Think about it: your dog spends most of his time at home, so he’s surrounded by whatever chemicals you use to clean it. If your dog has environmental allergies, those can be triggered even indoors by the allergens you and your dog bring inside. Dogs who lick food off the kitchen floor also lick up whatever you use to clean it. Finally, there are so many unfamiliar ingredients in cleaners and it’s sometimes quite complicated figuring out what it does for (or to) your dog’s overall health. Cleaning is a mess. Keeping dogs safe and healthy is key.
About a year ago, I decided to switch to natural, homemade cleaners so I knew exactly what I was exposing my highly-allergic dog to. I had no idea how easy and low-cost it would be to switch from store-bought chemical cleaners to allergy-friendly, non-toxic substitutes. Here are my favorites.
Streak free shine:
You don’t need a neon blue liquid from the store. Mix 1 part water and 1 part white vinegar, spray on glass, and wipe. Voila, streak free shine! Great for car windows covered in “nose art,” as well as any mirrors and glass that have picked up nose marks as well.
Similar to the glass cleaner, mix 1 cup white vinegar with 1 gallon water. Mop as usual. It kills germs without introducing anything toxic to your family. Next time your dog licks something off the floor, you’ll know it’s not accompanied by chemical condiments. The same solution freshens up plastic flaps on dog doors, which get cloudy thanks to a build-up of your dog’s natural oils plus dirt. Use the solution on an old cloth to soften and wipe away the build-up.
Is your dog’s blanket starting to smell very doggy? Sprinkle with baking soda, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then vacuum. You can do the same thing on carpets and rugs.
Remove urine spots:
You don’t need chemical-laden solutions to remove urine stains and odors from your carpet. There are products on the market like this carpet cleaner for pet stains which use enzymes to naturally break down the urine. This will make your carpet look fresh and remove any odor so your dog won’t mark the same spot.
Natural disinfectant cleaner:
For a dog-friendly disinfectant, spray undiluted white vinegar followed by 3% hydrogen peroxide. Great for cleaning dog toys that have come in contact with questionable substances.
Clean Fido without a bath:
Dogs often get dirty outside. Even if they wear dog boots that stay on to keep paws from getting muddy, their fur is still a magnet for pollen, grass, and dust – major allergens. To easily remove these allergens, mix 2 parts water and 1 part apple cider vinegar. Pour a little on a towel and wipe down your dog. If your dog has environmental allergies, this makes a quick, handy cleanse between baths.
Natural wound disinfectant:
Mix 4 teaspoons non-iodized sea salt with a gallon of distilled water. Believe it or not, it’s a no-sting bacteria fighter. This makes it perfect for a doggie first-aid kit: dogs are prone to licking wounds and it’s safe if your dog ingests this.
Prevent mold and mildew growth:
This is a fairly common cause for allergies. Mold and mildew grow in damp areas, and your bathroom is a wonderfully warm, wet place. If you’re like me and enjoy long, hot showers, shower with the door slightly open and the fan on to keep your bathroom from being a mold-friendly place. See spots on walls or tile? Hydrogen peroxide kills mold and mildew.
An added benefit of these cleaners: they’re as friendly to your wallet as they are to your dog. A gallon of white vinegar costs under $5 at the grocery store and lasts a long time as many of the cleaning recipes call for it to be diluted. Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and sea salt are also low-cost and easy to find.
Your home will be just as clean with green, chemical-free cleaning. It keeps your dog safe and reduces the risk of chemical reactions. Whether your dog has environmental allergies you want to minimize or you simply want to cut down on the chemicals in your home, green cleaning is the way to go. You can keep your dog and home clean without introducing toxins to either one. It’s official – green cleaning is going to the dogs.
(Fidose extra bonus tip: Chemical-free flea and tick preventatives)
Thanks to Sonia for these paw-some tips. Do you have a going green tip to share with Fidose of Reality readers? We’d love to hear it. Share below and learn more from Sonia by visiting PawPosse.com.