A lot of pet owners are concerned about pet odor, litter box odor in particular. They use plug-ins and spray air fresheners to hep mask the smell. But are they really safe?

According to the Natural Resource Defense Council the answer is no. The NRDC recently tested 14 air fresheners and found that 12 of them contained phthalates chemicals that can cause hormonal abnormalities, birth defects and reproductive problems. Some of the products were labeled all natural and unscented. According to Scientific American, air fresheners also contain  benzene and formaldehyde, which can cause cancer. Another common ingredient is volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can cause headaches, nausea and can aggrevate asthma. If these products are  harmful to humans, I can only imagine what they are doing to our pets.

So what can we do about pet odor? First, we can open our windows and air everything out. Get a fan going to circulate the air. Mix four teaspoons baking soda to four cups of water and put in a spray bottle to use as an odor neutralizer. One part vinegar to four parts water is not only an excellent cleaner but it gets rid of odors as well. Simmering cinnamon and cloves in water on a stove will make the whole house smell wonderful.

To learn more about the study on air fresheners click here.


(2015) Toxic Air Fresheners? https://www.nrdc.org/living/healthreports/hidden-hazards-air-fresheners.asp

(2012)  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nontoxic-air-fresheners/