With spring finally starting to show itself, many of us become energized to conquer some spring cleaning and home improvement projects, as well as enjoy all that spring has to offer. Yet before we dive into tearing up the bathroom tile or deep-cleaning the kitchen with bleach, it’s important to consider our pets’ safety! They are often very sensitive to many of our cleaning and home improvement products, and their curiosity could put them in danger of getting irritating chemicals on their skin, or even ingesting them! At Always Compassionate Veterinary Care, we want to give you springtime tips to keep your pet safe this cleaning season!
Plenty of the household cleaners we use seem harmless to us… but we know better than to touch it with our bare skin or lick it up! Pets are not so discerning, so it’s very important to make sure that the products we use are either safe for them to be around, or we practice extreme caution when using them in our homes. Here’s a list of some common cleaners and how safe (or unsafe) they are for pets:
- Bleach – this effective cleanser is entirely safe for pets, when used properly. When cleaning their cage or toys, use a diluted solution, rinse it thoroughly, and air it out before allowing pets access to it again.
- Carpet fresheners and shampoos – both of these are relatively harmless. To reduce the risk of any minor skin irritation or gastrointestinal upset, make sure to keep pets out of the room until the powder is vacuumed or the carpet is dried.
- Swiffer Wet Jet – Luckily, this product does not contain cleaning agents in a large enough quantity to cause any serious harm. Yet, like carpet cleaners and bleach, you can save your pet from any irritation or stomach upset by using the product according to its label—that often means letting it dry before allowing pets back in the room.
- Toilet cleaners – Tablets and other toilet bowl cleaners are unlikely to cause any major issues if your pet should drink the diluted toilet water. However, stagnant toilet water is actually a bit more dangerous, as it could cause bacterial problems in their gastrointestinal tract.
In conclusion, most household cleaners are completely safe as long as label directions are followed. If your pet does ingest significant quantities, or undiluted solutions, you can call ASPCA’s poison control at (888) 426-4433.
Home Improvement Products
In addition to cleaning, home improvement projects often occur in the spring. The ability to open the windows and work with a breeze is too good to pass up. However, take these safety tips for your pet to heart to avoid any unnecessary harm.
- Many paints, mineral spirits, and solvents are toxic to pets, causing severe irritation, chemical burns, or gastrointestinal problems if ingested. Keep pets out of the room until the materials have dried and the room is aired out.
- Be cautious of nails, staples, blades, power tools, and insulation, which could all cause serious injury to curious, unsuspecting pets. Make you sure you thoroughly remove all these hazards before allowing your pet back into the area.
- Lawn care products such as fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides are all dangerous to pets if ingested. Store these products safely out of paw’s reach and use them with care.
Other Springtime Tips
Cleaning and home improvement aren’t the only things that pet owners need to be cautious of in spring. Other pet safety tips include:
- Open windows. Cats especially are apt to jumping or falling out of open, unscreened windows, so make sure all windows are securely screened.
- Traveling in cars. It may seem fine to allow your dog to hang their head out the window, but debris and bugs pose a risk. Insects and debris can damage sensitive eyes, ears, and even cause lung infections. Always make sure your pet is secured in a crate or seatbelt harness.
- Springtime plants. Lilies, Azaleas, and Rhododendrons, among others are highly toxic to pets if eaten. Keep these plants out of your home and garden where your pet has access.
If you have any questions or concerns about springtime pet safety, please call us at (412) 882-3070.