Fresh Home, Healthy Pet: Spring Cleaning Pet Safety Tips

A cat sniffs some cleaning supplies.

The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and your home is starting to have a layer of winter dust that might be making you itch to reach for the cleaning products. Spring is in the air and so is the need to clean your home to welcome the new season. Unfortunately, there are a lot of ingredients in common cleaning products that are dangerous for animals. Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital wants to help you learn about spring cleaning pet safety so you can have a spotless home without harming your furry friends.

Spring Cleaning Pet Safety: Knowing What Is Toxic for Animals

If you have store brand cleaning products, you probably already have some that contain ingredients that are considered toxic for animals. It might be a good idea to go through your cabinets to see if you have any products that contain the following chemicals:

  • Ammonia: Although known for its superb cleaning capabilities, ammonia is considered incredibly toxic for dogs in particular. Just the smell of ammonia can cause burning in your dog’s throat and nose, and might even lead to breathing issues.
  • Bleach: If ingested, bleach can cause side effects that range from burning in the throat to seizures in animals. The more bleach an animal swallows, the worse the side effects will be. It is a good idea to dilute bleach with water before using it, which will help minimize its effect.
  • Phthalates: Often listed as “fragrance” on an ingredient list, phthalates are incredibly toxic for both animals and humans. They are considered carcinogens and might cause tumors in your pets, specifically in the liver or the pancreas. These dangerous chemicals are not only added to cleaning products; they can also sometimes be found in pet toys and beds, so be sure to be diligent about reading up on what these products are made of before purchasing them.
  • Formaldehyde: Once formaldehyde reaches room temperature, your pets can breathe it in and might experience burning issues with their eyes or skin. In extreme cases, formaldehyde can also lead to breathing problems and negatively affect the nervous system.

Keeping Your Home Clean Without Harming Your Pets

Although many household cleaners and products have ingredients that could poison your pets in the wrong doses, it does not necessarily mean that you have to immediately throw away anything that has any of these ingredients. If your cleaning supplies have any of these ingredients, be sure to keep your pets far away while you are using them.

You can also purchase non-toxic cleaning products from brands like Method, Better Life, or Seventh Generation. If you have baking soda, vinegar, and salt, you can even make your own effective cleaning products that will not harm you or your pets. 

If you think your pets might have ingested some toxic chemicals from cleaning products, please call Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital immediately at (916) 624‑PETS (7387). We are here to help you keep your pets healthy and happy.