Home cleaning products come in different forms and made from many different chemicals some of which are harmful to people and animals. Use of these products has short term and long term harmful effects on pets when they come into direct with them.
Many household cleaners contain ammonia, chlorine, glycol and formaldehyde. Dishwashing agents, toilet cleaners, tile scrubs, and all-purpose cleaners may contain these chemicals in one form or another. These chemicals irritate mucus membranes of pets in the nose and eyes and also irritate the skin. Long term harmful effects include cancer, anemia, liver and kidney disease. Non-toxic alternatives like baking salt, lemon, washing soda and vinegar can be used.
Some insecticides contain methomyl and carbofuran which are chemicals that cause respiratory damage in cats and dogs. There are also organophosphates like diazinon, fention, and phosmet that can lead to muscle damage seen in muscle weakness and twitching that can last several weeks.
Non-toxic alternatives include using sterile food baits and products containing natural ingredients like castor oil and fuller’s earth.
Antifreeze is very dangerous when accidentally consumed by animals or humans. Ethylene glycol is an active ingredient that is sweet smelling and attracts pets. Even a dose as small as a few ounces can kill an adult dog. Leaking antifreeze puddles are a hazard to pets.
There are low toxic alternatives that contain propylene glycol which is little bit more expensive than ethylene glycol.
Pets become sick if they lick their paws after walking on de-icing slats. Nausea, vomiting and hyper salivating are some of the symptoms. The salts can also cracking, burning and irritation of the paws.
Safer alternatives to sodium chloride are using crushed cinder or sand to provide traction on ice, and using salts that contain potassium chloride or calcium chloride.
Mothballs contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene which are very toxic when ingested by animals or humans. Eye irritation and respirational distress are some of the immediate effects while long term affects liver and heart damage. You can make nontoxic moth repellent by cheesecloth stuffed with juniper shavings.
New furniture and items that are packed for shipping are sometimes preserved with formaldehyde to prevent mite attacks. The formaldehyde fumes are dangerous when inhaled. This can be seen in pets that are put in new pens, or when they are provided with new blankets or cushions.
Formaldehyde toxicity can be avoided by letting items ‘out gas’ before they are used so that the formaldehyde dissipates.
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