“Do not allow pets to walk on treated surfaces until they are dry, or to lick surfaces that have been sprayed or wiped with this product.”
This warning label is on the back of a spray bottle cleaning product. The bottle was placed centre stage on an outdoor café table overlooking the sea during Covid. A huge sign warned diners to ‘stay safe’ and thoroughly clean the table with it after eating.
But three tables (including ours) had a dog with them. And no one (not even the eco-conscious, pet loving café owners) had read the label before spraying.
Read our Published Article
It’s why the dedicated Facebook group, No Bull Just Natural Health for Dogs asked us to write this article for their website:
Polluted Pets: Why it’s Time to Connect Cleaning Products to Dog Care. (The website is currently down, but here is the pdf version in the meantime).
The article uncovers how home cleaning chemicals are quietly harming our beloved pets. It then explains an easy way to create a dog-friendly, protective, low-allergy and low-chemical indoor environment.
And if you don’t have a dog, this article applies to cats too. Even more so, as cats are even more sensitive to chemical pollution.
It also (apart from the paw licking!) applies to the people you live with. Chemical cleaning can affect the health of children (especially babies who crawl on the floor) and elderly relatives. If you have someone who does the cleaning for you, it’s good to consider the impact on their health too.
How Cleaning Chemicals Harm Pets
Covid is causing a noticeable rise in pet health issues linked to cleaning chemicals.
Symptoms range from:
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Throat, nose and eye irritation.
- Skin and respiratory allergies.
- Digestive problems.
- Weight changes.
- Poor immunity and cancer.
- Damage to the central nervous system, kidney, and liver.
But it may be more subtle than this. Your dog may just seem very tired or quiet or a bit out of sorts. Either way, reviewing their indoor environment can make a tangible difference to their overall health.
Always Read the Label
The overuse of cleaning chemicals during Covid is increasing pet health issues. Most bottles clearly state the risks; but who reads bottle?
- May produce allergic reaction’ (on a ‘pet safe’ cleaning products)
- WARNING! Causes serious eye irritation. Wear eye protection. (On a spray bathroom cleaner).
- Causes skin irritation (on laundry detergent).
- Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects. Avoid release into the environment. (On toilet cleaner).
- Wear protective gloves/eye protection. (On a general purpose cleaner).
- Use only in well ventilated areas. If ventilation is insufficient, wear respiratory protection. (On a disinfectant).
- Toxic if inhaled. Do not breathe the mist. (On a window cleaner spray bottle).
- Toxic if swallowed. (On floor cleaner).
- Highly flammable liquid and vapour. (On a general purpose cleaner).
- This material and its container must be disposed as hazardous waste. (On many chemical cleaners).
Way back in 2008, a study found higher levels of cleaning chemical toxins in the blood samples of dogs than humans. No surprise – their smaller bodies don’t process toxins as quickly, and their compressed life spans increases susceptibility. They live life nearer the toxin-laden floor without the protection of clothing.