We all love our pets and view them as family. So why shouldn't we treat them the same as the rest of our family when considering safe products to use around the home?

No matter what the season, it is essential to make sure you are using products that keep you furry friends safe! With the end of summer still upon us, and winter coming up, there are a wide range of products we use often that can be damaging to our pets. However, there is good news! There are many petsafe or organic alternatives that keep our friends healthy and safe. The best way to ensure the products you are using are safe is to do your research beforehand. Many products, especially those labeled as petsafe, offer safety data sheets, toxicology and chemical composition reports directly on their website. Below is a list of common products we use and petsafe alternatives.

1. Fertilizer

With the dog days of summer in last swing, lawns are starting to dry out and many people rely on fertilizers to keep their grass green and lush. Unfortunately, in most cases, a healthy lawn does not correspond to a healthy dog, especially when using granular or powder fertilizers. The most common cause of fertilizer poisoning is ingestion, and traditional fertilizers sometimes take days to absorb; your pets will thank you for switching to a liquid based fertilizer that is safe to play on as soon as it's dry, and with zero risk of eating fertilizer granules.

Furthermore, products with seaweed, compost, or fish meal make a good organic alternative to traditional N-P-K products, or products high in iron or containing calcium carbonate. Gnome's Puppy Patch Repair Kit  is a great option that, like all Gnome's fertilizers, is liquid based and contains no iron or calcium carbonate to keep your pets safe. [1][2]

2. Pesticides

With summer winding down, bugs are worse than ever. Yet, there are a wide range of pesticides specialized for everything from mosquitoes, ticks, and ants, invading your home and yard that are all safe for your furry friend. They also even make petsafe herbicide for your lawn and garden. Specifically, look for anything labeled safe for pets; or for oil based, like cedar wood oil, and lemongrass oil rather than chemical based products, and absolutely never use anything containing organophosphates or carbamates, as they can be fatal to your dog. Some organophosphate pesticides to be on the lookout for include coumaphos, cyothioate, diazinon, fampfhur, fenthion, phosmet, and tetrachlorvinphos. [3][4]

 3. Ice Melt

We all have those mornings when we wake up to an unexpected sleet or ice storm and have to throw down salt to make clear pathways (assuming you live in the glorious regions that get winter weather). However, these salts and ice melts can be seriously damaging to your dogs paws and cause irritation, cracking, and burns. Avoid any products that contain sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium chloride or anti-freeze. Instead, buy ice melt with a pet-friendly label and/or containing urea, modified carbonyl diamide crystals, or glycols and absolutely no salt or hash chemicals. Sand can also be an all natural option in less used areas, as it provides good traction for snow, but will not melt ice. It is also beneficial to rinse you dogs paws off and use a paw balm after coming inside. [5][6][7]

4. Household Cleaners

Cleaning is a necessity, and many times, using harsh cleaners and disinfectants and "letting them dry" before letting your pets back in the area, is simply not enough- and for many, this is not a realistic option. There is danger in not just dogs walking on or licking recently cleaned surfaces, but also risk of inhaling toxic fumes from these cleaners. The EPA has recognized the risk of indoor air pollutants being up to 2-100 times worse then outside, and some of the main contributing factors are household products like window cleaners, all-purpose cleaners, bathroom scrubs and sprays, and oven cleaners, along with room freshener sprays. Products containing ammonia, bleach/chlorine, phthalates, glycol ethers, formaldehyde, or 1,4-dioxane can cause vomiting, diarrhea, internal burns, seizures and shock, and/or respiratory illness, and should be avoided at all cost in daily cleaners; there are also many additional chemicals which can be risky for your pet.

Sometimes basic is better, and a simple baking soda scrub of equal parts warm water, baking soda, and salt is amazing as a bathroom cleaner or for removing stains. Another petsafe recipe which works as a perfect daily all-purpose disinfectant is mixing one part vinegar and four parts water in a spray bottle. Add some fresh lemon juice to the mix and shake well. Additionally, you can purchase specific all natural kid and petsafe cleaners on the shelf, but make sure to read your labels before purchasing! [8][9]

These 4 simple changes for household products can create a healthier and safer home for your whole family! 

Megan Harrigal