Facebook posts regarding pets and poisons


Social media has become the mainstay of news sources for millions of people. The problem is, the info is not always very accurate, if true at all. With increasing frequency we are bombarded with misinformation that many of us base our decisions on. Without a second or third source of verification, this is a troublesome trend.

A veterinarian in Ohio has been battling one false claim that might make pet owners feel better about a popular cleaning product in their household supplies.


At least five years ago, a post surfaced on Facebook claiming that the liquid cleaning solution used in Swiffer WetJets was killing dogs and cats. While it was worrisome, the post didn't circulate much — until now. At this point, the post has been viewed frequently enough to garner over 700,000 shares and some 13,000 comments, and it's only increasing.

Veterinary Medicine

That's understandable. We love our pets and we don't want to see anything bad happen to them. The bright side is the information isn't true. According to Dr. Beth Malinich, a vet at the Animal Hospital of Fairview in Northeast Ohio, it's a total fallacy. "The post said it causes liver failure, but if it was an antifreeze product it would cause kidney failure," said Malinich. "So, right away it alerts you to it's not very true."

Snopes Myth Busters

Additionally, the fact checker/debunking site snopes.com investigated the claim five years back and came to the same conclusion Malinich did: False! If you read their report, their feeling is the misinformation was either a bid for attention or a hoax. Either way, you don't have to worry about using your Swiffer WetJet or purchasing one if you've seen the post on Facebook or any other social media site.

Toxic Chemicals & Pets

Malinich went on to explain that toxins are weight based. That means the more an animal or person weighs the more toxins it would take to actually cause harm. "So, a pet walking across a wet floor is unlikely to be exposed to enough toxin of almost anything to become ill from it, especially once it's dried."

True of False?

If you run across posts similar to this or other questionable information and you're unsure of the veracity, it's recommended you contact your local veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center to get the facts. Of course it's always better to be safe than sorry, but it's also a good idea not to help spread disingenuous myths, no matter how well intended they are.

Source: ABC News 5