Green Cleaning Products and Pets


We know that using harmful, chemical products around children is not safe, but what about your pets?

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that poisoning from household cleaners is one of the top reasons for frantic calls from pet owners.

The most dangerous cleaning products are those which may cause corrosive injury or chemical burns. These include rust removers, toilet bowel cleaners, lye, drain cleaners and calcium/lime removers.

Cleaners such as glass cleaners, spot removers and most surface cleaners have a wide margin of safety. If ingested in small amounts, most only cause mild vomiting or diarrhea. Also, if they touch your pet’s skin, they may cause mild irritation.

Because pets are smaller, closer to the ground and often crated, they have even greater chance to ingest, breath in and have skin contact with potentially dangerous and toxic chemicals. Pets are also naturally curious but do not have the knowledge to recognize and avoid potentially harmful substances.

Birds are particularly sensitive to cleaning products, especially aerosolized products. Aerosolized products should not be used in the same room as caged or free birds.

Below is a top 3 list of chemicals that are harmful to your pets and of course your family as well.

1) Chlorine

This is a big one.  Try finding household cleaners that don’t contain some traces of chlorine?  Used in disinfectants, toilet bowl cleaners and automatic dish detergent to name a few, chlorine is also used to bleach coffee filters. It can cause everything from dizziness to vomiting to laryngeal edema. Avoid this ingredient and be careful about letting your pet swim in the pool.

2) Formaldehyde

The thought of a funeral home comes to mind when formaldehyde is mentioned and everyone can recognize the strong, nauseating smell. But it’s also used in products such as soaps and even some pet shampoos. It can contribute to asthma and is carcinogenic.

Formaldehyde is present in many new home furnishings, household cleaners and some construction materials. It is considered toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

According to the EPA, formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in animals as well.

– Dog houses should be made of solid wood. Plywood and pressed wood products should be avoided, but if they are used they should be painted on both sides.
– New dog cushions and blankets should be washed or left outdoors to off-gas for several days before letting the dog come into contact with them.
– Dogs kept in apartments or small homes during the day should have access to fresh air. Keep a screened window open if possible.

3) Ammonia

Used in many de-greasers for ovens, glass and stainless steel, ammonia has a very high VOC, burns mucous membranes and contributes to asthma. If it is mixed with bleach, it creates a poisonous gas which can be deadly to small pets.

Some cleaning products that are not safe:

• Floor Cleaners – These include Pine Sol and Mr. Clean. Even if you manage to get all of the residue off the floor, the vapors linger and are dangerous to your pet. Try a non-toxic, pet safe cleaner instead.
• Bathroom Cleaners – These include Clorox Bathroom Cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles. Never use a continuous toilet bowl cleaner such as Clorox Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner. It is very dangerous and the temptation to drink out of the toilet is a quirk in many of our pups.
• All Purpose Cleaners – For use in the kitchen and around the house, the most common toxic all-purpose cleaners that scream “Danger!” are Mr. Clean Multi-Purpose Spray and Formula 409.
• Drain Openers – You may think that since this product is poured down the drain, it can’t be harmful to your pet. But the toxic drain openers give off dangerous fumes long after you’ve emptied them.
• Glass Cleaner – It may seem that toxic glass cleaners are simpler products and are, therefore, safe but they are not. Instead of Windex try a green cleaning product that doesn’t contain the chemicals listed above.
• Laundry Detergent – It’s easy to assume that choosing a laundry detergent isn’t that important because the rinse cycle rinses it away. But there is residue left behind on clothes and pet blankets that can be harmful to your pet, especially those that chew on their bedding. Avoid detergents with toxic ingredients such as Tide and Cheer.


You do have a choice in the products you use in your home.  If you choose to use toxic cleaners, please make sure that they are kept in a safe place your pets cannot access.  Also, be sure to always read and follow any directions and recommendations on the bottle.

Interested in learning about the only company we’ve found that has been providing safe products (that actually work) for over 3 decades?  CLICK HERE.

We hope you found this helpful and if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at any time!

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