We’ve all become more obsessed with cleanliness and hygiene recently. And, while this is very important, it’s essential to be aware of the dangers of cleaning products when it comes to our pets
Posted: 03 July 2020
Spending much more time at home means that – alongside baking and DIY – many people have become a little obsessed with cleaning. Indeed, social media cleaning guru Mrs Hinch has racked up a whopping 3.3 million followers on Instagram who follow her daily hacks and advice. And, while it’s important to be extra vigilant about cleanliness and hygiene during the current crisis, it’s essential to consider the health and wellbeing of the pets that share our homes as we wipe, scrub and disinfect.
Animal charity Blue Cross states: “Being at home more with our pets is great – but, inevitably, during these difficult times, a lot of us will be cleaning more than usual. Certain products are toxic to pets and they can’t read labels like us, so it’s our job to keep them safe. Remember that dogs like to explore their surroundings with their mouths, so if they’re curious or anxious they may turn to chewing on something you don’t want them to. So, above all, it’s important to keep all products locked away when not in use.”
Feline welfare charity, International Cat Care , advises: “Lots of household disinfectants, including antibacterial products and patio cleaner, contain the cationic detergent benzalkonium chloride. Cationic detergents are an irritant and can cause adverse effects in cats that have licked treated surfaces or walked on them and then ingested the chemical when they later groomed themselves or cleaned their paws.”
And of course, household cleaning chemicals can affect any animals in your home that may come in contact with them – from indoor rabbits to ferrets, rats and chinchillas.
Blue Cross advises that there are three products in particular to be extra careful of:
Laundry detergents, tablets and capsules
The charity warns: “These products can cause burns on your pet’s paws, as well as in their throat and stomach if they swallow them, which can lead to permanent damage and can even be fatal. Look out for pet-safe products, these have less chemicals in them, which means they are less likely to cause such severe reactions.”
*** HAND SANITISER AND PETS ***
International Cat Care recommends taking some simple steps to prevent pets being exposed to the toxic benzalkonium chloride chemical found in many household disinfectants:
Alternative cleaning methods worth considering include:
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Sources: bristolpost.co.uk, pdsa.org.uk, icatcare.org.uk