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6 Household Cleaning Products That Are Not Safe for Dogs (Vet Reviewed)

Written by: Rachel Giordano

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

person doing home cleaning while dog is lying on the floor

6 Household Cleaning Products That Are Not Safe for Dogs (Vet Reviewed)

VET APPROVED

Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Karyn Kanowski

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

A vital aspect of keeping dogs safe is to keep household cleaning products secure and out of reach. Did you know cleaning products account for 8.3% of pet poison calls?1 As innocent as it may seem, not having household products secured in cabinets and drawers can bring disastrous outcomes, and keeping the products out of reach can save your dog’s life.

Below, we’ll focus on six dangerous household cleaning products that must be kept out of reach for your dog’s safety.

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What Makes Cleaning Products Dangerous to Dogs?

Many everyday household cleaning products, like Mr. Clean and Pine Sol, contain common ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Ingredients to look for are bleach, ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, phenol, and isopropyl alcohol.

The toxicity and severity of the illness will depend on the product’s concentration, how much your dog was exposed to, and how exposure occurred (inhaled, ingested, contact).

Woman cleaning dust from bookshelf
Image Credit: Prostock-studio, Shutterstock

What Are the Signs of Household Cleaning Product Toxicity?

If you suspect your dog was exposed to a household cleaning product, it is vital to relay the possible details of toxicity to your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline. If you notice any of the following signs, immediately contact your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline.

Signs to look for if your dog ingested toxins from a cleaning product:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Lethargy
  • Disorientation
  • Seizures
  • Coma

Here are signs to look for if you suspect your dog inhaled toxins from a household cleaning product:

  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Blue gums

Signs of direct contact with a toxin in a household cleaning product are:

  • Rash
  • Chemical burns
  • Blisters or sores
  • Redness and irritation
  • Crying/distress

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The 6 Household Cleaning Products That Are Not Safe for Dogs

Now that we know the signs of toxicity, here is a list of six hazardous household cleaners that should be kept locked away.

1. Window/Glass Cleaners

person cleaning the window
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Most window and glass cleaners, such as Windex, contain ammonia and sometimes bleach. If you use window cleaners with toxic ingredients, keep them locked away. You should also refrain from using the cleaners on glass your dog can access.


2. Floor Cleaners

Several floor-cleaning brands, such as Pine Sol and Mr. Clean, have toxic ingredients. If you must use a strong floor cleaner, ensure you rinse it well and ventilate the room. The floors should also be completely dry before allowing your dog to walk on them.


3. All-Purpose Cleaners

woman cleaning the carpet
Image Credit: Ground Picture, Shutterstock

Many all-purpose cleaners contain dangerous toxins, such as Lysol’s Bleach Multi-Purpose Cleaner. Formula 409 and Mr. Clean Multi-Purpose Spray are other products to avoid around dogs.


4. Bathroom Cleaners

Most bathroom cleaners have bleach in them to kill germs. Scrubbing Bubbles Foaming Bleach is an example of a dangerous household cleaner for cleaning bathrooms. Disinfectants, such as Comet Disinfecting Cleaner with bleach, should also be avoided.


5. Drain Cleaners/Oven Cleaners/Pool Cleaners

person pouring pool cleaner into the pool
Image Credit: Denis Klimov 3000, Shutterstock

These cleaners are especially dangerous because of the high pH levels they contain, which can cause corrosive burns in your dog’s esophagus and mouth. If you use caustic products, ensure all dogs and other pets are absent from the room until the drains or oven are thoroughly rinsed. You should also ventilate the room due to the harmful vapors.


6. Laundry Detergent

Most people keep laundry detergent in the laundry room cabinet or somewhere high where a dog can’t reach. However, if you lay your purchased items from the store on the ground before putting them away, remember that most laundry detergents contain phenol and formaldehyde.

It’s also best to use a pet-friendly laundry detergent while washing your dog’s bedding and blankets in case residue is left behind on the fabric. Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent is an excellent choice because it is plant-based and contains no dyes, synthetic fragrances, or brighteners.

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What Are Safe Household Cleaning Products to Use?

The truth is that many household cleaning products, whether glass cleaners, pool cleaners, floor cleaners, multi-purpose cleaners, and some carpet cleaners that target pet stains, like Resolve Instant Eraser, are dangerous to pets due to their ingredients. Cleaning is a chore we all must do, so what can you use that is safe for dogs and other pets in the home?

An excellent option is to look for plant-based cleaning products or use all-natural ingredients. These products omit harmful ingredients with pets in mind and are better for the environment.

Our Favorite Product

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray is our top choice for an all-purpose cleaner for pet messes. It effectively removes even the toughest stains and odors, making clean-up and accident prevention effortless. What's more, Hepper offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, which is a great bonus! If you're interested in learning more about this product, click here.

Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
  • ADVANCED ENZYMATIC CLEANER - Penetrates the most stubborn smells and stains at the deepest molecular...
  • FOR ANY MESS, ON ANY SURFACE - This pet odor eliminator cleans your carpets, floors, furniture,...
  • FRESH, NATURAL ODOR - Our unique formulation doesn't rely on dangerous or unpleasant chemical...

At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool pet company!

Can I Make Dog-Safe Cleaning Products?

You can make dog-safe cleaning products at home that are suitable for toilets, floors, drains, glass, and even carpets. Hydrogen peroxide is safe for carpets, and baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice work well for stain removal. Vinegar is also a safe ingredient to use for any type of household cleaning, and most people have a big jug handy.

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Conclusion

Using pet-friendly products with all-natural ingredients is the safest way to clean your home when you have a dog or other pets. If you must use products with dangerous ingredients, keep them locked away where your dog cannot access them (child-safety locks are helpful for cabinets).

Ensure you ventilate the rooms you clean, thoroughly rinse the cleaning products from surfaces, and make sure you keep your dogs food and water bowls out of the way when using any spray or aerosol products. If you notice signs of toxicity, contact your vet or the Pet Poison Helpline immediately.


Featured Image Credit By: Reshetnikov_art, Shutterstock

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