A dog cleaning the stoveSpring cleaning takes on a whole new meaning when you have a pet. Cleaning up after a pet is challenging enough, further complicated by the fact that many commercial household cleaning products contain ingredients that can be hazardous to pets.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep your pets protected while you engage in some seasonal scrubbing. Pet safe cleaning is easy and affordable, and The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center can show you how!

Why Is Pet Safe Cleaning Important?

Commercial cleaning products generally have a long list of unfamiliar sounding ingredients, many of which can be toxic to our pets. Pets can come into contact with cleaning products in a variety of ways, and even a small amount ingested or inhaled can cause damage, thanks to ingredients such as ammonia, phthalates, chlorine, phenols, and alcohol. Many of these chemicals are extremely poisonous, and some are known animal carcinogens.

Buyer Beware

Certain brands are made with safety and biodegradability in mind, and can generally be found alongside traditional cleaning products at most major stores. Cat owners should try to avoid any product containing essential oils, as some can be irritating or even toxic to cats.

If you must use a traditional commercial cleaning product in your home, we advise you to dilute it when appropriate and to keep pets out of the area until products are dry. Make sure you store any cleaning product out of reach of a curious pet.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is an inexpensive, non-toxic product that you probably already have in your cupboard, but did you know it works wonders as a cleaning agent?

  • Sprinkle a layer of baking soda in the litter box before adding fresh litter to neutralize odor
  • Mix with water and use to scrub sinks, pet food and water bowls, and other non-porous surfaces
  • For embarrassing toilet bowl rings, pour baking soda and lemon juice into the bowl, let sit for 10 minutes, and scrub
  • Add ½ cup to the laundry to deodorize pet bedding

Distilled White Vinegar

White vinegar has been a beloved all-purpose cleaner for decades. Although it has a distinctive odor, it generally evaporates within a few minutes, leaving your home sparkling clean. Simply combine ½ cup of white vinegar with 1 gallon of water and pour into a spray bottle for a safe, effective, all-purpose cleaner for:

  • Glass
  • Sinks and faucets
  • Litter boxes
  • Feeding dishes
  • Non-porous pet toys
  • Carpet stains (mix with salt, borax, or cornstarch)

Don’t Be Afraid to Call

If you know or suspect that your pet has ingested a toxic substance, don’t hesitate to give us a call or to call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.