. Since the quarters in which animals live are often small, these chores are essential to the animal's overall health and well-being.
Animals cannot afford to keep waste products near their food cache, or allow food to mingle with their bedding materials. Doing so would diminish the size of already cramped quarters and potentially contaminate the precious foods it often takes so long to acquire. In a way, an animal's den or nest is somewhat like a human's studio apartment - everything needs to be ordered to maximize space and maintain a certain quality of life.

CareFRESH® Pet Bedding In particular, most small animals divide all of their waking hours between either searching for food or housekeeping tasks. This tendency doesn't diminish when a small pet is taken out of nature and brought into a cage in your home - despite all you may do to keep your pet well fed, well groomed, and well cared for. In fact, these maintenance instincts may be heightened when an animal is kept as a pet. Even the largest cage will create boundaries in your pet's world. Maintaining this defined area is essential to your pet's overall health, since waste in a cage, for instance, can quickly accumulate into dangerously unsanitary conditions. Thus, keeping your pet's cage clean and comfortable is the simplest way to ensure your pet stays healthy and poised for a long, happy life.

Clean With Your Pet's Health in Mind

It is easy to understand how your small pet's health is tied to the cleanliness of her cage. But what many people do not consider is how they clean their pet's environment and what potential toxins may be introduced to it, despite the best of intentions. Our world is filled with products designed to minimize the effort and time it takes to maximize our hectic lives. While many of these products are wonderful cleaning additions to our homes, most are not designed for use around animals, who use smell and taste to continually explore their world. But with a little common sense and an established cleaning routine, you can minimize the time and effort it takes to maintain a healthy environment for your pet, while offering her the safest of living conditions.

The following is a typical cleaning schedule:

Bottle Brush

  • Remove wet spots or waste in bedding/litter.
  • If necessary, change any bedding/litter that is too soiled.
  • Empty and wash her food bowl using warm water and a small amount of mild soap. Thoroughly rinse and dry the bowl before returning it to your pet's environment and filling it with food.
  • Empty and wash her water bottle using warm water and a small amount of mild soap. To ease the cleaning of your pet's water bottle, use a bottle brush. Thoroughly rinse the water bottle before refilling it with clean, fresh water and returning it to your pet's environment.

  • Remove and replace all bedding and/or litter.
  • Wash and disinfect the cage bottom and any toys. Nontoxic Cage Cleaner & Deodorizer simplifies cleaning and leaves a fresh scent. As with all cleaners, rinse thoroughly and dry well.
  • Wash and disinfect any cage accessories, such as climbing shelves, dens, or beds, per the manufacturer's cleaning instructions for each product. Rinse thoroughly and dry well.

While cleaning your pet's environment keep your small pet safely contained in an Exercise Pen or small traveling cage. An empty cage is much easier to clean.

Simplify Cage Cleaning

In addition to thorough daily and weekly cleanings, there are a variety of nontoxic products designed to streamline future cleanings. Some products shield your pet's cage bars from waste, while others aid in the grooming of your pet. Both types of products safely reduce the amount of time it takes to clean your pet's environment:

  • Safely attack your pet's odors from the inside with Small Pet GoodBye Odor. This safe food additive results in less odor from feces, urine, and your pet's body.
  • Keep your small pet smelling clean and looking her best with frequent baths, followed by small spritz of safe, fragrant sprays. Waterless Shampoo can help keep your small pet smelling clean and looking her best, fragrance sprays, and freshening products available to safely aid in cleaning your pet, which in turn helps keep her cage, bedding and accessories clean and odor-free longer.
Recommended Products:
Exercise Pen
Allows your small pet to exercise safely indoors or outdoors.
Goodbye Odor
Virtually eliminates your pet's waste and body odors.
Wide-Mouth Water Bottles
Heavy-duty small pet water bottles feature wide mouth for easy filling and cleaning.
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