Moms Columns & Blogs

Toxin's in Pet Products That You Can Easily Avoid

Anyone that knows me knows I love animals!  Over the years I’ve had cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs. Add in a few lizards, countless fish and even a few tadpoles and you can see why my house is called the “zoo”. My pets are like family so I am always mindful of the products that I buy to care for them.  Today there are many eco-friendly choices that are equally as effective and will help you do your part to keep harmful waste out of our pet’s lives and the environment.

Let’s start with shampoo for dogs. You really need to read the label here. Many of the ingredients found in popular shampoos are petroleum-based and are known to actually irritate skin, create rashes, and cause cancer. Over years, those toxins can get be absorbed into your pet's skin and into the skin of the person doing the dog washing!  Then the toxins go right down the drain, polluting the water supply. A much better choice is biodegradable shampoos free from coloring, preservatives, or fragrances. You’re dog will get clean without all the chemicals. Who wants their dog smelling like vanilla anyway?

For the felines it’s all about the kitty litter. Avoid using clay-based clumping cat litter that contains sodium betonite.  Tiny silica dust particles can cause lung disease or worse in humans and respiratory or digestive problems in cats. Plus there are many other options that are better for you and your cat.  Litter made from old newspapers, reclaimed wood chips, or even whole kernel corn are easy to find.  If you need help battling odor you can also add a layer of baking soda to the bottom of the litter pan before filling. Its inexpensive and non-toxic.

Baking soda is also great for removing pet odors around the home. You can freshen up rugs and carpets by sprinkling a little on and letting it set for 15 minutes before vacuuming. And when the inevitable ‘accident’ happens, don’t pooh pooh it - reach for non-toxic vinegar to clean up the mess. It’s a natural disinfectant that’s pennies on the dollar compared to typical cleaners.

Do Your Part and reduce your eco-footprint by choosing eco-friendly dog shampoo and cat litter.  Your pets will be healthier and you’ll be treading lightly on our planet by keeping toxic materials out of your home and the environment.