Protecting yourself and your household against the virus is essential, so much so that you may have changed your style of cleaning and the products you use. While this is important and laudable, we shouldn’t forget that other inhabitants of our houses – our pets – need to be considered. Disinfectants that are harmful to pets should be avoided at all costs.
Here’s why you should care about pet-safe disinfectant products and how to use them effectively.
Unsafe disinfectant products for pets
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many disinfectant products are springing up – all claiming to be effective against the spread of the virus. Another practice that’s become rampant is homemade disinfectants –usually made from vinegar, essential oils, and lemon juice.
While some of these may be effective and others not, some affect your pet’s health adversely. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put together an approved list of over 300 cleaning products to protect against COVID-19. The majority of these products approved by the EPA are safe for both humans and pets.
The primary disinfectants that are unsafe for pets are;
Bleach in its raw form can be corrosive to the skin of both humans and animals alike. It can also be harmful and irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract if ingested. For the best safety condition, use diluted bleach in a properly ventilated area and allow it to dry completely before bringing in your pets.
Lysol, Quats and Pinesol
These cleaning substances contain phenol, which is a chemical compound that can affect animals adversely. From respiratory damage to liver failure (particularly in cats), your pet may be affected when you use these products. Avoid using products that contain phenols, but if you must use them, take pets away from the area until the surfaces are dry.
Hydrogen Peroxide (above 3% content)
Hydrogen peroxide is a useful substance that’s effective against COVID-19. However, when its concentration is over 3%, it becomes poisonous to pets and can damage their stomach lining. While it is milder than bleach, it’s still unsafe to use around pets. Whenever they need to be used, you should apply them in well-ventilated areas and left to dry out entirely before pets are let in.
What disinfectants are pet safe?
When you buy disinfecting products, it’s essential to look out for the composition of ingredients and see if there’s a ‘pet-friendly’ indication on it. Most disinfectants that are alcohol-based contain either ethanol or isopropanol as active ingredients that aren’t generally toxic to pets or animals. As long as the alcohol isn’t ingested in a significant amount, it should be harmless.
Best cleaning practices for pet owners
Even with the right disinfectants, it’s essential to learn proper cleaning practices at home to keep your pets safe.
Keep pets away during and immediately after cleaning. You can do this by making use of crates, baby gates, and other barriers.
Lock away your cleaning products and equipment safely.
Keep the disinfected area ventilated during and after cleaning to avoid inappropriate inhaling of cleaning products.
Follow instructions carefully and avoid products that aren’t properly labeled.
Hire professional disinfecting services like that of Safe From Spread to properly disinfect your house or facility in the most appropriate manner.
Apart from the many health benefits we get from owning pets, they give us companionship and are an integral part of the household. It is essential to bear their safety in mind as we try to keep ourselves and loved ones safe from the virus.