As pet lovers, we do everything we can to raise happy and healthy pets, and that extends to considering pet-safe cleaning products for our homes. Whether you are cleaning up after your pet or just trying to keep a clean home, there are pet-safe products you can choose to use.
It’s important to know what is safe for your pet when it comes to cleaning, and what is harmful. We’ve got you covered in this article on both accounts.
All Pet Voices may receive commissions from affiliate links included in this article
The Importance of Pet-Friendly Cleaning Products
Ensuring you have pet-safe cleaning products means knowing what is NOT safe for your pets, too. Products that contain harmful chemicals like ammonia, bleach, or even some essential oils, can be poisonous to your pets, and using them is risky.
If your pet ingests any harmful chemicals you should call the Pet Poison Helpline right away. They are available 24/7 by calling 800.213.6680.
Pets are brought into the ER all the time for poisoning and the results can be anything from lethargy and vomiting to death. Household toxicants are in the top 10 categories of poisoning in pets according to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. You can protect your pet by avoiding chemicals that are harmful, and by choosing cleaning products that are pet safe and non-toxic whenever possible.
Avoid These Toxic Chemicals Found in Cleaning Products
Not sure what harmful chemicals to look for or why? Avoid these chemicals in your home cleaning products:
- Ammonia. Ammonia causes irritation just by its vapors. It will irritate your pet’s eyes, nose, throat, and worse if they ingest a cleaner that contains ammonia.
- Bleach. Bleach will irritate the skin and if ingested upset the gastrointestinal tract. There are two types of bleach: household bleach and ultra-concentrated bleach. Household bleach is less harmful, but in both cases, there is a risk to your pet.
- Benzalkonium Chloride. Found in many common cleaning products, like Lysol, Benzalkonium Chloride will irritate your pet from contact and from fumes. Cats are most susceptible. When possible, avoid products that have this as an ingredient.
- Glycol Ethers. There are different types of Glycol Ethers you may see in an ingredient list: ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, or diethylene glycol. All glycols can cause lung damage, kidney issues, and worse in pets.
- Formaldehyde. The EPA has reported that formaldehyde causes cancer in pets. It’s a gas that has a strong odor and should be avoided.
- Some essential oils. Each essential oil is different. Be sure to check for clear verbiage that an essential oil you want to use is pet safe. Many, if not most, are toxic to both dogs and cats. Cats are more susceptible to several that are okay for dogs. Dogs or cats who breathe toxic essential oils will get very ill and it can lead to death.
13 Pet-Safe Cleaning Products for Cats and Dogs
Over the last few years, more and more cleaning products have hit the market that are not toxic for anyone in your household. Not to you or your kids or to your pets. We’ve gathered 13 of our favorite pet-safe cleaning products for you to consider adding to your supply closet. Create a happy, pet-friendly home with these recommendations.
To keep your carpet clean.
- Unique Pet Odor and Stain Eliminator: Using natural bacteria and enzymes, Unique’s products eliminate stains and odors with no harmful chemicals or vapors. It works on old messes and new ones. You can also use it to remove smells that build up in places like a kennel or carrier. A 24 oz spray bottle goes for $16.49.
- Rocco & Roxie Oxy Stain Remover: Using the cleaning power of oxygen, Rocco & Roxie gets rid of pet stains leaving carpets and even upholstery fresh and clean. There are no hazardous ingredients making it a pet-safe choice. A 32 oz spray bottle goes for $19.97.
To keep your kitchen and floors clean.
- Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap: You get several choices of safe scents with Mrs. Meyer’s. The product’s ingredients are plant-derived and pet-safe. Plus, they are not tested on animals. They are a pet-safe option all around. A pack of 3 bottles of 16 oz soap goes for $12.84.
- Seventh Generation Dishwasher Packs Free & Clear: For those who like the ease of keeping dishwasher packs and want the security to know that those packs are not toxic, this is a great choice. Seventh Generation has been formulating safe plant-based products that still do their job for over 25 years. You can get a 2-Pack of 45-count packs for $24.54.
- Seventh Generation Disinfecting Wipes: Using pet-safe essential oils to create a botanical disinfectant, these wipes get the job done. They kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria. Seventh Generation is a good brand to look to for any of your pet-safe cleaning product choices. These wipes come in different scents. You can purchase a 3-Pack of 70-count wipes for about $22.
