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Removing hazardous grooming products and taking the perfect pet photo

A white-and-brown bulldog wears a blue t-shirt and a red-and-blue backpack.

As you prepare your furry (or not so furry) friends for National Dress Up Your Pet Day, keep these tips in mind for disposing of hazardous pet grooming products and cleaning supplies.

National Dress Up Your Pet Day is Jan. 14, and we want to help you get your talented companion ready for their close-up. It’s not just about picking the perfect outfit or sunglasses. Properly grooming your pet and making them comfortable is key to having a great time and making lasting memories.

Getting the talent ready

When it comes to grooming your pet, picking out the right soaps and beauty products is a must. Some cat and dog washes may have harmful ingredients. Make sure to read the label and identify what ingredients might harm your pet, such as some essential oils and floral scents. Pet owners should look for scentless pet shampoos that are free of harsh chemicals. Consult your local veterinarian if you have any questions about what grooming products are best for your pet.

If your old pet shampoo bottles still have product in it and have words on the label like “CAUTION,” “WARNING,” “DANGER,” or “POISON,” then it’s considered hazardous waste. Check out the Hazardous Waste Management Program website for more information on how to properly dispose of your hazardous products. Empty containers can safely go in the garbage.

Time to set up your space

Setting the scene for the perfect pet photoshoot is a must. If you need to get rid of any pet accidents or other pet-related messes, consider using white vinegar and baking soda instead of products full of harsh chemicals. You can also use this mix on food spills and stains. Find more safer cleaning recipes here.

If that simply won’t work, please make sure to read the label and instructions prior to using your cleaning product of choice. Wear appropriate safety gear if needed, like gloves and a mask. When you’re using cleaning products that have bleach and ammonia, always open your windows and turn on a fan for ventilation. Remember to keep your pets and children in a different room while you are cleaning to prevent exposure.

Again, if you need to get rid of any hazardous cleaning or grooming products, visit the Hazardous Waste Management Program website to find out where you can take your hazardous waste.

The perfect shot

You’ve put in the work; now it’s time for the payoff: Insta-worthy pet photos. We’ve pulled a couple of our favorite tips and tricks:

  • Never take your photo from above. Get in close and make yourself level with your pet.
  • Make your pet’s eyes the focus of your photo, it makes for a more personal and emotional image.
  • Don’t lose your subject with a busy background. A simple background makes your pet pop.
  • Natural light is best, but if you’re feeling creative you can always have fun with colored lights.
  • Talk to your pet while you take the photos to grab their attention and keep them engaged.
  • Consider taking an action shot to make it more dynamic and use a fast shutter speed on the camera to capture their movement.
  • Don’t forget to have their favorite treat on hand.
  • And have fun! Embrace the blooper moments.

For more information about hazardous materials and how you can keep your home free of hazardous waste, visit the Hazardous Waste Program Management website.

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