Is Lysol Toxic To Dogs

Is Lysol Toxic To Dogs?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Using Lysol around the house is not recommended if you have dogs. Alcohol is not the only dangerous substance in Lysol. Phenol is also extremely harmful to your dog. By licking their paws, touching disinfected areas with their skin, or inhaling toxic fumes, dogs can get phenol poisoning. Never use Lysol around your dog, and make sure all surfaces are dry and the rooms are well-aired before letting him/her back in.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Is Lysol Toxic To Dogs?“.

Dog owners struggle to find the best products to use around their pets given the constant media messaging they must disinfect and sanitize everything.

Is Lysol Toxic To Dogs

Sadly most of the disinfectants on the market that claim to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria might also kill your dog or cause him significant health problems. 

We’re going to explain why products such as Lysol can be dangerous to dogs and look at alternatives that are safe. 

Indirect exposure to household disinfectants can also cause long-term effects so you should not worry about direct contact with them.

What is Lysol?

Cleansing and disinfecting products are the specialties of Lysol an American brand.

Reckitt owns the brands Dettol and Sagrotan both sold in Europe as disinfectants.

Because they’re quite similar to Lysol you need to exercise the same caution around pets and small children.

The Lysol brand has been around since the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic when it was advertised as a powerful disinfectant and was widely used to clean rooms and anything that had been touched by an infected person.

There are a variety of Lysol formulations available on the market from sprays to disinfect virtually all surfaces to washing liquids.

Typically the first indication that these strong disinfectants are not safe for pets can be found on the label with the majority of products stating that they are hazardous to both humans and pets.

What are the main ingredients in Lysol?

There are several antiseptic and sanitizing compounds in Lysol which when combined effectively kill almost all viruses and bacteria it encounters. 


The main sanitizing ingredient in Lysol is alcohol or simply alcohol. Alcohol is toxic to dogs regardless of whether it is absorbed through the skin or ingested.

As a result of their smaller size dogs have a lower toxicity level and are susceptible to alcohol poisoning even when they consume much smaller amounts than would be considered harmful to humans.

Lysol isnot dangerous to dogs because of ethanol. The worst is yet to come.

Isopropyl alcohol

There are many types of antiseptics disinfectants and detergents that contain this compound.

Lysol has a strong odor because of this. You can also use isopropyl alcohol as a solvent as a deicing agent and as an anesthetic just to give you an idea of how powerful a chemical it is.

The reason it is toxic to humans and animals is that it can be oxidized into acetone which by the way is the main ingredient in nail polish remover.

Ingesting inhaling or absorbing this substance through the skin can be toxic to dogs. Acetone depresses the central nervous system and causes symptoms like:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hypothermia
  • Respiratory depression and coma


The main ingredient in Lysol is p-Chloro-o-benzyl phenyl or to put it more simply it is a type of phenol used as an antiseptic. Both humans and pets are at risk from Lysol because of this.

To detect phenol in a cleaning or disinfecting product you do not need to know its fancy chemical name. The product likely contains phenol if it becomes cloudy when mixed with water.

Numerous studies have been conducted on the toxicity of phenol to humans and animals. According to the CDC exposure to phenol can cause skin irritation eye irritation nose irritation throat irritation and nervous system irritation in humans as well as in dogs and cats.

If an animal licks its paws after contacting surfaces disinfected with potentially harmful products such as Lysol it can develop burns at the mouth and throat.

Phenol poisoning also causes the following symptoms:

  • A skin condition that results in necrosis
  • Necrosis of the mucous membranes (mouth throat stomach lining)
  • Possibly leaves the animal unable to breathe as a result of a central nervous system depression.

Is Lysol toxic to dogs after it dries?

In case you need to disinfect the house with Lysol you should only do it when the dog isnot around. Follow the instructions on the label.

Manufacturers recommend leaving the spray on a surface for up to 10 minutes to kill all germs and viruses.

To reduce Lysol toxicity you should wipe any surfaces that will come into contact with food children or pets with freshwater or a wet towel. Basically you clean the house again after you disinfect it.

Ensure that the surfaces in the house are completely dry before allowing the dog back in.

