Image Alt

Albuquerque VetCo

 / tips  / What Household Cleaners are Toxic to Your Pet

What Household Cleaners are Toxic to Your Pet

Image by PicsbyFran from Pixabay

Are you feeling the itch for spring cleaning? I know my need to dust has been getting pretty strong. Before you dive deep into your Sprig cleaning routines it is a good idea to take a look at your cleaners so you know which ones are pet safe and which ones aren’t. Many cleaners which are not pet safe can still be used as long as precautions are taken. If you have a concern that your pet has ingested any toxic cleaner, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center hotline immediately (888) 426-4435. This list has been provided by the ASPCA.


Bleach is one of the best cleaners for killing off all germs from cages and litter boxes, bathroom, floors, and toys. But how safe is it?

When you are cleaning with bleach, make sure you are using a diluted solution. After the cleaning, thoroughly rinse and air out whatever you cleaned. If a strong smell of bleach lingers, continue to air out. If the room has a strong smell of bleach, try opening windows or using a fan to air out the room. Do not leave bleach out in a bowl or bucket for your pet to drink from. While you are cleaning make sure your pet is not in the same room with you.

Carpet Fresheners

A lot of people with pets like to use carpet and fabric fresheners to get rid of that “pet” smell. Most of the time these products are fine. If your pet eats some it could cause some stomach upset. If your pet runs across a freshly sprinkled carpet, you should wash their paws with mild soap and water to avoid any possible skin irritation. We recommend keeping your pet out of the room while you are using the powder and until all the powder has been vacuumed up.

Carpet Shampoo

Typically carpet shampoo is fine. We recommend allowing the carpet to fully dry before allowing pets back into the area. This will cut down on any risk of skin irritation and paw print.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are the biggest cleaning craze! Everyone loves throwing some lavender oil into their cleaners or other fresh and brightening scent. Unfortunately, a lot of essential oils are toxic to pets. They can cause gastrointestinal upset, aspiration pneumonia, and liver damage. If you want to use essential oils, speak with your Albuquerque vet first to find out which ones are pet safe.

Fabric Sheets

DO NOT let your pets chew on fabric sheets, even used sheets. These sheets have detergents in them that can cause drooling, vomiting, mouth and throat ulcers, and fever. If you notice any of these signs, you need to get your pet to the vet. Additionally, the sheets, if swallowed, can also cause intestinal blockages.


Fabreeze has been determined to be safe for household use with pets. If your pet comes in direct contact with Fabreze there is a risk of mild skin irritation or minor stomach upset.

Swiffer Wet Jet

Swiffer Wet Jet is safe to use in households with pets. Just like with other cleaning products it may cause mild skin irritation or stomach upset.

Toilet Cleaning Tablets

Most toilet cleaning tablets will not cause issue beyond stomach upset if they drink the water. If they eat the whole tab, we recommend you call the poison hotline, to be safe. In general, it is a good idea to keep your pet from drinking toilet water as the toilet is a source of a lot of bacteria.

Vinegar and Water

A lot of people like to use vinegar and water as a cleaning agent. This is safe to use with pets, but as with any cleaning agent it can cause skin and stomach upset, especially depending on if it is undiluted. If your pet ingests straight vinegar it may cause vomiting or diarrhea and oral irritation.

Most products will say if they are pet safe or not. If you are not sure, we suggest you consult with your local Albuquerque vet.