The Dirt on Clean

I came across this article on and wanted to share it. We lost our Pug, Oscar, to cancer that started in his mouth. Even though we were always careful about the cleaning products we used in the house, we had a cleaning service come in once a month. They also cleaned office buildings, and we never thought to check what they were cleaning with. Oscar was always licking his paws after the floors were cleaned. Once we put two and two together it was too late. It was a heart breaking experience and since then I am a bit of a fanatic about using nothing but non toxic, green products in the house. If you have pets, I encourage you to double-check everything in your home. If you have any doubts, get rid of it!

Six Household Products That Are Not Dog Safe

Many dog owners keep cleaners in their homes that are not exactly pet safe out of habit or ignorance of the bad effects they have on the household. Cleaning products with ingredients such as bleach, ammonia, chlorine, gycol ethers or formaldehyde can cause many problems in adults and children, but young children and pets are particularly at risk for things such as cancer, anemia, liver and kidney damage. Many toxic cleaners are also carcinogenic.

Several studies have been done on the dangerous effects of some common cleaning products. Many of these included data on pets which showed that Fido and Fluffy are not immune to chemicals and that many cleaning products are not pet safe. One study concentrated on measuring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in cleaning products. In it, the vapor pressure of various chemical compounds in cleaners was measured. Three cleaners, Pledge, Clorox Wipes and Lysol Disinfecting Spray, registered close to a thousand times more vapor pressure than a natural cleaner. This means that even when the toxic cleaners are put away and closed, the vapors left behind can continue to harm both us and our pets.

Some Toxic Ingredients and Their Effects on People and Pets:

Ammonia – Used in many de-greasers for ovens, glass and stainless steel, ammonia has a very high VOC, burns mucous membranes and contributes to asthma. If it is mixed with bleach, it creates a poisonous gas which can be deadly to small pets.

Chlorine – Used in disinfectants, toilet bowl cleaners and automatic dish detergent to name a few, chlorine is also used to bleach coffee filters. It can cause everything from dizziness to vomiting to laryngeal edema. Avoid this ingredient and be careful about letting your pet swim in the pool.

Glycol Ethers – Glycol ethers are found in many cleaning products that are not pet safe including glass cleaners, carpet cleaners and spot removers. It has been linked to anemia, lung damage and kidney damage in people and pets.

Formaldehyde –  The thought of a funeral home comes to mind when formaldehyde is mentioned and everyone can recognize the strong, nauseating smell. But it’s also used in products such as soaps and even some pet shampoos. It can contribute to asthma and is carcinogenic.

Some Cleaning Products That are Not Dog Safe

There are many, many cleaning products that are not safe for dogs on the market. Here are a few popular cleaners that contain some of the ingredients mentioned above as well as others:

Floor Cleaners – These include Pine Sol and Mr. Clean. Even if you manage to get all of the residue off the floor, the vapors linger and are dangerous to your pet. Try a non-toxic, pet safe cleaner instead.

Bathroom Cleaners – These include Clorox Bathroom Cleaner and Scrubbing Bubbles. Never use a continuous toilet bowl cleaner such as Clorox Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaner. It is very dangerous and the temptation to drink out of the toilet is a quirk in many of our pups.

All Purpose Cleaners – For use in the kitchen and around the house, the most common toxic all-purpose cleaners that scream “Danger!” are Mr. Clean Multi-Purpose Spray and Formula 409.

Drain Openers – You may think that since this product is poured down the drain, it can’t be harmful to your pet. But the toxic drain openers give off dangerous fumes long after you’ve emptied them.

Glass Cleaner – It may seem that toxic glass cleaners are simpler products and are, therefore, safe but they are not. Instead of something like Windex, try a product such as Shaklee Basic H2

Laundry Detergent – It’s easy to assume that choosing a laundry detergent isn’t that important because the rinse cycle rinses it away. But there is residue left behind on clothes and pet blankets that can be harmful to your pet, especially those that chew on their bedding. Avoid detergents with toxic ingredients such as Tide and Cheer and try something like Get Clean Laundry.

Instead of using toxic cleaning products around the house, try one of the non-toxic and pet safe lines of cleaners. If you do decide to keep toxic cleaners, make absolutely sure they are put away. Put child safety locks on cabinet doors and put cleaners up as high as possible. Never use them when your pet is in the same room and air out the house after cleaning with them. Never leave any residue behind. But the warning signs are clear and you and your dog will be healthier and safer if you use cleaning products that are pet safe.

Surf’s Up

I was cleaning out my desk and came across my August 2010 Readers Digest and was reminded of this great story…

Visitors to Waikiki Beach may do a double take at the four-legged surfer boarding in to shore, but the regulars don’t blink. They know the eight-year-old pug is Bugsy, a local legend whose owner, David Yew, taught the dude, er, dog to surf.

