5 Ingredients in Your Cleaning Products That Are Harmful to PetsUpdated: April 18, 2023
We love our pets! But they can also leave behind fur on your carpets and furniture, smelly toys, messy accidents, or muddy paw prints. Cleaning a home with pets is essential for a healthy living space. But are your cleaning products safe for your pets?
Learn about the ingredients in your cleaning products that can be harmful to pets.
Why Some Cleaning Products May Harm Your Pet
Many typical household cleaning products are hazardous and harmful, not just to people, but also to our pets. Most common household cleaners leave behind residue, which can be absorbed into a pet’s skin, inhaled into their lungs, or ingested by grooming.
Pets have a smaller lung capacity and a faster metabolism than humans, which means they breathe more rapidly and process chemicals at a faster rate than humans.
5 Ingredients in Your Cleaning Products That Are Harmful to Pets
Chlorine and Bleach
Many bleaches, disinfectants, toilet bowl cleaners, and laundry or dishwasher detergents contain chlorine. Bleach can be poisonous to humans and our pets. Chlorine exposure alone can harm the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract, and chlorine bleach ingestion can result in life-threatening poisoning. Harmful effects caused by chlorine or bleach on pets may include drooling, coughing, diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting, and seizures. Every cleaning product containing bleach should always be kept out of your pet's reach. Do not rely on the unpleasant taste of bleach to deter your pet from ingesting it; when intrigued and curious, pets could place anything in their mouths.
If you have a pool and your pool is properly diluted, the chlorine should not cause any harm to your furbaby. If they ingest too much of the water, they might get a stomachache, but nothing serious is likely to happen. Nonetheless, you should store the chlorine tablets for your pool in a covered container that is far from where your pet could access it.
Even if you do not have a large bottle labeled "ammonia" beneath your sink, it is possible that you store cleaning products that contain ammonia. Oven cleaners, wax for hardwood floors, drain cleaners, multi-surface cleaners, and window cleaners all generally contain ammonia.
Ammonia irritates and burns mucous membranes, making it dangerous for both you and your pets. Your pet's nose, mouth, and throat can suffer if they inhale cleaners that contain ammonia or if they ingest any residue. Respiratory problems may also result from prolonged exposure to this toxic cleaning product ingredient. Your pet may start coughing or experiencing other breathing issues.
"Most common household cleaners leave behind residue, which can be absorbed into a pet’s skin, inhaled into their lungs, or ingested by grooming."
All-purpose cleaners, carpet spot cleaners, and liquid soaps frequently contain glycol ethers. Glycol ethers are hazardous to pets if ingested, so check the ingredients list for Ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, and propylene glycol. It may even be inside some containers labeled natural or green therefore it is vital that you review your cleaning products. In both people and pets, glycol ethers have been associated with lung damage, kidney damage, and anemia.
Although its most well-known usage is as an embalming agent, formaldehyde can also be found in our cleaning products. It can be found in all-purpose cleansers, laundry and dish detergents, and air fresheners.
Formaldehyde is considered to be a serious skin and eye irritant. The respiratory and nervous systems of the body can be negatively impacted by it. Formaldehyde is a recognized carcinogen by the EPA, meaning that persons who are exposed to it may develop cancer.
Formaldehyde is rarely listed on an ingredients list. Instead, look for these other names: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15, hydroxymethylglycinate, or Bronopol.
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
Often referred to as "QUATS," they are frequently used in disinfectant wipes and sprays, laundry disinfectants, and other products with an antibacterial label. In a 10-year study, it was discovered that Quaternary Ammonium Compounds are one of the main causes of contact dermatitis in people and can greatly irritate the skin. These may also potentially contribute to respiratory problems like asthma.
Contact dermatitis can also occur in pets caused by these QUATS. Blisters, skin irritation, sore patches, and itching are possible. Pets may also experience ulcers, lesions, and hair loss. Observe any scaly, dry, or thickened skin, as well as any red spots. Your pet's contact dermatitis can be managed by a veterinarian, but it is necessary to eliminate any potential triggers.
"It is best that you choose cleaning products that are safe for your pets, like PetTergent®. PetTergent® is a safe and effective enzymatic detergent for pet laundry that eliminates pet stains, soils, and odors from pee, poop, blood, and vomit."
Signs of Poisoning in Your Pet
It’s not always obvious if our pet has accidentally ingested or be exposed to a harmful chemical in a cleaning product. But there are signs to watch out for. Seek immediate attention from your vet if you suspect poisoning. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, here are three stages of poisoning.
Stage 1 (30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion): Comparable to alcohol poisoning, your pet may become unsteady, drool, throw up, or have seizures. They might also be peeing more and become extremely thirsty.
Stage 2 (12–24 hours after ingestion): Although your pet may seem like they are improving, really serious internal injuries can be occurring.
Stage 3 (36-72 hours after ingestion): Severe kidney failure can occur. Your pet may not want to eat, will be tired, will drool more, may vomit, and could experience seizures and even coma.
To stay away from these ingredients, it is best that you choose cleaning products that are safe for your pets, like PetTergent®.
PetTergent® is a safe and effective enzymatic detergent for pet laundry that eliminates pet stains, soils, and odors from pee, poop, blood, and vomit. It is safe for pets as it is made of 90%+ bio-based and biodegradable ingredients and is free from harsh ingredients that can cause irritation or harm. It can be used on all pet laundry, including soft toys, blankets, and Pawtect® Pads, leaving them fresh and clean for future use.
Pets have the tendency to explore with their noses and mouths, much like infants and young children do. Therefore, it is crucial that we are aware of the products we use in our homes.
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