Best Practices for Keeping Your Pets Safe Around Cleaning Products

a cat and dog together in the grass

When you are cleaning for anything from spring cleaning to doing that extra wipedown for COVID-19 precautions after a grocery shopping trip, it is important to take your pet into account. Cleaning products may have pleasant smells for people, but this can attract pets as well and they may ingest solvents that are not safe for them. Take precautions with products that are natural and deemed safe for pets as well. This article will cover the following:

  • How to make sure your pets are safe while you are cleaning
  • Some ingredients to keep your eye out for
  • How to properly store cleaning supplies

Dog sitting beside a bucket of cleaning supplies
Dogs may be able to stay in the room while you are cleaning if you are careful, but it is best to keep them as far away as possible from harmful cleaning supplies. Photo courtesy of Dogtime.

How to make sure your pets are safe while you are cleaning

It is best to keep your pet away from the area you are cleaning

Take extra steps to keep your pet safe when cleaning extra thoroughly for spring cleaning as well as during the coronavirus pandemic. You may want to avoid using certain toxic chemicals, but it is also not the time to skimp on what products you are using to clean your house. Since this is the case, you should take extra steps to make sure you are keeping your pet safe. This can include keeping your pet out of the room you are cleaning. Use a gate to fence off the room, or close doors when possible. Additionally, you can put your dog or cat in a room that has a door so it is unable to access the room you are cleaning with possibly harmful cleaning supplies.

Make sure the area is well ventilated. This will ensure that both you and your pet are able to breathe freely while you are cleaning and after you have cleaned. Even though you think you may have passed the noxious moment once you are done cleaning, you want to make sure that your dog doesn’t suffer from residual effects of the cleaning supplies.

Make sure you don’t leave cleaning supplies unattended. This can be as simple as storing cleaning supplies in drawers and cabinets completely out of the reach of curious cats and playful pups. Also, while you are cleaning, keep the cleaning supplies within your view so you are sure that your pets aren’t getting into them. Lastly, be sure that everything, all surfaces and areas that you were cleaning, is dry after you have cleaned them. That will ensure that your pet won’t be afflicted by any of the toxic cleaning supplies. Once everything is dry, your cat or dog is safe to wander on all of the surfaces. Still, make sure that you aren’t using supplies that are completely poisonous to your dog, despite being dry!

Many cleaning supplies on a yellow background
Rather than completely avoiding some ingredients, know which ones aren’t as safe for your pet, and take the necessary steps to keep your pet safe. Photo courtesy of Good Housekeeping.

Some ingredients to keep your eye out for

Know which ingredients are more harmful to your pet than others, and try to avoid them or use them less frequently 

Either way, it is best to keep your pet out of the room you are cleaning and make sure all surfaces are dry before you let your pet back in the room. If you are unable to keep your pet out of the room, it may be best to try to avoid some of the following ingredients:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Bleach, specifically chlorine
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Chemical compounds that contain the word “phenol”
  • Ammonia
  • Glycol ethers (found in paints, and some solvents and cleaning products)
  • Formaldehyde

Make sure you use extra caution when using these ingredients, as they are more likely to cause harm to your pet.

Close-up of a mop on a hardwood floor
When you are cleaning your home, take the proper precautions to make sure your pet is safe. This can include keeping your pet out of the room you are cleaning in, and properly storing cleaning products.

How to properly store cleaning supplies

Even when you aren’t cleaning, keep supplies out of reach of pets

Go to the necessary lengths to keep your pets safe from cleaning supplies. If you store your supplies under the sink, this can mean using a childproof lock to safely secure the supplies. On the other hand, it can be preferred to store supplies outside of the home, such as in a garage or shed, where your pets are sure not to sneak into and get a hold of anything toxic. If your pet gets into any toxic substance, have the substance on hand when you call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 or the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 so you can describe the symptoms and they can properly know what the product is that is causing the problem.

It can be overwhelming if you are trying to clean your house while keeping your pet safe. Following these guidelines will help you both keep your pet safe as well as keep your house clean, tidy, and coronavirus free.

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