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Green Pet Care

Using vinegar to clean up behind your pet is good for the animal and the environment.

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People really love pets. Keeping an animal around means more love from our furry (or scaly!) friends but also, most likely, more messes. Making sure you have the right supplies on hand helps keep Fido or Fluffy safe from toxic chemicals and helps protect the earth.

Vinegar is a wonder deodorizer; it’s both a solvent and antibacterial. If your pet has an accident inside, use a white vinegar and warm water solution to remove the lingering smell, which will discourage future accidents in the same place. Vinegar can also be used for litter box deep cleans—spray the box down with the stuff and let it stand for 10 minutes before wiping away with a fresh rag—and for cleaning cages and other small animal homes.

Looking to add some natural stones to your aquarium? Clean rocks you collect from outside with vinegar to make sure you don’t introduce any strange organisms to the aquarium’s delicate balance, and then rinse them well with fresh water. If adding vinegar causes the rock to “fizzle,” you should leave it out of the mix. This likely means the rock will affect the tank’s pH balance.

Vinegar is good for more than just clean up. Use a few drops on surfaces you don’t want your cat to sleep on or scratch to keep them away. You can also use a solution of one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water to soothe a pup’s irritated skin. (Be sure to check with your vet, however, if you think your pet has a serious medical issue.) And apple cider vinegar applied with a cotton swab can also be used to combat ear yeast infections in dogs with floppy ears.

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