Many chemical disinfectants can kill viruses and bacteria but can also make companion animals sick or even cause fatalities. The ingredients that make these disinfectant chemicals effective also make them toxic for dogs and especially cats. The most common chemical ingredients that you should look out for are alcohol, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, quaternary ammonium compounds and chemical compounds that contain the word “phenol”.
Conscious cleaning is extremely important if there are animals around, as they should not be in direct contact with most of the chemical disinfectants. Even if an animal walks across a chemical then licks their paws, this could be detrimental for the animal. Many animals can also develop contact dermatitis from potent cleaning agents or sustain injuries from inhaling the fumes or the aerosolized spray of some products.
Keep any chemicals in a safe place that animals cannot access and clean when the animals are not in the room. Rinsing the areas with water after a disinfectant has dried, if possible, is also better for pets. Be sure to rinse any buckets or mops as well and keep a lid on garbage cans with used cleaning chemicals inside.
If you are a veterinary office or pet care facility we recommend using UVC light when animals are not present to disinfect surfaces, furniture and floors that animals may be in contact with. This will ensure there is no residue from toxic chemicals that the animals may have a reaction to.
If you suspect an animal has ingested a chemical, seek veterinary help right away.