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Household Cleaners & Your Pet

One thing that is commonly overlooked by many pet owners is the types of household cleaners they use and how they can effect your pet. Some people don't think about it since we aren't spraying the cleaners directly on our dogs, however, the cleaners we use on floors and other places where our dogs go or can reach can seriously harm them. For example, Chlorine is a toxic respiratory irritant that can damage pets' skin, eyes, or other membranes. It can be found in all-purpose cleaners, automatic dish washing detergents, tile scrubs, disinfecting wipes, toilet-bowl cleaners, laundry detergents, and mildew removers. According to the National Center for Health Sciences, cleaning products with ingredients such as bleach, ammonia, chlorine, glycol ethers or formaldehyde can put pets at risk for cancer, anemia, liver, and kidney damage. Even when toxic cleaners are put away and closed, the vapors left behind can continue to harm both us and our pets.

Chemicals To Avoid:

  • Phenols (typically found in cleaners with "sol" in the name)
  • Phthalates
  • Formaldehyde
  • Bleach
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Perchlorethylene 
  • Chlorine
  • Bleach
  • Glycol Ethers

Common Cleaning Products That Are Not Safe for Dogs:

  • Floor Cleaners - Including Pine-Sol and Mr. Clean - even if you manage to get all the residue off the floor, the vapor lingers and is dangerous to your pet
  • Bathroom Cleaners - Clorox Bathroom Cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles. Unless you keep your toilet lids closed, avoid continuous toilet bowl cleaners such as Clorox Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner for those toilet bowl drinkers. 
  • All Purpose Cleaners - The most common toxic products are Mr. Clean Multi-Purpose Spray and Formula 409
  • Drain Openers - You may think that since this is poured directly into a drain, it can't be harmful for your pet. However, the toxic drain openers give off dangerous fumes long after you've emptied them.
  • Glass Cleaners - Windex is not safe for your pet
  • Laundry Detergent - It can leave residue on clothes and pet blankets which can be harmful to your pet, especially for those who chew on their bedding. Avoid detergents with toxic ingredients like Tide and Cheer. Also Fabric Softeners contain detergents that could harm your dog. 
The best, safest, and probably cheapest cleaning products would be ones you can DIY at home (here is a helpful link with recipes here DIY Cleaning), but here is a list of safer store bought alternatives

Safer Cleaning Alternative Brands:
  • Earth Friendly Products
  • Seventh Generation
  • Biokleen
  • Ecover
  • Mrs. Meyers
  • Method


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