Regardless of how independent and wise our pets may appear to be, the fact is that they are not always mindful of their environment and what things in their environment can cause them harm. This means that as pet owners we have a responsibility to keep our pets safe in their various environments, just as we have a responsibility to keep our young children safe in their various environments. Just as is the case with young children, pets are innately curious beings and can wander into a dangerous area or situation without recognizing it. They may also not be intuitive enough to recognize those things that have the potential to cause them physical harm, and may therefore readily ingest things that can put their health at significant risk. Among the many various household items that can potentially harm our pets is the beauty products we use every day.
Dangerous Beauty Products
While we may think it obvious that we shouldn’t use our beauty products on our pets or even let our pets near our beauty products in the spirit of protecting these products, the truth is that beauty products can harm our pets far more than they can be harmed by our pets. It’s therefore important to take a moment and think about what we consider to be beauty products that fall into this category. After all, lipstick and mascara are not the only beauty products we have and use, and they are certainly not the only ones that have the potential to harm our pets. Following are four common beauty products that should always be kept out of reach of your pet:
1. Body soap. Many of the more popular body soaps contain both non-ionic and anionic detergents, both of which can be toxic to pets and can lead to eye irritation and stomach problems. If you believe your pet may have ingested body soap or shower gel and especially if they are displaying excessive salivation, vomiting and diarrhea, you should get them to their veterinarian as quickly as possible. Treatment may include medication to control vomiting and protect the stomach, or even intravenous fluid therapy to remedy dehydration.
2. Mouthwash. Xylitol, an increasingly popular natural sweetener that is completely safe for humans, has been showing up more and more often in a number of products, including sugar free gums, candies, cough syrups, breath mints and mouthwashes. Unfortunately, xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can decrease their blood sugar levels and lead to seizures, liver failure and death. Dogs who ingest xylitol can show poisoning symptoms such as vomiting, weakness, difficulty standing, depression, tremors, seizures and coma within thirty minutes. It is vital that one get their dog to the veterinarian immediately if xylitol ingestion has occurred or is suspected.
3. Hair mousse. With ingredients like acetic acid, aluminum sulfate, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid, hair mousse can cause tissue damage when ingested or absorbed through your pet’s skin. Pets that have ingested hair mousse may display skin ulcers, oral ulcers, vomiting with or without blood, abdominal pain, nervous system problems and coughing. If you suspect or know that your pet has ingested hair mousse, get them to their veterinarian as rapidly as possible.
4. Hand sanitizers. These products are typically loaded with isopropyl alcohol, which is an antiseptic used to help kill viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, ingesting even very small amounts of isopropyl alcohol can cause aspiration pneumonia in a pet, and it can also irritate their gastrointestinal tract.
In addition to these commonly used beauty products, there are many others that also pose significant risks to your pet’s health and well-being. The key point to recognize is that whatever may be safe for humans may not be at all safe for pets, and it may be in your pet’s best interests to simply be denied all access to the bathroom or other locations where such beauty products are kept.