Day 8 of our 30 Days to the Best Pet Home is all about the right kind of detergent for your pet’s skin.
Now, you may have noticed that I am a few days behind on this challenge, and I promise to make it up to you. However, the reason I am behind (in addition to generally being busy this week) is that we are having guests today.
In preparation for our guests, we have been cleaning and finishing a few projects around the house, which you will see photos of very shortly. One of the most important steps in preparing for guests is washing the pet blankets.
The blankets that our pets use can start to stink over time due to the oils in their skin and the items they track in from outside. Of course, I recently learned about the new World of Angus blanket that is anti-microbial and, therefore, can prevent the stinky blanket situation from happening in the first place. However, Rooney has a variety of different blankets all of which need to be washed before guests come over this weekend.
But, is there a certain detergent I should be using to wash pet blankets?
The answer is, yes!
When washing your pet’s blankets, it’s important that you use a detergent with no dyes or fragrances. Why? Although these additives can make pet blankets and beds smell better, they can also irritate your pet’s skin. Additionally, certain chemicals within laundry detergents can be toxic to your pet if your pet chews on their blankets.
The best thing you can do is select a pet-safe natural laundry detergent that won’t irritate your pet’s skin or contain harsh chemicals (the harsh chemicals commonly found in laundry detergent are harmful to you too!). There are a variety of different natural laundry detergents out there, but make sure they don’t contain the following:
Nonlphenol ethoxylate or NPE
…and the list goes on.
The specifics on what chemicals need to be avoided is unclear based on my research. Effectively, any detergent that is chemical based and not made from natural ingredients can irritate their skin and will be toxic if consumed. The best suggestion I can give is to discuss alternatives with your veterinarian.
In our house, we use All Free & Clear, which doesn’t have any fragrances or dyes and is recommended by dermatologists and pediatricians. We have to use this detergent because I am the one with sensitive skin, but it is nice to know that it won’t irritate Rooney’s skin either. Although, when researching the ingredients for this laundry detergent, they weren’t available online (and they aren’t on the bottle either). Since Rooney doesn’t chew on his blankets, I am not too worried. However, I may be making a switch to Seventh Generation, which is highly focused on keeping household cleaners safe. I will be discussing with Rooney’s veterinarian very soon.
No matter what detergent you use, it’s always a good idea to add an additional rinse cycle to the laundry to be sure there aren’t any chemicals left behind.
The Danger of Laundry Detergent Pods
It is highly recommended that pet parents stay away from laundry detergent pods. Due to their high concentration, they can be very toxic to pets who bite down or ingest the detergent. Additionally, if your pet vomits the detergent, there is risk of aspiration due to the foamy nature of the product. (HealthyPets Mercola)
What about dryer sheets?
Same goes for dryer sheets. These items can also contain toxic chemicals for pets, especially cats.
The toxic ingredients are actually referred to as cationics. These chemicals can be harmful to both the digestive system and the skin. The best thing you can do is keep your pets away from these dryer sheets and use other, more natural means, to neutralize pet odors.
Vinegar Can Neutralize Odors Left Behind on Pet Blankets
So I know what you are thinking now. What am I supposed to use to make these pet blankets smell better?
PetMD recommends adding 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar to your load of laundry to deodorize blankets. I have never tried this remedy before. If you have any feedback about this method, please leave a comment.