Many dog owners keep cleaners in their homes that are not exactly pet safe out of habit or ignorance of the bad effects they have on the household. Cleaning products with ingredients such as bleach, ammonia, chlorine, gycol ethers or formaldehyde can cause many problems in adults and children, but young children and pets are particularly at risk for things such as cancer, anemia, liver and kidney damage. Many toxic cleaners are also carcinogenic. So, what are some household cleaning products that are not safe for dogs? Is Pine Sol safe for dogs? Is Lysol safe for pets? Are Mr. Clean, Clorox Bathroom Cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles safe for dogs? What about detergents like Tide and Cheer?
Several studies show dangerous effects of some common cleaning products. Many of these included data on pets which showed that Fido and Fluffy are not immune to chemicals and that many cleaning products are not pet safe. One study concentrated on measuring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in cleaning products. In it, the vapor pressure of various chemical compounds in cleaners was measured. Three cleaners, Pledge, Clorox Wipes and Lysol Disinfecting Spray, registered close to a thousand times more vapor pressure than a natural cleaner. This means that even when the toxic cleaners are put away and closed, the vapors left behind can continue to harm both us and our pets.
Some Toxic Ingredients and Their Effects on People and Pets
- Ammonia – Used in many de-greasers for ovens, glass and stainless steel, ammonia has a very high VOC, burns mucous membranes and contributes to asthma. If mixed with bleach, it creates a poisonous gas which is potentially deadly to small pets.
- Chlorine – Used in disinfectants, toilet bowl cleaners and automatic dish detergent to name a few, chlorine is also used to bleach coffee filters. It can cause everything from dizziness to vomiting to laryngeal edema. Avoid this ingredient and be careful about letting your pet swim in the pool.
- Glycol Ethers – Glycol ethers are found in many cleaning products that are not pet safe including glass cleaners, carpet cleaners and spot removers. It has been linked to anemia, lung damage and kidney damage in people and pets.
- Formaldehyde – The thought of a funeral home comes to mind when formaldehyde is mentioned and everyone can recognize the strong, nauseating smell. But it’s also used in products such as soaps and even some pet shampoos. It can contribute to asthma and is carcinogenic.
Some Cleaning Products That Are Not Safe for Dogs
There are many, many cleaning products that are not safe for dogs on the market. Here are a few popular cleaners that contain some of the ingredients mentioned above as well as others:
- Floor Cleaners – These include Pine Sol and Mr. Clean. Even if you manage to get all of the residue off the floor, the vapors linger and are dangerous to your pet. Try a non-toxic, pet safe cleaner instead.
- Bathroom Cleaners – These include Clorox Bathroom Cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles. Try a product such as Ecover Bathroom Cleaner instead. Never use a continuous toilet bowl cleaner such as Clorox Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner. It is very dangerous and the temptation to drink out of the toilet is a quirk in many of our pups.
- All Purpose Cleaners – For use in the kitchen and around the house, the most common toxic all-purpose cleaners that scream “Danger!” are Mr. Clean Multi-Purpose Spray and Formula 409.
- Drain Openers – You may think that since this product is poured down the drain, it can’t be harmful to your pet. But the toxic drain openers give off dangerous fumes long after you’ve emptied them. For a non-toxic, pet safe option, try a product such as Earth Friendly Enzymes Drain Opener.
- Glass Cleaner – It may seem that toxic glass cleaners are simpler products and are, therefore, safe but they are not. Instead of something like Windex, try a product such as Nature Clean Window and Glass Cleaner.
- Laundry Detergent – It’s easy to assume that choosing a laundry detergent isn’t that important because the rinse cycle rinses it away. But there is residue left behind on clothes and pet blankets that can be harmful to your pet, especially those that chew on their bedding. Avoid detergents with toxic ingredients such as Tide and Cheer and try something like Down East’s Liquid Laundry Detergent.
Nontoxic Cleaning Products for Pets to Use Instead of Household Cleaning Products That Are Not Safe for Dogs
Instead of using toxic cleaning products around the house, try one of the non-toxic and pet safe lines of cleaners. If you do decide to keep toxic cleaners, make absolutely sure they are put away. Put child safety locks on cabinet doors and put cleaners up as high as possible. Never use them when your pet is in the same room and air out the house after cleaning with them. Never leave any residue behind. But the warning signs are clear and you and your dog will be healthier and safer if you use cleaning products that are pet safe.
Read more about dog-safe cleaning products >>
Tell us: What nontoxic cleaning products to you use instead of cleaning products that are not safe for dogs?
Top photograph: Zmaj88/Getty Images
This piece was originally published on April 5, 2018.
Read more about what’s toxic to dogs on Dogster.com:
54 thoughts on “6 Household Cleaning Products That Are Not Safe for Dogs”
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Wow, that’s the information that was really helpful to me. It’s good to know this and to know how to keep my dog away from harmful Household Cleaning Products. Thank for your writting.
Where are these said studies? Where can they be found? I don’t go off of someone’s opinions or someone saying “studies show”. Show me the studies please.
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Oh, I need to inform my wife about this, as she uses Clorox when cleaning the floor, Thanks for this
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That is a really
well written article. Thanks you a for sharing
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Thank for your post!
Thanks for you post I love dogs very much
I love dogs very much ! They are my friends. Tks a lots !
Thank for you post ! It’s useful for me !
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Never use Clorox disinfectant spray! Very toxic! Even in the back it says that it’s dangerous to humans and domestic animals. I don’t think anyone should use any product from Clorox. Clorox company does not care about the health of others. ***Clorox also tests on animals.
Does anyone know about the cleaner awesome around small dogs
Oh no! I stopped using Mr Clean because I noticed my furbabies were acting strange after I mopped the floors. I then switched to Lysol! I’m tearing up just reading this. ? Cant believe it.
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This is a really helpful list, will forward it to my wife so she knows what cleaning items to avoid. Thanks for sharing this
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Pets are like humans in many ways. They react to chemicals just like we do and the problem is often aggravated because it is practically impossible to train pets to keep a safe distance from harmful cleaners, especially from floor cleaners.
I use Tide to wash my pets bedding. My husband has noticed that when he takes our dogs out at night time, there is a gloe5that is under and out a little from their bodies. Could this be from the Tide or static?
I heard that tea tree oil is dangerous for dogs.
I use Melaleuca products
I use a few drops of tea tree oil in my bucket to wah the floor
Tea tree oil is poisonous to dogs and cats
Pet is a like your child, it’s very sensitive and you have to take care of all these cleaning products which are a worry for the infection.
I use this paw cleaner. Just plain water. My mini Schnauzer had no trouble using this.
Petcabe portable dog paw cleaner
Is Mrs Murphy’s soap safe??
Hi there Marianne,
Thanks for reaching out! We apologize for not including Mrs. Murphy’s soap in this article and will make note of it for future articles. In the meantime, please contact your vet with this question.
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Please send me a list of cleaning products I can use in the UK
My go to product for cleaning everything is vinegar. I buy gallon jugs and use it for cleaning floors, counter tops, toilets & windows. I even use it in the laundry. Great for sanitizing dog blankies and beds.
I use vodka for cleaning my kitchen, it cuts grease and makes everything shine. I don’t know if it’s toxic for my dog, but he doesn’t try to get on the counter top. For windows I do what my grandma did, use vinegar and newspaper. Not toxic and no lint.
whats the name of the paw sponge, is there a paw cleaner? (other than general wipes?)
Where did you buy the sponge? What is it called?