We have the same concerns for our pets about good health, proper nutrition and chemical exposure as we do for ourselves; they are vulnerable to many of the same illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. As with humans, there are fortunately now many organic products and accessories for pets, as well as alternative therapies like aromatherapy, homeopathy and botanical supplements. For example, conventional flea control products contain pyrethroids and pesticides, which can cause health problems and cancer risks. They also pose risks to humans who touch their pet after a treatment. I sprinkle a yeast and garlic supplement on my dog’s food to repel fleas from the inside out which seems to work with no risk. (Don't give your pet straight garlic however.) Flea combs, non-toxic powders, organic sprays and shampoos also work. Here is a natural, easy-to-do flea spray you can make yourself:
Natural Flea and Tick Repellant
6 drops lavender oil; 6 drops cedar oil; 6 drops peppermint oil; 1 cup witch hazel; Combine all the ingredients and place in a spray bottle. Shake until mixed thoroughly. Shake bottle before using. This does not need to be worked into the skin. The smell will repel fleas and ticks.
Conventional pet food has preservatives, additives with little nutritional benefit, substitutes for more expensive meats, artificial colors, thickeners and sweeteners. Many of these fillers are contaminants and potentially carcinogenic, but you can find healthier alternatives at most pet stores and supermarkets.
Most dogs spend a lot of time outside on the lawn, rolling around on, digging, and sniffing. If you are not already doing so, consider switching to organic lawn care instead of conventional which uses unnecessary chemicals and nitrogen based fertilizers, many of which are known carcinogens linked to health problems in children, pets and adults. Lawns actually use 20 times more pesticides per acre than farms.
Organic bedding, toys and clothing made using organic catnip and organic cotton help to keep your pets healthy and keep our planet free of pollutants. Bark your dog (and cat) up the right tree!
For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.