RadioMD: Naturally Savvy

Tips to Keep Your Pet Healthy

August 5, 20159 min
Do you have a polluted pet?When thinking about the health of your pets, you might focus on what you're feeding them or how much exercise they're getting.But, there's a danger lurking that may do far more damage to your pets' health: toxins and chemicals.A few years ago, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) did a study, which they termed "Polluted Pets," that looked at the body burden of pollution and other toxins on animals.What they found was that cats and dogs are polluted with even higher levels of many of the same synthetic industrial chemicals that researchers have recently found in people, including newborns.The results were quite staggering.In dogs, scientists detected 35 chemicals on average, 11 of which were carcinogens. Thirty-one were toxic to the reproductive system and 24 were neurotoxins.Cats were even worse. Felines showed 46 chemicals on average, nine of which were carcinogens. Forty were harmful to the reproductive system, 34 were neurotoxins and 15 were damaging to the endocrine system. This makes sense when you consider that hyperthyroidism is the leading cause of illness in older cats. What can you do to lower the risk of having a polluted pet?First, look at their drinking water. There are countless pollutants in tap water. You can get an inexpensive faucet-mounted filter or filtered pitcher to combat this risk. Also, skip plastic when it comes to their bowels because those plastic chemicals can leech into the water.Instead of plastic bowls, use bamboo, stainless steel or ceramic. Make sure you wash the bowls daily. Second, take a hard look at their toys. Many dog toys are made with PVC and phthalates (to soften the plastic). Simply Fido is just one brand that offers certified organic plush toys. And third, make sure their pet beds are made of safe, organic materials. Many traditional beds are made from petroleum-based foam, which contains flame retardants and grease-proofing chemicals. Finally, keep in mind how low to the ground your pets are. They absorb all the dust down there (which can contain arsenic and DDT) as well as the after-effects of any harsh chemicals you've used to clean floors and other surfaces.Listen in as Lisa Beres, Certified Green Building Professional, joins hosts Andrea Donsky and Lisa Davis to discuss polluted pets, as well as tips to ensure your four-legged friend is healthy and safe.

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