- Aunt Fannies Vinegar Floor Cleaner: Another plant-based cleaner that works on floors and keeps the whole family safe. It has earned the top safety rating from the Environmental Working Group, an EWG A-rating. You can purchase a 32 oz container for $10.99.
To keep your clothes clean.
- Seventh Generation concentrated laundry detergent: Using a triple-enzyme formula, Seventh Generation laundry detergent tackles tough stains without any harmful ingredients. It’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, and most importantly, pet-safe. It’s an EPA Safer Choice Certified Product. You can purchase a 40 oz container for $13.99, which is approximately 53 loads of laundry.
- ECOS® Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent: Featuring coconut as the main ingredient, ECOS laundry detergent is 100% vegan. No harsh chemicals and hypoallergenic earned it a U.S. EPA Safer Choice certification. You can purchase a 100oz bottle 2-pack for $26.95.
To keep your bathroom clean.
- Puracy All Purpose Cleaner Concentrate: This 16 oz bottle creates 1 gallon of cleaning solution that is pet-safe for your household surfaces, like your bathroom counters and even your toilet. It uses citrus to create a clean scent and plant and mineral-based ingredients that are safe for pets. You can purchase the concentrated 16 oz bottle for $15.99.
- Aunt Fannie’s Glass & Window Cleaning Vinegar Wash: This vinegar-based cleaning solution will lift that nasty grime build-up and not put anyone in your home at risk. It’s people-friendly and pet-friendly. And it claims it is streak-free, which for a glass cleaner seems important. You can purchase a 16.9 oz spray bottle for $8.99.
To keep the air clean.
- Zero Odor Multi-Purpose Household Odor Eliminator: Since it’s not just the actual clean surfaces you want in your home, but also a fresh smell, Zero Odor is a go-to product to clean the air. It’s non-toxic, non-allergenic, and biodegradable. It uses a molecular technology that binds to odor molecules to eliminate them permanently. You can purchase an 8 oz spray bottle for $7.99.
- Fresh Wave Odor Eliminator Spray & Air Freshener: Fresh Waves odor eliminator works on pet odors as well as trash and smoke. It has earned a Safer Choice label from the EPA and is a non-aerosol, biodegradable spray. It has a natural pine and wood scent that doesn’t hang around when you use it. You can purchase a 2-Pack of 8 oz spray bottles for $14.99.
- CritterZone Air Naturalizer: This one isn’t a cleaning solution, but rather a device that you can use to keep odors away, or when there is a rather large mess to address and the odors are overwhelming. We’ve all been there. CritterZone works by making “energized versions of the natural elements already found in the air. It puts them to work, causing a series of reactions, just like the ones that happen naturally outdoors. These energized elements are given the power to clean up the air and help get rid of odors, allergens, mold, and bacteria.”
CritterZone comes highly recommended by many pet experts, including me. I have one and use it frequently with great success. It’s a higher price point investment at $129 for one device, but it lasts a very long time. Many people use them for small animals to help with the odor of cages, and cat parents love them to help with the odor of litter boxes. They do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but I can’t imagine wanting to return it!
Please keep in mind that while these products are pet-safe, that does not mean your pet could ingest any amounts of them and still be okay. It means their risk is much lower, the vapors aren’t toxic, and you can feel better about the choices you made to keep your home clean. If you question anything your pet ingests, whether you believe it is harmful or not, please call the Pet Poison Hotline at 800.213.6680 immediately.
Make Your Own Pet-Safe Cleaning Product
If you are a DIY kind of person, you can make your own non-toxic cleaning solution with a few basic ingredients. We recommend Baking Soda, White Vinegar, and a pet-safe dish soap.
There are varying ways to mix the ingredients, depending on their use, but for surfaces in your bathroom or kitchen follow these instructions:
- Combine 1 ⅔ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of your pet-safe dish soap, like Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap.
- Mix those together well and then add ½ cup of water to the mixture and 3 tablespoons of white vinegar.
- Keep combining until all clumps are removed and then put the solution in a spray bottle.
- Voila! You now have a pet-safe surface cleaner.
As pet lovers, we can keep our pets safe when we make choices that involve non-toxic products in our homes. Even when we can’t avoid having something like bleach, we can be very careful when using it and how we store it.
It’s always a good practice to keep the Pet Poison Hotline number on your fridge or somewhere that is easily accessible. We never want any harm to come to our pets, especially from products we use in our home, but we can be prepared, just in case. Available 24/7: The Pet Poison Hotline 800.213.6680.
What pet-safe products do you use in your home?