Choose Certified Products to Protect Your Pet

Sixty-eight percent of American households, or roughly 85 million families1, have pets. We all want what’s best for our animal friends, but common household items can be dangerous to them. That’s why NSF International certifies products that can help you protect your pet’s health and wellness.

As an independent third-party testing and certification organization, NSF International provides assurance that certified products are safer for your pets. Our mission is to protect and improve human health, but we also provide services for making animal foods safer: We conduct Safe Feed/Safe Food audits for manufacturers of animal feed and our lab in Germany tests food for all kinds of pets and other domestic animals such as cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, sheep, horses and poultry.

Below are the top five ways you can help your pet to Live Safer using certified products.

Feeding your pet. A study conducted by NSF International identified pet bowls as one of the top five dirtiest places in the home. Be sure you are properly cleaning pet bowls to prevent germs from taking over and making your pet sick.

Pet dishes should be washed daily, either in a sanitizing dishwasher or scrubbed by hand with hot soapy water and then rinsed. If hand washing, place the dishes in a bleach solution of 1 tablespoon of household bleach (typically 5-8 percent active ingredients) in one gallon of water and soak for about 1-3 minutes once per week. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.

If you are concerned about potentially harmful chemicals leaching into your pet’s food, consider buying certified pet bowls.

If you choose to purchase organic pet food, treats or catnip, look for the USDA or QAI certification marks These types of products can be found in our certified organic listings:

QAI Certified Organic USDA Logo

Bathing. Did you know that EPA’s Safer Choice has a pet care category? This includes pet shampoo and pet odor products made with safer chemicals and ingredients. Products with the Safer Choice label help you choose safer products, without sacrificing quality or performance.

Cleaning. If you or a family member is allergic to pet dander, use a washing machine certified for allergen reduction. Here’s a list of washing machines that are certified for allergen reduction.

Swimming pools. Pool owners with small children often purchase pool alarms to keep their children safer. But what about pets? Many pet owners use life jackets and pool alarms to protect their pets from drowning. NSF International certifies pool alarms for performance and safety so you can be confident you will know when a child or a pet has fallen into the pool. Review a list of certified pool alarms.

Another pet safety tip: Remember to store your pool chemicals where pets (and children) cannot access them.

Drinking water. With growing concerns about contaminants in our drinking water, more people are choosing filtered water for themselves and their pets. NSF International provides a step-by-step guide to choosing a certified water filter that’s best for your home.