We love our pets, and keeping them safe and healthy is our number one responsibility as a pet owner. There could be a hidden danger for your pet in your home, especially in the form of home cleaning products. The EPA estimates that more than 50 percent of indoor pollution is the result of chemical-based household cleaning products, which means there is a risk for exposure to toxins inside your home. Pets are at an even greater risk because they absorb and process chemicals into their bloodstreams at a faster rate.
As you begin spring cleaning this year, pay close attention to the cleaning products you’re using. While they may be effective at removing dirt and grime, they may also put your or your pet at unnecessary risk. Here are some ideas of natural alternatives and pet safe options, and more importantly, a list of products, chemicals, and cleaning materials to avoid.
Natural Pet Safe Products and Alternatives
There are a variety of non-toxic items that you likely already have in your pantry that can be used as effective, safer cleaning products. Consider the following options:
- Baking Soda – Use it in place of harsh scouring cleansers or sprinkle it in your carpet to remove pet odors.
- Coarse Salt – Like baking soda, it can replace harsh scouring cleaners in your home.
- Vinegar – Create a solution by mixing vinegar and water that can be used to clean your bathroom or kitchen. The mixture is also effective for removing rust stains.
- Borax – This naturally occurring mineral can be used as directed with laundry detergent to clean pet bedding in the washing machine. It can also be used to kill fleas.
- Corn gluten – Use it to replace toxic lawn fertilizers
Also remember that while these products are safe for your pet to be exposed to in small, diluted amounts, they should never be easily accessible. Ingestion of almost any item in large amounts can be deadly.
Unsafe Products – Avoid Using These Around Your Pet
Of course, it’s difficult to completely eliminate the use of chemicals when cleaning. But you should be aware of the toxic elements in some cleaning products and try to avoid using them in areas where your pet eats, drinks or sleeps to start. Chemicals that may be toxic to your pet include:
- Phenols – Often found in air fresheners
- Isopropyl alcohol – Found in some all-purpose
- Formaldehyde – Often used to treat fabrics to make them stay wrinkle-free
- Phthalates – Often included in fragranced cleaning products
- Ammonia – Often found in oven and window cleaners
- Chlorine – Found in some all-purpose cleaners
- Perchloroethylene – A chemical used in dry cleaning
- D’Limonene – Found in some “natural” flea repellents, it is highly toxic to cats
- Pyrethrin – Also found is some “natural” flea sprays and dips
- 2, 4-D – An herbicide found in many lawn fertilizers
Once you find pet safe solutions for cleaning your home, make sure to financially protect your investment. With the best homeowners insurance policies available to protect all the things you love and value, Southern Oak Insurance can help you safeguard your investment. We are a Florida based homeowners insurance company, so we understand the marketplace dynamics that can impact premium costs. We will help you find the most cost-efficient policy to protect all the things you value in your home. Contact us to ask for a quote for homeowners insurance coverage today.