A Checklist for Success: Spring Cleaning with Pets
Tips from the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America for Poison Prevention Awareness Month
The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer and the time for spring cleaning is here! While the spring cleaning ritual is important, some cleaners contain harsh chemicals and toxic ingredients that may potentially harm furry friends. March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month, and the Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Medical Center of Mid-America offers these simple tips to help keep homes safe for people and pets.
- FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS: Most household cleaners are safe for pets as long as the directions on the product label are followed. If the label says it’s unsafe for a human to ingest the product, then it is also unsafe for animals.
- USE WATER: Keep pets away from recently cleaned areas until everything has dried. To reduce any chemical residue potentially left behind, dilute the product with water or rinse with water after cleaning. It will still do its job, but the chemicals won’t be as strong.
- SAFE ALTERNATIVES: An online search will show easy, all-natural cleaning alternatives. For example, a baking soda scrub can clean up that sticky area around the dog bowl!
- TARGET PET ITEMS: Inspect and clean the toy box to ensure all toys are up to snuff. Throw away any that are no longer used or are too worn. Use non-scented detergent or cleaners when washing pet bedding and linens. Inspect and wash their collar and leash. Clean and disinfect all pet bowls, and consider emptying the pet food bin and disinfecting it as well.
- PLAY KEEP AWAY: Be sure to keep these common household items out of reach of pets, as they can lead to serious health problems: chocolate, vitamins and minerals, any kind of human medication (cold and allergy, antidepressants, acetaminophen, etc.), various household cleaners, mouse/rat poisons and more.
- KNOW THE NUMBER: In the event that a pet ingests something that may be harmful, call the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America at 314-951-1534 immediately. More information and additional ways to pet-proof spring cleaning are available at amcma.org.