Here’s Why Dryer Sheets Are Toxic to Dogs and Cats

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Tide and other laundry product manufacturers have upped their safety packaging in recent years, doing their part to help keep children safe from accidental death from eating their candy-colored products.

No one can stop teenagers from getting through the child-proof packaging and taking the Tide Pod Challenge, but that’s a whole other story.

In this story, we’re going to talk about why your kids aren’t the only tiny beings in your house who could be in danger of dying if they get ahold of the wrong laundry product. It turns out, those innocuous dryer sheets could be deadly to your dog or cat.


The reason? The sheets are covered in chemicals that are activated by the dryer’s heat (you know, they feel kind of tacky when they go in, but are soft when they come out?), and the benzyl acetate, camphor, and chloroform can all be toxic to animals.

Harm levels vary, from local reactions like skin irritation to larger, potentially fatal issues like pulmonary edema or loss of kidney function if the sheets are ingested. The tough fabric can also lodge in the intestinal tract, requiring surgery to remove the blockage.


You know your pet best, and not every dog or cat is going to show interest in the sheets. But if you’ve got a curious dog or one that likes to nibble on most anything they run across, it’s best to keep the sheets stored where they won’t be able to find and get into them.

Some website “hacks” advise using the sheets to coax loose fur out of your dog or cat’s coat, but because the animals groom themselves, this is also poor advice.


Once the sheets have been through a dryer cycle they should be safe enough (except for the blockage issue), so don’t panic if one falls out of your clean laundry and onto the floor. But as with all household chemicals, it’s best to keep them up high or behind child-locked doors for the benefit of everyone and everything that lacks the ability for higher thought living under your roof.

Very good advice.