RHINELANDER - With store shelves frequently running out of hand sanitizer, it's probably safe to say people are using it a lot more. With that in mind, have you ever wondered how that affects pets we may touch?
Health officials do say hand sanitizer is safe to use around pets, but a little caution goes a long way. Ingestion is when problems arise.
"Irritation to the linings of the mouth, the tongue, the esophagus and the stomach. So you would have salivation, maybe some difficulty swallowing, frequent swallowing," said Northern Paws Animal Hospital Veterinarian Ray Goodroad. " [It could] maybe [cause] vomiting if they ingest enough of it."
Experts say, there are ways to prevent your pet from getting into the hand sanitizer. Choosing the right kind of sanitizer to keep in your home is one of the ways.
"I would avoid anything that's flavored, anything that might entice a dog to lick or ingest it," said Goodroad. "[Avoid] products that smell like something edible."
Officials also stress to people to practice good hygiene while you're caring for your pets.
If you think your pet has eaten sanitizer or another toxic substance, contact your vet as soon as possible.