Yew, 39, got the notion while he and Bugsy were out walking on the beach and came upon a statue of a surfer. Yew plunked the dog down on the surfboard to take a photo, and the scene looked so natural that Yew was inspired to take the next step. Soon enough, the two were tandem surfing.

“The first time we paddled out,” Yew says, “Bugsy ran right to the front of the board to hang ten.” (That’s eight, really—dogs have four toes per paw.)

The duo ride an 11-foot, rubber-padded longboard. “It gives Bugsy a better grip,” Yew says. Not that the dog minds wiping out. He loves the water and dog-paddles so well that Yew has trouble keeping up.

Bugsy wasn’t always so frisky. Two days after Yew, a doctor of emergency medicine, adopted the 12-week-old puppy from a shelter, Bugsy came down with kennel cough, which progressed to pneumonia. Yew rushed the pug to the ICU of a veterinary hospital, where he stayed until Yew could no longer afford to keep him there. Bugsy needed further treatment, so Yew built his own ICU in his apartment. He covered an empty fish tank with plastic to use it for nebulizer treatments and gave the ailing pup intravenous antibiotics. Bugsy pulled through.

Since then, the doc and dog have been inseparable. “Saving Bugsy’s life created unconditional trust between us,” Yew says. “He knows I’ll take care of him no matter what.”

That may be what fuels Bugsy’s spirit. The pair surf together every week and have shared other escapades, including skydiving. At Yew’s wedding to dentist Aimee Kim last year, a tuxedoed Bugsy carried the rings down the aisle tucked into a pillow on his back.

Bugsy and Yew have given up skydiving, at the bride’s insistence. But hang up the board? No way. Says Yew, “I want this dog to experience the same joy that I have in my life.”

Source: Reader’s Digest

Also found on Flow Surf  Project

For the Love of Dogs

I think all of us with Pugs can understand this kind of bond:

For The Love Of Dogs
By Miss Debra Rae

Dogs and humans have been together for centuries. Why are we such pals? Dogs dig, bark, lick, steal burgers from the grill, get fleas, worms, ticks. Dogs have to be trained to do their business outside and then it has to be cleaned up. They have to be fed, bathed, brushed, walked, played with and watered. Dogs need attention, a veterinarian and must be cared for when you go on vacation or away for the night or a weekend.

Through all this, the human/dog bond is stronger than ever. Its estimated people are spending over $2 billion a year on their family pets and this number increases yearly. Some say within the next 5 years people will spend in excess of $8 billion a year on their furry family members without blinking an eye. Those that pamper their pets are an example to all of how to say “thank you” to man’s best friend.

A well cared for dog will do anything to protect their human pack. Recently, a Chihuahua took on a rattlesnake to protect one of its family members and nearly lost its little canine life. Dogs are among the heroes after a disaster such as the twin towers or an avalanche. Dogs find the dead for a proper burial and the living who are covered with so much rubble or snow that no human could ever find them without the super sniffer of the dog.

The stories about canine heroes are in the thousands and occur every day. How many people would not be alive today without the wonderful dog? Our lives are richer, happier, and so much better with our pal the dog.

Dogs have been guiding the blind and deaf for decades. These canine kings and queens create a quality of life and a safety net not found with any other animal. Dogs help people with Cerebral palsy and severe anxiety. Dogs calm children and adults with autism, bi-polar disorders and other challenges. It’s stated that by simply petting a dog, a human becomes more relaxed and blood pressure drops. Dogs warn us when someone is at the door or when an intruder has entered the house. Dogs sniff out bombs and drugs. Dogs seem to know when someone has ill intent. Dogs are looking out for us at all times. Always on alert. Dogs are the ultimate protectors. Dog is indeed man’s best friend and brings out the best in people. The love for a dog brings tears to the eyes of the most jaded and hardened people. This love can also drive a hard-core military man to break every rule in the book to protect a stray dog who has become a family member. Dogs are exceptional.

Dogs are more a family member than ever before instead of the old way of the pet who lives outside. People sleep with their dogs, cuddle with their dogs and take them on vacation. People pamper their dogs, dress their dogs and buy them only the best dog food available or make it at home. We thank our dogs every day for their love, companionship and individual personality. We have safety belts for our dogs and dog hammocks for the car. We adore our dogs and they in turn adore us.

This exchange of pure love is why we humans spend billions of dollars on dog supplies, food, and all around spoiling. Our canine family member will die for us, warn us of danger and lead us home if we’re lost. It’s a fair trade to clean up the dog poop, deflea, deworm, detick, walk, water, play, brush, train and fill up the holes they dig.

About the Author:
Miss Rae has had animals her entire life & writes continually about them & how they make us better.