Keep your pets safe from toxic cleaning products

clean-1346682_640-300x200 Keep your pets safe from toxic cleaning productsSpring is the time of year when people make a big effort to declutter and clean the house. However, when you have pets, you must be extra careful of your cleaning products. As the owner of two rescues (Missy and Roxy), I have put some tips together for safe cleaning with pets.

Use pet-friendly cleaning products.

We all have a cupboard of cleaning products that includes soap powder, carpet cleaners, and other cleaning products. However, many of these are dangerous to both pets and kids, and many can be exchanged for ones with fewer chemicals and so far safer if your pets come in contact

It is important to remember that there is a lot of safe, a natural cleaning product that are often cheaper, safer and kinder to the environment, like:

  • sodium bicarbonate
  • vinegar – white vinegar seems to be better, but any vinegar, to be honest
  • lemon juice.

It is important to follow the instructions.

Many cleaning products require you to read the instructions. For example, some products, such as bleach, require diluting them with water before you can use them. This also helps make it safer for your pet as the solution is to Wipe weaker

. When using commercial products such as bleach, it is important to wash down surfaces with plain clean water afterwards. Again this will help your pet coming into contact with harmful chemicals as it will remove any lingering chemicals on surfaces

Keep Out of Reach of Children I Mean Pets

They are stored out of your pet’s way, in the same way, you would children. This could be high up or in a cupboard under the sink with a child lock on. The mop and bucket should be cleaned thoroughly to remove any bleach and cleaning cloths thrown in the machine and washed with only plain water.

As the adverts say, it is immigrant that the products have lids and tops on. Please make sure you put products away carefully after you have finished with them. Store them well out of your pet’s reach, just like you would for children. Empty and rinse mop buckets, so they are not full of bleach.

Keep pets in a safe area.

When you are cleaning the house, keep your pet out o the way (for example, I take Missy and Roxy out whilst my mum does the cleaning)/ Keep them out of the room until everything is dry. This means they won’t accidentally get cleaning products on their skin.

When using bleach in the toilet bowl, make sure you keep the lid closed. A lot of pets like to drink out of the toilet bowl.

The problem with cleaning products and our pets

Alas, as intelligent as some pets can be, especially collies, they can’t read the labels, so they rely on us to keep them safe. Remember the Iams advert with the Collie, and the cat/You’ll have to read the title as  I can’t read, and the cat can’t count

It is important to remember that some cleaning products can cause burns on pets’ paws or, even worse, can burn their throat and stomach if they swallow the product. This can cause permanent damage and even be fatal, especially if you don’t get treatment for them immediately. Coon culprits of burns to pets include

  • bleach
  • over cleaner
  • dishwasher tablets
  • soap powder stain removers and other laundry detergents.

By nature, most Pets are curious and likely to explore new and unusual objects they find lying around. It is a known fact that dogs explore things with their mouths (and noses) and can use chewing as a way to relax, so they’re at risk from any bottles or cleaning tablets they might find. Cats sometimes drink from toilets and sinks, which can be dangerous if they’re full of bleach or cleaner. Cats have even been known to nap inside washing machines or tumble driers, especially if it is still warm, so always check before using these appliances.

What to do if your pet has come into contact with cleaning products

some of the signs that your dog is suffering from poison due to cleaning products include:
  • Ulcers and sore-looking skin. This could be on their paws or inside their mouth or tongue if they’ve swallowed the product.
  • Nausea, coughing etc., much more than usual.
  • Collapsing
  • They are being lazier and have less energy than usual.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dribbling or foaming at the mouth.
  • They are rubbing their face and mouth with their paws.

If you suspect our pet has come in contact with cleaning products, especially if they show any of the above symptoms, then you need to

  • Stay calm
  • Remove your dog from the source of the poison. Stay calm.
  • Immediately contact your Vet, and tell them how, where, and when the incident has occurred. If you take your dog to the Vet’s surgery, take any substance, plant or packaging along too, but of course, don’t expose yourself to any toxic harm.
  • Follow any advice given by the Vet.
  • If the dog’s fur/skin has been contaminated, wash with water and mild shampoo, then rinse and dry.
  • Don’t attempt to make the dog vomit, and don’t use salt water, which can be very dangerous.
  • Keep the dog away from other animals.
  • Don’t attempt to medicate or treat the dog yourself – immediate emergency action is needed, and medicines intended for humans could be poisonous to your dog.

The sooner dog poisoning is identified, the safer and easier it is to treat your pet. Never “wait and see”- if you suspect poisoning, contact your Vet immediately!

You may also wish to read our post on keeping your house clean with animals and also keeping your dog safe from chemicals in the garden and garage