Safe Spring Cleaning: Pet-Friendly Products and Practices

Safe Spring Cleaning: Pet-Friendly Products and Practices

There’s nothing quite like getting our home ready for the warmer weather with a good spring clean. Whether you’re planning a declutter, redecoration or a thorough top to toe clean, considering the safety of your pet is paramount. When using cleaning products, it’s important to note that our furry friends can be more susceptible to chemicals contained within them.

This article discusses various ways to keep pets safe during the annual spring clean. 

Understanding Pet Safety During Indoor Cleaning

Common household cleaning agents, while effective, often contain chemicals that can be harmful to pets. Ingredients such as ammonia, bleach, and chlorine are effective in disinfecting surfaces but can pose serious health risks if inhaled or swallowed by pets. Additionally, pets, with their keen sense of smell, are particularly vulnerable to airborne toxins from sprays and aerosols. It's crucial, therefore, to choose cleaning products that are as safe for our pets as they are for our families.

Pet-Friendly Cleaning Products

When shopping for pet-safe cleaning products, it’s important to read labels carefully. Look for products that are marked as non-toxic and free from harsh chemicals. Products derived from natural ingredients, such as vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils, are often safer alternatives that still provide effective cleaning power. Remember, the absence of a strong chemical odour does not always mean a product is pet-safe, so thorough research and product knowledge are key.

DIY Solutions and Natural Alternatives

For those who prefer a more hands-on approach or wish to avoid commercial cleaners altogether, there are numerous DIY solutions that can help keep your home clean and pet-safe:

All-Purpose Cleaner: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle for an effective, all-purpose surface cleaner. For added fragrance, add some drops of essential oils, such as lemon or lavender.

Floor Cleaner: A solution of diluted apple cider vinegar in water can safely clean most hard flooring types without leaving harmful residues behind.

Window Cleaner: Combine ¼ cup vinegar, ½ teaspoon washing up liquid and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle for streak-free windows.

Furniture Freshener: Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on upholstered furniture to deodorise. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then hoover it up.

Practical Tips for a Pet-Safe Cleaning Routine

Keep Pets Away: During cleaning sessions, keep pets in a separate room until the cleaned areas are dry and free from cleaning residue.

Use According to Instructions: Even pet-safe products can be harmful in large quantities. Use all cleaning products as directed and store them out of reach of curious paws!

Ensure Ventilation: Open windows and doors to keep fresh air circulating during and after cleaning, reducing the risk of respiratory irritation for both pets and humans.

In Case of Emergency: If Your Pet Ingests a Cleaning Product

Despite our best efforts to protect our pets, accidents can, and do, happen. If you suspect your pet has swallowed a cleaning product, it's crucial to act quickly:

Don’t Panic: Try to stay calm in order to think clearly and act swiftly.

Check the Product Label: Many products have instructions for accidental ingestion. Follow these guidelines if they are safe and applicable. Keep the bottle.

Seek Medical Advice: call your vet or an emergency pet clinic immediately, even if you only suspect ingestion. In these sorts of cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Be ready to provide details about the product ingested. Also describe any symptoms your pet is experiencing, such as vomiting, seizures, excess drooling or lethargy. If you are asked to go into the practice, take the cleaning container with you in a sealed clear bag (if possible). This will help the vet identify which chemicals your pet has swallowed.

Prevent Further Access: Ensure that no other pets or children in the home can access the contaminated area or product.

Time is crucial to the health of your pet. The quicker you seek advice, the better the chances of a positive outcome. Always keep emergency numbers, including your vet’s contact information in an easily accessible location, such as in your phone contacts, or on the fridge.


Spring cleaning is a refreshing way to welcome the new season, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of our pets' health. By choosing pet-friendly cleaning products or opting for natural, DIY alternatives, we can ensure our homes are not only clean but also safe for our four-legged friends. This spring, let’s commit to a cleaning routine that protects, nurtures, and respects the well-being of every family member, furry ones included.