When it comes to household cleaners, the ingredients list of most products might be written in a language we are familiar with, yet it is capable of giving us a headache. But because our doggos and cattos are unable to read it themselves, we owe it to them to put in that extra effort to find a product that is both suitable and safe for them.
This task would become easier when we know exactly what ingredients to look out for and steer clear of. Of course, there is Google to fall back on, but we thought we’d round up some of the commonly used harmful chemicals in household cleaners to give you an idea of why this is important!
First on the list:
1. Ammonia also known as Ammonium Hydroxide
Ammonia is a compound found in several popular cleaning products and it is considered to be an effective cleaning agent. However, there is a downside to using Ammonia - it is toxic for dogs and cats. They can cause irritation to their skin and eyes and cause discomfort as it can result in a burning sensation in their throat, nose and stomach.
Bleach is a compound that is used on its own or as an ingredient in cleaning products. Dogs generally have a hypersensitive sense of smell and the scent of bleach can irritate their nose potentially leading to breathing problems. It can also become harmful if ingested due to its chlorine content.
Phthalates is the element that gives a product its fragrance and is found mostly in products meant to reduce odours. Sometimes it can also be found in products like dog toys, crate mats and beds.
If cleaning products with this compound is used near our furry friends or if it is inhaled by them, it can be dangerous. It can cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic tumours. Most times, they are not listed in the ingredients list, but fragrance itself could actually mean phthalates.
Formaldehyde is found in cleaning products and when it reaches room temperature it’s released into the air. When inhaled by dogs it will be absorbed by the skin and can cause severe eye and skin irritation while also decreasing respiratory rate and nerve response rate.
5. Benzalkonium chloride
Benzalkonium chloride is a strong chemical found in antibacterial kitchen and bathroom sprays that help with keeping viruses and bacteria away. However, when it comes into contact with our pets, it can cause irritation to their paws, eyes and nose.
One point to bear in mind when selecting cleaning products, especially for surfaces like our floors is, our animals spent most of their time on the floor and when they groom or lick themselves they come into very close contact with surfaces, thus having a higher chance of absorbing the chemicals.
Non-toxic household cleaner brands such as IDOCARE promises high performance cleaning that is safer for babies and pets
While avoiding exposure to chemicals altogether may sometimes be impossible, it can be significantly reduced. It is possible that the negative effects of the chemicals may start to show only after prolonged exposure, but we don’t have to wait till then to make a change.
One very simple alternative is to go for non-toxic do-it-yourself cleaners that are equally effective in keeping our homes clean. Baking sodas, vinegars and lime juice are some ingredients that does a pretty good job!
Otherwise you can look out for natural cleaners that do away with toxic chemicals. Chances are when you buy these, they are also cruelty-free and not tested on animals, so that makes it a double win!