Cleanliness Next to Dogliness?

My eye was caught by this headline the other day:

Cleaning sprays ‘as harmful to your lungs as smoking 20 cigarettes a day’.

To quote: ‘Using everyday cleaning sprays can be as harmful to a woman’s lungs as smoking 20 a day, research has shown.

And a separate study found household products may account for half of air pollution in cities.

The first study, in Norway, found lung capacity fell 4.3mls a year faster in women who cleaned at home and 7.1mls a year faster if they worked as cleaners. Asthma was also more prevalent.

Prof Dr Cecile Svanes, of the University of Bergen says that cleaning chemicals are very likely cause rather substantial damage to the lungs.

“When you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe it is not so surprising after all,” said Øistein Svanes , a doctoral student who led the study, as quoted in The Independent.

What about our dogs?

From ‘There are many chemicals and caustic substances in and around most homes. These chemicals may be toxic to your dog. Most humans know better than to come into contact with the most dangerous chemicals. However, just like parents must protect their children from household toxins, so must we dog owners protect our dogs.

Many chemicals can be harmful to dogs if they are ingested, inhaled or come into contact with the skin.

In some cases, chemicals can enter the bloodstream and affect major organs. Certain chemicals may be considered safe for humans but can still harm dogs.

Be very mindful of the products you are using in your yard and home. Try to switch to products that are known to be safe for pets. If you treat your yard with chemicals, be sure your dog does not have access to the yard until it is dry (and that the chemical it is safe once dry). The same applies with carpet cleaners and cleaners used on other surfaces where your dog may walk’.

Then there are air fresheners.

I looked into whether air fresheners may be harming our dogs in one of my Paws a while ago.

It sounds to me like a very good argument for less housework ! (I actually use white vinegar, have done for years, and wax polish from a tin).


About Theo Stewart

I am a dog Behaviourist C.C.B (Certified Canine Behaviourist) INTODogs). I have helped over 3000 dog owners over eighteen years. In addition to online consultations all over the world, I cover Beds, Herts, Cambs and Bucks for home visits. A 'Victoria Stilwell' Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT) and a full member of the IMDT. Graduate ISCP, International School for Canine Practitioners. My main site:
This entry was posted in Science & Health and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cleanliness Next to Dogliness?

  1. Lyn says:

    Another great article Theo.

    IMO all the antibacterial products around nowadays are also bad, as they are either useless and giving people a false sense of security or are effective, in which case they are likely to be adding to resistance problems.

    In addition to your vinegar I would add boiling water, soap and water and soda bicarbonate to my range of cleaners

    Not surprising our pups have so many skin and allergy problems

    (BTW, and nothing at all to do with the article, I have acquired a pup 🙂 )


    • Theo Stewart says:

      Ah thanks Lyn. Congratulations on the puppy. What would you use for neutralising the smell of pee?


      • Lyn says:

        I use a dilute soda bic solution to mop up and I put some in the washing machine with any wet covers. I have had great assurances from others that vinegar is the thing, have you found it works? Lots of the terrier people swear by it for puppy accidents

        I do still sometimes use spray cleaners but gradually less and less.

        My mother swore by soda bic for cleaning the oven, weak solution brushed onto any greasy or burned bits before you start cooking and wipe of when oven cooled down. Also vinegar and newspaper for cleaning the windows


  2. Theo Stewart says:

    I will try bicarb. My mother used the same things. My Pickle has started marking in the morning and vinegar may take away the smell but he still marks – though in different places. Milly my is on season so I’m hoping when it’s over he will stop. Pickle, though, is Pickle!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s