During the current coronavirus pandemic, it is important to remember that some ingredients in the cleaning products we use every day can be dangerous for cats and dogs.
Millions of people are at home now in the midst of a pandemic, constantly disinfecting and cleaning with the potential danger that they could inadvertently poison their pets. Cleaning products that consumers have brought home from stores can be helpful in removing the virus that causes COVID-19, but they can just as easily make our pets sick or even kill.
The same ingredients that make disinfectants effective also make them toxic to companion animals: alcohol, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, chemicals that contain the word “phenol,” and so on.
We know that in the chaos of disrupted household routines and families living indoors while under “stay-at-home” recommendations, cleanliness can be challenging, so family cooperation is important (whenever possible) to avoid accidents with our pets and cleaning products.
For example, if you are cleaning the floor and the phone rings, you pick up the phone and sit on the sofa to talk, your dog or cat could start playing with that water, throwing it away, licking it … For which we advise you that if you are cleaning, just you’re cleaning.
When an animal is poisoned it always shows certain symptoms that can alert us to its condition. The following symptoms of poisoning can appear together or individually:
- Loss of balance is one of the most noticeable symptoms when intoxicated. They may lose their balance completely, walk awkwardly, or lose strength in their rear or front limbs independently.
- Excess salivation is also a very common symptom in intoxicated pets, we can see how they drool a little or are unable to keep their mouths closed.
- Vomiting, diarrhea, or seizures can be other symptoms.
- The dilated pupils also indicate that our animal may have been poisoned, being also the cause of strange behavior, as if it were drugged.
- Strange movements caused by a lack of reflexes and an inability to coordinate normally are also caused by poisoning.
- Unjustified tremors, whether with the animal awake or asleep, are another of the symptoms derived from poisoning.
If you suspect that your pet may have been poisoned, seek veterinary medical help immediately. What’s more, our hospital has an emergency service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so do not hesitate to call us at 932 460 805 if you need it.
Tips for keeping pets safe
The easiest way to keep your pets safe and healthy while handling cleaning products? The most effective is to try to keep pets out of the room when you are cleaning. Do not leave disinfectants or medications within reach, after having used them, store them in a place that your pets cannot reach.
If you wet floors or surfaces with disinfectants and cleaners, keep pets away until they dry. After disinfecting and drying, you can mop only with water to remove the remains of the product.
Both cats and dogs are animals that are at risk, but cats are particularly vulnerable because they are more autonomous, have access to more places, and their bodies do not handle toxins very well (since they lack certain liver enzymes) and also constantly lick each other the fur. They are also very curious and tend to go into seemingly inaccessible places to explore new objects with their nose or paws.
Dogs are generally larger than cats, metabolize some chemicals differently, and don’t clean their hair, but they do lick their paws. They can also gobble up medications or cleaning products, especially liquids left in buckets and buckets.
How to prevent poisoning in pets?
These are some tips that can be useful to prevent your dog or cat from being poisoned by medicines or cleaning products:
- When using cleaning products, read the labels carefully to verify the ingredients and follow the directions for use exactly. You should be aware of the strength of a particular product, such as alcohol or bleach, and how much to dilute it. Using more than recommended is never a good idea. The higher the accidental dose a pet receives, the more toxicity.
- When you’re done with the liquid cleaners, rinse out the buckets and clean any mops, brooms, and mops you used. Verify that the garbage bags in your home have secured lids.
- Close and lock the doors of closets, or rooms where you store cleaning products, utensils or medicines.
- When bathing your pets, use only shampoos formulated for the particular species and follow the instructions well. Don’t assume dog shampoos are appropriate for cats, unless the label specifies both species. Don’t use wet wipes on pets unless they are labeled pet grooming wipes.
- To clean pet bedding (or yours, if your pet sleeps in your bed), use regular laundry detergent. It is not necessary to use aggressive cleaning products.
- If you suspect poisoning, call your vet immediately.