Recently, a Facebook post that claimed alcohol-based hand sanitizers are highly toxic to pets received more than 300,000 shares. As this message surfaced and resurfaced, I became quite uneasy. As you know, when the COVID-19 precautions were first announced, hand sanitizers flew off the shelves. You were lucky if you could find any to buy. Then, this post appeared.
Suddenly fearful for my pets’ health, I checked the sanitizers around my house--almost all of the hand sanitizers in my house contained alcohol. The ones that weren’t alcohol-based were reported to have no effect against COVID-19.
This news made the situation worse. For a while, the Coronavirus plague became even more terrifying. Especially when I learned that COVID-19 could also infect pets. Additionally, we were desperate to get back to work. I felt helpless.
Every day, I was plagued with anxiety, worrying about how I could protect myself and my pets from infection. So, I started to study hand sanitizer ingredients and began consulting our veterinarian. Fortunately, after learning as much as I could and gaining in-depth understanding, I found that the risk of hand sanitizer harming pets was just a rumor. I was so relieved.
After all the stress and worry I went through, I wanted to share my insight with you and other pet parents. I hope to dispel the myth behind the rumors and provide you with some peace of mind.
- The ingredients in hand sanitizer may have a negative effect on pets, but it is definitely not fatal. When your cat or dog licks your hand, it mostly just tastes gross to them. A pet would have to consume a large quantity of hand sanitizer to become ill. Simply petting your cat or dog after using sanitizer is not dangerous. Additionally, there has been a lot of confusion surrounding the ingredients in hand sanitizer. Many people are conflating ethanol and ethylene glycol. Ethanol (or alcohol) and ethylene glycol are not the same. Ethylene glycol is the ingredient found in antifreeze, which is extremely harmful to cats and dogs, but this ingredient is not used in hand sanitizer. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers use ethanol.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer usually evaporates within 15 seconds and will not cause great harm to pets, even if they lick your hands. So, all we need to do is not touch our pets immediately after using the hand sanitizer. Wait at least 15 seconds just to be safe. In the words of Dr. Tina Wismer, senior director of the Animal Poison Control, “The amount that they lick off your hand — even if you rubbed it in and they slobber all over your hand and lick everything off that’s left there — is not going to hurt them. It’s not going to make them drunk, and it sure isn’t going to kill them.”
- As many states re-open and everyone returns to work, carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of more than 60%is critical to your health and the health of your pets. We need to protect ourselves and not bring the germs home to our pets.
We Want to Help Protect You and Your Pets
We are lucky that our warehouse is located across from Amerigardrx’s factory. Amerigardrx is an FDA registered and certified company that makes hand sanitizer in the U.S. Their hand sanitizer is both gentle and effective, with a 65% alcohol content which surpasses the CDC recommendation. Their spray hand sanitizer is easy to use and carry with you, and it’s effective.
Here is our ViviPet promise:
- We will sell hand sanitizer spray to the ViviPet community at cost. Which means you pay what we pay. We will not make a profit from it.
- For every 100 bottles of hand sanitizer sold, we will donate 1 bottle to the Los Angeles Pet Shelter.
For more information on the hand sanitizer, check out the Amerigardrx official website: https://sanitizermadeinusa.com/
To Our ViviPet Community, Please Stay Healthy and Safe
Over the years, we have always been blown away by the kindness and loyalty we see in the ViviPet community. You are part of our family, and we will do everything in our power to keep you informed and up to date on ways to protect yourself and your pets. As states re-open, remember that the virus has not passed. Please take precautions to stay healthy.
We’re here for you as we all weather this storm together.
To order your hand sanitizer, please click here:
Dr. Josh King, medical director at the Maryland Poison Center
Dr. Tina Wismer, senior director of the animal poison control center at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
ViviPet Snow Ball Tofu Cat Litter
— Meow for now —