Even the most eco-friendly homes often overlook “going green” when it comes to pet care. However, if you want to work towards a toxin-free home and live a healthier, greener lifestyle, you should absolutely consider natural pet care! Considering the joy
our pets bring to our lives and their complete dependence on us, we definitely owe it to them to make good choices on their behalf.
1. Healthier, All Natural Pet Food
The first aspect of natural pet care should probably be to look at the product we have to buy most often: food! The sad truth is that most commercial pet foods have harmful, toxic additives and aren’t really designed with animals’ complete nutritional needs in mind. Think of it this way: boxed cereal might very well be fortified with all kinds of vitamins and minerals that we humans need, but we know that living off of if completely would not be very helpful at all!
Fortunately, there are healthy alternatives to the highly processed pet foods that are now the norm. To choose a higher quality pet food, look for one that is certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Also, make sure that the first couple of ingredients are an actual source of animal protein – dogs and cats need this! Lamb, chicken, beef, fish, and turkey are all good ingredients.
2. Toxin-Free Grooming
When it comes time to bathe your pet, be sure that you’re choosing shampoos and soaps that are natural and toxin free. The ingredients in those products enter our pets’ bloodstream through the skin, so it’s crucial to choose those that are more natural.
The same standard applies to treatments meant to ward off ticks and fleas for dogs. Dr.
Mercola offers a completely natural flea and tick spray that uses essential oils to keep pests at bay. Natural alternatives like this keep toxic chemicals off your pet and out of your home.
If you have a cat, you’ll also want to choose a natural litter for them. The standard clay litters on the market often contain toxic fragrances and compounds that make the litter “clump.” Instead, choose a natural version made from nut byproducts, recycled newspaper, or other low-dust ingredients.
3. Green Pet Gear
Finally, you’ll also want to consider going green when it comes to the gear you buy. Pet beds, toys, and other accessories are often made with materials that aren’t sustainable and some of which even contain toxins that you don’t want in your home. For example, some plastic toys and dishes contain BPA. This poison can leech into food and water through dishes or enter your pet’s system as they play or chew on a toy. Choose stainless steel dishes and toys made from natural rubber or natural fibers such as:
- Organic cotton
- Natural rubber
Beds, blankets, leashes and other cloth items should also be made from these natural fibers as well. One of the most overlooked and underestimated issues is tied to that healthy walk you’re taking each day with your pet. Dogs and cats often wonder into the yard or take a daily walk in the park and without realizing it they are picking up harmful toxins and pesticides, lick their paws, and inadvertently ingest the pesticides causing severe health problems including cancer. Wiping off thoroughly on an eco-friendly, antimicrobial treated doormat helps trap those nasty toxins and can disable unwelcome microorganisms on the mat. This will add an extra line of defense for your loved ones keeping your home the sanctuary we all would like our homes to be.
Making healthy choices for your cat or dog is a choice you won’t regret. I recommend that you consult with your Vet for more ideas or suggestions. These small changes will lead to a healthier home and family – including your pet!