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Swiffer WetJet® and Pets

I’ve heard that the Swiffer WetJet® and other similar brands of spray mops are dangerous for pets, but they’re so convenient. What happens when my dog gets this stuff on her paws? Should I avoid these products?

-Brooke G, St. Louis

Let’s Bust A Dirty Myth

We get that question a lot. And the answer is simple: There is nothing to worry about. Use your Swiffer WetJet® all you want. Your pet will be fine. There are a lot of internet rumors about liver failure and death caused by dogs and cats licking their paws after walking on a floor cleaned with one of those products, but it’s simply not true. I have not heard of a single serious illness caused by these products.

But you should always observe your pet’s behavior – particularly when you introduce a new product into his/her environment (same goes for your baby or child!). If you pet tends to lick his paws a lot, consider waiting until the floor is dry before allowing him to enter the room. The issues that you should look for are just gastrointestinal problems caused by the cleaning solution. Usually, it’s a little diarrhea. But the same can be said for any dog or cat that tends to lick… whatever gets on its paws will eventually get into its stomach and potentially cause upset.

Both my toddler and my dog walk around on my cleaned floors with no problem.  If your dog has a tendency to lick his/her paws or you do have a concern about ingestion, you can clean the paws off daily with water and a wash cloth.  You can also skip the chemicals all together and use steam to clean your floors.

Dr. Melissa Savage, Veterinarian
Millis Animal Hospital

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