Life with dogs gets messy. Keeping an arsenal of cleaning products and supplies on hand is essential for our sanity as dog owners, but using these cleaning products safely can get tricky. Here are some tips to help you keep your home clean and safe for your dog.
Read the Label
As simple as it sounds, reading the label is the first step you should take toward safe cleaning. The label tells you whether or not the product is safe to use around pets and children, and it will also give you instructions for safe use. For example, some cleaning products are not safe for pets until the product dries after you use them. This means that you can use them safely around your dog, if you keep your dog away from the area until the product is dry, but you should not allow your pet to walk on, sniff, or lick the product while it is wet. If you are unsure about the safety of a product, you can always check out the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) list of poisonous household products or contact your veterinarian.
Use Non-toxic Products
Some pet owners prefer to use non-toxic cleaning supplies, just to be on the safe side. However, as with all household cleaners, be sure to read the directions, as even non-toxic products can cause problems if consumed or used incorrectly. Bear in mind that some natural products, such as essential oils, can also cause problems for dogs. Research “natural” products the same way you would any other cleaning product, chemical, or air freshener.
Store Products in a Safe Place
Dogs like to mouth, taste, and occasionally chew on things that take us by surprise. You can avoid accidents by storing all cleaning products in a place your dog can’t access, such as a cupboard with a child safety lock or on the upper shelves of a closet or pantry. Check out this list of household hazards to make sure there aren’t any other potentially harmful products lying around while you are at it.
Keep Pets Away While Cleaning
Perhaps the easiest solution to cleaning dilemmas is putting your pets in a safe place while you clean. This will prevent them from chasing after the vacuum or tracking paw prints over your freshly mopped floor, and it will keep them away from any potentially harmful chemicals. Crating your dog away from the area where you are cleaning, taking him to doggy daycare, or simply closing him off in a separate room while you clean will keep him safe from cleaning products.
Remember, any questions you have about cleaning products can always be directed to your veterinarian.
In an emergency, call the Pet Poison Helpline.