The ONLY national non-profit organization for professional pet sitters.

Spring Has Sprung


Spring has sprung, and for pet parents and members of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), that means spending more time outside with pets.  But it also means that homes and yards are being cleaned, leaving toxic materials and other dangers for pets to explore if they aren’t kept away.

Cleaning products that contain phenols (found in many products that include the world “sol”), phthalates, formaldehyde, isopropyl alcohol, bleach and perchloroethylene should be avoided.  Bleach can cause breathing problems and skin burns in pets.  When it comes into contact with ammonia in cat urine, bleach may cause irritation in a pet’s mouth, eyes and nose.  Pets who have ingested or been exposed to dangerous chemicals in cleaning products may show symptoms of sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, seizures, lethargy and in some cases, death.  The key to using cleaning products safely is to read and follow label directions for proper use and storage.

Yard work may too may cause problems.  Nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools, fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides can be fatal if ingested by a pet.  Flowers and garden essentials such as Easter lilies, rhododendron and azaleas are also highly toxic if eaten. 
It is important to learn what grows in your yard, neighborhood and garden to keep your pets safe. Also, know what plants may be harmful and avoid planting altogether.  

Fortunately, there are many pet-friendly cleaning alternatives.  But it is important to know that there is no guarantee that these products won’t cause illness.  It is recommended that pet parents read the manufacturer’s directions carefully, and if they have questions, call a vet or the following Helpline/Hotlines.
24/7 Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661)
ASPCA Poison Control Hotline (800-548-2423)