Detox Your Life was so well-liked that I'm going to do some more posts based off the same idea. Today's post is about detoxing your petcare - because most of us feel like our pets are our babies and anyway, their care can also affect your health. Before we officially get started, I'd like to introduce you to my inspiration for this post, my cat Frederick:
According to last year's National Pet Ownership Survey, Americans own approximately 73 million dogs and 90 million cats! That's a lot of animals probably being exposed to dangerous chemicals & toxins and sharing them with us. Yikes! So how can we be sure Fido, Fluffy and Frederick are safe?
1. Detox your pet food. The guide below, which I borrowed from Naturapet.com, lays out the basic guidelines of what you want for your pet's food:
Just reading the ingredients on the bag will let you know if your food is really good for your pet, or just filling them up. Like people, pets are sensitive to the hormones and toxins present in most factory farmed foods. So be sure what's going in them is good for them if you want your pet to have optimum health.
I feed my Frederick Avoderm Natural and not only does he love it, but his coat has also gotten glossier since he's been eating it.
2. Detox your pet's excrement area. This should be simple enough for dog owners - all you have to do is throw the poo in a plastic bag and then into the trash and you're all set. As long as your dog's not living in his own crap, you should be fine.
For cat owners, this is a little more tricky, because litter can be bad for your cat and for you. Clumping litters are often made from sodium bentonite, a natural swelling clay that can absorb many times its weight in liquid. While this makes it convenient for absorbing and disposing of urine, it acts the same way inside your cat's intestines. If your cat eats or accidentally ingests clumping litter, it may cause gastrointestinal problems, possibly even death. Clay dust also contains crystalline silica, which is registered as a carcinogen by OSHA, and may cause respiratory illnesses.
There are lots of alternatives to clay kitty litter. Some materials are recycled newspapers, cedar- or wood-based litters, wheat, alfalfa, oat hulls, peanut hulls and corn cobs. Here are a few of your options:
- Feline Pine, made from 100 percent pure kiln-dried southern yellow pine, absorbs odor and moisture (this is what Frederick uses).
- Dr. Kenaf's lightweight cat litter made from kenaf, a plant also used to make tree-free paper.
- Swheatscoop Natural Wheat Litter, a wheat-based clumping litter that's also flushable.
- World's Best Cat Litter is a clumping litter made from corn. "No clay, no silica, no perfumes, no synthetic chemicals."
- Yesterday's News is litter made from recycled newspapers.
AllTheBestPetcare.com has a great article about getting rid of fleas without harsh chemicals that get on your furniture, clothes and skin. You can click through to read the entire article which covers removing fleas from your home as well as from your pet. Here's what they have to say about keeping fleas off of your pet:
Erigeron is a rare herb that contains limonene, a natural botanical insecticide that dissolves the shell of the flea without harming skin cells. You can find erigeron in our FleaBane Spray, Shampoo and Intensive Treatment. Two other flea remedies from nature include pyrethrum, powdered chrysanthemum petals, and citrus oils and extracts, another source of limonene.Now, while we're talking about shampooing, let's talk about natural products for that. I use the simple dilution of Dr. Bronner's Hemp Almond Castile soap, which is 100% natural and not really made for pets, but Frederick jumped into the bath one day when that was in it and it cleaned him so well and he liked it so much that we haven't tried anything yet. Now if you want something specifically for your pet, there are lots of options. For dog owners, the Green Daily suggests these five shampoos, and for everyone Pet Comfort Products offers a step-by-step guide to choosing the best shampoo for your pet.
While you are waiting for your preventive methods to kick in, here are some things you can do about the fleas you see crawling and jumping. Combing is the best first step for cats and dogs. It removes live fleas, dirt, and eggs, and lets you know how bad the problem is. Shampooing drowns fleas, and washes away the skin flakes that attract more fleas. You may shampoo up to once a week if necessary, but be careful to choose a non-drying shampoo to protect the beneficial oils building up on the skin. If your pet’s skin is very damaged, dilute the shampoo with an equal amount of aloe vera. A sulfur-containing shampoo will also help repel fleas and sooth itchy skin. Thorough vacuuming will pick up fleas and eggs, and washing bedding in a hot washer or dryer will kill any eggs that might otherwise hatch. (read the rest here)
And that about covers the basics. I hope you find this even a little bit helpful and your pets stay happy and healthy for a long, long time!
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