Due to the pandemic, people are taking extra precautions to keep their homes and workplaces as clean and sanitary as possible. Unfortunately, this can lead to your pets being exposed to potentially hazardous household cleaning products. Injuries and poisoning can occur if your pet encounters the product, or they inhale its chemicals. To ensure your pet’s safety, here is a list of common household cleaning products and the potential dangers they pose:
- Bleach: A common household cleaning product that can be dangerous to pets if they are exposed to it. Bleach coming in contact with skin can cause skin and fur irritation. To prevent ingestion, it is important to thoroughly rinse the paws, as pets can lick the bleach off. Ingestion of bleach can lead to vomiting and stomach irritation and may require veterinary treatment depending on the amount consumed. If bleach gets in the eye, it can cause damage to the cornea so immediate flushing of the eye is required. It is also important to never mix bleach with other chemicals, as mixing chlorine bleach with ammonia can produce toxic chloramine gas which is corrosive to the lungs.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Commonly found in cleaning and disinfecting products, can be highly irritating or damaging to skin and eyes, as well as cause vomiting, and damage the stomach lining. The most common 3% household strength concentration is sometimes used to induce vomiting in dogs, but it should only be done under the supervision of a veterinary professional with the correct dose.
- Isopropyl alcohol: Commonly referred to as rubbing alcohol and isopropanol, can be highly toxic for pets. Symptoms of poisoning can include drunkenness, low blood sugar, upset stomach, slow heart rate, and difficulty breathing.
- Phenols: Can be found in many household cleaners from toilet bowl cleaners to all-purpose sprays. These products can be highly corrosive if they come into contact with the skin, eyes, or are swallowed. Additionally, they can cause corrosive injury to the lungs if inhaled.
To keep your pet safe while cleaning, it is best to keep them out of the room and away from any cleaning supplies or trash. When using paper towels or sanitizing wipes, make sure to discard them in a covered trash can. Additionally, keep the door of the room your cleaning closed and windows open. If a spill should occur, quickly crate your pet or secure the area to avoid accidental exposure. If your pet has encountered a cleaning product, contact Pet Poison Helpline® at (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian for medical help.