The importance of keeping your dogs safe can’t be overstated. You need to always ensure that you are doing whatever you can to help them stay out of trouble. You may already know that a lot of chemical items are dangerous for them, but what about air fresheners? Here’s what you should know about their chemicals, the potential harm they can cause, and what to do about it.

Chemical pollutants can cause lung irritation

Chemical additives can cause a negative reaction in dogs. They also actually can cause a negative reaction in humans, though it takes much more of them to cause a reaction. Dogs, particularly those which are smaller, can react faster and to less exposure than humans.

Lung irritation is often short-term, so it means that your dog could recover fully if they have reactions to anything. Chemical pollutants can cause sinus issues in dogs, too. They can deal with phlegm and general discomfort, as well as chronic issues with sinus infections and more.

If your dog is asthmatic and/or has underlying health conditions, this lung irritation could trigger an onset of that condition, too. Simply, there’s nothing good about chemical pollutants for your dog.

Lung irritation is just the tip of the iceberg

Your dog could also be dealing with negative reactions to chemical air fresheners that have nothing to do with their lungs. Some of the most common ingredients, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids, such as toluene, phthalates, and more, have toxic effects on dogs (and humans).

If you use these air fresheners regularly around your dog, or on their beds, etc., you could be unintentionally exposing them to VOCs and more, which can build into a dangerous and potentially toxic reaction in air fresheners.

Natural air fresheners aren’t always better

So, logic seems to say that natural ingredients must be better if chemical options are damaging, right? While that’s fine for us humans, assuming no allergies, it’s not the case with dogs.  

Dogs have sensitivities to a lot of seemingly “harmless” natural air freshener ingredients, including peppermint, wintergreen, ylang-ylang, eucalyptus oil, cinnamon, citrus, and so on.  

These are all scents that most of us wouldn’t even think twice about, but they can be toxic to dogs by causing organ damage or so much irritation that you may need a vet’s intervention.

Pets don’t always show reactions in obvious ways

Another point of concern when considering air fresheners around dogs is that they don’t always show a reaction right away. Dogs are notorious for (unintentionally) hiding their reactions to both chemical and natural ingredients.

A lot of times, pet parents won’t even realize they’re having a reaction until it’s progressed to the point that they are dealing with long-term reactions or health changes as a result.

Is it worth the risk?

When you’re considering that can of air freshener and your dog, ask that question above. Is that fresh-smelling curtain or couch cushions really worth your dog’s health or life, potentially? It’s one thing to use a dangerous ingredient without knowing that it’s dangerous, but it’s another to use it despite knowledge of the risks involved.

When you are looking at your air fresheners, you’ll want to check for any of them that are listed with ingredients such as those above (which is not a complete list).

The next time that you go to use an air freshener in your home, think carefully about your dog’s access to that surface and ask yourself that question!

How to keep your pet safe

If you’re feeling the sudden need to go and throw away every single air freshener that you have, hold on just a moment. Not every air freshener is going to be dangerous for dogs, but you’ll need to do an overhaul to know for sure what’s safe and what’s not.

When considering what’s going to be safe or unsafe for dogs, use this list to help you:

  • Does it have any dangerous listed ingredients?
  • Does it irritate my lungs?
  • Does my dog sneeze or otherwise seem uncomfortable?
  • Does my dog avoid the area?
  • Do I need to use this air freshener?

When you see it all laid out like that, it’s pretty easy to understand just how you can protect your dog and understand what they need to feel at their best and safest. It’s our job to think and act on behalf of our dogs, so using these questions and guidance will help us all to protect our dogs’ health and safety every day.

Talk to your vet

If you still aren’t sure what’s best, or you want to ensure that you’re doing everything that you can for your dog’s health and safety, you’ll want to talk to your vets. They are the professionals at everything to do with dogs and their potential reactions to ingredients, so they’re the trained experts to ask when you need specialized advice.  

A lot of times, they can point you toward resources that can provide a full list of dangerous ingredients, for example, and even explanations on why they are dangerous. Some may even list a few examples of products that also contain these dangerous chemicals that most people don’t expect!

While you’re talking to your vet about the dangers of chemical and natural air fresheners, ask them about some of the most common symptoms of a reaction to look for. This will be helpful to know so that you can spot a reaction faster than someone who doesn’t know this information.

As well, many vets can suggest some pet-friendly air fresheners, whether certain scents, brands, or alternatives altogether, that will help you protect your dog’s health by keeping dangerous chemicals far away from them — and you, for that matter!

We understand how much you love your dog, which is why information like this is going to help you be the best pet parent ever. You’ll be able to fill your home with a refreshing scent that is enjoyable without being a risk for your dog. At the end of the day, that’s part of being the best pet parent that you can be.

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