Pet Friendly House Cleaning


We need to be aware of how household cleaning solutions and the chemicals we use affect the pets in our families. Dogs and cats are obviously closer to the ground and they are in much closer contact with most cleaning products we use. This makes them more susceptible to irritation or poisoning, which could eventually result in illness or death. We all know animals are very curious. If there is a way for them to access something, chances are they will eat, chew or play with it.


The Bathroom


The bathroom is particularly dangerous because we normally store many house cleaning products such as sink and shower cleaners, glass cleaner, toilet bowl disinfectants and such items. Most of the common bleach-based cleaners are more diluted because of stringent safety standards, but they are still very dangerous to a dogs mouth and digestive system. Any soap-based item such as a detergent, shampoo or a bar of soap contains chemical compounds called surfactants. Even a mild bar of soap can cause burns in the throat and mouth. These surfactants are designed to remove dirt and grease from surfaces and can do great hard in the digestive tract.


Be especially conscience when using toilet bowl cleaners or drain openers because these are much stronger. Depending on whether the animal gets a full concentration or a solution diluted by water, it can cause problems ranging from an upset stomach to death.


Many dogs will occasionally drink out of the toilet, so it is common for problems to occur unless all surfaces are rinsed well. Never leave a cleaner to soak in a toilet or drain with an unattended animal around. Injuries from ingesting cleaners can range from a mild burn that heals quickly to a severe burn that causes loss of their tongue or lips.


The Kitchen


Most dogs know the kitchen as a place of food and water. It is also the place where we keep many home cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals. Stove and counter top spray cleaners, glass cleaners and even liquid dish soap are similar to the cleaners used in the bathroom so should be treated with the same caution. There have been cases of dogs ingesting scouring pads or chewing on steel wool sponges. While these items may not be very toxic, they can do major damage to the mouth, stomach and digestive tract.


Another overlooked threat in the kitchen is automatic dishwasher detergent. Both the bottled gel or tablet style are very alkaline. This can cause injuries similar to acid burns. Such liquids or gels are not immediately offensive to dogs, so they may have a few licks making the injuries even worse.


The Laundry Room


Cleaning supplies for the laundry usually get the most use on a daily basis. Unfortunately, they are some of the most toxic products in the house for pets.


Certain dryer sheets contain cationic detergents that can cause corrosive injuries to a dogs mouth and severely damage the internal organs. They are so irritating once ingested that a dog may immediately react by vomiting. This exposes the esophagus and mouth to the detergents a second time causing even more damage.


Stain cleaners also use cationic detergents and can be even more concentrated than dryer sheets. If ingested in significant quantity, it is possible to damage the central nervous system, kidneys and liver causing permanent damage. Many liquid laundry detergents can also burn a dogs mouth, eyes and skin. Since the pH levels vary so much among brands of laundry detergents, you should immediately contact the ASPCA or a poison control center. The representative can check the brand for possible corrosive burns and recommend the best course of action.


Cleaning Solutions


A rule of thumb is to use the same type of precaution with your dog as you would with your children. Any low cabinet or easily accessible storage unit should be secured with childproof locks or other security measures. Even better is to store them high out of reach of your pets.


Even when you are cleaning your house, never leave anything unattended where your dog could access it. Keep an eye on your dog while cleaning or put them in another room until you are finished. He should be kept out of the area until the cleaning products have dried or been rinsed away.


You should consider replacing your cleaning products with ones that are not made from toxic fume-emitting chemicals. All of our pet-friendly products come from manufacturers specializing in earth-friendly cleaning products. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy your clean home and be reassured that your dog will be safe, happy and healthy.