Shasta. Ruby. Scarlett, Popcorn, Senna and Bear. These are the beloved pets of BrightNest. From one pet owner to another, we know how important it is to ensure our precious pups – and one lovebird – are healthy, safe and happy.
So, as all diligent pet lovers do, we have a mental list of items to keep away from pets like chocolate, avocado and antifreeze. But did you know the simple act of sprucing up your home can seriously hurt your pet? Whether you do a hardcore spring-cleaning or a quick daily scrub down, many of the things that make our homes look and smell good are bad for our animals. According to the ASPCA, vet visits due to ingested household items like floor cleaner and other common kitchen staples have drastically risen in the last decade.
Follow these tips to prevent pet catastrophes when your cleaning house:
To keep your pet from drinking your bacteria-laden toilet water, simply keep that seat down. This also protects your pup from sipping toilet bowl cleaner.
Pets are attracted to the delicious smells wafting off of dishrags. To keep them from digesting your dishrag, which could cause intestinal blockage, store your dirty dishrags in a covered bin where they’re inaccessible to pets.
If you’re trying to make your home smell fresh and fabulous, some people burn incense or spray air fresheners. It may smell nice, but it leaves a deadly film on the surface of fish tanks. If you have fish, burn a candle instead.
Aerosol sprays can be lethal if birds breathe them in, so avoid using furniture spray, oven cleaning sprays, and other aerosol products.
The self-cleaning feature on ovens can be deadly to many animals including birds and cats. The process emits high levels of carbon dioxide, which is heavier than air, so it flows along the floor. If you’re running a self-cleaning cycle, do so with your pets outside or with your kitchen windows open.
Cleaning products containing bleach, ammonia, chlorine or formaldehyde top the list of pet don’ts. If even small amounts of these common ingredients are ingested, there’s an increased risk of cancer, anemia, liver and kidney damage in animals. Instead of using toxic products to clean your floors, try this homemade solution instead. It’s pet-friendly and nontoxic, so you won’t worry about your dog’s temptation to lick food off the laminate or your cat’s afternoon nap on your freshly waxed floor.
VINYL, TILE & STONE FLOORS
HARDWOOD OR LAMINATE FLOORS:
First, mix one gallon warm water with one cup distilled white vinegar. Vinegar cleans, disinfects and deodorizes and can be ingested problem-free by pets.
Use a mop or sponge and dip it in your homemade solution.
Let your clean floors air dry. If your floors are especially dirty, you should do two coats of cleaner.
Bonus: Vinegar acts as a natural repellent for fleas and ticks on dogs.
First, mix one gallon warm water with half a cup of distilled white vinegar.
Use a mop or sponge and dip it in your homemade solution. Be sure to thoroughly wring out any excess water, because too much water will warp your hardwood planks.
Dry your floors immediately after mopping with a clean, dry towel. Again, you want to avoid excess water from sitting on your hardwood floors and warping your planks.
Also, don’t forget to keep these lesser-known “poisons” out of your pets reach, too. For a full list of potential pet dangers, visit the ASPCA
For more ways to keep your pets happy and your home healthy:
The Pets of BrightNest: