Keeping your pets safe from chemical toxins around the house is a challenge because some toxins are in the furnishings. Information is available about what active chemicals are in that bottle of cleaner you bought from the store. What about the household items such as carpet and furniture that is chemical treated during manufacturing? Several recent reports show that serious toxins exist in both.
Many stain protectors in carpet and furniture contain petroleum-based products that do not decompose and your pet walks on it or sleeps on it and the chemicals end up on the pet’s fur and then licked off when the pet cleans itself. Perfluorochemicals called PFC’s are in stain inhibitors and the lining of pet food bags and cans. One article reports that your pet’s exposure to PFC’s is three times more than human exposure because of their grooming habits.
Flame retardant chemicals in bedding materials and insulation contain polybrominated diphenyl ether’s, called PBDE’s, and your cat will have a concentration twenty times more PBDE’s in its fatty tissues compared to humans. This is also due to their habits of clawing, kneading and grooming. Studies show that dogs are two to three times more PBDE’s than humans in their fatty tissue.
Here are some action steps to take to limit the pet’s exposure to toxins:
· Buy furniture without the stain protection chemical additives.
· Repair damaged upholstery or bedding with new covers. Foam is likely treated with flame-retardants.
· Use HEPA filters with your vacuum cleaner because PFC’s and PBDE’s attach to dust particles and spread throughout the house.
· Be selective on household cleaning chemicals since most commercial cleaners are petroleum-based products. Consider using natural cleaners such as steam cleaning, ammonia, vinegar, and baking soda.
· Pet foods containing chemical preservatives, (Ethoxyquin, BHT and BHA), artificial colorings, and filler ingredients, (corn, rice, and soy), that are not part of the pet’s natural diet.
· Insecticides, flea collars, herbicides and lawn and plant fertilizers contain petroleum-based chemicals and are toxic to your pet. There are many natural alternatives available.
· If you give your pet a bath use natural based cleaners formulated for animals and not humans.
· Treated water for human consumption (potable) has trace amounts of chlorine and fluorine that are also toxic to small animals. Consider using a chemical filter in your water supply for you and your pets’ health.
You cannot put your cat or dog in a protective bubble but being knowledgeable on this subject will benefit both humans and animals in the house. Using herbal detox tonics designed for your pet several times a year will help reduce toxic buildup. On a daily basis use herbal supplements, fatty acids, and vitamins designed to support the immune system and help keep your pet healthy.