COVID-19 has forced us to reevaluate our relationships with friends, family, and coworkers as well as how we maintain the places around us in just a few short months. What do these improved cleaning techniques mean for our pets, though? Are our furry pals safe from the toxins in these common cleaning products?
While it’s crucial to keep our homes and workplaces clean, veterinarians caution that pets may unintentionally come into contact with cleaning products, which could lead to serious illnesses or injuries.
Dr. Blutinger claims that while though many of these products are frequently not life-threatening, taking them in big dosages can result in more significant problems such vomiting, hypersalivation, abdominal pain, lack of coordination, and even convulsions or respiratory failure.
Dr. Blutinger noted that these products can cause corrosive wounds, chemical blistering, rashes, and serious burns if they come into contact with a pet’s skin, eyes, paw pads, or if they are licked or eaten.
We frequently observe emergency situations brought on by pets inhaling chemical vapors from severe aerosolized sprays, for example. Prior to making a purchase, it is advisable to check the ingredient label of any household products. Products containing components like bleach, acids, or oxide/hydroxide compounds call for extra caution. These are some of the more popular acidifying and alkalizing compounds that give typical household cleaning products their powerful caustic cleaning qualities, however many additional ingredients can be dangerous.
Here are some pointers and recommendations on how to maintain cleanliness while safeguarding dogs from common toxic household cleansers.
Toxic Ingredients to Avoid
- Hydrogen peroxide: When hydrogen peroxide is applied topically to the skin or paws, it can cause rashes and skin irritation. Inducing vomiting in dogs with three percent hydrogen peroxide is occasionally possible, but it must be done carefully and with your veterinarian’s guidance. While 3% hydrogen peroxide works well to induce vomiting in dogs, it should not be used on cats. Hydrogen peroxide can seriously bleed out and inflame the stomach and esophagus when ingested by cats. Although 3% hydrogen peroxide is beneficial in helping dogs expel toxic pollutants, it can also inflame and ulcerate the digestive tract. If you believe your pet has consumed a dangerous chemical, speak with a veterinarian right away.
- Rubbing alcohol, also known as isopropyl alcohol, is toxic to animals and can result in vomiting, confusion, lack of coordination, and, in extreme circumstances, collapse, respiratory depression, and convulsions. On a pet’s skin, rubbing alcohol shouldn’t be applied at home. In a controlled medical environment, it can be used as an antiseptic, but if administered improperly (for example, on exposed wounds, in high concentrations, in big volumes, etc.), it can harm the skin, delay wound healing, and negatively impact other body systems.
- Bleach: Bleach can seriously harm cats and dogs. The severity of these symptoms depends on how much bleach the pet has consumed and how they were exposed, such as by chewing on a bottle cap, walking through a puddle of bleach on the floor, and so forth. Regular household bleach can irritate the skin, the eyes, and cause swelling, tears, and eye irritation. Esophageal burning, stomach lining degeneration, oral ulceration, severe depression, pawing at the mouth, hypersalivation, vomiting or retching, lethargy, and inappetence can all arise from ingesting very concentrated bleach.
- Ammonia: Ammonia is a component included in some disinfectant wipes or sprays that can harm tissues by corroding them. Like other compounds, it has the potential to irritate local or systemic tissues. Even in low quantities when aerosolized, it can result in eye swelling, tearing, and burning. It can irritate the throat and lungs at greater quantities, which can induce coughing and airway inflammation.
- Phenols: These chemicals are used in a wide range of frequently used household cleaning products, from toilet bowl cleaners to disinfectant sprays. These substances have the potential to be very corrosive if they come in contact with the skin or eyes of the pet, or if they are ingested. Phenols can seriously harm the lungs if they are breathed. Pay close attention to these substances because they can be quickly absorbed via the skin and cause seizures, hypersalivation, and lack of coordination.
Maintaining as clean and green of a product as you can is best practice. Dr. Blutinger cautioned that if you decide to use the suggested materials, you should be careful to keep dogs out of the room or in a secure location while you clean.
“Keep your pet in a crate or in a different room if you are cleaning, using a mop bucket, or if there are paper towels or other potentially hazardous paper items lying around, such as sanitizing wipes. Make sure the cans and bags you use for trash have lids and are always closed. When storing cleaning supplies in cabinets or closets, lock the doors and throw away any unused items right away. Keep windows open as well to ensure adequate airflow.
There are other cleaning products that are safe for pets, but any chemical that is ingested or applied topically has the potential to have negative side effects.
Any domestic chemical exposure should be kept to a minimum.
If there is a risk of topical exposure, you can try rinsing the chemical off with warm water and a shampoo made for pets.
