For many of us, a clean home is a healthy and happy one. But does that also include the well-being of your pet? While your cleaning products may be cleaning your home, they could also be causing harmful for your furry family members. Here’s what you need to know about today’s products and what to look for in pet-friendly household cleaners.
Some Things To Consider About Your Pets
There are distinct physiological differences between pets and their human owners. This includes their ability to absorb/process or defend against various chemicals and products. For example, while we can eat grapes, alcohol or chocolate our pets can get sick by eating them. Similarly, while we may be able to handle exposure to the chemicals we use in our homes, our pets are not so fortunate. First, they are much lower to the ground and so are exposed more directly to the products we apply to our floors and carpets.
Additionally, our pets have a much higher sense of smell, so what may be a light scent to us could be overwhelming for them. Besides their sensitive noses, your pets frequently lick themselves, which means they will ingest anything they’re lying on or that has settled on their fur. Over time, this could have serious health repercussions for your cat or dog.
Household Cleaners 101: Ingredients to Avoid
Many household cleaning products include dangerous and even toxic ingredients for your pets. One of the most common is ammonia, which is found in window cleaners, oven cleaners, and even wax polishes for wood floors. Chlorine is another harmful ingredient, most commonly found in bathroom cleaners, laundry and dishwasher detergent, and all-purpose cleaners. Phthalate is a chemical found in deodorizers that have been linked to tumors and cancer in pets.
Formaldehyde is also a dangerous chemical that can be found in all-purpose cleaners, scented plugins, and even some pet shampoos! So, when choosing products for your home, take a close look at the ingredients list and search for these chemicals.
Pet-Friendly Household Cleaners: Some Homemade Alternative Options
Homemade cleaners are both cost-effective and safer for your home. Mix 2 cups of vinegar into half a gallon of water for a perfect floor cleaner or all-purpose spray. Need a disinfectant cleaner? Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar will get the job done! Mix one part vinegar into four parts water for this recipe. You can also mix baking soda in equal parts with water and salt and use it on countertops or other hard surfaces with tough stains. Baking soda can also treat stains on carpets or furniture. Layer it on the stain and let it soak for about an hour before vacuuming it up.
For a pet-safe deodorizing spray, mix 8 oz. of water with 1 tbsp. of witch hazel and 8 drops of essential oil. Lavender and mint are two great choices. And be sure to shake the bottle before each use.
Keep your home safe and happy for all members of your family, including your pets!