Written by Dog Spotted
When we set aside time to give our homes a good scrub-down, it’s easy to assume that the act of cleaning will make your abode safer for your pups. While maintaining a healthy environment is crucial – especially when we wipe out bacteria or microscopic viruses lingering around the home – it’s essential to be mindful of the cleaning products you’re using.
If we’re not careful, the products we use can negatively impact the health and well-being of our favorite furry tail-waggers. For instance, you’d never consciously leave open a container of toxic chemicals that your pooch can easily access and drink, right?However, many of those same harmful chemicals can be just as detrimental to your pup once outside the bottle. Here’s a look at five common toxins found in household cleaners.
Chlorine can be found in disinfectants, bleach, dishwasher detergent, and toilet bowl cleaners. While bleach is effective at killing germs, those same poisonous compounds are also dangerous for our fur babies. Ingestion – and even just inhalation – of chlorine is not only lethal in high quantities but it also leads to gastrointestinal damage and kidney failure.
As all paw-rents know, our pups have a proclivity for putting all types of things in their mouths. Because of this, it’s imperative to keep all bleach and chlorine-related products away from your pooch (and preferably out of your home completely). Warning signs and symptoms to look out for are bleached fur around the nose and mouth, diarrhea, lethargy, coughing, vomiting, drooling, and seizures.
For those with a swimming pool, if you follow the directions carefully, the chlorine will be diluted enough to keep your pup out of harm’s way. While you never want to encourage your pooch to drink pool water, if consumed, it shouldn’t cause any major damage – just a little tummy ache for sensitive bellies.
Widely-recognized as an embalming agent used in funeral homes, formaldehyde is regularly found in general-purpose cleaners, soap, various fragrances, and – worst of all – some pet shampoos. Cringe. When your cuddly pal is exposed to formaldehyde, it can severely irritate their eyes and mane. Additionally, as an EPA-recognized carcinogen (a.k.a. it can cause cancer), formaldehyde can wreak havoc on a dog’s respiratory and nervous system.
Frequently found in window cleaners, stainless steel cleaners, oven cleaners, and hardwood floor wax, ammonia is detrimental to both you and your canine’s health. It can burn mucus membranes and damage your pooch’s mouth, nose, and throat – whether they inhale the cleaner in its spray-form or consume leftover residue. Over time, exposure to this chemical can lead to unwanted respiratory problems. If you notice your pup having trouble breathing or coughing, it may be a result of ammonia, and you should contact your vet immediately.
4. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
Quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs or Quats) are commonly found in antibacterial cleaners and fabric softeners. When exposed to this toxin, our adorable furballs can get contact dermatitis resulting in blisters, skin inflammation, soreness, itchiness, ulcers, lesions, and hair loss. Keep an eye out for any irregularities in your dog’s skin, such as dry and scaly red patches. While contact dermatitis is treatable by your veterinarian, you may have to reconsider the products you use to do your laundry.
5. Glycol Ethers
From spot cleaners to all-purpose cleaners to liquid soaps, glycol ethers are typically listed among product ingredients as either “diethylene glycol,” “ethylene glycol,” or “propylene glycol.” These chemicals are toxic to both humans and animals and have been known for causing kidney damage, lung damage, and anemia.
When it comes to keeping your paw-fect pal healthy, the best choice is to utilize eco-friendly, dog-safe cleaning products. This non-toxic formula by Good Green Cleaner, for example, is chemical-free and Amazon users have given it rave reviews. Always take a second to peek at the ingredients when you’re shopping for products around the home. You can view a full list of poisons on the Pet Poison Helpline here.
Have you come across any household cleaners or products that have surprisingly harmful ingredients? Let us know in the comments below, so we can keep our furry loved ones safe.
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