Are household cleaning products safe for pets?
When it comes to household cleaning products, many are very safe to use around your pets, but some are highly problematic. Some of the products I most commonly get questions about include:
Bleach: Pet owners often ask if it is safe to clean their pets' cages and toys with bleach. Cleaning with a properly diluted bleach solution, followed by a thorough rinsing and airing out, should not do any harm to your pet. Always follow the label directions for usage and afterward, take care in cleaning brushes and throwing away unused solution.
Essential oils: Cats in particular are sensitive to essential oils. Breathing the oils could lead to aspiration pneumonia, and ingesting a large amount could cause gastrointestinal, nervous system, and liver problems. Specific oils have different levels of toxicity, so I don't recommend using them around your pets unless approved by a veterinarian.
Fabric sheets: Fabric sheets contain detergents which could cause drooling, vomiting, and fever. Chewing on a new, unused dryer sheet could lead to the development of ulcers in your pet's mouth and throat. Used sheets have minimal amounts of detergent, but could still cause intestinal blockage if eaten.
The ASPCA is a great resource if your pet gets into a certain product. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control has an extensive database of products and, for a $65 fee, can give advice on if something is toxic and if it requires veterinary attention. They can be reached 24 hours a day at (888) 426-4435.
Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin
8250 SW Tonka St
Tualatin, OR 97052