Myrna's article

Many thanks to Myrna Atha, article author & Healthy Living Specialist*

Have you seen the news about the toxic Tide pods and other harmful cleaning products?  We know we should keep these things away from our children…

But what about our pets?

They walk on the floors we just mopped with chlorine-laden cleaners and breathe the same air with those toxic fumes.

Pets are more vulnerable than people to toxic exposure in and around the home.

Since pets are smaller, they are closer to carpets, garage floors, lawns and restricted spaces which may harbor chemical and pesticide residues. Their natural curiosity, coupled with a lack of awareness about toxic hazards, make them more likely to encounter harmful substances. Animals also have faster metabolisms and smaller lungs than we do. Their bodies have to work harder to try and eliminate these toxins. Not only are they processing these chemicals at a faster rate, they are breathing them in more rapidly.

Most pet owners go to great lengths to care for their pets, but there are unseen health hazards to pets which are commonly overlooked, yet easily avoided.

Below is a list of chemicals that are harmful to your pets and, of course, your family as well. The top 3 offenders:

(1) Chlorine

This is a big one.  Most household cleaners contain chlorine.  Used in disinfectants, toilet bowl cleaners and automatic dish detergent, to name a few, chlorine is also used to bleach coffee filters. It can cause everything from dizziness to vomiting to laryngeal edema. Avoid this ingredient and be careful about letting your pet(s) swim in the pool.

(2) Formaldehyde

The thought of a funeral home comes to mind when formaldehyde is mentioned and everyone can recognize the strong, nauseating smell. But it’s also used in products such as soaps and even some pet shampoos. It can contribute to asthma and is carcinogenic.

Formaldehyde is present in many new home furnishings, household cleaners and some construction materials. It is considered toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

According to the EPA, formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in animals as well.

– Dog houses should be made of solid wood. Plywood and pressed wood products should be avoided, but if they are used they should be painted on both sides.

– New dog cushions and blankets should be washed or left outdoors to off-gas for several days before letting the dog come into contact with them.

– Dogs kept in apartments or small homes during the day should have access to fresh air. Keep a screened window open if possible.

(3) Ammonia

Used in many de-greasers for ovens, glass and stainless steel, ammonia has a very high VOC, burns mucous membranes and contributes to asthma. If it is mixed with bleach, it creates a poisonous gas which can be deadly to small pets.

Other cleaning products that are NOT safe:

    -Floor Cleaners – These include Pine Sol and Mr. Clean. Even if you manage to remove the residue off the floor, the vapors linger and are dangerous to your pet. Try a non-toxic, pet safe cleaner instead.

-Bathroom Cleaners – These include Clorox Bathroom Cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles. Never use a continuous toilet bowl cleaner such as Clorox Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner. It is very dangerous and the temptation to drink out of the toilet is a quirk in many of our pups.

-All Purpose Cleaners – For use in the kitchen and around the house, the most common toxic all-purpose cleaners that scream “Danger!” are Mr. Clean Multi-Purpose Spray and Formula 409.

-Drain Openers – You may think that since this product is poured down the drain, it can’t be harmful to your pet. But the toxic drain openers give off dangerous fumes long after you’ve emptied them.

-Glass Cleaner – It may seem that toxic glass cleaners are simpler products and are, therefore, safe but they are not. Instead of Windex try a green cleaning product that doesn’t contain the chemicals listed above.

-Laundry Detergent – It’s easy to assume that choosing a laundry detergent isn’t that important because the rinse cycle rinses it away. But there is residue left behind on clothes and pet blankets that can be harmful to your pet, especially those that chew on their bedding. Avoid detergents with toxic ingredients such as Tide and Cheer.

Instead of using toxic cleaning products around the house, I recommend making a better choice. If you decide to keep toxic cleaners, make absolutely sure they are put away.

Put child safety locks on cabinet doors and put cleaners up as high as possible. Never use them when your pet is in the same room and air out the house after cleaning with them. Never leave any residue behind.

In addition to these wonderful tips, please know there are better shopping choices available!

Doolittle’s Doghouse recommends you consider Myrna’s on- line store for better, safer, non- toxic home, laundry, and personal care products that can be shipped to your front door.

*Please visit Myrna Atha’s “shop” @ http://www.myrnaatha.com

call her at 480 707 3859 for more information (or)


Her “kids”, Baxter & Sophie are some of our happy, furry clients who provide immense joy and entertainment when with us.  Myrna is committed to quality pet care and offers decades of experience with every aspect of healthy living, for 2 and 4-legged critters.





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