Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes
An interesting study, conducted in 2012 found that household cleaners increase cancer risk in dogs. Even the cleaners that aren’t detrimental to your health can be hazardous for your dog, and it’s this blind spot that we often run afoul of as human beings.
So what can you do? What chemicals are in, and what are out, to make sure your house is kept dog-friendly but clean? There are various natural dog-friendly household cleaners, of course, but if you have a supply of store-bought chemicals, here’s what you should know.
Chemicals Your Pet Loves
Whilst many chemicals can harm humans, a greater amount of household chemicals can also harm dogs. And the kicker is that your pet may actively seek them out! As you may well know, dogs – and animals in general – love certain smells and objects that are attractive, but not very good for them. Our noses are trained through learning to avoid such things, but animals obviously don’t have that knowledge. Take antifreeze, for example; the main ingredient is ethylene glycerol, which can damage your dog’s kidneys. However, your dog may be drawn to it, as antifreeze has a sweet smell.
When you’ve got a sweet smelling chemical, or one you’re unsure about in the house, just make sure your dogs can’t reach it.
Bad For You? Bad For Them
Harsh chemicals like chlorine, bleach and ammonia can be fantastic for cleaning. Health-wise, however, they aren’t great for you. You must always keep a room ventilated when cleaning, use protective gear and make sure you wash your hands before as frequently as possible around cleaning with said products.
Dogs often don’t have this luxury, though. If you’re using bleach to clean your floor or surfaces, be aware that disinfectants take time to work. The best thing is not to use corrosive chemicals that could be dangerous to your dog, but if you must have a deep clean, keep your pooch well clear of the room.
Less Obvious Risks
There are household chemicals everywhere in your house that you might not even be aware of. It’s unlikely in Idaho that you’ll have a swimming pool; if you’re someone that does, be aware that pool water chemicals hurt dogs. If you use an old-fashioned filtration system, keep your dog out of the pool – even if the animal isn’t trying to drink water, it’s inevitable some will go down.
Building materials in many houses also contain formaldehyde. As with any household, it’s therefore important to try and keep your pet from chewing the walls and skirting boards for this reason.
A household can sometimes feel like a bit of a minefield for pets, so make sure to watch out for any harmful chemicals, and never let your dog near them.