We all love our furry companions despite hair balls, muddy paws, overturned water dishes, hair on the sofa, tufts on the floor, and the occasional chew or scratch on a piece of furniture!
When we clean up after them, or ourselves, we need to keep in mind that many household cleaning products may not be safe for man’s best friend. There are lots of other things that we leave around that could also harm our pets! Here’s a quick checklist of things to consider and remember!
- Did you know that household cleaners are the #3 most toxic substance for cats? It’s important when cleaning to put your cat (and dog) in another room until surfaces are clean and dried (no walking on wet surfaces and then licking their paws!). Better yet try a DIY cleaning product.
- Vinegar and baking soda are your cleaning friends! 1-part vinegar to 10-parts water is great for cleaning counter tops. Sprinkling baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar in a toilet is a great green way to clean it.
- Bleach, ammonia, and toilet cleaners hopefully have enough ‘stink’ to keep pets away – if you use them, just make sure to clean up any spills and dry all surfaces before letting your pet in the room.
- According to the Pet Poison Helpline, never spray aerosols or any heavily fragranced products around caged birds. They are especially sensitive to airborne products.
- Keep cleaning products on a high shelf behind a cabinet door (like you would for a toddler).
- Keep the lid on laundry and dishwasher pods that are attractive and easy to swallow – but will make your pet seriously ill!
- Fabric softener and dryer sheets are also toxic for cats and dogs so when you fold laundry, any dryer sheet sticking to a piece of clothing is put directly into a garbage can with a lid.
- On that note, it’s a prudent idea to have lids on your trash cans in your bathrooms so your pets don’t rummage for something ‘good’ that will be bad.
- Make sure that certain foods aren’t dropped on the floor when chopping and cooking or by family members: chocolate, grapes and raisins are poisonous for dogs while onions, garlic, chives and leeks are poisonous to cats. Avoid leaving pits of apricots around or unbaked bread dough.
- Discuss with your cleaning company if you are not home, that pets should be contained to a room while they clean. Request that lids are not left up on toilets if cleaners are soaking in the water; and that floors are dried. Dirty rags that need to be cleaned should be put straight into the washing machine and not left where a curious cat or dog might lay on them.
- Finally – DO clean your pets beds, toys and dishes. Pet toys collect dirt, bacteria, yeast and mold and water and food dishes should be cleaned daily. A study by the National Safety Federation revealed that pet bowls are one of the dirtiest items in American homes! Pet beds should have the cover taken off and laundered weekly.
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