Dog in Water Bowl

You may be surprised – and even shocked – to hear of the many places that your pets could be ingesting toxins. And keep in mind, where your animal is exposed, so to are you, your kids and the like. By making your household safer for our four-legged friends, you’ll be protecting your human family members as well.

Water Bowl
Using tap water? There’s a reason many of us won’t drink from the tap, so don’t make your pets do it either. Why expose them to chemicals and contaminants we wouldn’t put in our own bodies? Instead, use a reverse osmosis, faucet-mounted, or pitcher filter to purify the water before filling your pet’s water bowl, like you’d do for yourself. Stay away from bottled water, though, because studies have shown that plastic might leach chemicals that mess with animals’ hormones. Also, avoid plastic water bowls for the same reason!

Bed
We all know that many dogs and cats like to bite, chew, claw and rip apart their beds (or anything else they can get to!). What you might not know is that the crumbling foam in beds contains flame retardants that can adversely affect pets. If your pets’ beds contain this material, do yourself a favor — replace their old bedding.

Furniture
Those same chemicals can be found in furniture that contains flame retardants. If your pet likes to gnaw on your kitchen table, you may have more than one reason to look into alternative digs. 

Deck
If you have a deck that was made with arsenic-treated wood, take care how you maintain it. Treat the wood with a sealant every six months, and don’t let pets play or sleep underneath it. And when you clean it, only wash the deck with mild soap and water — never power wash it.

Stain Repellant
Stain-proof treatments may keep your couches, carpets and car upholstery looking nice, but they are loaded with toxic chemicals and can be extremely dangerous to your pets. If you want to keep your belongings looking nice, search for organic alternatives.

Non-Stick Pans
Overheated nonstick pans give off chemicals that may be bad for many pets and people, and can actually kill pet birds. Don’t risk it. Switch to cast iron.

Ground
It’s shocking the kinds of nasty contaminants you can find right outside your door and around your neighborhood. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, and take off your shoes at the door to minimize your pets’ exposure to toxic chemicals in the house that have been introduced from the outside. Also, if you use insecticides to care for your lawn, you could be causing nervous system damage to any pets that walk on the treated lawn, eat the grass or breathe in the chemicals. Organic alternatives are readily available. Use them.

Chew toys
Oftentimes, chew toys contain plastic softening chemicals that can be harmful to your pet. Find toys that are made from only organic materials, make your own or try bully sticks.

Pet shampoo
For some reason, pet products are not required to list potentially harmful ingredients on labels. One easy way to ensure your dog’s safety is by using baby shampoo or making your own natural shampoo.

image: elvissa