When we see the word “green” in reference to environmentally friendly products, especially cleaning products, we often think “safe”. In reality, many cleaning solutions labeled “green” still contain dangerous chemicals and even essential oils that may be harmful to Fido. According to the Associated Press article, Green Cleaning for Humans Can Still Sicken Pets, by Sue Manning, there are ways to protect our pets and ourselves from potentially harmful ingredients in green cleaning products. Here are five things to look for that may make you or your pets sick!


1. Essential oils: Specifically orange, lemon or peppermint as these can irritate dogs and cats and cause nausea.
2. “Keep Out of Reach of Children” warning on the label: If it’s not safe for children, it’s not safe for pets.
3. Products that freshen fabrics: The chemicals and fragrances in these soaps, sprays, dryer sheets and other products are harmful to humans and pets alike, but especially for pets when used on their bedding or toys as they often end up ingesting the chemicals.
4. “All Natural” doesn’t always mean green or safe: Check the label carefully for ingredients and warnings.
5. Homemade Cleaners: If you make your own cleaning products be sure to check each ingredient used for possible toxicity to pets and humans; label containers with ingredients and warnings when necessary.

Hot water and vinegar is a great all purpose cleaner for surfaces, and is safe for pets and humans alike. If you are in need of a deeper cleaning with potentially harmful products, keep pets away from the area you are working on until all surfaces are dry. Avoid using chemicals and harmful essential oils on pets’ toys and bedding to ensure the health and happiness of your four legged friends.

Happy cleaning!

(photo 1 credit here)