Is Your Home Safe for Your Pets?
On a day to day basis, thousands of beloved pets are rushed to animal hospitals, emergency veterinary care facilities and to their regular vets with a myriad of symptoms ranging from lethargy to profuse vomiting and diarrhea. The sick pets are then subjected to a battery of tests and procedures that are invasive and in many cases painful. Many of these may also add to the problem.
The results of all these costly tests are usually inconclusive with the doctor giving a guess or treating only the symptoms. Sometimes, the problem goes away for a short time and returns again weeks or months later. Other times, it lingers and may even get worse.
The question that is rarely answered is “How did my pet get this way?” We all ask, but without the right tests, asking extensive questions, or looking at ALL the symptoms, there is no complete answer.
Many of these animals are simply diagnosed with kidney or liver disease, prescribed drugs and told they need a special diet and sent home to slowly fade away. The cause of the problem is never found, and even after they pass, they are never tested so we can prevent these occurrences in the future.
We have been taking a very close look at many of these emergencies, using different non-invasive tests such as hair analysis and are finding that these pets are toxic…. Basically, they are being poisoned!
Where do these poisons come from?
First and foremost, the hundreds of preservatives, artificial and “natural” colors and flavors, and synthetic nutrients in most commercial foods have toxic side effects and they accumulate in the body over time. Additive like BHA, BHA, and in natural or meat flavors, monosodium glatamate (MSG), Aspartame, and other excitotoxins. There are also all the toxins like aluminum, lead, mercury, and others that are placed in the body with vaccines. And of course the monthly assault of poisons from other “life-style” medications and preventives for things like fleas and heartworms.
All of these take a toll on our pets’ bodies, accumulating in their vital organs. Slowly, and over time, these chemicals will negatively impact their bodies. Meanwhile the liver and kidneys, the filter system of the body, are working overtime trying to eliminate these toxins.
Then we unknowingly add new toxins to this mix and we spell D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R!
What are these “new” toxins and poisons? Where do they come from? How can I make my pet safe?
Have you ever considered and looked at the chemicals in that cleaner you just used on your floor? How about the odor control product you just sprayed on the sofa and carpet? Have you read the warning label and ever asked why it’s there? Depending on use, many have very limited labels, so you may need to do a quick computer check of the chemicals, not the product.
What about their evening and morning walks? What fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide, and insecticide was applied to their favorite grassy spot? What cleaner or treatment was applied to that sidewalk?
You see, we are exposed to hundreds of chemicals and poisons everyday. Our pets are exposed to many more, and also in different ways. When we walk our pets, we usually have some sort of footwear to protect us. Our pets don’t wear footwear. They are in direct contact with these toxins. We also shower and bathe regularly to cleanse these poisons off, our pets do it by self cleansing… licking and ingesting! Most of the garden products have dire warnings, telling us to wear gloves and masks when using. Your pet is down there sniffing it!
Look at the label on heartworm and flea “preventatives.” They ALL tell you to avoid contact, use gloves, do not ingest and yet we are doing direct contact and feeding it to these creatures!
Our floors are being mopped and treated with chemicals and then we don’t even rinse. Our pets are then eating and sleeping on these same chemically-coated floors. Our carpets are not only cleaned and deodorized with harsh chemicals, they are actually made with them!
Now that we’ve added all these extra poisons to their little bodies, we literally have a toxic experiment going on in those bodies as these chemicals combine, create different toxins that the body desperately tries to eliminate.
That’s why they are vomiting, and having diarrhea. The body is getting rid of the bad stuff. The most common veterinary solution… give more drugs (toxins) to stop the body from getting rid of the bad stuff! Does that really make sense to anyone?
Yes, I know we project our own feelings of discomfort when we experience those problems, but we also should remember the relief we feel when the bad stuff is out of our systems.
So how do we avoid poisoning our pets?
We can’t, at least not totally, but we can do much to minimize the danger.
The first and foremost, feed real, unprocessed foods that are chemical free. Don’t let the commercial food companies fool you by using marketing terms like “all-natural,” “holistic,” or even “diabetic” diets. If it comes in a bag or a can that can stay at room temperature for weeks, months, or years, it’s not natural. Good nutrition will keep their immune systems strong and working.
Clean with safe, green products… and then rinse! Wipe or clean your pets’ paws after walks with plain water or alcohol wipes, not chemical sanitizers. Use only natural, botanical, and herbal products to bath and treat your pets when available. Do the same with your own lawn
Herbal and natural foods and products are available to treat and prevent everything including heartworms, fleas and ticks. There are natural substitutes for pain medication, hip and joint remedies, diarrhea, inflammation, and virus and bacterial infections. Every time we are able to help using these natural cures, their bodies must deal with fewer toxins.
Understand too, when your pet is sick, his body is already working overtime on healing. More toxic substances mean more damage. More damage means longer recovery time, if they can recover at all. Remember the old adage, “we cured the disease but we lost the patient?”
Yes, the safer, natural products are often more expensive and in today’s economic climate, that becomes a consideration. But, take a look at the cost of emergency care and be sure to add the extra cost into doing toxicology screens; you will then find the advantage to a natural approach.
A little common sense, a bit of label-reading and research, and that little extra effort will keep your pets out of the emergency arena. Prepare a “pet health medicine cabinet,” much like you keep for yourself. Stock it with safe products to handle the routine challenges and leave only the true emergencies for the costly health care professionals.
You can use this same approach to yourself! Then you, your family and your pets will enjoy your new, healthier lives together!
Bill Piechocki, nutritionist and Dr Diane Sudduth, DVM are partners in Fiesta Pet Deli in Pompano Beach, FL and co-hosts of the PetHealthCafe.com radio show. Our 40 years in the animal field has provided us unparallel vision and information which we pass to our clients on a daily basis. We can be reached at www.PetHealthCafe.com or 800-940-7387.