Pet safe cleaning materials
May 15, 2013
If you've been thinking about puppy adoption or have decided to adopt a cat in the near future, it's best to know what kinds of products to use in and around your home for your pet's safety and comfort. It can be confusing to know what sort of cleaning chemicals will be strong enough to clean up after your family and your pets. Like young children, cats and dogs will often experiment with odd, new substances by tasting things, which can be very bad for your pet's health. Some cleaners are even strong enough to injure your pet's paws or lungs. Here are a few guidelines to help narrow down what to use.
What to avoid
There are a large number of household cleaners that you may want to write off entirely if you have pets. Many of the cleaners that are strongest on germs can also be too strong for your pets, like bleach or ammonia, notes Dogster. While these chemicals can be extremely effective, they are often too strong for your furry friends, especially if trace amounts are left on the floor or near food dishes. Before purchasing any new chemical cleaner, be sure to look at the ingredients. If they list bleach, ammonia, formaldehyde or glycol, you may want to opt for a pet-safe version of this cleaner.
Other household products to avoid include commercial drain cleaners and laundry detergents. If your pet has a tendency to hang around the bathroom or in piles of fresh laundry, the toxic chemicals present in the cleaners can be very harmful. Using floor or surface cleaners with strong scents can also be bad news since the the smell may attract a curious pet.
Pets can sometimes leave less-than-desirable smells lingering in the home, which is why many people turn to commercial air fresheners to cover any unpleasant odors. If these fresheners are hanging low enough, it's not uncommon for pets to mistake them for toys. Dogs and cats alike can easily be drawn to the vibrant colors and exotic smells emanating from a plug-in or stand-alone air freshener.
Many stores carry spays and powders for powerful household cleaning that are perfectly pet safe. You can find pet-friendly cleaning materials in the pet aisle of your grocery store or at many specialty stores. These cleaning agents are still tough on stains but won't harm your pets.
However, these can cost a bit more than traditional cleaners, so you may even want to consider making your own household detergents. It's easy to mix baking soda or isopropyl alcohol in with warm water, and also makes an effective agent. These cleaners are non-toxic for both your and your pets, so they make great alternatives to more traditional cleaners. Another great base for household cleaners is white vinegar, notes Family Circle. This potent chemical is totally safe for your pets and can be mixed with cloves, baking soda or other cleaners to create a powerful spray. You can even add orange zest or other great-smelling ingredients to make your home even fresher!
If cleaning products alone aren't enough to get your house smelling great, consider using something a little more old-fashioned to purify your home - potpourri. Much like store-bought cleaners, these versions of the sweet-smelling deodorizer may be loaded with chemicals if you purchase them pre-made. However, it's easy enough to make some on your own. Try lightly boiling some cinnamon sticks for half an hour and letting them sit out in a smelly room - this will help to curb any pet smells.