1) Springtime means cleaning time for many people, including pet owners.  As you prepare to organize your garage or basement, make sure you are aware of some potential problems for your pets.

2) Strong acidic or alkaline cleaners pose the biggest risk to people and pets.  These can cause corrosive injury and chemical burns.

3) Examples of these types of cleaners include toilet bowl cleaners, rust or calcium/lime removers, drain cleaners and lye.

4) Most general purpose cleaners are reasonably safe and will only cause mild irritation to the skin or mild vomiting/diarrhea if ingested.

5) Even with the wide margin of safety, it’s best to get into the habit of keeping any cleaner or any bucket with cleaner and water in it, out of reach of your pets.

6) Labels can be instructive.   Words like “danger” and “warning” indicated a product with a higher potential for toxicity or for causing chemical burns.

7) The use of the word “caution” on a label is usually indicative that the product is less toxic than those that use the word “danger”.

8) “Natural” products do not always mean that they are “safe” products.

9) Birds are especially sensitive to cleaning products, especially those that are aerosolized.  Remove birds and any other exotic pets from the room you are cleaning with an aerosolized product.

10) There are many urban myths about Swiffer Wet Jet products and FeBreze causing illness and deaths in pets.  There is no evidence that suggests these myths are true. However, my pet gets irritated paws from Febreze. I love and I use the product, just not on the floors!