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Your Beloved Pet Deserves a Healthy Environment

Just like you, your pet deserves a healthy environment. And like you, they absorb energy, information, and unfortunately toxins. Unlike you, your pet has no control over what they are exposed to. There are so many hidden toxins that you may not even be aware of like furniture polish, window cleaner, pesticides, nail polish and even air fresheners. These toxins are not only harmful to your pet, but can compromise the health of your whole family. So, wouldnít you be better off if these harmful things were eliminated from your home and a more healthy environment was created for all?

There are a number of things that can make your pet very sick and are sometimes lethal. Here is a list of some common household dangers you should avoid in order to maintain a healthy environment for your pet:

*Plants -- There are many outdoor and houseplants that are lethal to animals if they eat them. The top ten most common poisonous plants to pets are: azaleas/rhododendron, oleanders, castor bean, sago palms, lilies, tulip/narcissus bulb, yew, marijuana, kalanchoe and cyclamen. This is only the top ten, but for a more complete list from the ASPCA Click Here .

*Antifreeze -- Are you aware that animals are attracted to antifreeze because it tastes sweet? I sure wasnít. Antifreeze is so toxic that even the smallest amount can cause kidney failure and death. You should store antifreeze and all other automotive products, including oil and gas, in areas your pet canít get to. Also, you should be aware that antifreeze could be spilled or leaked on paved areas. Make sure you do not let your pet lick wet or dry pavement. Also, be very careful not to spill automotive chemicals in your driveway if it can be helped and regularly check under your car or in the driveway for leaks. If you do spill or notice a leak, make sure to clean it up well and dispose of the rags somewhere your pet can not get them. Signs that your pet has ingested antifreeze include depressed nature, stumbling around, weakness and lethargy. Advanced symptoms include no ability to urinate, extreme illness and inability to get up. Please take your pet to the vet before it gets into the advanced stages.

*Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs -- Small amounts of human meds like cold medicine, aspirin, diet pills and anti-cancer drugs can be fatal if given to animals. Cats are really attracted to unusual flavors. Keep them away from calamine lotion, diaper rash ointments and sun block. The best way avoid this, however is to keep all medications where your pet canít get them, ideally in a closed cabinet that they are unable to access.

Flea powders and flea collars -- Some of these products contain pesticides that are extremely harmful to pets. Check the ingredients and if they contain any of these 7 common things, do not use them: chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos, Phosmet, naled, tetrachloryinphos, diazinon and malthion. In large doses any of these ingredients can be fatal to humans and animals. Even regular use of them can cause long term dangers. Also avoid products that contain carbamates, including carbaryl and propoxur. I strongly encourage you not to use chemical flea powders and collars, as there are many natural remedies you can use. Check out Only Natural Pet Store for some great natural products. If your pet does have a serious flea problem and you just canít kick it, ask your vet for products that contain safer insecticides including imidacloprid (Advantage) and fipronil (Frontline, Topspot)

*Food -- There are many food items that are okay for humans to ingest but can be very harmful and sometimes fatal to your pet. These food items include chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes and raisins, salt, yeast dough, onions, garlic, alcoholic beverages, macadamia nuts, fatty foods, anything sweetened with xylitol, and moldy or spoiled food. Make sure that you donít leave any of these things where your pet can reach them, and please make sure your pet can not access your household trash or compost.

*Misc. Household Items -- So many things that people usually have around the house can be lethal to animals, even in tiny quantities. Did you know that eating 1 or 2 mothballs is fatal for most pet species? Other dangerous items include fabric softener sheets, play dough, cigarettes, potpourri oil, batteries, dish detergent, coffee grounds, rodent poison, Christmas tree water, electric cords, insulation and paint.

Donít you think your pet deserves a healthy environment? There are many little steps that you can do which will improve their health and well-being, as well as creating the healthy environment that everyone deserves. Try using non-toxic cleaners, instead opting for natural ingredients like baking soda, lemon and vinegar. Stay away from using perfumed air fresheners and paint your nails outsideÖ..better yet, use non-toxic nail polish. Get down on your petís level and observe what they see and what they have access to, and make sure that you make their immediate surroundings a healthy environment and as pleasant as you would your own.

Would you like more information on items that are toxic to your pet? Check out the ASPCA Poison Control Center.

More Tips for Your Pet's Healthy Environment

Here are a few more things you can do to make sure your pet has the happiest healthy environment you can provide for them:

Make sure you provide a comfortable temperature in your home. Don't forget that even if you aren't home during the day, your pet is still there and they shouldn't be uncomfortable. Also remember that if it's hot, pets don't sweat like we do, so it's not as easy for them to cool off. If it's cold, please keep your thermostat at a comfy level so your pet doesn't freeze........brrrrrrrrrrrr.

Always keep fresh water for your pet. I find that the water should be freshened no less then once a day if not more. Also, if you're going away for the day, make sure you leave water in a couple of places as well as leaving the toilet seat open. Or better yet, try a Fresh Flow Pet Fountain. These provide a gently flowing stream of naturally cool and oxygenated water. We've always said that if something should happen while we're away (not pleasant to think about, but necessary all the same), at least there would be water for the pets until someone can get to them. H20 Essential!!

Provide your pet with a "safe place". Pets love to have a cozy nook of their own. For a dog this could be a kennel or under the bed. This crate is actually portable so you can take it with you when you're traveling. Put a blanket and a toy there so they have some comfort. For a cat it could be a little covered bed or a kitty condo. We once had a cat who loved sleeping in paper bags! For other pets - maybe if it's one in a cage, like a bird or hamster or a terrarium like a gecko or snake - provide them with something that will allow them to hide away. Even if you have a goldfish, put a little fishy castle in their aquarium!

Get down on your pet's level and see what they see. Is it clean? interesting? safe? Always be mindful of them when you are walking, opening doors, rocking or moving chairs or anything else where they could be "out of sight". It's a big, scary world to them up there, and being stepped on or having the door slammed on a snout is not too pleasant.

Petís are such a great joy and give so much unconditional love and comfort. We hope that the information we have provided will help you to create a happy and healthy environment for your little four-legged (or two legged) family member and for you too.

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