Right before the eating of Tide Pods made the news cycle, there was another meme circulating around Facebook. It was about the alleged dangers of Swiffer WetJets to pets. And it is completely false. Swiffer WetJets are perfectly safe to use in homes with pets.
Turns out that not only has Snopes.com deemed this information to be false but so have poison control experts at the ASPCA. Without rehashing the alleged dangers to pet paws, let me fill you in on the real facts about Swiffer WetJets and pets, and why you can ignore those Internet rumors.
According to the ASPCA, "An Internet rumor once alleged that these products contained antifreeze and were responsible for the death of a dog. Our toxicology experts evaluated the product and determined it doesn't contain ethylene glycol from antifreeze, and is appropriate to use in homes with pets."
What the ASPCA does suggest is that if you are concerned about your dog or cat licking its paws after you clean the floors, simply do not let the animal walk on the floors while still wet. Wait until the floors are dry.
In addition to Swiffer WetJets, the ASPCA points out that other household cleaners might seem like they pose a health hazard to your pets. But, in fact, they are perfectly safe to use, as long as you use them responsibly. This includes Febreze fabric fresheners. Like other cleaners, there is a chance of mild skin irritation if you pet does come into contact while the substance is still wet, or mild stomach upset if it licks its paws. So like with floor cleaners, be sure to keep pets away until everything has dried.
Even the frugal favorite of vinegar and water, used as a cleaner, could be problematic for you pet. Vinegar can cause serious gastrointestinal problems in pets. But there is a safety work around. First, dilute vinegar with water as a cleaner. Then, like with other liquid cleaner products mentioned above, leave the floors to dry before a pet walks on them.
So the next time you see an Internet meme supposedly sharing information about so-called dangerous brand-name products, please check Snopes.com or your own veterinarian before sharing with your Facebook friends. This can help stop the spread of fake news and fake information that only serves to freak out and worry pet parents.