5 Everyday Products That Make Your Chihuahua Itch!
When you have dogs, especially if you are a multi dog household it is easy to become worried that your house has a certain ‘doggy smell’. You don’t notice it any more but it’s a worry that visitors might wrinkle their nose when you’re not looking. But, are the products you use to keep your house clean causing chihuahua allergies?
Most of us reach for the air fresheners or scented candles to keep the house smelling sweet. Maybe you use textile fresheners on the furniture or carpets. Wooden floors are easy to mop and freshen up with disinfectants and fresh smelling floor wash.
Although these products make you feel like you are keeping your house clean, they could be causing indoor air pollution.
The problem for our pets (and us) occurs because many household products contain VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs are organic compounds that easily become vapours or gases at room temperature. Many of these compounds are toxic and have been linked to cancers in humans and animals. Small dogs like chihuahuas are particularly at risk because they are close to the ground where residue from these products will collect or be directed.
We look at five culprits and how to avoid them.
Air fresheners can contain phthalates, which have been linked to hormone problems. Some also contain formaldehyde and benzene. This can irritate the mucus membrane in your dog, especially in the brachycephalic breeds like chihuahuas and pugs.
Try increasing the number of house plants you have. These do really help keep the air clean. Some plants are better than others. NASA have put together a list of 9 houseplants that not only clean the air but can remove some of the man-made toxins like ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene.
We all like a scented candle, they create an ambience and smell great to. But the majority of cheaper candles are made from paraffin wax and release a cloud of toxic substances that can be problematic to health for you and your chi. Causing irritation to airways and skin. It pays to make sure you get the best quality scented candles that are made from Bees wax or Soy. These don’t cause the same problems.
If you are going to use a candle then treat yourself to a good one that is beeswax or soy.
Spray on Textile Freshener.
When you see these advertised they show people spraying them on pet beds, and we have all seen the ads about becoming nose blind to smell. But these products can have over 100 different VOCs. When your dog lies either on a treated sofa or carpet these chemicals are getting on their belly skin, in their airways, eyes and paws.
Instead put cushions and pillows out in the sunshine and fresh air to freshen up, open windows and vacuum well.
Disinfectants & Floor Cleaner.
Cleaning hard floors with scented floor cleaner is so common we all do it without thinking. Adverts encourage us with photos of smiling babies eating dropped food. But like spray-on textile freshener our dogs are close to the ground and inhale the toxins and get them on their paws and skin.
Try using a steam cleaner which cleans without any chemicals and is much quicker as it dries almost instantly. You can also use it to freshen up cushions and carpets.
Indoor House Paint
House hold paint can continue to gas-off VOCs for years after it has been applied. Obviously, it will be at its worst as it dries or cures. So, if you move into a freshly painted apartment and your chi starts itching and coughing this could be the reason.
The fumes from paints can cause all sorts of allergies, breathing problems’ and headaches. However, the good news is there are now a good selection of low VOC paints to choose from.
If you think you or your chi is being affected by noxious paint fumes then the only answers are to remove it or paint over it with a love VOC sealer and paint. Keep the room well ventilated and introduce a humidifier to help draw off the fumes. You can find out more about VOC free paints.