Dog poisoning is a very serious problem, and it’s one that vets see on a regular basis. One of the most common causes of poisoning in pets is household cleaning products. To make sure your dog doesn’t fall victim to pet poisoning, we want to guide you through some of the best dog safe floor cleaners on the market today!
Natural floor cleaners that are safe for dogs & pets are thankfully easy to come by in-store and online these days. So let’s take a look at what the best ones are, as well as everything you need to know about harmful ingredients, pet poisoning, and all of the best ways you can keep your dog safe when cleaning.
What Makes a Floor Cleaner Toxic for Dogs?
Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients to look out for.
Dogs and Poisons
Whilst they’re man’s best friend, biologically, dogs are really quite different from humans. Certain things are poisonous to both of us, and others are only poisonous to one of us. Chocolate, for example, is a beloved human treat, but can be deadly to dogs in large doses, and can upset their stomachs in even the smallest ones.
Poisoning is far more common in dogs than humans, because they explore the world with their mouths and noses, and are far more likely to accidentally or purposefully inhale or ingest something that they’re investigating. Cleaning products tend to be particularly strong-smelling and therefore attract the attention of curious pups, so it’s no wonder they are such a popular cause of poisoning in pets.
However, poisons don’t have to be inhaled or ingested to cause harm. Some toxins can cause reactions, irritation, and burns on the skin and in the eyes upon external exposure too.
Harmful Floor Cleaners Ingredients For Dogs
Let’s look into harmful ingredients that can be present in some cleaners.
Ammonium Hydroxide (Ammonia)
Ammonia is an excellent cleanser, which is why it’s such a common ingredient in many liquid cleaners, including floor cleaners and furniture polish. However, it is a very corrosive chemical that poses a potential danger to both humans and dogs.
When inhaled by a dog, ammonia can burn the nose, throat, and respiratory tract, which can create breathing problems. When ingested, it can burn the mouth, throat, and stomach. It can also irritate the skin and eyes when a dog’s face and/or body makes contact with the chemical.
Chlorine is a popular ingredient in floor cleaners as it’s one of the best industrial disinfectants, most famously used in swimming pools.
However, external contact with chlorine can burn the skin and eyes in dogs. Inhalation & ingestion can also cause damage to the respiratory and digestive tracts.
Bleach is something that can be found inside almost every household due to its disinfecting superpowers. It’s in so many cleaning products and is one of the most common causes of pet poisoning in the world.
Bleach can cause skin and eye irritation, as well as permanent damage to the breathing and digestive systems.
Formaldehyde is used regularly in cleaning products, as well as many other household products, for its preservative and anti-bacterial properties.
However, exposure, inhalation, and/or ingestion can cause burns to the skin, eyes, breathing & digestive systems. There’s also a proven link between prolonged formaldehyde exposure and cancer in both humans and dogs.
Phthalates are used in many household products, including cleaners, for its antibacterial properties and effects on texture/consistency. It’s also what gives floor-cleaning products their strong smell. Over time, exposure to phthalates can lead to liver and/or kidney damage in dogs.
Signs & Treatment of Dog Poisoning
Some symptoms of poisoning in dogs may depend on what has been inhaled or ingested. But the universal signs include dramatic changes in breathing, walking, and body language, shaking, drooling, stomach upsets, seizures, and passing out into unconsciousness.
Alternatively, external exposure to poisonous chemicals could cause fur loss and painful and/or itchy red, possibly bloody burns on the skin. Dogs may lick or paw at the irritated skin to soothe it. If a dog’s eyes come into contact with something dangerous, they may be red and your dog may want to keep them closed and paw or at them due to the irritation.
In any of these cases, you must take your dog to see your vet or the emergency hospital for examination and treatment as soon as possible. Depending on what and how much was ingested, poisoning can be deadly if not acted on quickly. If a dog’s skin or eyes have been burnt or irritated, you should gently sponge cool, clean water onto the affected area until you can get them to the vet.
Vets can prescribe pain medicine for burns and treat burns topically, or surgically in rare, severe cases. They can give poisoned pets antidotal treatment or induce vomiting for ingested substances. Pets who have inhaled a poisonous substance may also require medication and in extreme cases, oxygen therapy.
5 Dog Safe Floor Cleaners You Can Buy
The best preventative for pet poisoning is to use pet-safe products! This our list of the 5 best dog safe floor cleaners on the market.
1. Nature's Miracle Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray
Nature’s Miracle lemon-scented cleaner is designed with pets in mind in more ways than one; not only is it pet safe, but it’s designed to remove stains & odors that are caused by pets.
It can be used on carpets, rugs, soft furnishings, and hard surfaces including hardwood floors. The formula is all-natural and non-toxic. But don’t be fooled, it’s also very powerful. It’s composed of antibacterial natural enzymes that remove any and all-natural stains, such as drool and urine caused by pets like cats and dogs. Unlike some other cleaners, it doesn’t just mask the smell from the accidents, the enzymatic formula actually breaks down bio-based messes until they are gone, which also discourages repeated behaviors in the future.
This makes it extra easy to use on carpets & soft furnishings, too, requiring almost no effort after use. The natural formula does all of the work for you and stops when there’s nothing else to clean, so you simply need to wipe it away afterward. No arduous scrubbing! The spray bottle is also super convenient, and the solution is readily made with no need to dilute it. Reviewers praise its easiness, effectiveness, and complete absence of any unpleasant, chemical smell. It is a little on the expensive side, but for the range of surfaces it covers, it may be worth the price!
