Get out the vinegar and buckets: it’s April and the time for spring cleaning is here! While necessary to maintain a home, that rejuvenating feeling of a thorough deep clean can inadvertently create a potential hazard to our furry family members. The ingredients that make disinfectants effective make them toxic to pets. With this in mind, there are measures you can take to help keep your pets safer while sprucing:
Storing Cleaning Products Safely
Pets are curious (and let’s face it – some can be downright mischievous! Looking at you, kittens!) Cleaning products should be stored out of any potential reach of pets. Cats who are climbers might be able to get to them no matter how high up they are. Pet-proofing locks on any cabinet that contains potentially dangerous items (cleaning products, medications, etc.) are a good idea – you can’t be too careful with your fur babies!
Keeping Pets Away While Cleaning
While you are actively cleaning, pets should be safely secured in another room or in a crate so they aren’t unnecessarily exposed to harmful chemicals or their fumes. If you are mopping or wiping down surfaces, keep pets out of the area until everything is dry and cleaning products have been safely stored. Wiping down surfaces with clean water after using a cleaning solution is an extra step you can take to ensure chemicals that are toxic to pets aren’t lingering.
Following Product Recommendations Carefully
If you use store-bought cleaning products, be sure to follow their instructions. Many products need to be diluted with water before use to maintain safe levels of active ingredients, and all cleaning products must be kept out of reach of pets. Alcohol, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, anything that contains the word “phenol” in it – these are all dangerous for pets to ingest. Products that are safer to use around pets include baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice – however, it’s important to note that while these can make items appear cleaner, they are not registered disinfectants.
Remembering that “Natural” Doesn’t Mean “Safe”
It’s important to note that substances that are considered or labeled “natural” does NOT automatically make them safe for pets (or people!) For example, certain essential oils that are commonly used in “natural” cleaning products such as tea tree oil, pennyroyal, wintergreen, pine oils, peppermint, citrus, cinnamon, and eucalyptus (this is not an exhaustive list) can be irritating or toxic to cats and dogs. We always recommend checking with a vet when you have any questions about your pet’s health, including what products are safe to use around them.
We will see you soon in store, or at your home (free local delivery!), or in our parking lot (curbside pickup!) Thank you for continuing to shop local at Leo&Lucky’s for your pet’s food, supplies, and grooming. We appreciate you!