Spring cleaning safety for your pet

by | General Pet Care |

Spring is a great time for a reset! As the weather warms up, you may be preparing your home, kicking off with some spring cleaning. This is an important time to make sure to keep all cleaners and chemicals out of reach of your furry family members. 

You should proceed with caution with all cleaning products, even the all-natural ones, because they may contain chemicals that can hurt your animals. According to the ASPCA, the key to using them safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage.

Here are 4 common household cleaning products to be mindful of from the ASPCA’s Poison Control Centre:

Bleach

Bleach seems like a great way to sanitize your animal’s cages, bowls and toys, but is it dangerous for your furry friends?

According to the ASPCA, cleaning your furry friend’s cage or toys with a properly diluted bleach solution, followed by rinsing thoroughly and airing it out, shouldn’t cause harm to your animal. If the odor of bleach seems overwhelming to you, open windows and use fans to air out the room.

Bleach cannot work in the face of organic material (food, feces, etc.), so items need to be cleaned with soap and water first, then the dilute bleach solution and be sure not to let animals under the sink or in the garage where chemicals might be stored.

Carpet fresheners

Using carpet deodorizers properly should not harm your animal. If your companion animal accidentally comes in contact with the carpet freshener, the ASPCA recommends washing their paws with mild soap and water to avoid minor skin irritation.

If your furry friend ingests carpet freshener powder, it may result in a mild stomach upset. If your animal happens to inhale the powder, minor respiratory irritation may occur, resulting in sneezing, coughing, or a runny nose.

As a general of thumb, keep your animals out of the room until after you have finished the carpet deodorizer process and have vacuumed up the powder. Make sure to let the carpet dry before allowing furry friends back into the area. The ASPCA says this will help to prevent the risk of skin irritation or gastrointestinal upset. Contact your veterinarian if you have concerns for the health of your companion animal.

Toilet cleaning products

If your dog drinks the diluted water from the toilet bowl after using toilet cleaning products, it could cause stomach upset. However, according to the ASPCA, bacterial-related gastrointestinal problems could occur from drinking stagnant toilet water. In order to prevent this, always discourage your dog from drinking from the toilet bowl. A simple fix is keeping the toilet lid down or if your furry friend has learned how lift the lid, use a baby proof toilet lock.

Vinegar and water

Vinegar and water is a commonly used inexpensive DIY alternative to commercial cleaning products. Vinegar is typically acidic, and vinegar (depending on the solution concentration) can act as an irritant. The ASPCA says ingesting concentrated, or undiluted, vinegar can cause vomiting, diarrhea, oral irritation and pain. If your furry friend ingests vinegar, contact your veterinarian.

A good general tip is to wait for whatever solution you’ve used on your flooring to dry before re-introducing your companion animal to the room. This will reduce skin irritation and the risk of your animal cleaning their paws and ingesting some of the solution.

While spring cleaning, remember most cleaning agents can be used safely in your home, as long as you follow the product label recommendations.

For more information, and to learn about other potentially hazardous cleaning products, visit the ASPCA’s Poisonous Household Products page.

 

 

 

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