2. Ecover Concentrated Multi-Surface and Floor Cleaner
One of the most well-known and used pet-safe cleaners on the market today, Ecover’s all-natural, all-purpose cleaner is made from naturally-derived ingredients and fragranced with lemongrass.
It’s inexpensive, free from sulfates, perfumes, bleach, and ammonia, and reviews praise the product’s pleasant smell as well as its effectiveness on hard floors & surfaces.
The solution comes in a tub and a spray, so you can choose how you want to use it; with a mop or with a wipe. It can be used undiluted or diluted with water, depending on how strong you need it to be, and is handily available to buy in refill tubs for a reasonable price. Ecover pride themselves on their sustainability, and all of the plastic used in their products’ packaging is designed to be reused and recycled, so you can feel extra good about the purchase!
3. Puracy All Purpose Cleaner
Puracy’s all-purpose cleaner was developed and tested by doctors – so you know it’s safe! It’s safe for children, pets, and tough on dirt, smells, and stains. Plus, it’s moderately inexpensive and certified cruelty free.
The plant-based formula is effective on all types of hard surfaces, for all types of problems; from muddy paw prints and pet accidents to make-up stains and drink spillages.
Reviews praise the efficiency of the product, but some also mention the inconvenience of the design. The solution comes in a regular screw-top bottle, and in order to use it as a spray, you have to buy the fixture separately. That said, Puracy’s is available in handy refill tubs which are very affordably priced for the volume of product you receive.
4. Better Life Naturally Dirt-Destroying Floor Cleaner
Better Life’s dirt-destroying floor cleaner has overwhelmingly good reviews, with many buyers claiming it to be the best one on the market. Reviewers also praise its pleasant smell, which is a minty citrus scent.
The formula is full of recognizable ingredients, and free of harmful chemicals like alkylphenol, surfactants, and petroleum. It can be used on hardwood floors, stone floors, ceramic tiles, vinyl, laminate, and more. The cleaner is also very affordable, and handily available in various bottle types and amounts for whatever suits you best.
5. Aunt Fannie's Floor Cleaner Vinegar Wash
Aunt Fannie’s floor cleaner is an inexpensive option for sealed floors; hardwood, ceramic, bamboo, vinyl, laminated, etc, and comes highly recommended by reviewers. The cleaner is vinegar-based, which is one of nature’s best disinfectants and cleaning agents. Reviewers also recommend this cleaner for people who prefer a more subtle scent. It works well with mirrors and countertops, too.
The brand uses plant-based ingredients packed with probiotics and essential oils for a household that is healthier as well as cleaner. They use no ingredients that are harmful to humans or pets and are certified cruelty free.
DIY Dog Safe Floor Cleaner
A cheaper option is to make your own cleaner! What you need for your creation depends on the surfaces you want to clean. Just remember to avoid those harmful chemicals such as bleach, chlorine, ammonia, formaldehyde, and phthalates! To clean hardwood and laminate floors, mix half a cup of distilled white vinegar with a gallon of warm water. For vinyl, tile, and stone floors, use a whole cup of distilled vinegar instead.
This may seem like a simple formula, but it is one of the most effective – and safest – of them all! Vinegar is one of nature’s strongest disinfectants & stain/smell removers, and when mixed with water, the smell should be quite subtle. If you do however find the smell to be unpleasant, you can add a few drops of lemon juice to it to make it nicer, or baking soda to neutralize it.
For carpets and rugs, mix some baking soda into the mixture and use a clean sponge to scrub the floor. Leave until the carpet or rug is dry, and vacuum up the baking soda. Baking soda is effective at lifting stains, discoloration, and subsequent smells. If you only want to remove a stain on the carpet, you can pour some dry baking soda on the stain, leave it for 24 hours, and vacuum it up the next day to remove it.
Best Practices When Cleaning
Apart from using pet-safe cleaners, there are some other ways to ensure your dog’s safety when cleaning the floor!
Our top tips:
- Sweep hard floors and vacuum carpets & rugs regularly to avoid dirt build-up and lessen the need to use cleaning products
- Clean the floor when your dog is out for a walk or asleep to prevent them from walking on or licking up the cleaning formula
- Wipe up or air out rooms in which hard floors have been cleaned by opening up windows to dry out the formula
- Dispose of any mops or rags that you used during cleaning immediately afterward
- Store your cleaning products out of reach of your dog
Dog Safe Floor Cleaners – FAQs
Some symptoms of poisoning may differ depending on what and how much has been consumed. But the universal signs of internal poisoning include changes in breathing, walking, and body language, shaking, drooling, stomach upsets, seizures, and passing out into unconsciousness.
Signs your dog may have been externally exposed to a poisonous substance include sore red burns on the skin and/or eye irritation, as well as your dog scratching or licking the affected area.
If you think your dog is showing signs of poisoning, call your vet and ask for advice. This will likely be to take them to see their vet as soon as possible. If it’s out of hours, take them to the emergency pet hospital instead. You can also call Poison Control for advice.
Neither is necessarily better than the other, some people prefer making their own cleaners because it’s more cost-effective, but others prefer the convenience of store-bought ones.
That said, store-bought cleaners tend to be more trusted because they’re created by experts and professionals.
If you find the smell of vinegar-based floor cleaners too unpleasant, simply add a few drops of lemon juice to the formula to make it sweeter. Alternatively, you could add some baking soda to neutralize the smell altogether.
That was our list of dog safe floor cleaners! Will you be buying one of our recommendations or trying the DIY cleaner for yourself? Let us know in the comments down below! And remember to always avoid dangerous chemicals such as bleach and chlorine when cleaning your home around pets.