Storage solutions for pet supplies

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Developing a storage strategy for pet supplies means keeping items within reach but potentially out of sight. Valley News/Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – Pet owners soon learn that having a pet means carving out a portion of home real estate for all of the supplies necessary for keeping companion animals healthy and comfortable. From food to toys to bedding, many pets require a laundry list of items.

Developing a storage strategy means keeping items within reach but potentially out of sight. These suggestions can help individuals calm pet-related clutter.

Food storage

Many dry pet foods are sold in bulk, which can be convenient for pet parents. Buying in quantity not only reduces the number of shopping trips, it also can help keep per-unit costs down.

The U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration said that proper storage of pet food and treats helps maintain the products’ nutritional value and prevents spoilage. It also can keep pets from getting into their food and eating too much.

Purchase a food grade and BPA-free plastic storage container that can accommodate the volume of food and has an airtight lid to maintain freshness. If you are pouring the food directly into the container, save the product UPC code, brand name, lot number and “best by” date from the packaging in case you need to file a complaint about the food.

Small containers can be used for treats or other edible items. Store all food in a cool, dry place.

Toys and more

Investing in some similarly sized clear storage containers makes it easy to wrangle all of the accessories that come with pet ownership. Label the containers and fill them with the items you need, such as rubber balls, pet waste bags, coiled leashes or collars, squeaking toys, grooming brushes and combs, extra bird cuttlebones, fish nets, warming stones or whatever other supplies are needed for pets large and small. Devote a shelf or shelves in a storage closet for these items so they’re always readily available.

Medications

Store medications separately from products used for children and adults in the house. Keep medications in the original packages so labels can be referred to as needed. Place them in a sealed container so they’re not easily opened by children or pets.

Toys in use

Many dogs, cats and other small animals allowed to roam the house will want access to their favorite toys. An easy solution is a ground-level basket that is slipped under a side table in the living room or den. It’s easily accessible but kept out of sight. Cleanup means a quick sweep of toys that quickly can be tossed in the basket.

Bedding

Depending on the animal, bedding may mean a cozy stuffed fabric bed or a pile of shaved cedar. Both can be bulky. A designated spot for storage helps keep the home organized, and dog and cat beds can be coordinated to the color scheme of the house so they blend in.

Pets require many different supplies that, when properly stored, will not seem like they’re intruding on pet owners’ space.