BKC vs CHD/CHG in Cleaners, Sanitizers, and Disinfectants: What Pet Parents Need to Know
Keeping your home clean and safe for your four-legged friends is a necessary thing to do as a pet parent. However, many of the floor cleaners, disinfectants and sanitizers which you use aren’t always safe for your pets because of harmful chemicals commonly found in them. BKC is one among such chemicals. If you are unsure about what BKC, then it is high time that you understand about it and what makes CHD/CHG a safer alternative. Being aware of this will help you make right purchase decisions that will let you help you keep your pets healthier and their surroundings safer.
What is BKC?
BKC, or benzalkonium chloride, is a quaternary ammonium compound that is most commonly present as an ingredient in disinfectants, sanitizers and floor cleaners. It is effective against human-harming bacteria and viruses, including influenza, HIV, and hepatitis B and C. BKC is also known for destroying biofilms, which are layers of microorganisms that are resistant to other disinfectants you use. Notably, this chemical is also added as a preservative in several cleaning products as it is effective against different bacteria, viruses, and fungi that are harmful and infectious even to the pets.
What is CHD/CHG?
CHD/CHG, or chlorhexidine, is another chemical used as an ingredient in disinfectants and sanitisers. It is also used as an antiseptic in medical and healthcare settings and is often used to clean the skin before surgery or to disinfect medical equipment. CHD/CHG also works effectively against various harmful germs most notably against gram-positive bacteria, which are bacteria that have a thick outer layer that can be difficult to penetrate. Most importantly it is also considered safe for humans and animals for external use.
BKC or CHD/CHG, which is Safer for Pets?
BKC as an ingredient is cost effective, and that is why it is commonly added as an ingredient in floor cleaners and disinfectants. Unfortunately, when it comes to pets, BKC is potentially harmful if ingested or inhaled by them. Moreover, since pets are closer to the floor than humans are, being constantly exposed to these chemicals will have extensive negative impact in their respiratory health and skin health. As it is impossible for you to supervise our pets all the time or to prevent them from playing around in the floor or licking them, it is always suggested to avoid products that has BKC.
Whereas, in case of Chlorhexidine, it is generally used in veterinary medicine as an antiseptic for pets and it is less likely to irritate and less likely to cause harm to your pets’ wellbeing.
What precautions should pet parents take while using cleaning products?
If you use cleaning products that has BKC, take precautions to protect your pets. Always follow the instructions on the label and use the product in a well-ventilated area. While using these products, keep your pets away from the places until it has dried completely. Store cleaning products out of reach of pets, and never allow pets to lick or ingest these chemicals. Or start looking for alternate sanitizers, floor cleaners and surface disinfectants that are pet safe or BKC free for maximum protection.
In conclusion, BKC can be an effective cleaning agent, however, it is also harmful to pets. So do take precautions and replace all your regular cleaning products and disinfectants with products which you can use around pets without worries. Always read the label carefully before buying products and follow the instructions carefully. If you have any more concerns about the safety of a product, consult your veterinarian.