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Helping Your Pets 'Go Green'
It's no longer considered “granola” or “tree hugging” to go green, and the trend has even begun crossing into pet territory. While definitions vary, being green can simply mean making conscious choices to be more environmentally responsible.
Since we ultimately make health and lifestyle decisions for our pets, it is therefore up to us to make the best choices, from the foods they eat to cleansers for their skin and fur.
The Bowl That Feeds Them
Just as many people have turned in their disposable plastic water bottles for reusable bottles made of stainless steel or other non-porous materials for fear of BPA and other chemicals, pet owners too should consider trading in Fido or Fluffy's drinking and/or food bowls.
The National Institute of Health advises that it is possible for plastic chemicals to seep into the food or water via the bowl, particularly if the surface is scratched or if the bowl is put into the microwave. From the mild to the serious, toxins can increase the chance of cancer, compromised immune functioning, and other health problems.
The best options include bowls made of stainless steel, ceramic, stoneware, or porcelain. Always be sure that painted bowls are covered using only lead-free glaze. All of these choices are less porous than plastic, so not only are they free of dangerous chemicals, but they also harbor less bacteria, are easier to keep clean, and more sanitary.
And be sure to fill that bowl with healthy food! In addition to your pet not receiving adequate nutrients, they can develop serious health problems by eating food of poor quality.
Common problems reported among both dogs and cats are urinary tract infections problems, as many pet foods have an overabundance of certain minerals that can cause stones and blockages in the urinary system, according to the Animal Protection Institute.
Other conditions that have been linked to low quality food and insufficient diet are hypothyroidism, prostate and urinary conditions, liver troubles and a wide range of digestive problems. Pets can develop heart disease as a result of a deficiency in certain amino acids.
Try to avoid foods that list any type of "byproducts" in their ingredients, and go by the “first four” rule: high quality, nutrition-rich pet food should not have grains listed as one of the top four ingredients on the packaging. Instead, your first four ingredients should be meats and high-quality protein sources.
Controlling your pet's diet and nutritional intake is one of the most important ways to help maintain health and happiness throughout their life.
Digestive Support™ is used to help promote healthy digestion
Immunity and Liver Support™ is used to help promote a healthy immune system and liver functioning
While pet owners must be sure to keep their pets free of pests to help prevent against heartworm, Lyme disease and other health conditions caused by insects, it is possible to cut down on the exposure of chemicals to our animals.
For both bathing and managing fleas and ticks, there are many natural solutions available. Natural remedies also provide a gentler alternative to support your pet's immune system, eliminate toxins and maintain overall health and well-being. A highly effective herb such as Carduus marianus (Milk Thistle) supports liver functioning and the removal of toxins. Homeopathic ingredients such as Crotalus hor., China, Ferrum phos. and Aconite support the immune system, liver and red blood cells.
German Chamomile is one such herb that has been used for centuries to soothe and cleanse the skin. Marigold also works well as it has excellent anti-inflammatory properties and helps to prevent infection with its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Other herbs such as cleavers and witch hazel have also shown to be beneficial to skin health and have strong soothing and restorative properties.
Clean-Cat Shampoo w/ Chamomile™ is a non-irritating, calming cleansing shampoo formulated for cats
Panleuk-Free™ is a homeopathic remedy that protects the feline immune system
Since we cannot be with our pets 24/7, we often don't think twice about tossing them a chew toy to help them pass the time and decrease separation anxiety. However, while we may inspect a toy for bells and breakables that could potentially be choking hazards, when was the last time you inspected a toy to see where it was made? Many inexpensive toys are manufactured in China, and after the pet food scares of recent years, you should possibly reconsider buying a potentially dangerous toy from there.
In addition to where it was manufactured and the chemicals in plastic toys, painted toys pose the potential for lead toxicity. Rawhide toys are often treated with formaldehyde and recent laboratory testing even found high levels of carcinogenic chromium in catnip toys.
To avoid compromising your pet's health for the sake of fun, consider making your own toys using natural materials like cotton and catnip, choose organic toys or those stamped by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
The same care should be taken when choosing beds, collars, and other miscellaneous items that your pet may come in constant contact with.
As with everything, don't stress too much if your pet has been living in a plastic world. It's never too late to help your pet achieve better health!
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