There is a well-meaning but dangerous tip on the Internet about using dryer sheets to remove loose hair from cats or dogs and to reduce natural static when the humidity is low. But is it a safe tip? Dryer sheets repel static because they are full of cationics and other chemicals. Formulas vary from product to product, but your favorite fabric softener or dryer sheet may contain benzyl acetate, camphor, or even chloroform.
None of this is good for pets. The Merck Veterinary Manual warns that cationic detergents, which are present in fabric softeners and dryer sheets, can cause a variety of problems for animals ranging from minor irritation to widespread systemic distress and pulmonary edema. Animals lick their fur and the areas on which they rest, so using dryer sheets to remove fur is dangerous.
Dryer sheets should never be stored where an animal can ingest them or play with them. Kidney failure is just one of the problems that can occur.
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