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 does alcohol affect dogs?
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 treat my dog for ticks with rubbing alcohol?
Run your hands over your dog’s whole body, including the back, tummy, armpits, toes, legs, face, and inside of the ears, to check for ticks. Push the hair aside if you feel a bump or sore region to see if a tick has bitten your dog.
Ticks can be as little as a pinhead. They have eight legs and are brown, brownish, or black.
If your dog has a tick on to it, you should get veterinary help to ensure that the tick is properly removed and examined. Your dog may have a particular type of tick, which your veterinarian can identify for you and ensure is completely removed.
Be sure to have the following items on hand in case you need to remove the tick yourself because you are unable to see your veterinarian: gloves (ticks can spread disease to you, too), tick remover tweezers, antiseptic, rubbing alcohol, and a Ziploc bag.
How to Remove a Tick
- Grab the tick with the tweezers as closely to your dog’s skin as you can without pinching it.
- Till the tick’s head is loosened, slowly but firmly pull the tick out. As you apply pressure, avoid turning or twisting the tweezers. Verify that you have completely removed the tick.
- Place the tick into the Ziploc bag that also contains some rubbing alcohol. The tick will die from the alcohol. In case you need to show it to your veterinarian, seal the bag and keep it nearby.
- Use the antiseptic to clean your dog’s skin.
- Use the rubbing alcohol to clean the tweezers.
- Remove your gloves, then wash your hands.
Watch the area where the tick was to make sure no irritation develops. The region should be checked the following week.
The most frequent insect-borne illness for dogs is lyme disease, which is most common in the fall and spring and is brought on by bacteria transmitted by deer ticks.
Watch your dog for any indications of infection, such as lameness, arthritis, fever, exhaustion, loss of appetite, and a reluctance to move, as symptoms of Lyme disease can take time to manifest. Any concerns should be brought up right away with your veterinarian.
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.
Do canines detect rubbing alcohol?
Taking your dog to the vet clinic as soon as you can is the top priority once you realize that they may be poisoned. Your veterinarian will be better able to diagnose your dog if you can collect a sample of the flea spray or skin lotion to which he was exposed. Give your dog plenty of reassurance because he can be very upset, especially if he can’t control his actions. Your pet’s vital signs will be taken by the caretaker so that they can examine his respiration, heart rate, and blood alcohol content levels. Before beginning to treat your dog, your veterinarian’s staff will want to know how long it has been since your pet became ill. You could even be able to smell isopropyl alcohol on your dog’s breath if he has consumed substantial amounts of the substance.
Why is alcohol harmful to animals?
Most people are aware that they shouldn’t offer alcohol to their pets, yet alcohol poisoning in animals happens more frequently than you might believe! Some animals will lap alcoholic drinks up from the floor if they spill or will consume them directly from the glass. Alcohol can also be discovered in unexpected locations like unbaked yeast bread dough and alcoholic treats. Alcohol poisoning can occur when pets consume rising bread dough because the fermenting yeast in the dough quickly absorbs alcohol into the bloodstream. Drinking alcohol can result in hazardous reductions in body temperature, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Seizures and respiratory collapse are possible in severely drunk animals.
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.
Which antiseptic works best on dogs?
1. If the dog is little, position them in front of you on a table or counter. Get down on the ground with large dogs.
2. Clip the hair in the vicinity. If the wound is not covered in hair, move on to step 3.
The water-based lubricant should be applied to the wound and its surroundings. As a result, it is simpler to remove shaved hair from the wound and contamination is reduced.
Shave the hair off of the area around the wound using electric clippers. You can use scissors or a disposable razor if you take great care to prevent cutting the skin.
Apply a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to the area to gently wipe away the hair and water-based lubricant.
3. After thoroughly cleaning the area with warm water to remove all visible debris, pat dry with a fresh, dry cloth or piece of paper.
4. Spray the area with a non-stinging antiseptic solution. Cheap, highly efficient, and widely accessible are all attributes of chlorhexidine. Although 4% solutions are also frequently used, a 2% solution reduces tissue irritability. Another excellent choice is a povidone-iodine solution.
5. Scrub the wound with an antimicrobial ointment. There are many triple antibiotic ointments on the market that contain bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B. AVOID anything with a corticosteroid like hydrocortisone in it.
6. Don’t allow your dog to lick or wipe the ointment off for at least 10 minutes; more time is preferable. To stop licking, you can cover the area with a light, loose bandage, but this will need to be watched carefully and replaced periodically.
7. Until the skin is healed, clean the wound with the antiseptic solution two or three times daily and apply the antibiotic ointment.
8. Consult a veterinarian if the wound worsens at any point or does not heal completely within a week.