How to Keep a Clean Home Without Poisoning Your Pet

How to Keep a Clean Home Without Poisoning Your Pet  1024x597 - How to Keep a Clean Home Without Poisoning Your Pet

Here’s what to avoid, how to spot poisoning in your pet, and what other options you have other than store-bought commercial cleaners.

Toxic Ingredients

In recent years the preference of many consumers has shifted to products that are environment-friendly and made of non-toxic ingredients. Yet, potentially hazardous to pets and people substances still make their way in many household cleaning products.

While not an exhaustive list, here are five common substances found in household cleaners that are toxic to pets.


A common ingredient in household cleaning solutions, ammonia is highly toxic to cats and dogs.

What’s even worse is that your pet might get exposed from both inhaling ammonia fumes or licking and touching surfaces that have been cleaned with ammonia.

This compound can damage your pal’s lungs, eyes, skin, and gastrointestinal system.

Bleach (chlorine)

Bleach/chlorine is another common cleaning ingredient, widely used in cleaning products due to its low cost.

Bleach finds uses in many products from surface cleaners to laundry detergents, but again it is toxic to pets which may inhale, ingest or come in touch with the compound.

Another thing to keep in mind is never to mix ammonia and bleach which may produce toxic fumes that are potentially deadly to living organisms.


This compound is used in a variety of solutions like industrial chemicals, adhesives, and cleaners.

While formaldehyde occurs naturally and people and pets are exposed to it in very small amounts, its presence in cleaning solutions and other industrial chemicals is high enough for formaldehyde to be classified as a possible carcinogen.

Toxic exposure can happen through inhalation, ingestion, and touch.


“Fragrance” is a common term on labels, but it doesn’t say anything about the actual ingredient.

Some “fragrance” compounds are toxic, and in any case, even natural scents can be overpowering for and irritate your pet.

Some fragrance substances have also been classified as possible carcinogens.

Glycol Ethers

Glycol ethers are solvents used in paints and cleaning solutions, and have been linked to a variety of serious health problems such as organ damage and anemia.

Studies also relate exposure to the substance to miscarriage and menstrual problems, and glycol ethers are also toxic to pets.

This ingredient may also be present in cleaning solutions labeled as “natural.”

Poisoning Symptoms in Cats and Dogs

Poisoning in pets can come with many symptoms or just one.

What symptoms a poisoned animal shows depends on a variety of factors, among them what substance has caused the poisoning, to how much of it the pet was exposed, and whether the animal is suffering from any health conditions.

Some of the common symptoms of poisoning in cats and dogs are:

  • Vomiting.
  • Nausea.
  • Drooling.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Bleeding.
  • Tremors.
  • Coughs.
  • Seizures.
  • Runny eyes.
  • Excessive sneezing.
  • Change in behavior.
  • Rashes/leasons/sores/scabs.
  • Excessive/absence of thirst.
  • Excessive/absence of urination and/or defecation.
  • Excessive scratching, especially of the eyes, nose, or throat.

If you notice any of these or other symptoms get your pet to the vet ASAP.

Alternative Cleaning Solutions

The five substances listed above are so common that you might have hard time finding solutions that don’t include at least one of them.

In reality, there are plenty of options for you to clean your home with pet-safe detergents—either with store-bought or homemade cleaners.


Commercial pet-friendly cleaners are subject to availability depending on where you are located, but the easiest place to find them is pet stores, vet clinics, and shops that specialize in cleaning detergents.

An alternative is, of course, the internet where you can conveniently read reviews, compare products, and find more information on the topic.


Some pet owners prefer to use homemade cleaning solutions. There are plenty of recipes online, but of course, if you choose this option, you need to consider which ones are pet-safe.

Natural ingredients can also be toxic to pets, and you can find some of them in our post on foods that may harm your pet. For example, citruses are popular ingredients in homemade cleaning solutions, but they can also be irritating to your pal.

Now that you know what to avoid and how to find pet-safe cleaning solutions, its time to rid your cabinet of potentially toxic substances. This will be an added safety for you and those living with you.

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