Cleaning products get the job done – at the expense of your pet


Bug killer sprays that contain permethrin can lead to severe poisoning or even death, especially in cats. — dpa

Insecticides or harsh cleaning solutions get the job done, but sometimes at the expense of your pets, warns a consumer advice centre in Germany. What may be considered risk-free for a human could be seriously dangerous for your much-smaller animal companions.

“We are aware of cases in which animals have suffered fatal poisoning as a result of common household products,” warns the consumer centre.

Here are a few tips on how to deal with dangerous household helpers:

> Bug killer sprays that contain permethrin can lead to severe poisoning or even death, especially in cats. This active ingredient is found not only in sprays but also insect foggers. The experts recommend non-toxic options like insect screens or sticky traps.

> Caustic cleaners and sanitisers that contain benzalkonium chloride can get onto the fur of cats and dogs when they lay down on a freshly cleaned surface. When the pet grooms itself, it ingests the chemicals, which can cause chemical burns in the mouth. Neutral cleaners or soft soap, as well as microfibre cloths are alternatives.

> Some substances used in the house or garden can taste like treats, including slug pellets or antifreeze for the car. Synthetic garden fertiliser is also often consumed by pets and can lead to poisoning. If any of these substances are spilled, clean them up immediately.

If your pet has been poisoned, you should seek out a veterinarian immediately. And if you know the cause of the poisoning, it’s best to take the product, including its packaging, along to the animal doctor. – dpa

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