Contact a veterinarian or seek veterinary medical assistance as soon as possible if you believe your pet has been poisoned or are worried about potential exposure.
The Pet Poison Helpline at 1 (844) 492-9842 and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at 1 (888) 426-4435 are two excellent solutions that do come at a modest cost. This might prevent you from visiting the emergency department!
How much rubbing alcohol can cause harm to canines?
The three alcohols that are most frequently linked to toxicosis in companion animals are ethanol, methanol, and isopropanol. Numerous alcoholic beverages, various rubbing alcohols, medicine elixirs, and fermenting bread dough all contain ethanol (see Animal Bread Dough Toxicology Animal Bread Dough Toxicology If you consume raw, yeast-based bread dough, you could develop bread dough toxicosis. Yeast growth in the stomach environment encourages dough mass expansion and ethanol synthesis (read more). The most typical place to find methanol is in windshield washer fluid (windshield “antifreeze). The oral methanol dose required to cause death in dogs is 48 mL/kg, while clinically significant symptoms may appear at lower doses. Rubbish cleaners and flea treatments for animals that use alcohol also contain isopropanol, which is twice as hazardous as ethanol. Dogs may exhibit substantial clinical symptoms when given oral doses of isopropanol of 0.5 mL/kg.
How does alcohol affect canines?
No breed of dog may drink alcohol without risk. Because dogs cannot metabolize alcohol, any drinks, foods, or household items that contain alcohol in any form are hazardous and potentially dangerous. Lethargy, respiratory depression, and a dangerously low body temperature are all effects of alcohol in dogs.
Keep your dog away from foods like raw bread dough and alcoholic liquids like beer, wine, and hard liquor. Store home items containing alcohol safely, including hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays, detergents, soaps, and shampoos. Other than having alcohol, some products also contain hazardous substances. Isopropanol, an extremely deadly chemical molecule, is included in rubbing alcohol, and xylitol, a dog-poisonous sweetener, is present in several drink mixers. Additionally, don’t overuse topical flea sprays with alcohol on your dog.
Can I use alcohol to clean my dog’s paws?
Do not use sanitizer! The best way to keep the paws of your dog clean and free from debris and disease is to use a disinfectant wipe or diluted soapy water.
disinfecting wipes, a mask, and hand sanitizer. In the era of the coronavirus, this has evolved into the new check list for whenever people leave the house. However, a growing number of hand sanitizers, about 90 to be exact, have recently come under fire for having methanol, a kind of wood alcohol that can be harmful when absorbed through the skin. But in addition to the brand of hand sanitizer we use, there are questions about how we use it.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a fresh warning, alleging that people are cleaning their dogs’ paws with the substance.
Attention Pet Owners: Avoid cleaning your pet’s paws with hand sanitizer. If it is absorbed via the skin, it might be poisonous. The FDA tweeted that eating hand sanitizer products can make your dog sick.
Can I use rubbing alcohol to spritz my dog?
A flea will perish if you remove it from your pet’s fur and place it in a jar of alcohol. And as you may already be aware, it is far simpler to drown a flea in alcohol than it is to try to crush it between your thumb and finger.
The same outcome, however, can be achieved by dropping a flea into a bowl of hot, soapy water without jeopardizing your pet’s health or the security of your home.
Isopropyl alcohol can be toxic to pets
In an effort to get rid of fleas, you shouldn’t pour or spray isopropyl alcohol on your pet’s fur or skin. This hazardous substance is readily absorbed via the skin and, in sufficient concentrations, is lethal to animals.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that some commercially available flea treatments also include alcohol. While a modest spritz may be okay, excessive or repeated spraying might be dangerous.
The harm could be even worse if your pet ingests some rubbing alcohol. Poisoning symptoms appear within 30 minutes of intake and can be lethal if neglected.
On the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) list of the top pet poisons for 2017, accidental ingestion of cleaning supplies was in sixth place.
the following symptoms of alcohol toxicity in pets:
- breathing difficulty
If your dog or cat exhibits any of these symptoms after ingesting rubbing alcohol, take them to the vet right away or dial the APSCA’s poison help line at 888-426-4435.
Isopropyl alcohol is flammable
Spraying isopropyl alcohol on fabrics, furniture, or pet bedding can provide a fire risk, especially if there are any open flames nearby, such as candles, cigarettes, incense burners, fireplaces, or other open flames. Alcohol dries quickly, but the vapors and fumes can still start fires.
Read the directions carefully before using a flea spray that contains isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol. In order to prevent potential combustion and to safeguard both your and your pet’s lungs, make sure the location where you’re using it is well ventilated.
