As a dog owner, your pet’s safety is your top priority. Ensuring their well-being is a responsibility that extends to every aspect of your day-to-day life. Daily tasks such as house cleaning are no exception – after all, your dog will be affected by this activity whether they like it or not.
Many common cleaning products contain chemicals that can be dangerous to your dog, and certain cleaning practices might inadvertently put your furry friend at risk. Let’s explore how you can keep your dog safe while maintaining a clean and comfortable home.
Keeping Your Dog Safe While You Clean
Choose Pet-Safe Cleaning Products
A key aspect of keeping your dog safe during house cleaning is using products that are specifically formulated to be non-toxic and pet-friendly. Many conventional cleaning products contain chemicals that can be harmful to your dog if ingested, inhaled, or come into contact with their skin. Look for products that are labelled as pet-safe, eco-friendly, or non-toxic which can be readily available in pet shops, places advertising puppies for sale or even veterinary clinics.
Some common pet-safe alternatives include:
- White vinegar: This natural cleaner can be used for disinfecting surfaces, cleaning glass, and removing odours.
- Baking soda: A versatile cleaning agent, baking soda can be used to freshen carpets, clean grout, and scrub surfaces.
- Castile soap: This gentle, plant-based soap can be used to clean floors, countertops, and other surfaces.
- Lemon juice: A natural deodorizer and stain remover, lemon juice can be used to clean and freshen various surfaces.
Store Cleaning Supplies Safely
Keep all cleaning products, including pet-safe ones, out of your dog’s reach. Store them in closed cabinets or high shelves to prevent accidental ingestion or contact. Ensure that you close the lids tightly and that your dog cannot access the area where you store these products.
Secure Your Dog During Cleaning
To minimise your dog’s exposure to potentially harmful substances, confine them to a safe area while you clean. This can be a separate room, a playpen, or a crate, depending on your dog’s comfort level and the layout of your home. Provide them with toys, water, and a comfortable place to rest. Remember to check on them regularly and offer praise and treats to reinforce positive behaviour.
Be Mindful of Electrical Cords and Equipment
When using electrical equipment like vacuum cleaners or steam cleaners, ensure that cords are not in your dog’s reach. Dogs may be tempted to chew on cords, which can lead to electrocution or other injuries. Additionally, be cautious when operating equipment around your dog, as the noise and movement can cause stress or anxiety. It’s best to use these devices when your dog is secured in a separate area.
Keep Floors Clean and Dry
Wet or slippery floors can be hazardous to your dog, potentially causing them to slip and injure themselves. After mopping, make sure that the floors are completely dry before allowing your dog to walk on them. If you use a floor cleaner, choose a pet-safe option and ensure the product has dried before letting your dog back into the room.
Dispose of Trash and Debris Properly
Ensure that any trash or debris generated during cleaning is disposed of promptly and securely. Dogs are naturally curious and may be tempted to rummage through garbage, which can lead to ingestion of harmful substances or choking hazards. Use a trash can with a secure lid, and consider using a pet-proof garbage can if your dog is prone to getting into the trash.
Be Cautious with Indoor Plants
Many common houseplants can be toxic to dogs if ingested. When cleaning around your plants, be mindful of any fallen leaves or debris that your dog may be tempted to chew on. Regularly trim and maintain your plants to minimise the risk of ingestion. If you have concerns about a particular plant, consider removing it from your home or relocating it to an area that is inaccessible to your dog. Familiarise yourself with the common plants that are toxic for dogs or consult your veterinarian for guidance on pet-safe plants.
Vacuum Regularly to Reduce Allergens
Dogs, like humans, can be sensitive to allergens such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. Regular vacuuming can help reduce the presence of these allergens and promote a healthier environment for both you and your dog. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to capture and contain allergens more effectively. Make sure to clean or replace the filter regularly for optimal performance.
Be Mindful of Air Quality
When using cleaning products, even pet-safe ones, ensure that the area is well-ventilated to minimise the concentration of fumes. Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate, and consider using fans or air purifiers to improve air quality. Be mindful of your dog’s respiratory health and avoid using strong-smelling products or aerosols that may irritate their airways.
Establish a Cleaning Routine
Developing a consistent cleaning routine can help minimise your dog’s exposure to harmful substances and reduce their anxiety around cleaning activities. Schedule your cleaning tasks for times when your dog is more likely to be relaxed, such as after a walk or play session. Gradually introduce your dog to the cleaning routine, rewarding them for calm behaviour and gradually increasing their exposure to the cleaning process.
Communicate with Your Veterinarian
If you have concerns about your dog’s health or safety during house cleaning, consult your veterinarian for guidance. They can provide recommendations on pet-safe cleaning products, identify potential hazards, and offer advice on how to maintain a clean and healthy home environment for your dog.
Keeping your dog safe and healthy is an essential part of responsible pet ownership. By taking some simple steps, you can maintain a clean and comfortable home while minimising risks to your furry friend. Always be mindful of your dog’s health and well-being, and consult your veterinarian for guidance on creating a safe environment for your dog.