Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide for
Animal Care

There are many uses for hydrogen peroxide for animal care. Below is a list of some uses for hydrogen peroxide that I’ve heard of, and surely there are many other uses that I have not heard of or thought about. (Some of these I've used, some I haven't.) Please note that the list includes some items under separate headings, down to the very bottom of this page.

  • Cleaning up barf, urine, poop, or any other messes
  • Cleaning bird poop (off of cages, sidewalks, the ground, car windows…..)
  • Cleaning litter boxes (of cats, rabbits….) See below....
  • Cleaning out cages (of mice, guinea pigs, rats, snakes, birds……)
  • Cleaning out fish tanks (when the fish have been removed). Please don’t put hydrogen peroxide in the fish tank with fish present unless you really know what you are doing. Different types of fish can handle different amounts, and you could accidentally kill your fish. (I’ll write an update about this when I learn enough to be more helpful.)
  • Cleaning fish ponds
  • Cleaning out bird baths
  • Cleaning bird feeders (humming bird feeders, and bird seed feeders) (both get moldy easily!)
  • Cleaning feeding dishes and water dishes (Don’t use hydrogen peroxide on metal dishes.) See below...
  • Uses for Hydrogen peroxide to clean skin infections and abscesses [Page 1 (cat abscess treatment)] -- [Page 2 (my experiences with home treatment of cat abscesses with hydrogen peroxide, and also for cleaning fur and cuts that are not abscessed)] -- [Page 3 (abscesses in other animals such as guinea pigs, horses and rabbits)]
  • Using a very small amount of hydrogen peroxide in drinking water. I’ve heard of this being done with cows, sheep, birds, cats, dogs…. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxygen supplement. (As an oxygen supplement, hydrogen peroxide must be very dilute – a very small amount in a lot of water. DO NOT try this unless you are very well informed about the dilution and risks!)

Cleaning animals' fur and coats

Peroxide can be used to clean our furry friends themselves – to clean the fur of cats and dogs. Spray 1% to 3% peroxide onto a clean dish towel, then rub the damp towel on the animal’s fur. Rub in the same direction as if you were petting the animal. Be gentle around ears, and paws, just as if you were petting the animal. Be careful to keep hydrogen peroxide away from eyes.

When I tried cleaning a cat this way, it resulted in a clean fluffy cat! The process seems similar, to me, to using the “spray baths” I’ve bought at the pet supply store. The cat was surprisingly tolerant of the process.

Peroxide can be used to clean stained fur -- such as the condition "Maltese eye stain" -- common in Maltese dogs. This page has information on using hydrogen peroxide (and other things) to clean stained fur in Maltese dogs.

Cleaning out empty litter boxes

If you’ve emptied a litter box and find it could use a good cleaning, try one of the following:

  • Pour some 3% hydrogen peroxide in the bottom -- I'd recommend at least 1/2 inch deep. Then spray 3% hydrogen peroxide over all the sides of the litter box. The sides will not get disinfected as well as the bottom does, since the peroxide will tend to run down. You can spray the sides again later to give them another chance. (The peroxide needs to be in contact with germs in order to kill them......) Let the litter box sit for 1/2 hour or longer, then dump the used peroxide down the bathtub drain, and rinse the litter box out with water.

  • Fill the litter box with 1% to 3% hydrogen peroxide. (If you are using 35% hydrogen peroxide, this is not so difficult to do.... however, it you are buying 3% peroxide, this this method would be difficult, as you'd need many bottles of 3% peroxide.....) Let it sit for 1/2 hour or longer, then pour the used peroxide down the bathtub drain, and rinse the litter box out with water.

This will clean and sanitize your litter box. It should also clear out odors, along with the germs.

(This also works with bedpans and enema parts.)

Cleaning out food dishes with gaps or crevices

I have some “ant proof” cat dishes – these have 2 rims with a small gap in between. Have you seen these? The idea is to fill the gap up with water, which keeps ants out. Well, let me say: dry food will fall in there if you use this dish for dry food! And it will get gross quite easily as the dry food breaks down and rots. Yuck. What I do is empty both the dish and the “gap”, rinse it out, and then fill the “gap” in with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for a day. (An hour is probably long enough, but I tend to leave things for a day and then come back to them.) Now drain and rinse with water. All clean! Now I refill the “gap” with water (to keep ants out), and refill with food.

Beware! Toxic cleaning products can effect household animals

It is worth noting that cleaning the house with hydrogen peroxide, rather than chlorine bleach or other toxic cleaners, is also a benefit to our companion animals. Cleaning products can get on their fur – which they will later lick. This means they may ingest a small amount of whatever cleaners you use.

Also, I’ve read that chlorine can smell like urine to some animals. Think about how confusing and upsetting that could be to a cat or dog that is living with this smell!

Don’t forget uses of hydrogen peroxide for taking care of yourself…..

What about hydrogen peroxide uses to keep your self clean too, when you get scratched by an animal, when you have finished cleaning wounds, or cleaning litter boxes? Many tasks we do in caring for our animals involve contact with germs and bacteria.

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean up after these tasks. Just wash your hands as usual, then spray some 3% hydrogen peroxide on your hands, or soak your hands in 3% peroxide for a few minutes. (More information here on uses for hydrogen peroxide for disinfecting your hands.)

Getting scratched by a cat!

If you get scratched by a cat, it is especially important to keep the cut clean. Cat scratches can get some nasty infections. So, hydrogen peroxide can be of special service to you in this regard.

The same applies to getting scratched by a dog, or raccoon, or any wild animal. If you have the misfortune of being scratched by any wild animal, hydrogen peroxide is a great first aid step to take. It will kill bacteria and disinfect the wound.

  • You may want to avoid using peroxide on metal things. This could include cages, bird feeders, or metal parts. Using hydrogen peroxide on metal may result in the metal rusting somewhat faster than it would otherwise.
  • Several sources say not to use hydrogen peroxide on deep or serious wounds.
  • Hydrogen peroxide, on any cut or wound, can really sting. You can always add water and use a weaker solution.

Return from uses for hydrogen peroxide for animal care to the home page for the site

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