Make Spring Cleaning Pet Safe

Spring is all about making a fresh start. Rituals to clear out the old and make room for the new as winter weather fades away. It’s important to recognize the potential toxic effects household cleaning products may have on our pets.cleaners-bottles-lg

Our cats, dogs and other companion animals live in a shared environment with us and are exposed toxic substances we use inside and outside our homes. Residues from cleaning products can end up in their skin, coat, eyes, nose, and throat.

Ingestion of or contact with cleaning products can cause a variety of clinical signs in pets, including:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Nasal and ocular (eye) discharge
  • Ptyalism (salivation)
  • Emesis (vomiting)
  • Diarrhea
  • Anorexia (decreased appetite)
  • Lethargy
  • Seizes
  • Death

If you pet show signals of chemical exposure contact your vet immediately.

Our house avoids chemical products as much as possible. dog cleaning I suggest you avoid any of these ingredients in store-brought products:

  • Phenols (which are typically found in cleaners with the word “sol” in the name)
  • Phthalates
  • Formaldehyde (found in general household cleaners)
  • Bleach
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Perchloroethylene (found in rug and carpet shampoos)

I can recommend this DIY natural recipe for an all purpose cleaner

All Purpose Cleaner
1/2 Cup of White Vinegar
1/4 Cup of Baking Soda
1/2 Cup of Water
3 to 10 drops of your favorite fragrance** (I use Vanilla)

Mix all ingredients into a spray bottle.  Get to spraying and cleaning.
** Do not use lavender  or citrus oil, as they smell great they can be toxic to your pet.

cat in mop bucket

If you suspect or know your pet has been exposed to a cleaning product or other toxic substance, immediately contact your veterinarian. Pending their counsel, further help may be needed. Two great resources in managing pet toxicities are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) (888-426-4435) and the Pet Poison Helpline (855-213-6680).