Keeping the house clean when you are a dog owner can be a day-to-day challenge. To make things more difficult, many popular cleaning products can be hazardous to your pup. Here’s a look at some options to help keep your home clean while ensuring your dog stays safe.
The Danger Items
For dogs, the danger from toxic cleaning products can be from licking it off their fur if it spills on them or inhaling it with their highly sensitive nose. Products that feature any of the following chemicals could be a risk for you pup:
• Ammonia (found in glass cleaners)
• Formaldehyde (found in some glues and adhesives)
• Phenols (found in some air fresheners)
• Phthalates (found in air fresheners, plug-ins, perfumes and pesticides)
• Alcohols (found in many glass cleaners, antifreeze, aerosols)
• Perchloroethylene (primarily used as a dry cleaning solution)
• Chlorine (found in pool chemicals)
• Acids (found in cleaners, batteries and pool sanitizers)
• Alkalis (found in drain openers, dishwashing detergent, pool chemicals, toilet bowl cleaners)
Most prominent floor cleaning products contain either ammonia or formaldehyde. For a safer option, mix one part white vinegar with two parts hot water for an effective floor cleaner. You can also add a bit of lemon juice to take away that vinegar smell.
For wooden floors, regular tea can help make a nice cleaning solution. Brew three tea bags with four cups of water to create a mix that can be sprayed directly on the on the floor. Just use enough for a thin layer of wetness and then wipe with a damp cloth or mop. There’s no need to rinse and it is perfectly safe for your dog to walk on immediately afterward.
Even if your dog is too short to reach your kitchen counters, the product you are using to clean those surfaces could be a danger due to their toxic smell. A combination of baking soda mixed with water and salt will create an effective cleanser that will be abrasive enough to get all the dried food stains while still being safe enough to not ruin the finish.
For those who prefer an all-liquid solution to clean your counters, a spray mix of equal parts water and white vinegar will also clean those areas. However, if your countertop is marble, granite or stone, replace the vinegar in that concoction with pet-friendly detergent.
Tidying the Tub & Toilet
Common bathroom cleaners like scrubbing cleansers or wipes can leave a toxic residue that is dangerous for your dog to inhale or lick. A safe alternative for those surfaces is a mix of baking soda and lemon juice. The two can be combined to create a foaming cleanser that works on tubs, sinks and the outside of toilets.
For bathroom tasks like unclogging toilets and bathtubs, there is a misconception that the ordinary drain cleaners are fine because they end up getting flushed away. However, the lingering smell can be toxic if your dog breathes it in. A combination of hot water followed by some baking soda and vinegar down the drain creates a similar chemical effect to the store-bought products but is much safer for everyone.