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Safer Cleaning Products For Your Pets

Choosing cleaning products when you have pets

It has been said that cleaning a house with pets is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos — both are fruitless endeavors. That said, it’s still important to do (the first one, that is)—at least every now and again, especially because you do have pets. 

105_cleaning_cat_gifs.gifPets live close to the floor and carpeting; they lick windows, flooring, frankly most any surface (repeatedly!), so making sure our cleaning products are free from harmful toxins is important.

Also because pets are smaller, often breathe deeper and more rapidly than people, they intake more airborne toxins than we do, and unfortunatley they can’t open a door or a window themselves to “air out” a nasty and irritating cleaning chemical smell.

Ingredients that are harmful to pets in cleaning products

Ammonia and chlorine are two very common cleaning ingredients. Ammonia is often foundcleaning-with-dogs-in-your-house-is-like-brushing-your-teeth-while-eating-oreos-38383.png in products that are used to clean windows, counter tops, and surfaces with grease. While chlorine is a primary ingredient in many bleach and bleach-containing cleaning and sanitizing products. While these are very common cleaning products, they’re also both very potent irritants of the respiratory tract in cats and dogs (as well as in people).

If you use such cleaning products around your home, do so only in accordance with the manufacturers instructions and be especially cautious to use them in well-ventilated areas and do not use them in the presence of your pets.

WARNING: Whatever you do, never, never, never combine an ammonia-containing product with a chlorine-containing one! It will release
highly dangerous gases called chloramines, which are extremely potent respiratory irritants and can cause significant problems for both pets and people.

Choose household cleaning products that are safer for your pets

Fortunately these days there are lots of household cleaners that have fewer chemicals, though are still effective at cleaning and safer for your pets. Here are a few brands to consider:

  • Better Life
  • BioKleen
  • Seventh Generation (Note that many cats don't like citrus smells. So if using any product that has a citrus smell, like this Seventh Generation cleaner, be careful not to use it around your cat's litter boxes and feeding areas, and always use them in places with good ventilation when there are cats in the home.)
  • Tru

Happy cleaning! Or should I say “good luck” cleaning? Either way, now I’m going to go eat some Oreos :-)

*Learn about Amazon links and Preventive Vet recommended products 

Topics: Dog Health, Cat Health, Respiratory problems, pet safety, Dog-friendly products, Cat-friendly products

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.