Moreover you must also ventilate the house since Lysol fumes are hazardous as well. While you clean remove your dogs water and food bowls and wash them thoroughly with water before you put them back.

When cleaning your dogs toys or bedding do not use products such as Lysol.

Can I spray Lysol on my dog?

NO! Unless you want to see your dog writhing in pain or dying you should never spray such a powerful disinfectant on your dog no matter what you’re trying to get rid of like fleas ticks or body odor.

Is disinfectant not safe for dogs?

It can be quite a hassle to clean up after your dog as they leave a lot of messes around the house. However you should always check the label of any cleaning or disinfecting product to make sure it is not toxic to pets.

Here are some of the most toxic chemicals commonly found in these types of products.


Ammonia is often found in kitchen cleaners and licking the dogs paws or surfaces recently cleaned with such a product can cause burns to his mucous membranes. Additionally ammonia mixed with bleach can create a toxic gas that can be fatal to small dogs.


Chlorine is another chemical present in many disinfectants that can cause dizziness vomiting and laryngitis. This chemical is commonly found in toilet bowl cleaners. Do not use a chlorine-based disinfectant such as Clorox if your dog occasionally drinks from the toilet bowl.

Although chlorine is stronger than bleach it is still not safe for dogs.

Glycol Ethers

Carpet cleaners glass cleaners or spot removers often contain glycol ethers. This compound can cause nausea and anemia as well as lung and kidney damage if it is exposed for a long time

What is the safest cleaning product to use around dogs?

Disinfectants and cleaning products with harsh chemicals are not always necessary. To keep your home clean and germ-free here are some pet-friendly common household items you can use.


Do you know what water and soap are? No matter how fancy a cleaning product you find on the market water and soap is just as effective and they are not toxic.

Health experts recommended washing your hands with plain soap and water even during the height of Covid-19. When you do not have easy access to a sink to wash your hands properly hand sanitizers are an alternative.

Soap is safer than any detergent to clean your dogs bedding and toys. Just make sure you rinse everything thoroughly.

Baking soda

There are many cleaning problems that baking soda can solve and it is safe for dogs. Baking soda can be applied to kitchen and bathroom surfaces by mixing with water to create a paste. It can be used on surfaces that are notoriously difficult to clean such as upholstery or patio furniture.

Additionally you can give your dog a bath once in a while and add a cup of baking soda to the water. Baking soda treats skin problems and makes the fur shiny.

White vinegar/Apple cider vinegar

The antimicrobial and antifungal properties of vinegar make it ideal for use around the house for cleaning. Clean kitchen and bathroom surfaces with a solution of 50-50 water and vinegar as well as remove sticky spills and dirt from the floor. A dog can safely drink vinegar diluted with water. If you would like to make the solution more efficient you can also add some lemon juice.

Hydrogen peroxide

Peroxide can be used as an antiseptic to remove stubborn stains. It is especially useful during your puppys house training because it neutralizes the odor left behind by urine stains. In order to avoid your dog ingesting the smell you need to completely remove any traces of it.

How to safely store cleaning products

You still need cleaning and disinfection products around the house even though they are toxic. Use the same caution as you would with a small child if you have pets. A dog can chew through a child-resistant container more easily than adults.

Keeping your cleaning products locked in a closet is a good idea. Any object that could be dangerous to your dog should be kept away from him. You should also keep your dog away from toxic chemicals when using them. You do not want to take any chances with an accidental spill because of the danger of toxic vapors. Just out of curiosity your dog might pounce on it in an instant and begin licking the brightly colored liquid.


Using Lysol around the house is not recommended if you have dogs. Alcohol is not the only dangerous substance in Lysol. Phenol is also extremely harmful to your dog. By licking their paws touching disinfected areas with their skin or inhaling toxic fumes dogs can get phenol poisoning. Never use Lysol around your dog and make sure all surfaces are dry and the rooms are well aired before letting him/her back in.

In order to keep your dog safe and healthy use mostly pet-friendly products like soap baking soda or vinegar which can be just as effective as store-bought cleaning products. You’ll also be healthier with them.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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