A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

8 Cleaning Products You Shouldn’t Use Around Your Dogs

Updated: Nov. 23, 2023

Make sure you're not endangering your beloved pets with the cleaning products you use.

Thiago Santos/Getty Images

Buying cleaning products is not an easy task. You need to pick products that are strong enough to get rid of most germs, but also make sure that what you’re picking out is not harmful to you or your family. However, most of us don’t realize that something that’s safe for humans is not always safe for dogs. Here are the eight cleaning products you shouldn’t use around your dogs. Nutrition is also very important when it comes to dogs—check out the best dog food brands for your pets.

bleach cleaning product dog
Getty Images (2)


Dogs have a very sensitive sense of smell and their noses are much stronger than ours, according to Russell Hartstein, CEO of Fun Paw Care. Therefore, harsh chemicals such as bleach can be toxic to both cats and dogs. While you’re cleaning, it’s best to put your dogs in another room and do whatever you can to make the bleach totally inaccessible, according to PetMD. Here are the best dogs for families with kids.

ammonia cleaning products dogs
Getty Images (2)


“Most store-bought products, especially those which deal with stubborn grime or claim to kill all bacteria, include harsh ingredients such as ammonia. In high concentrations, these are harmful to both humans and pets,” says Dean Davies, senior supervisor for the cleaning department at Fantastic Services. Products containing ammonia are known to cause skin irritation, burns, respiratory and neurological issues, according to Davies. In addition to pets, products like this are also dangerous for children because they play in close proximity to surfaces usually cleaned with ammonia like the floor, tables, and windows.

Psst! The new Bissell Revolution HydroSteam Pet is a carpet-cleaning superhero.

drain cleaner
Getty Images (2)

Drain cleaners

“Strong bases like drain cleaners are very caustic and can lead to serious damage to the skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and gastrointestinal tract,” says Jennifer Coates, DVM, who serves on the advisory board for Pup Life Today. Check out the things your dog wishes you knew.

oven cleaner dogs cleaning products
Getty Images (2)

Oven cleaners

Oven cleaners are also very caustic and are harmful to dogs, according to Coates. If your dog is accidentally exposed to oven cleaners, you should visit your veterinarian right away, according to Pet Health Network.

carpet cleaner harmful products dogs
Getty Images (2)

Carpet cleaners

Carpet cleaners contain glycol ethers that are very harmful to both you and your dog, according to Boriana Slabakova, co-founder of Petpedia.co. Over time, carpet cleaners can cause kidney or lung damage, or leukemia, according to Slabakova. Make sure you don’t miss these other signs that mean your dog is sick.

toilet cleaner dogs
Getty Images (2)

Toilet bowl cleaners

Toilet bowl cleaners usually contain bleach which is very harmful to your dogs, according to Slabakova. Harmful effects of the products include symptoms like vomiting, or dizziness and poor orientation, or even laryngeal edema. Check out these trusted tips that can help your pets live longer.

counter cleaner dogs
Getty Images (2)

Counter cleaners

“Cleaners used on counters are potentially harmful, especially if your dog is known for counter-surfing,” Cathy Alinovi, a retired holistic veterinarian in Indiana, tells PetMD. “Additionally, kitchen cleaners that come in a spray bottle have the potential to travel through the air and get into your pet’s water bowl.”

fabric softener dogs cleaning products
Getty Images (2)

Fabric softeners

Fabric softeners contain cationic detergents which are very harmful to dogs, according to the ASPCA. Harmful effects of these detergents include drooling, vomiting, oral and esophageal ulcers and fever. Next, find out the best diet for dogs, according to vets.