There’s nothing quite like a beautiful spring day, when you can throw open the windows and enjoy a nice breeze through the screens. There’s also something about this season that prompts us to tackle cleaning and organization around the home.
From errant dust bunnies to boxes in the garage (with unknown contents), spring cleaning goes hand-in-hand with warmer weather. Unfortunately, pet owners also need to be aware of potential dangers that threaten their furry loved ones.
For the ultimate in pet safety, your friends at Vaughn Road Veterinary Clinic offer some tips and tricks to avoid these spring cleaning perils (but we doubt you can convince your dog to do all the dusting!).
Household Cleaners and Pet Safety
Although it may not occur to you to keep Mitsi off the freshly mopped floors, remember that whatever your pet picks up on his or her paws is likely to be ingested through grooming. This may not be a problem if you only use vinegar, lemon juice, and water for cleaning, but it can be poisonous if your pet swallows enough of a chemical cleaner.
Many pets are naturally curious about substances, especially if they have a sweet smell. The most commonly used household cleaners that are poisonous include:
- Drain cleaners
- Dishwashing soaps
- Toilet bowl cleaners
- Oven cleaners
- Lime removal products
- Carpet and upholstery cleaners
- Products containing ammonia, bleach, formaldehyde, or glycol ethers
In general, consider most cleaning products to be a potential risk, since even less toxic products can cause gastrointestinal upset if enough is consumed.
To avoid emergencies, only use these products when your pet isn’t around or is being supervised in the backyard. Wait until all floors are dry before letting your pet roam, and stash all products in a pet-proof cabinet.
Garages are typically the dumping grounds for all things miscellaneous, some of which can be harmful. Pool chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, antifreeze, and deicing salts are some of the many poisons that can be found in most garages. To eliminate unknown threats, also find out what the heck is in all of those boxes piled in the corner.
To play it ultra safe, keep your pet out of the garage altogether, and make sure any toxic items are in a cabinet or stored high on a shelf.
When you’re knee deep in dust and grime, it’s easy for a pet to slip out of the house through an open door or gate. For big, all-consuming spring projects, consider boarding your pet for the day or keeping him or her in a secure room where he or she can relax safely.
Cleaning isn’t exactly on the “fun list,” but the task can be made less worrisome for you and your fur pal when you know pet safety is part of the process.