Here in the UAE our furry family members spend a lot of time indoors (especially in the summer), so it makes sense that we provide a safe and natural indoor environment.
Sharing our home usually means our pets have free access to our couches, blankets, beds, floors, and even the walls! It can be a lot of work keeping everything clean and tidy, but it’s very important to ensure the cleaning products we use in our homes are harmless for our pets and humans too!
Unlike humans, pets do not wear a protective layer of clothing, shoes, or shower daily. Our pets are in direct contact with these chemicals and toxic substances 24-7! They roll, play, sleep on the floor, blankets, pet beds, and our clothes. They lick their coats and paws and chew their toys which are in direct contact with cleaning products. Lastly, they inhale the sprays and fumes used which impacts both external and internal systems. Pets with allergies and sensitivities are increasingly becoming a common concern, and as a result, are suffering from itchy, scratchy and red inflamed skin. In addition to feeding a high-quality biologically appropriate diet pet owners can greatly benefit from examining everything their dog or cat is exposed to on a daily basis and eliminating as many potential triggers as possible.
The majority of commercial cleaning products used indoors pollute the air inside your home with toxic fumes that can be very hazardous, not to mention irritating, to your pets. If you currently own any of the following chemicals, AVOID using them:
That said, there are a few natural products available in the UAE aimed at keeping your house squeaky clean and also free from toxic chemicals, but they can be quite costly and hard to find.
The same ingredient used in baking is a valuable and inexpensive cleaning product. Baking soda is known for its odor-absorbing and mild abrasive qualities and is a must-have, all-natural cleaning product for your home.
Baking soda scrub – To keep your countertops, stained sinks, and pet’s bowls clean, use this simple mixture that will scrub away stuck-on food and grime. Mix Baking Soda with equal amounts of warm water and salt, it becomes a thick paste. Use a sponge or rag and scrub the inside and outside of the dish or bowl using a circular motion. Rinse well with warm water.
Odor Absorber and dog deodorizer – Baking soda is an easy and all-natural deodorizer that can be used in the home and on the pet. To freshen up carpets or rugs, lightly sprinkle them with baking soda, let it settle in for 15 to 30 minutes, and vacuum up. To freshen up your Furchild, take a handful or two (depending on your dog’s size) of baking soda and rub it into the dog’s coat.
If you have wood floors, ceramic tiles, linoleum or vinyl flooring use a vinegar and water solution instead of a chemical floor cleaner. Simply combine 1 cup and 1 liter of water and mop your floors. There is no need to rinse but if you want to brighten and add a shine to the surface of your floor, after it dries mop it again with club soda. This inexpensive and easy-to-make solution cuts through grease and grime – dog generated or otherwise – on most surfaces. It also can be used to clean your dog’s plastic or rubber toys, grooming tools and other non-porous surfaces that may need a little freshening up. The vinegar water mix can be stored between uses.
A simple mixture of lemon juice and water will do the trick. Add 5 tablespoons of lemon juice to 2 liters of water. Wipe the surfaces clean with a clean lint-free cloth or old cotton t-shirts.
If your dog or cat loves napping on a favorite blanket, pillow, sweater or bed sheet it’s a good idea to use a green laundry detergent or research on how to make your own. If you want your clean clothes to have a fresh scent after they are washed we suggest you replace chemical dryer sheets with a few drops of lemon essential oil added to one of your garments like a sock.
Moving house, redecorating and painting certainly has its advantages but harsh fumes and odors from the paint can also have a toll on your pet’s health. Whether it’s a small or large painting project we recommend you place small bowls of vinegar scattered around the room to absorb the strong smell. You can replace the vinegar daily and leave it out several days after the painting is completed.
For general cleaning you can sprinkle baking soda and wipe with a moist cloth or sponge. If it’s grease and grime, add some salt and repeat the process. If you want to disinfect a surface, mix 2 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and approximately 25 drops of tea tree oil which has natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
This mixture is particularly beneficial for use in treating urine stains because it helps to break down uric crystals. When combined with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide can be used to create a powerful and all-natural deodorizing carpet cleaner. Start by blotting the stain with paper towel then sprinkle a good amount of baking soda over it. Next, combine 0.5 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and slowly pour the solution over the stain and baking soda. Using a clean cloth or scrub brush, scrub at the stain then let it sit for 10 minutes before vacuuming the area thoroughly.
If your dog or cat drinks out of the toilet bowl, you should avoid using toxic chemicals. Try an experiment and add an orange drink (Tang) to keep your toilet clean! Pour 0.25 cup in the bowl, swish it around, and let it sit for an hour. The citric acid help remove hard water stains and cat generally avoid the scent of citrus. An alternative is to use equal parts of a vinegar and water solution to clean toilet bowls.
As a responsible pet parent, you spend a lot of time and effort in safe-guarding the health and well-being of your pet. Daily exposure to harmful chemicals should be eliminated or at least minimized and the same can be said for the food we choose to feed our pets.
Conventional pet food manufacturers add dangerous preservatives and vitamin fortifications that actually make your pets’ food less healthy. Behind innocent-sounding words are ingredients that contain dead, diseased, dying and disabled meats (4-D), growth hormones, preservatives, artificial colors and many other carcinogenic causing additives.
Good health starts with a species appropriate, high-quality nutrition and anything above and beyond you can do for your pet like switching to natural, non-toxic cleaners will only help your furry-family member. We hope we’ve given you some sound useful guidelines about how to prevent long-term poisoning from everyday household toxic cleaners and poor-quality nutrition. It’s worth the minimal effort to switch over to pet to proper nutrition and safe cleaning products for you and your Furchild’s sake!