Having pets at home means you’ll do a lot of cleaning. But are the cleaning supplies you use safe for your pets? Some cleaning chemicals aren’t safe for pets, and can actually be toxic, especially if ingested.
If you have a pet at home, it’s key to choose cleaning products that are both effective and safe for pets. Generally, you’ll want to look for non-toxic cleaning products.
Cleaning Supplies to Avoid
It’s a good idea to avoid cleaning supplies with potentially toxic chemicals. Keep in mind that everything is a chemical—even water. It’s just that some chemicals are potentially more problematic than others.
Often, the dose has a lot to do with how toxic it can be. For example, a small amount of bleach dried on your floors might not be a big problem for you or your pets, but a liberal amount could cause irritation or even toxicity as you breathe it in, or worse if your pets ingest it.
Many cleaning supplies can irritate the eyes, throat, and cause headaches or even more serious issues. And some pets may be curious about getting into cleaning supplies. They may ingest them, which can cause toxicosis.
In general, any cleaning product that is considered safe for your family is safe for pets. And, keep in mind that some products marketed as ‘eco friendly’ or ‘green’ aren’t necessarily safe to use around children or pets and may still contain toxins. The best way to find supplies to avoid is to look at the label.
Look for these ingredients, and if you find them, try to find an alternative:
- Isopropyl rubbing alcohol
Cleaning Supplies to Use
Usually, plant based ingredients are less toxic, and can still be effective when it comes to removing stains and cleaning your home. And although some essential oils can be hazardous to pets, others are safe and can be used without concern for your pet’s health.
Look on the label, and even read reviews and other details for the words ‘pet safe,’ or ‘non toxic.’ These can give you some assurance that the cleaning supplies you’re choosing won’t be a serious problem for you or your pets.
Think about noise as well. A loud vacuum cleaner or other cleaning tools could stress out your pet. But a vacuum that cleans effectively without a lot of noise will give your pet less to get stressed about.
Cleaning Supply Safety
While it’s a good idea to choose safe cleaning supplies for your pet, it’s important to practice safety. Even if you’re using products you feel you can trust, it’s key to keep them out of reach of pets.
Keeping cleaning supplies out of reach means, essentially, baby proofing them. You’ll want to put cleaners in an upper cabinet, garage, or other area that’s out of reach for your pets. However, keep in mind that some curious pets may open doors or jump on counters, so a secure storage solution is best.
Remember that storage matters even when you’re using the cleaning supplies. You might be tempted to leave them supplies out and walk away as you’re doing other tasks, but pets may come by and check them out in your absence. Always store items out of reach.
Keeping your home clean with pets can be a challenge, and choosing pet safe cleaning supplies can add a level of complication. But taking care and finding cleaning supplies without chemicals considered harmful for pets and humans, along with safe storage practices, can go a long way to keeping your home clean and safe for pets.
Susan Austin is a family research specialist with Family Living Today. A mother of three and small business owner in Texas, Austin spends her days juggling work and family life—sometimes expertly, sometimes not.