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3 Household Cleaners That Are Harmful To Pets

Everyone likes to have a clean home, and for good reason! It’s nice to have a clean space to come home to after a long day to wind down and relax. When it comes to cleaning, there are thousands and thousands of cleaners out there. Unfortunately, many household cleaners contain toxic chemicals that can pose a risk to our furry friends. We’re going to talk about three household cleaners that are harmful to pets and what alternatives may be available. 


Ammonia is a very common chemical in household cleaners. It is most often found in products such as glass cleaner, furniture polish, bathroom cleaner and drain cleaner. It’s safe to say that ammonia is in a wide array of cleaning products. 

Why is ammonia in cleaners? Well, the biggest reason is that it is extremely effective at breaking down grime, stains, and oils. It also has the ability to evaporate rapidly, so it doesn’t streak (this is why it’s often found in glass cleaner). 

If your pet were to inhale or ingest ammonia, it would spell big trouble. Ammonia causes severe damage to the respiratory system, eyes and stomach. If you have pets in your home, it’s best to find an alternative to ammonia as the risk is just not worth it. 


Vinegar is an excellent alternative to ammonia because it isn’t dangerous for pets and is even edible. The ability of vinegar to break down buildups of dirt, scum and soap make it just as effective.


Bleach is a strong cleaner and disinfectant that is very effective at removing stains and killing germs. Unfortunately, it is highly toxic to your pets. Not only will the gas that bleach releases irritate your pet, but the chemical itself can damage their fur or respiratory system if they come in contact with it or if it’s inhaled, so it’s best to avoid it if possible. If you do use bleach, please rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water and dry. Keep the animal away from the area until dry.


Thymol is an all-natural alternative to bleach. It is derived from the essential oil extracted from thyme. It is naturally disinfectant, plus, it kills bad smells, too! Thymol has a natural antimicrobial effect, so it is great for all-around cleaning. It is also very safe for animals and is even given to some animals orally for its anti-parasitic ability. 

Carpet Cleaners

Many popular carpet cleaners contain glycol ethers—chemicals that are dangerous to your pet. Glycol ethers are the chemical solvents within the cleaner. They help break down the grime, dirt and oils that may be in the carpet. Despite their effectiveness as a cleaner, these compounds are known to cause lung damage and even cancer over the long term, so it’s best to avoid them, if possible, to protect your pet.


For your carpet cleaning needs, a safe alternative to traditional carpet cleaners is a mixture of baking soda, water, and vinegar. This mixture will remove any stains or smells from your carpet while keeping your pets safe.

Contact Your Veterinarian

Did your pet accidentally come in contact with any cleaners or chemicals? If so, please contact an emergency veterinarian immediately. When it comes to household cleaners and chemicals, it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are a wide array of household cleaners that are harmful to pets. So, this list only scratches the surface. We all want the best for our pets, so do not hesitate to get them checked out because it could mean the difference between life and death.

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