The festive season is fast approaching and many of us will want to create the ultimate Christmas atmosphere for our family and friends. If you’re anything like me, most of the time this would start off by tidying up my home to make sure the floor is squeaky clean and the house is spotless!
This is all well and good but did you know many cleaning products are dangerous to dogs? Floor cleaners, fabric softeners and air diffusers can all pose a threat to your furry friend.
Read below to find out!
Where does your pooch spend most their day? On the floor! Not only do dogs sit, sleep, and walk on floors, they’ve also been known to lick them every once in a while. Even if you manage to get all of the residue off the floor, the vapours can linger and are dangerous to your pet. Try a non-toxic, pet safe cleaner instead.
This should also be applied to your toilet bowl cleaner. Does your dog have a habit of drinking out of the toilet? If so, you might want to think again about what you use to clean it. Certain cleaners, especially those that clip to the side or back of the toilet bowl, contain chemicals that can burn your dog’s throat and mouth.
Do you use fabric softener sheets to freshen up your laundry? They smell lovely but be careful where you place or store them as they contain powerful detergents which can cause stomach issues to your dog if ingested, such as intestinal blockage, vomiting, diarrhoea and even stomach ulcers.
Is your dog a counter-surfer? Many counter cleaners contain various toxic chemicals and they usually come in spray bottles, so when the liquid is sprayed to surfaces, these chemicals can potentially travel into your dog’s water bowl.
Air Diffusers & Scented Candles or Oils
Smelling candles, diffusers and perfumes are all lethal to dogs. Putting the dog near the plug socket with a scented diffuser on because they’re a bit whiffy is a bad idea – so if you’re doing to do a lovely Christmas smell, it should be completely natural.
Dogs have a powerful sniffer which thought to be 1,000 to 1 million times more powerful than our noses. So in many ways, Poppy and all our canine friends are always impacted (positively and negatively) by the various aromas in their surroundings. So while a strong scent from a diffuser, freshener or candle can be pleasant for us dog-owners, from a dog’s point of view it is more like whiffing a truck-sized dose that can be incredibly intense and often uncomfortable.
Certain essential oils found in diffusers such as anise, clove, juniper, wintergreen and yarrow can actually trigger a range of issues – from allergies and skin sensitivities to interference in their natural body processes.
Essential oils such as chamomile, lavender and cedar wood when used in moderation for aromatherapy can be beneficial to your pets (and us humans) especially in promoting relaxation, healthy skin, good digestion and relieves separation anxiety.
However, you should always seek advice from your vet before turning to essential oils as each dog’s tolerance and allergies is different and they may react to these oils differently.
Important to note about lavender oil is that besides being a go-to scent found in most homes, it actually contains no anti-oxidant compounds and can therefore oxidise as it is stored. What this means is that these oxidised oils can aggravate dogs and lead to the development of allergic responses.
So best leave these to those trained in the use of oils!
Besides inhaling a large dose of diffuser or scent, dogs can be negatively affected by these scented liquids if they happen to ingest some. Most of these products contain ethanol which of course is dangerous to dogs. Essential oils combined with ethanol found in diffusers can consequent in a lethal concoction when swallowed. So it is best to limit your dog’s exposure to perfumes, scented liquids, candles and especially the high volume found in everyone’s home during this festive season.
With all that being said, there are a variety of safer alternatives to the products mentioned above. For example, when apple cider vinegar is mixed with water it can be used to clean counters, windows, and even laundry. Similarly, baking powder is another good option when mixed with water, especially in instances where scrubbing is required. In general, any newer cleaner that is vinegar-based will be environmentally-friendly and better for your dog’s health.
It is important to keep in mind that any cleaning product, even vinegar-based, can cause your dog to have an unexpected reaction or allergy. Be sure to consult with your vet with questions you may have about specific cleaning products or if you’re concerned that your dog may have eaten or licked something they shouldn’t have.
There you have it! Returning to a clean, sweet-smelling home is amazing – but only if your dog is there to greet you and spend quality time with you in good health 🐶