In my 30+ years in the natural pet world, there’s one problem that keeps getting worse: the toxic load our pets are under.
I see it every day as I work with pet parents to improve the health and well-being of their animal companions.
Toxins are everywhere and there’s no way to get rid of them completely, but there are several easy ways to reduce the toxic load our pets are under.
The Importance of Reducing Toxic Load in the Home
Because prolonged exposure to toxins takes its toll on your health and the health of your pets.
I see this frequently with gastrointestinal issues in dogs and cats, but toxins can also be responsible for neurological issues, respiratory issues, and compromised immune systems.
Reducing the toxic load in your home is good for your pets…and for you. In fact, a new study reports that dogs and their humans carry the same toxic chemicals in their bodies.
Removing toxins from your home isn’t just a step toward better health, it’s a way to show your pets just how much you love them.
Ten Easy Ways to Reduce Toxins in Your Home
As a loving and responsible pet parent, you’re doing everything in your power to provide a safe and loving home so that your pets live longer, healthier, and happier lives.
Here are ten things you can do right now to begin reducing the toxic load on you and your pets.
Replace the plastic. I know you know this, but plastic is everywhere, including things you might not think of like bedding, toys, grooming products, carpet, and even pet food packaging. Laden with chemicals like phthalates and BPA, plastic can leach these toxins into the environment, contributing to a heightened toxic load that jeopardizes their well-being. These harmful agents have been associated with an array of health complications, spanning from endocrine disruptions to allergies and, distressingly, certain forms of cancer. Progressively replacing plastic with non-plastic alternatives is a great first step.Start phasing these things out for non-plastic substitutes, starting with getting rid of those plastic food and water bowls. Opt for materials like stainless steel, ceramic, or glass, which are not only safer but also more enduring and ecologically mindful.
Filter drinking water. It might be slightly more inconvenient than filling the bowl from the tap, but when your pet drinks filtered water, they don’t consume the bacteria and chemicals like fluoride and chlorine.
Feed high-quality, fresh food. This is a biggie! There are:
pesticides used when growing the vegetables,
chemicals given to the livestock (hormones, growth hormones, anti-parasitic drugs),
chemicals used to preserve the food,
even chemicals and plastic in the packaging!
BUT, pets who eat a high-quality raw or fresh diet have virtually no detectable glyphosates – the chemical found in Roundup.
Swap your cleaners. Swap out the chemical cleaners for natural cleaners like Grandma used to use! Try vinegar and water for shiny surfaces, baking soda for scrubbing power, and lemon for a fresh scent. These work like magic and won't harm your pets.
Wipe your paws. Before your dog comes into the house after being outside, wipe off their paws. That way they don’t track in any pesticides and the residue won’t be absorbed through their pads.
Test before you say yes. Does your pet really need that vaccine every year? Probably not! Are there natural alternatives to the medications your vet is prescribing? Probably so! Are flea and tick preventatives full of toxic chemicals, even though they are approved by the FDA? YES! You must be an advocate for your pet. Your veterinarian is doing the best they know how, but ultimately YOU have the responsibility to educate yourself as to whether or not annual vaccines, medications, and treatments are right for your pet. Test your pet’s titers before you say yes to the next vaccine and check out natural alternatives to toxic treatments. Click here for a deep dive into the dangers of flea and tick treatments.
Incorporate a regular detox protocol into your pet’s life. Ask us about safe, natural ways to gently detox your pet. There are immune boosting mushrooms and gentle detoxifying herbs like milk thistle and dandelion that will flush the toxins from their systems safely and naturally.
Pull, don’t spray. Yes, pulling weeds the old fashioned way is a pain in the patoot (and possibly the back). But considering the pain pesticides can cause, it’s worth it. Chemicals can make their way into your pet's body through their paws, fur, or when they lick contaminated surfaces. Once inside, they can lead to tummy aches, skin irritations, and even more serious health issues. Prolonged exposure might even up the risk of cancers or long-term health problems.
Unplug. Put your phone in airplane mode when not in use, unplug devices and small appliances, and hardwire whenever you can to reduce EMFs. For a deep dive on how to reduce your EMF exposure, read my blog HERE.
Go natural. Swap out shampoos, conditioners, and sprays loaded with harmful chemicals for natural alternatives. Look for products with ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, and coconut oil – they're gentle on your pet's skin and coat. These natural products can make your pet's fur shine while keeping them safe from irritations and allergies.
Toxins can hit cats and dogs harder than we might think. A study in 2008 by the Environmental Working Group discovered that pets, including cats and dogs, can have even higher levels of harmful chemicals in their bodies compared to people, including newborns. According to a study that was referenced:
"Dogs and cats were contaminated with 48 of 70 industrial chemicals tested, including 43 chemicals at levels higher than those typically found in people, according to our study of plastics and food packaging chemicals, heavy metals, fire retardants, and stain-proofing chemicals."
Dogs, in particular, can act as an early warning signal for toxicity in humans. They share our environments, so when they're affected, it could mean we're at risk too.
Looking out for their well-being isn't just about them – it's about us too.
The Healthy Animal Healing Center is all about providing quality, ethically raised or grown fresh food, treats, supplements, and remedies. We are always available to discuss with you how to reduce your pet’s toxic load and ways to safely and easily reduce toxins in your environment. Reach out to learn more.