Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Go Green - For Your Pet's Sake
Happy Earth Day - this is a great day to explain how sensitive our pets are to the toxins in our environment and what to do to help them.
If your dog or cat is an indoor pet, according to EPA studies, they are exposed to 100 to 200 times the pollution than being outdoors. Clean your vents, filters and ducts often or you and they could be breathing asbestos, pollen, pesticides, tobacco, dust mites, bacteria, mold and other unhealthy agents.
If you are building or remodeling a home, look for materials that say "toxin free". Carpets, paints, and pressed wood products can be particularly problematic. Indoor pollutants are twice as toxic to pets than to people.
Pet proof you home by putting away medications, cleaning products and rat and mouse traps and baits. Even chocolate, especially the baking type, can be toxic if enough is ingested. Use natural substitutes for these products whenever possible.
In your yard, ant poisons and insecticides can be fatal to your pet. Go organic for your garden needs and it will be good for you and your pet.
Even more dangerous is antifreeze - a half a teaspoon per pound for a dog can be a toxic dose, even less for a cat. Buy the non-toxic brands to prevent accidents like this.
Dozens of household cleaning agents such as toilet bowl cleaners, bleach, detergents can cause severe harm to your cat or dog. They can destroy tissue by acid or alkaline burns, by dissolving tissue membranes, by being absorbed into the bloodstream, or by causing general illness. Look for chemical free products from brands like Seventh Generation, Earth Rite, and Harmony or make your own using baking soda, lemon juice and other inexpensive safe substitutes.
Keep batteries, lead based paints, fishing lures and other items containing lead away from pets. They can ingest them and become very ill. Even dogs swallowing pennies can develop illness from zinc poisoning.
Some products made for pets like flea control, rawhide chew toys, cat litter contain toxic chemicals. Buy natural pet products whenever possible and follow the directions for any flea product.
Lastly even our tap water can contain hazardous chemicals harmful to us and our pets. Buy a filter if your water may have chemicals in it. Use ceramic or stainless steel food and water bowls instead of plastic which can leech chemicals.
Our pets are the sentinels of our environment. Because they are smaller than humans, they can be harmed faster than us from chemicals and pollutants. The soaring cancer rate in pets attests to the harm we are doing to them and our beautiful planet. As the bumper sticker says - we only have one planet - let's not ruin it!