Can I spritz my dog with ethyl alcohol?
Numerous everyday home items, such as alcoholic beverages and rubbing alcohol, as well as less visible areas like coolants, medications, and even unbaked bread dough, contain alcohol. Dogs are substantially less poisonous to alcohol than humans due to their smaller size, and this, together with their indiscriminate eating habits, renders them more vulnerable to alcohol poisoning. Dogs may experience toxicity from using some alcohol-based flea sprays excessively since they are able to absorb alcohol via their skin. Dogs can have severe central nervous system symptoms, hypothermia, vomiting, and diarrhea in addition to becoming overtly inebriated. Alcohol is transformed by the liver into a variety of acids, which may cause metabolic acidosis. Dogs, unlike humans, won’t become blind from consuming rubbing alcohol, but extreme poisoning will eventually cause coma and respiratory failure.
Alcohol-containing products can be toxic to your dog. This is what doctors refer to as alcohol or ethanol toxicity. Compared to humans, dogs experience poisoning symptoms at far lower doses, and severe cases can be fatal.
Do canines enjoy alcohol?
Although some dogs might be enticed to lick the sweet remnants from a wine glass, the alcohol isn’t what they’re after. Like humans, some dogs have the occasional sweet tooth, which may cause them to examine the glassware. Dogs, however, can be fatally poisoned by even the slightest ingestion of its contents, unlike their two-legged relatives. Thankfully, most dogs dislike alcohol and would rather not consume it. There are few studies explaining why dogs themselves dislike alcohol, despite the fact that a lot of study has been done on the toxicity of alcohol for dogs. Do they simply have an innate understanding of what is harmful to them and what to avoid? It could be because the smell of alcohol is overpowering and many people find it unpleasant, and our canine companions’ nostrils are quite sensitive. We don’t know why our four-legged family members don’t enjoy alcohol, but we do know why they shouldn’t, even though we can’t ask them directly.
Because alcohol’s primary constituents are poisonous to dogs, many canines may avoid it out of self-preservation. On the list of hazardous or toxic plants and foods for dogs can be found the fermented grains, fruits, or vegetables used to manufacture alcohol. Let’s start with wine, which is made up of grapes and raisins, both of which have a history of endangering pets. Despite the fact that the precise active ingredient has not yet been discovered, all physicians concur that our canine friends should not consume them in any amount. Particularly in smaller dogs, even a small amount of grapes or raisins might cause a fatal reaction. However, no dog should be given or have access to anything grape-based, such as wine, regardless of breed or age. Another ingredient required to manufacture some alcoholic beverages, such as beer, is yeast. Yeast is extremely poisonous to dogs and can even result in life-threatening complications. When a dog consumes yeast or yeast dough, it may result in bloating and even a fatal twist of the intestines. Yeast can make ethanol, which makes dogs intoxicated. For dogs, that could cause diarrhoea, trouble breathing, a coma, or even death, even though it might be entertaining or amusing to watch for people.
Are dogs’ skins safe to use hand sanitizer on?
False. Animals are not in risk from being touched by someone who has cleansed their hands with hand sanitizer or from licking their hand, even though consuming a lot of it could damage a pet.
Can Neosporin be used to a dog’s skin?
Neosporin is often safe for dogs when applied topically in tiny doses. However, some canines may develop contact dermatitis, a localized inflammation, at the location of the ointment application. If this happens, use a warm washcloth to gently wipe away any remaining ointment and stop using Neosporin. Consult your veterinarian for additional care if the irritation does not go away in 24 hours.
If your vet provides the all-clear, Neosporin should only be applied topically to your dog’s skin. If not done correctly, Neosporin may not be safe for your dog. As it could harm the eardrum and exacerbate current ear infections, it shouldn’t be used in the ear canal. Additionally, it’s crucial to understand that Neosporin is not the same as triple antibiotic ophthalmic ointment and must never be applied to your pet’s eyes. If your pet has eye problems, it is best to contact your veterinarian right soon rather than attempting to treat the condition at home because ophthalmic diseases can get worse quickly.
Additionally, you shouldn’t give your dog neosporin by mouth. This is not only ineffective, but if given to your dog in excessive doses, it might also disturb his digestive system. Make sure to only apply Neosporin topically in places that your dog can’t access. As an alternative, you can use a T-shirt or sock to softly cover the area, or you can use an Elizabethan collar or a dog cone substitute to prevent your dog from licking the area. In addition to allowing your dog to absorb the ointment, licking the area could exacerbate the cut or scrape you are treating by adding more bacteria and moisture from your dog’s mouth.