Are you exposing your dog or cat to toxins around your home?
Think about all of the places your dog or cat walks around inside and outside of your home. Now consider some of the everyday products that you use—household cleaners, garden products, and more.
All of these products are such a part of our everyday lives, most pet parents don’t think about how harmful they can be to your pets. In fact, many of these products go beyond just giving your pet a tummy ache if licked or eaten. They can pose a real health hazard to your furry friends.
Dangers in your home.
Because our pets walk and play on the floors, and come in contact with just about everything in the house, they are constantly being exposed to dangerous toxins—things like:
- Wall/floor/toilet bowl cleaners, bleach, detergents
- Rust removers, metal polish, drain cleaners
- Ammonia, oven cleaners, furniture polish, floor wax
And, given their relatively low body weight, our furry friends are even more susceptible to being harmed by these chemicals.
Dangers in your yard, garage, and shed.
Now consider the products you use outside of your home.
- Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are a major source of environmental toxins. A study at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, revealed that the exposure to lawns treated with herbicides four or more times a year doubled a dog’s risk of canine lymphoma. And the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that, when exposed to chemically treated lawns, some breeds of dogs were four to seven times more likely to suffer from bladder cancer.
- Antifreeze is made with ethylene glycol. It has a sweet taste that animals love, but can be fatal in a dose as small as 1 teaspoon.
- De-icing salts used to melt snow and ice on your walkways and driveway can irritate paws and can be poisonous if licked off. Wash and dry your pet’s paws as soon as they come in from the outside. And while some people think doggie and cat boots may look a little too precious, they do help protect your pet’s feet outdoors.
Labels: pet-saving reading material.
Paying close attention to what’s in household cleansing and lawn and garden products by carefully reading the label can be a lifesaver for your pet. New technology has enabled companies to develop products that work as well as more traditional products, but are safer for you, your pets and the environment. For example, choose:
- Grain alcohol products instead of toxic butyl cellosolve.
- Plant-based cleaners and detergents that use corn, palm kernel, or coconut oil instead of petroleum.
- Fragrance-free products because the “fragrance” components (phthalates) have been linked to animal cancer in lab testing
- Plant-oil disinfectants based on eucalyptus, rosemary, or sage rather than triclosan—white vinegar is also excellent for disinfecting bathrooms and kitchens.
- Antifreeze that contains propylene glycol, which is safer if eaten in modest amounts.
- Organic fertilizers, which are non-toxic, environmentally safe and provide the nutrients your lawn needs for growth—without the harmful chemicals that can put your pet’s health at risk. You can find organic fertilizers in just about any store that sells chemical fertilizers.
- Pet-friendly de-icing salts like SafePaw™, which is safe for children, pets and the environment.
Check out the links below to learn about the many companies that sell safe, environmentally-friendly products that will help prevent your pet from getting sick—or worse.
It's up to you.
Dogs and cats do what comes naturally. They love to explore, taste, rub against and roll around in all sorts of things—many of which contain harmful toxins.
Eliminating as many of these potential danger sources as possible is a great way to show your love for your pet. Please be watchful when it comes to what’s just laying around your apartment, house and yard, and keep all of these products out reach of your pet.
Some useful resource links for a pet-healthy household:
Just as there are poison control instructions on product labels should a child ingest something hazardous, the same help is available to our pet friends:
The National Animal Poison Control Center of the ASPCA.
In case of a pet-poison emergency, call 1-888-4ANI-HELP.