PET SAFE LAUNDRY DETERGENT
There are so many choices and varieties when it comes to choosing a laundry detergent, but regular detergents are made up of substances that may potentially cause harm to animals and those with sensitive skin. Moreover, if you currently reside in a household that has many pets roaming around your home, they might accidentally gain access to laundry detergent which can be very toxic should they ingest it. Additionally, if you are the type of fur parent who likes to dress up their cats, dogs, or even pet rodents, having a pet-safe detergent is ideal since your pet has contact with your clothing most of the time.
Pet Safe Detergent vs Regular Detergent
Regular detergents are made from a variety of petrochemicals and other substances derived from fats and oils. Manufacturers usually use sodium lauryl sulfate as a primary foaming agent and our researchers have found that this substance can induce eye and skin irritations. On the other hand, pet safe detergents are usually made from natural substances that are plant-based and unscented to avoid any harmful chemicals that may come in contact with your pet. These substances are hypoallergenic which means that additives such as fragrances and dyes are not in the list of ingredients since animals are extremely sensitive to strong odors and other chemicals.
Why are Detergents Dangerous to our Pets?
Most detergents contain a mixture of chemicals which are usually surfactants, meaning they are able to function as wetting and foaming agents, a crucial requirement for most detergents. For our pets, if they have constant contact with these ingredients or if they ingest them, it can cause mild reactions such as oral irritation inside the mouth and back of the throat, skin and ear inflammation, and hair loss. However, if your pet comes in contact with significant concentrated amounts, it can be very dangerous because it can cause fatal poisoning and you must seek professional help at once.
How to Tell if Your Pet is having an Allergic Reaction to your Detergent?
Your pet’s allergy might come from anywhere that your laundry has come in contact with. This may either be their clothes, bag, towels, and even your own clothes and bedding. An allergic reaction to detergent depends on the kind of pet you have. For dogs, the first sign that it has an allergy is a skin reaction that is centered around the face, groin, under the front legs, or between the toes. It is characterized by a reddening that may not seem apparent at first glance. Bald patches and skin lesions may also begin to appear. If your dog usually shakes its head, rubs its face, or lick its paws after it comes in contact with anything that you recently laundered, your pet might be suffering from an allergic reaction. For cats, allergies are more frequent since they naturally clean themselves using their own bodies. Skin irritations are also the first signs of allergy for felines which are accompanied by patches of missing fur, rashes, and inflamed feet. If your pet has ingested large amounts of detergent, the first symptom that it will exhibit is excessive drooling followed by foaming at the mouth. If your pet starts vomiting within a few minutes, you have to take it to the vet because it might experience aspiration pneumonia which is accompanied by stomach pain and diarrhea. Other problems in the lungs might also occur within a few hours.
Ingredients to Avoid
Choosing a detergent that offers additional fragrance might be tempting for most consumers, but it actually is a leading cause of irritation for pets. This is because most fragrances in today’s market are not made from naturally occurring raw materials. Experts have developed synthetic substances that mimic the basic fragrances in unnatural concentrations. For the human body, the harmful substances from the fragrance can be easily detoxified from our systems, but since animals have smaller bodies and different body systems, they have more trouble eliminating toxins from their livers.
Chlorine is a powerful cleaning agent which is usually an ingredient to look for in most laundry detergents. It is easily distinguishable by its strong smell due to the spread of the gas. However, since it is a disinfectant, the vapors released can irritate your pet’s skin, eyes and other membranes especially since your pet breathes in faster than you do. When it comes in contact with chlorine, your pet may experience dizziness, vomiting, and even laryngeal edema in serious cases.
Glycol ether is a common ingredient in most products. Aside from detergents, it can also be found in paints, dyes, carpet cleaners, and inks. Glycol ether is very harmful to humans in toxic amounts because it has been linked to testicular damage and reduced fertility. On top of that, it is also believed to cause anemia, lung damage, and kidney damage in pets and people.
Formaldehyde is also an ingredient used in household cleaners, construction materials, and hair products. This is toxic when inhaled or absorbed through the skin. It is dangerous to animals because of its sweet smell might cause your pet to mistake the substance for food. It causes mild damage such as eye irritations to more severe diseases such as cancer.
Ammonia is one of the most common ingredients in all types of cleaning agents. This is a very versatile substance that can be found in several household items. It is also one of the most toxic substances among cleaning agents. It mainly causes damage to your pet’s respiratory system due to its strong vapor and odor which causes a burning sensation to the throat and nose. If your pet is relatively small, it is at risk of poisoning especially if ammonia is mixed with bleach.