Choosing pet-safe cleaning products as a responsible pet parent

Being a pet parent is a full time job and nothing less than having your own kids!  According to a recent study, in American households, pets outnumber children. Surprised? Don't be!  Even the number of Indian families adopting pets are increasing quite rapidly. As per Statista Research Department approximately 17 million Indian households have pets. There is not one but many ways in which pets enriches our daily life - be it with our boredom, mood swings, physical movement or the random spells of affection. Most pet owners have reported less stress, less anxiety, increased social interactions. Overall our pets do affect our happiness directly. So as a pet parent, it comes natural to us to take care of them to our best capacity. 

As a pet owner you should completely avoid commercial floor cleaners and invest in some of the best pet safe floor cleaner/s available in the market. Let's see how toxic ingredients in commercial cleaners can affect your pet’s health:

1. Ammonia

In humans ammonia can irritate your eyes, nose and mucous membrane. But for animals, it is even more harmful and dangerous.  It is caustic in nature and can cause damage to cells if dosages are not properly regulated. Ammonia irritates your dog's skin and eyes, but it mostly affects the respiratory system. High levels of ammonia can be harmful to dogs with liver illness for a variety of reasons, including a wide range of neurological abnormalities in dogs with liver disease, including everything from changed behaviour to seizures.

2. Bleach 

When inhaled, swallowed, or consumed via the skin, chlorine and chlorine-based bleach can be dangerous. To navigate their surroundings, animals use their sense of smell. Your dog's sensory receptors are damaged by the overwhelming smell of bleach. Repeated bleach exposure can cause nose blindness, a disease in which dogs lose their ability to perceive and comprehend the aromas around them.

3. Artificial Fragrance 

Most of the commercial floor cleaners claim to be strong pet odor remover which is generally due to heavy dosage of various toxic ingredients in the solution. Even though “Perfume” or “Fragrance’ is listed as a single constituent by the manufacturers, it is made up of almost 200 chemicals. In fact certain certification standards consider Fragrances to be a separate product altogether which is added to the base product and treat it with utmost caution. Some of the best pet safe cleaning products are generally fragrance free or  use very high quality fragrances which are tested to make sure there are no toxic ingredients in them. Dosage of fragrance in the product is also an important factor. Common household cleaners are a risk to both humans & animals' health. Smaller the animal, higher the risk!

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are a type of industrial chemical which is largely used in household cleaners, cosmetics, fragrances etc. as a binding agent. You can find it in almost every product you use from  lotions, soaps, makeup, nail polish, hair sprays, perfumes, after shave lotions. scented cleaning products, laundry detergents, and synthetic cleaning products. Phthalates can seep into water bodies and affect marine life. They may interfere with normal endocrine system function, reproduction, and development. As per this published research (conducted by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), our everyday exposure to Phthalates is at an all time high and so is the exposure of our pets to it.

5. Benzalkonium Chloride

Disinfectants containing benzalkonium chloride are another cleaning component to avoid. They are relatively harmless at low dosages, although this strong chemical can cause surface irritation on the paws, eyes, and nose of dogs. An increased use of this component has caused bacteria to develop resistance to it and thus developing tolerance and being able to survive in increasing dosage levels. Such floor cleaners claim to be the best pet urine remover or best pet odor remover but generally have a very high percentage of Benzalkonium Chloride.

Why Pet Parents need to be careful while cleaning their floors:

Most commercial floor cleaners are full of chemicals and toxins which can be really harmful to a cat or a dog or any other pet you own. Using a non toxic plant based pet safe floor cleaner is more of an investment especially in the long term. Animals are more sensitive than humans when it comes to cleaning ingredients. They are highly sensitive to fragrance, toxins and resulting allergies as compared to humans. 

Your pet is more exposed to open spaces 

Your dog/cat not only walks around barefoot in your house, but he/she also likely lies on the floor a lot, and let's not forget about their endless playfulness. The floor is constantly in contact with their paws, coat, and skin. Skin irritation and rashes can occur as a result of such prolonged physical contact. Hence its important to use pet safe cleaning products. 

Pets lick floors 

If you've had your dog for more than 15 minutes, you've probably noticed that they constantly lick the floors. They lick floors for a variety of reasons; some lick floors because they locate delectable residues, while others are probably simply curious. With such a high level of direct contact, using a pet safe floor cleaner should be the decision as a wise pet parent. 

Pets are smaller than humans

Many substances are harmless in tiny doses but deadly in large doses. As a result, because dogs are smaller than people, they are often sickened by far less of a toxin than a human would be. This also means that tiny dogs and cats are more vulnerable to chemical floor cleaners than large pets.

Animals are different than Humans

This belongs in the category of self-evident facts that don't need to be stated, but it's worth remembering. Chemical sensitivity in dogs/cats or any animal is simply higher than in humans. Something that doesn't affect humans at all might be deadly to an animal. A pet safe floor cleaner hence is pertinent to ensure that your pet strives in a happy and clean environment which is free of chemicals and toxins. 

What are pet safe cleaning products? 

Best pet safe floor cleaner don't contain any of the above-mentioned components (Phthalates,  ammonia,bleach or benzalkonium chloride).Furthermore, the best floor cleaners don't emit excessive smells or leave residue on the floor. They should also be easy to dry and have a short ingredient list.

Pet safe products is an essential choice

Some tips you can follow to ensure that floor cleaners do not affect your pet health: 

  • Use non toxic and plant based pet safe cleaning products which are free from chemicals
  • Use pet urine remover with a safe odor neutralizer rather than plain water or a disinfectant
  • Keep your dog/cat away from the area until the floor is totally dry and most of the odours have dissipated.
  • Allow natural ventilation by keeping the windows and doors open while floor cleaning. You don’t want your house smelling like a musky dog! Don't forget to turn on the ceiling fan.
  • Alternate your floor cleaning with some DIY home cleaners
  • Be on a look out for any early signs of allergy in your pets

Keeping your indoor clean and tidy is essential but it doesn't mean you use excessive chemicals to get rid of all the dust, bacterias or germs. It is not only harmful to your pets but to you too! All the toxins present in commercial floor cleaners are not only dangerous but nearly fatal to animals. Pets are at a significant risk of ingesting poisons from the floor due to their activity pattern. The amount of vaporised chemicals left behind by floor cleaners that they inhale rises as they get closer to the floor. Use of a pet safe floor cleaner will ensure that your dog or cat lives a long & happy life.

Suggested Reads for You:
Make your home pet friendly without harmful chemicals.
How to Keep Your House From Smelling Like Dogs

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