Laundry Detergent Pods and Pets: A Hidden Danger

Rocklin_iStock_000045944674_Large.jpgLaundry detergent pods have gotten a lot of attention in the news lately due to children ingesting them. The colorful, shiny looking packets of concentrated laundry detergent are attention grabbing to curious little ones, to say the least.

The dangers of these detergent pods to our household pets, however, have received far less attention. Learn why laundry detergent pods and pets don’t mix and how to protect your household.

Why Laundry Detergent Pods are Dangerous

Any laundry detergent ingestion can be bad. Most chemicals of this type contain surfactants that can cause irritation of the gastrointestinal system (think vomiting and diarrhea). While this isn’t fun for anyone, concentrated laundry detergent pods pose a completely different hazard.

Because the detergent is under a large amount of pressure in its little packet, when a pet (or child) bites into the pod, the contents spray out and large amounts are often ingested or even inhaled. Inhalation can lead to severe irritation of the respiratory tract and even aspiration pneumonia.

Dogs are much more likely to attempt to ingest the pods, while cats are more prone to knocking over a small amount of liquid detergent or groom it off of themselves.

Pets who ingest or aspirate concentrated laundry detergent may experience:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Gagging/retching
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing

Because the contents of the pods are under pressure, detergent squirting into eyes and other sensitive areas has also been reported.

Laundry Detergent Pods and Pets

Laundry detergent pods and pets are not a good combination. While traditionally, licking a small amount of detergent off of the floor or the paws might make an animal a little sick, detergent pod ingestion tend to carry much more serious consequences.

Keep your pets safe by:

  • Considering not having them in your home
  • Being sure all detergents and chemicals are securely closed
  • Storing detergent pods in a closed cabinet out of reach
  • Cleaning any detergent from your pet’s fur or body immediately
  • Being sure that everyone in your house is aware of the possible dangers
  • Call us right away if your pet is exposed to a detergent pod
  • You can also receive help (consultation fee applies) around the clock from Animal Poison Control

Laundry detergent pods and pets are a dangerous combination. Be sure to use some common sense and protect your four-legged family members where possible. We tend to get so caught up in the outside poisons and toxins that we tend to forget the ones that lurk in our own homes. By learning about these and exercising a little caution, we can work together to keep your pets happy and healthy for years to come.