Have you seen all the news about the toxic Tide pods and other harmful cleaning products?
We all know that we should keep these things away from our children.
But what about our pets? Aren’t they walking on the floors that we just mopped with cleaners containing chlorine bleach?
Aren’t they breathing in the same air with the same toxic fumes?
Pets are in fact more vulnerable than people to exposure to toxins in and around the home.
Since pets are smaller, they are closer to carpets, garage floors, lawns and restricted spaces which may harbor chemical and pesticide residues. Their natural curiosity, coupled with a lack of awareness about toxic hazards, make them more likely to encounter substances harmful to their health. Animals also have faster metabolisms and smaller lungs than we do. Their bodies have to work harder to try and eliminate these toxins. Not only are they processing these chemicals at a faster rate, they are also breathing them in more rapidly.
Most pet owners go to great lengths to care for their pets, but there are unseen health hazards to pets which are commonly overlooked, yet easily avoided.
Below is a top 3 list of chemicals that are harmful to your pets and of course your family as well.
This is a big one. Try finding household cleaners that don’t contain some traces of chlorine? Used in disinfectants, toilet bowl cleaners and automatic dish detergent to name a few, chlorine is also used to bleach coffee filters. It can cause everything from dizziness to vomiting to laryngeal edema. Avoid this ingredient and be careful about letting your pet swim in the pool.
The thought of a funeral home comes to mind when formaldehyde is mentioned and everyone can recognize the strong, nauseating smell. But it's also used in products such as soaps and even some pet shampoos. It can contribute to asthma and is carcinogenic.
Formaldehyde is present in many new home furnishings, household cleaners and some construction materials. It is considered toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
According to the EPA, formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in animals as well.
- Dog houses should be made of solid wood. Plywood and pressed wood products should be avoided, but if they are used they should be painted on both sides.
- New dog cushions and blankets should be washed or left outdoors to off-gas for several days before letting the dog come into contact with them.
- Dogs kept in apartments or small homes during the day should have access to fresh air. Keep a screened window open if possible.
Used in many de-greasers for ovens, glass and stainless steel, ammonia has a very high VOC, burns mucous membranes and contributes to asthma. If it is mixed with bleach, it creates a poisonous gas which can be deadly to small pets.
Some cleaning products that are not safe:
• Floor Cleaners - These include Pine Sol and Mr. Clean. Even if you manage to get all of the residue off the floor, the vapors linger and are dangerous to your pet. Try a non-toxic, pet safe cleaner instead.
• Bathroom Cleaners - These include Clorox Bathroom Cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles. Never use a continuous toilet bowl cleaner such as Clorox Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner. It is very dangerous and the temptation to drink out of the toilet is a quirk in many of our pups.
• All Purpose Cleaners - For use in the kitchen and around the house, the most common toxic all-purpose cleaners that scream "Danger!" are Mr. Clean Multi-Purpose Spray and Formula 409.
• Drain Openers - You may think that since this product is poured down the drain, it can't be harmful to your pet. But the toxic drain openers give off dangerous fumes long after you've emptied them.
• Glass Cleaner - It may seem that toxic glass cleaners are simpler products and are, therefore, safe but they are not. Instead of Windex try a green cleaning product that doesn’t contain the chemicals listed above.
• Laundry Detergent - It's easy to assume that choosing a laundry detergent isn't that important because the rinse cycle rinses it away. But there is residue left behind on clothes and pet blankets that can be harmful to your pet, especially those that chew on their bedding. Avoid detergents with toxic ingredients such as Tide and Cheer.
Instead of using toxic cleaning products around the house, I recommend making a better choice. If you do decide to keep toxic cleaners, make absolutely sure they are put away.
Put child safety locks on cabinet doors and put cleaners up as high as possible. Never use them when your pet is in the same room and air out the house after cleaning with them. Never leave any residue behind.
But you do have a choice. Why have the risk of harm in your home at all?