Could Everyday Cleaning Supplies Be Harming Your Pet?
Many of us have house cleaning items lying around the household, and often than not, we use them everyday to keep the house clean. What if I told you that these simple and common cleaning supplies could possibly be harming your pet? Cleaning supplies are often made from harsh chemicals to remove stains or kill bacteria, so it’s pretty safe to say that these common items can be very toxic to the health of our pets, especially when accidentally ingested.
Our dogs get much more exposure than we humans do to such chemicals because they constantly breathe in these toxins when sprawled out on the floor and can even absorb these chemicals through their skin, their paws, or even lick the floor without intending to. Those chemicals, especially when freshly applied, can easily stick to their paws or stay on their coats. Our pup’s sense of smell is a thousand more times sensitive than our own sense of smell, so if you think that floor cleaner smells strong to you, just think of what it may smell like for your furry friend.
Does your dog tend to lay around the floor, sprawl out on your furniture, bathe in the bathtub, or peak its nose on the kitchen counter?
If the answer is yes to any of the questions above, you may want to consider checking out this list and making sure your dog stays clear of them!
Toxic Ingredients To Avoid
You should be wary of the ingredients listed on the back of your house cleaning supplies because even the products that claim to be “natural”, well, may not quite be 100% natural. It’s better to be safer than sorry, and our pups who love us endlessly shouldn’t have to inhale these dangerous chemicals - especially if they tend to stay in an area you often clean up.
This is one of the most popular amongst the different cleaning agents, and it’s one of the most highly toxic amongst them all. For dogs, it can significantly affect their respiratory systems directly by causing a burning sensation in their throat, nose, and respiratory tract. Ammonia can cling to your dog’s paws and fur, and when licked, can result in a burning sensation in their mouth, throat or stomach.
Ammonia is one of the most commonly overlooked ingredients of chemical agents, but is often found in:
- Wax for hardwood floors
- Window cleaners
- Oven cleaners
- Stainless steel cleaners
This chemical is a known endocrine disruptor. This is a tricky one, because companies often mask this toxic agent as “fragrance” on their labels. Chances are, it’s phthalates. It's often used to soften and increase flexibility of plastic and often found in perfume, skin moisturizers, hair spray, vinyl flooring, wood finishes, detergents, solvents and insecticides.
Chlorine is another common chemical used in cleaning and when swallowed can result in vomiting, laryngeal edema, and in worst cases, seizures and shock. It is often in the form of disinfectants and found in toilet bowl cleaners, bleach, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, all-purpose cleansers, and your swimming pool - so if Fido loves swimming, you should be wary of the chlorine content when he jumps in.
2-Butoxyethanol falls under the same category as Glycol Ethers and is another very common house cleaning item often found in multipurpose, window and kitchen cleaners. This chemical has been found to be linked to lung and kidney damage.
You might be familiar with this term because it is often associated with funeral homes. If that doesn’t already sound scary, just imagine the distinct, nauseating smell and its carcinogenic properties despite the fact that it tends to be an ingredient in common soaps and pet shampoos.
Commonly classified as an Ether, the FDA has recommended that this chemical be removed by manufacturers due to the fact that 1,4-Dioxane has shown traces linked to cancer. Often found in cosmetics, pesticides and plastics, and can cause irritation by primarily affecting the kidneys and liver. It is often found in dryer sheets, cosmetics, paints, varnishes, and laundry detergents so you should avoid using detergents for your pet’s laundry.
Be sure to stay tuned for our next article in this mini-series, where we’ll give recommendations on easy DIY natural-ingredient home cleaners that are safe not only for your pet’s health but for you and your family, too!
Sources:Effects on Animals
Bleach Poisoning in Dogs
Ethylene Glycol Poisoning in Dogs
Chlorine in Pools: Is it Safe for Pets
Dioxane: Health Information Summary
Hepatic Encephalopathy in Small Animals
The effect of ammonia on canine polymorphonuclear
Like a Typical Child Your Pet is Also Vulnerable to Hidden Toxins
Effects of formaldehyde in the rat and dog following oral exposure