There are some household products that we likely use regularly that can be poisonous or dangerous for our pets. Our vets in Everett offer advice on how to use some of these products, along with what to do if a pet gets intoxicated or needs emergency care.
Household Products & Pets
The average pet owner uses many household products, some of which can be dangerous to your pet. Even products labeled "natural" or safe" including homemade products can fall into this category.
While the ingredients of many products can make them dangerous to use around your pet, your furry best friend might also be at risk depending on the amount of product they are exposed to or how the exposure occurs.
These products may cause harm and the vets at our Everett veterinary clinic recommend avoiding using them around pets. Or, store them with extreme care if they are used in and around the home.
- Spackle, paint and solvents
- Glue and other adhesives
- Plant fertilizer
- Deicer or antifreeze
- Carpet or rug cleaner, shampoo or deodorizer
- Window cleaner
- Mouse/rat/slug bait or other insecticides
- Dishwasher or laundry detergennt
- Essential oils
Which hazardous ingredients should I avoid in household products?
It's best if you can avoid bringing products with the following ingredients into your home. If you see these ingredients listed on the product label, it's safest not to use them around your pets:
- Chlorine bleach
- Benzalkonium chloride
- Phthalates (may be listed on label as "fragrance")
- Glycol ethers (for example ethylene glycol in antifreeze)
How can my pet be exposed to these poisonous products?
Our pets can come into contact with toxic household products in several ways, all of which can lead to toxicity or poisoning.
These include ingestion (swallowing the product), direct contact (absorbing it through their skin or paws, or licking these areas after getting the product on them), inhalation (breathing in certain chemicals, perfumes, gasoline fumes, etc.), and secondary ingestion (eating another animal that's been poisoned).
How can I keep my pets safe around these products?
Our vets at Broadway Animal Hospital understand that even the most careful lover of animals needs to use common household products. So, how can we keep our pets safe while using these around our pets? Some planning is required. We recommend taking these precautions.
Check the Product Label
The label will have important information about safety warnings regarding the product's toxicity and what to do if it is ingested or comes into contact with skin. These warnings might not be specific to animals, but if a product is dangerous to people, it's probably dangerous to pets.
Store Household Products Safely & Securely
This means storing the product in its original container and high up in cupboards or cabinets where your curious four-legged friend won't be able to reach them. We also recommend using child-proof locks where possible, especially if something is stored within your pet's reach.
Avoid Using Products Around a Pet's Food or Sleeping Area
Do not spray, use or store pesticides, household cleaners or essential oils near your pet's water or food bowls, or in their resting or sleeping area.
Let Wet Areas Dry
Wait until a surface is totally dry and there is no remaining product odor before letting your pet sleep or walk in the space where the product was used - for example, carpet or hard surface floor cleaner.
Keep Pets Indoors
When using fertilizer outdoors, ensure your pet stays inside and follow label instructions about using these products around pets.
What should I do if my pet is exposed to a dangerous household product?
Accidents can happen to even the most careful pet parent at any time of day. In case of exposure, first call a Pet 24/7 Poison Helpline or Poison Control for poison-related advice specific to pets. If your animal has a seizure or difficulty breathing, or collapses or loses consciousness, this is considered a veterinary emergency - take them to your vet at our Everett veterinary animal hospital during our business hours, or to the nearest after-hours emergency hospital right away for evaluation.
Even household products we use every day and think of as safe can put your pet's health at risk if they are exposed. By planning and safeguarding your pet, you can prevent dangerous exposure. When in doubt, ask your vet about the product or find an alternative.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.