Our pet’s have it rough in today’s toxic world. Every day we walk our best friends by signs posted in our neighborhood next to sidewalks and parks that say “Warning Pesticide Use!” Meanwhile, even in our own homes, every bottle of cleaning solution says “Caution Keep away from children and pets!” These are the obvious factors than can be poisonous to our pet’s health and fortunately are mostly avoidable with the proper precautions. But what about those pollutants that are less obvious and more difficult to control?
Veterinarians have linked nearly 3/4 of all canine disease to negative environmental and lifestyle factors. Those include the grass they roll in, the floors they lick, the toys they chew on, and even the food they eat. Environmental factors are fairly obvious but are seldom thought of. They include chemicals in our carpet and furniture cleaners, pesticides and weed killer in the grass, and other physical agents like asbestos & carcinogens. Lifestyle factors can be a little less obvious to the every day pet owner and can cause just as much harm to our pets. These factors include 2nd hand smokes, Diet & Nutrition, Excess Calories, and Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies. Most people don’t even realize that pet foods and products are largely unregulated by the FDA. So you rarely know the quality of the ingredients that are being put in your dog’s favorite treats and food. For example, the other day, I was reading the back of a popular pet treat and learned that it was made in China and the first ingredient was kangaroo meat. Now it doesn’t take a PHD to red flag that combination. It tells us the first ingredient goes from Australia to China, then to the US where it is eventually fed to your family member. For all we know, that particular pet treat might be absolutely harmless for your dog, but unfortunately there is no practical way of knowing for sure.
While it may be impossible to avoid every part of the toxic world our pets live in today, we can certainly make a big difference by taking small steps and being more aware. Try to buy non-toxic household cleaners. Read the ingredients in your pet treats and dog food. Try to buy food that is organic, grain free, free of artificial additives, made with real meat, and made in the USA. Check labels on dog toys and avoid giving your dog toys that are not made for them to chew on. Take simple steps to help your pet.