Keeping your home clean can be a challenge, especially if you have furry family members. However, when it comes to household cleaners and your pet, many products out there may actually contain ingredients that could be harmful to them. We’ll identify specific ones to avoid, as well as provide some pet-friendly alternatives for your family and home. 


We all can appreciate a nice smelling home. However, many scented cleaning products contain an ingredient call phthalate. Typically labeled simply as ‘fragrance,’ phthalates can cause a number of long-term issues for your pet. These can include skin and eye irritation, as well as breathing issues. Some studies have even shown this ingredient to cause tumors and cancer among animals. You will normally find phthalates in deodorizers, scented cleaners, and products such as scented plugins and candles. 


A common ingredient found in many cleaners, bleach (chlorine) can be harmful to your pets in more ways than one. Ingesting this chemical can cause digestive problems, diarrhea, and even seizures. Even the fumes from bleach can cause breathing issues for your pet. Bathroom cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent, and laundry detergent all commonly include bleach in their formula.  


Typically used for its preservation properties, formaldehyde is often found in embalming agents, as well as treated upholstery and rugs. However, it is also a popular ingredient in many general-purpose cleaners and soaps. It can also be found in scented plug-ins and perfumes. Try to avoid products with this ingredient as its active ingredients! 


Glass cleaners and oven cleaners are the most common products that contain ammonia as an active ingredient. For humans, it can cause extreme irritation to the eyes, nose, and lungs when inhaled. If ingested, it can burn the mouth, throat, and stomach. For your pets, ammonia can cause even more severe damage, as they are more sensitive to chemicals. 

Friendly Household Products And Your Pet

One of the best natural cleaning agents is vinegar. Dilute 4 cups to 1 gallon of water for use on floors, windows, countertops, etc. Baking soda is also a wonderful alternative cleaner. It can also be used on countertops, as well as your sinks and toilets. You can also use it as laundry detergent. Need a disinfectant cleaner? Apple cider vinegar has been praised for its disinfecting qualities. Mix with water on a 1 to 4 ratio for the perfect cleaning spray. Need a pet-friendly air freshening spray? Mix 2 tablespoons of vodka with several drops of essential oil (such as lavender, lemongrass or rosemary) in a spray bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water for an easy and pet-safe DIY deodorizer! 

When it comes to household cleaners and your pet, you want an option that will not only keep your home clean but also your family safe (including the furry ones!). Keep an eye for the ingredients mentioned above and consider purchasing products without these ingredients. Or try your hand at making your own cleaners for the best bang for your buck. Your pets will thank you!