If you're interested in helping your companion lead a healthier and happier life, then going natural is a step in the right direction! Synthetic chemicals and other harmful materials can have a significant effect on the planet, you and your pet. Reducing your pet’s exposure to toxins can help in many ways, so here are some tips on how to go natural!
Food and Treats
The food you provide for your furry, scaly, or feathered friend day after day is the biggest investment you can make to your pet’s health. Poor nutrition can contribute to many health problems, such as skin and fur issues, tooth decay, and diabetes. Here are a few general vet guidelines to help you choose the best natural pet food:
- Look out for corn as it is commonly genetically modified.
- At least two types of meat should be among the top ingredients in a dry food product.
- Meat should be the first ingredient in canned, raw, dehydrated or frozen food.
- Avoid synthetic preservatives like ethoxyquin, BHT, BHA, propyl gallate and propylene glycol.
- Choose good quality brands that have put effort into making the best food possible.
- Consider raw, frozen or dehydrated diets to get the most natural nutrition.
- For smaller animals choose a diet that is formulated with organic grasses and grains that closely match the fibres of a natural diet.
This goes for treats too! Freeze-dried or dehydrated meats and organs are your best bet if your pet can digest these. Make sure treats contain no additives or chemicals and have not undergone harsh processing. Simple is how nature made them, and that’s how they should stay!
Studies show many popular pet toys contain potentially dangerous chemicals such as Bisphenol A (BPA), a toxin banned from baby products and bottles. Toxic-free toys are important for pets who love to chew and often ingest part of their toy during playtime. This is especially common with birds and small animals like bunnies. Choosing safe toys for these animals is therefore essential for a healthy and happy pet.
Your buddy spends a lot of time snoozing, so it's important that their bed is safe and non-toxic. Beds and other pet accessories such as clothing, leashes, harnesses, and collars are now available in eco-friendly materials. Look out for recycled materials such as recycled plastic bottle filling, organic cotton and natural wax free hemp. Hemp requires less water and a smaller amount of pesticides to grow. If you're into repurposing, try upcycling your old clothes as stuffing for your pet’s bed or toys!
Don't forget to look out for natural grooming products for your pet. There is little regulation for pet grooming products, so companies can use perfumes, detergents and other potentially harmful chemicals. The skin absorbs many of these chemicals which get into the blood and put a strain on the liver as it breaks them down. Natural pet grooming products that use natural ingredients including safe herbs, aloe vera and oatmeal are much gentler on the skin!
Health and Supplements
There is a big difference between natural and synthetic vitamins. Natural vitamins derived from whole foods are much better absorbed and utilized by the body. Vitamins made in a laboratory are less efficient and may even be harmful.
This applies to flea and worm treatments too! Keeping fleas and worms at bay often involves the application of pesticides. Fortunately, there are natural flea control methods available. Look out for repellents made from essential oils, brewer's yeast, garlic, and other natural ingredients. Other flea controls like keeping a clean house and car with frequent vacuuming to scoop up flea eggs before they can hatch will help protect your pet!
Don't forget waste clean-up! Natural kitty litters are tricky. For example, litters made from clay are derived from an unfriendly mining process. Clay litters also create a lot of dust that can get down into your cat’s lungs where it can cause inflammation. It’s preferable to use natural, sustainable resources such as corn, wheat and newsprint, however, make sure the ink used on the newspaper is non-toxic. For cleaning up doggie messes try natural dog urine cleaner suggestions like using white vinegar, baking soda, or cat litter.