Attention Pet Owners!Keep Your Pets Out Of Laundry Room And Dryer Sheets
For some reason, dogs and cats like to play with dryer sheets when they find them in the laundry room or the odd laundry basket. Some pet owners even like to use dryer sheets to remove loose hair from their pets and reduce static when low humidity is an issue. These pet owners do mean well, but contact with laundry dryer sheets can cause pets to become ill or even die.
The Problem with Dryer Sheets
Laundry dryer sheets are coated with fragrances and cationic ingredients that reduce static in your clothing and help them feel soft and fresh. Unfortunately, those ingredients include things such as benzyl alcohol, camphor and even chloroform. Benzyl alcohol and camphor can both be hazardous to your health in certain situations, and chloroform is a known carcinogen. Naturally, none of these ingredients are good for your pets.
Chemicals such as benzyl alcohol and cloroform can obviously cause plenty of problems for you and your family, but they can also cause issues in your pets ranging from minor skin irritation to kidney failure. Unused dryer sheets are definitely more dangerous since they still carry most of the offending chemicals, but used dryer sheets are also a problem.
How Pets Come into Contact with Dryer Sheets
The main reason why your pets may come into contact with your laundry dryer sheets is when they try to play with used sheets. Anybody who has used dryer sheets will know how light they get when they come out of the dryer. They can be flipped around like a piece of tissue paper, which would no doubt drive a playful kitten or puppy crazy. They can also be ingested, which is what can cause the most serious health problems.
And then there’s the problem with pet owners using dryer sheets to brush loose hair from their pets. This is actually a very popular pet care tip that has been floating around the Internet for some time, but it is definitely a case of questioning what you read online. Brushing a dog or a cat with a dryer sheet isn’t as bad as letting them eat them out of the dryer, but it can irritate the skin.
Dryer Sheet Alternatives
Whether or not you have pets, it’s definitely a good idea to ditch the dryer sheets in favor of non-toxic alternatives. You can add 1/2 cup of vinegar or some baking soda to your wash cycle, or you can make your own sheets with cloth and some vinegar and essential oils. You can also always air-dry your clothing and eliminate the need for dryer sheets altogether.
If you still feel the need to use dryer sheets and you don’t know where to find “green” sheets, be very careful about how they are used. Keep them in a safe place away from your pets, and close up your laundry room if you can. Remove and dispose of any used sheets as soon as possible, and do not let your dog or cat play with them.
Although there are far worse and more dangerous things for your pets than laundry dryer sheets, they still carry plenty of health risks. If you don’t want to stop using your dryer sheets, at least make sure your pets are safe from them.