Studies by the Environmental Working Group have proven household pets typically contain 2 – 5 times more toxins in their systems than their people. Woof!
Because dogs (and most other animals) age and develop at a much faster rate, they also respond to contaminants by developing health problems at a faster rate. Increased rates of cancers in dogs and cats has mirrored increased rates of cancers in humans over the last 20 years. Other health issues such as respiratory problems, allergies, thyroid disease and reproductive organs and skin problems are on the rise as well.
There are numerous potential sources of contaminants. Many commercial carpets are laden with formaldehyde; recently recognized by the FDA as a carcinogen. Upholstered furniture, clothing and stuffed animals are coated with flame retardants (PBDEs). Listed as a possible human carcinogen. The finish on most wood surfaces such as Wayne’s Coating and flooring also contain formaldehyde, as well as toluene, xylenes, and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK). All of which are known, or suspected carcinogens. Cleaning products may contain toxins such as Trichloroethylene, Phenol, and Naphthalene.
Individually, these chemicals mixing in the air in your home present a risk not only to the humans in your family, but your animals. Cumulatively, its a recipe for disaster.
Many toxic chemicals are heavier than air, and gravitate to the floors in your home where family pets spend their time. Other pets like to sleep in their person’s bed where commercial laundry detergents can introduce them to chemicals such as artificial fragrances, 1,4-dioxane, and bleach. Typical pet behaviors such as licking and grooming, and of course cleaning up any crumbs from the kitchen floor also introduces more contaminants to their system through ingestion.
You may not be ready to remodel your home, but there are actions you can take to clear the air.
~ Leave windows open for a few minutes every day to keep healthier outdoor air flowing through your home pushing contaminated air out.
~ Take your shoes off at the door – you’ll avoid tracking dirt and contaminants from the outdoors to the indoors.
~ Use non toxic cleansers, particularly floor cleaners.
~ When doling out water for your pets, use water (from a glass container) that you have allowed to air for several hours (this off gases any chlorine in the water). Just keep a jug ready.
~ Use Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic, rather than toxic flea and tick repellents. One tab per 10 pounds is really effective.
As you consider safer products for your home, think of the additional benefit your pets will enjoy!