Whether you do laundry yourself or use a laundry service app, you want to make sure that the detergent you use doesn’t negatively affect anyone in your family. Discover how you can tell if your pet is allergic to your laundry detergent and how to avoid this issue.

Symptoms of Detergent Allergies in Pets

Your pet’s reaction is your best indication of an allergy to detergent, whether you do your own laundry or use a laundry drop off service. If you notice any of the following symptoms, your furry friend may have allergies to the detergent. Of course, the allergies may be caused by other substances, so you will want to eliminate other possible allergens.

Look for the following symptoms:

  • Blister-like lesions
  • Face rubbing
  • Bald patches
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Chronically inflamed feet
  • Head shaking
  • Hives
  • Paw biting
  • Skin rashes
  • Skin infections
  • Obsessive licking
  • Ulcerations on the skin

What Causes Pet Allergies in Detergents?

Just like humans, pets can be allergic to nearly anything. While there are some more common allergens found in detergents used in your local laundry service, your pet’s allergies may be caused by just about any ingredient. Sometimes, even just switching from powdered to liquid detergent will change the ingredients enough to eliminate allergies.

Your dog or cat may be allergic to one of the cleaning enzymes used by a laundry dry cleaning company. This is just as possible in detergents using synthetic cleansers or natural enzymes, although synthetic cleansers have a slightly higher risk. While using organic dry cleaning services can reduce the risk of allergens, a pet with unusual allergies may still react to their detergents.

Even if the cleaners aren’t allergic to the detergents they handle, pets may still have allergic reactions to the fragrances or dyes used in commercial laundry services. In those cases, you can request your personal laundry service to use detergent free from fragrances and dyes.

Detergent ingredients that may cause allergies include the following:

  • Colors and dyes
  • Preservatives
  • Emulsifiers
  • Parabens
  • Fabric softeners
  • Thickeners and solvents
  • Parabens
  • Fragrances

What Happens in an Allergic Reaction?

If your pet is allergic to the detergent used in your wash and fold service, their immune cells don’t respond properly to a substance in the detergent. Mast cells are the specific type of immune cells at play. When someone has an allergy, they have an inappropriate and aggressive reaction to a protein.

That protein stimulates your pet’s mast cells, causing a release in histamine. Histamine has an inflammatory effect, which leads to most of the swelling and itching that occur as part of an allergic reaction.

How Do You Confirm the Detergent Is Causing the Allergies?

You can determine whether or not your pet’s allergies are caused by detergent. Your vet may take a skin scraping. You will then be asked by your vet to bring in a small amount of the detergent to administer a patch test.

Another simpler way is to ask your laundry drop off service to use a different detergent and see if the reaction disappears.

Switching Detergents Is the Easy Solution

Because it is easier to simply switch detergents, you can ask your laundry service about other products they can use on your laundry. Most laundry wash and fold services will offer several detergents, with a minimal fee depending on the detergent you choose

Ask for an Extra Rinse

You can also identify items your pet interacts with most and ask the laundry service to add another rinse cycle. In doing so, you prevent detergent residue from building up on clothes, dog beds, and other items that come into contact with your furry friend.

If you do your laundry yourself, this is an easy solution. With your wash and fold laundry service, it will likely come with a minimal fee.

Ideas If You Do Your Own Laundry

If you do your laundry yourself, you can also try using baking soda and vinegar on the laundry that your pet will come into contact with. Or you can run a second wash cycle with these ingredients after the initial cycle with the detergent. You can also try a DIY detergent, such as borax and baking soda.

However, you may not have the time and energy to do these DIY solutions. Most pet owners will find it easier to request their drop off laundry service to try using different detergents.

The Best Laundry Services Offer Several Options

The good news is that since your wash and fold laundry service will have several options for detergents, you won’t have to spend as much time, money, and effort trying to find one that works for your pet.

Best of all, you don’t have to buy an entire pack of detergent only to discover your pet has an allergic reaction to it as well. If you need to try several detergents to identify which works best for your pet, you may end up spending a lot of money and with several detergents you can’t use. With a laundry service, you pay a few cents extra per pound of laundry. You can simply try different detergents the laundry service has on hand until you find one that your pet isn’t allergic to.

Your Laundry Service Will Help You Handle Your Pet’s Allergies

Most laundry delivery service companies make it easy to switch detergents. The best ones enable you to specify your detergent when placing an order, making it simple and hassle-free to try out various products. Your local laundry service may also have valuable insight and experience on detergents that work best for sensitive pets. Of course, you should also consult your vet if your pet’s symptoms persist, but swapping detergent has proven to be an effective way to eliminate pet allergies. Best of all, trying different detergents is easy to do with minimal effort or cost if you use a laundry service.