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As caregivers and parents, we are used to baby-proofing our houses to make sure that our babies are safe from dangerous situations and toxic substances. As a pet owner, you need to do the same. But unlike children, you need to do it throughout the life of your pets.Some of what we do to improve our living environments, like using air fresheners can pose severe dangers to our feathered, furry and scaled friends. So, does this mean that you need to throw away your plug-ins, room sprays, oils, candles and solids? It is not really easy to answer that question. But you can learn to play it safe with a little care.Why is it harmful?
Most of the air fresheners, whether furniture and room sprays, solids and even scented candles can be poisonous to humans. Animals are in even greater danger as there is a good chance of them ingesting the substance accidentally. You need to be especially careful with volatile organic compounds.They have a very high vapor pressure because of their low boiling point. This causes them to evaporate into the air. Of course, air fresheners are meant to be volatile and dissipate into the air. This property is also shared by varnishes and paints, benzene, fossil fuels, formaldehyde, aerosol propulsion, refrigerants, cigarette smoke and the chemicals used in dry cleaning.You do not usually think of opening a paint can to improve the smell in your living room, but that is not far from what happens when you break out a can of air freshener.They can lead to a host of maladies, like cancer and asthma and can end up affecting the brain, blood, liver, heart, skin, kidneys and the nervous and respiratory system of both pet owners and their pets.The air freshener industry has latched on to the term “essential oils” of late. However, these products are not completely safe either. Essential oils are volatile and while most of these substances are made from flowers, berries, bark, woods and seeds, they can still be very toxic to both pet owners and pets. Essential oils can be really toxic to cats. If you have essential oils in your home, make sure that they are in a location where the cat cannot come into direct contact with them.Symptoms of excess use
The harmful effects of air fresheners can range from the immediate to a few days or hours after use. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Production of nasal discharge
- Lack of appetite
Make sure that you use the recommended amounts and keep your pets away from the room when you are spraying them. If the symptoms get severe, take your pet to the vet immediately.