There is nothing worse than seeing your pet suffer from itch and irritations and one of the most frustrating parts of it is, it’s almost impossible to know what’s causing it! What is even more frustrating is most conventional vets will not warn you about any of the below irritants making it even harder to troubleshoot! They may even blame the itching on fleas your dog does not even have and suggest applying more toxic treatments just making everything worse!
Like humans, our pets are surrounded by toxins in pretty much everything they do which means, as their advocates, we have to do our best to keep their toxin exposure as low as we can.
Lawn pesticides on the grass they roll in, heavy metals in their tap water, irritating grooming products, environmental allergies, and inflammatory foods are just a few things that can cause reactions. For those that have gone to the vet and still are left with no answers, we wanted to create a blog on some of the worst offenders that you can scan for right away!
Through the process of elimination, we can at least see if by removing any of the below offers some relief and if not, look for a holistic vet that can do some heavier digging! Below is a list of some of the most common sources of inflammation we have found. The bad news is, there are a LOT of them. The good news is, we have solutions and coupon codes for almost ALL of them so we made sure to link our solutions in each section.
Something many do not realize is that most lawns, including your neighbors or public parks, are treated with toxic pesticides designed to kill weeds. Weed killers are not only toxic to humans but our pets as well and very often, pet owners allow their pets to lay or play on these lawns lurking with poison. The most common pesticide in the World is Glyphosate, found in Roundup and it is concluded by WHO as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. A tip when looking at lawns is, do they have weeds? If you notice small flowers or weeds growing it may be a good sign the lawn is pesticide-free, however, it is not a guarantee so you should always keep your pets off of lawns that you personally do not control.
Do you use products like wall plug-ins, conventional candles, deodorizers, air fresheners, or room sprays? Sadly, products like Febreze are made with thousands of synthetic ingredients that can be very irritating and possibly carcinogenic to not only us but our pets as well. Never allow these items into the home and instead, choose an essential oil-based option instead. Some of our favorite room & linen sprays can be found here.
As you can imagine, what your pet eats is critical and very unique to just them. What one dog can thrive on can very easily irritate your another. Some common allergens are chicken, milk, wheat, rice, corn, soy & starches which are most often found in kibbles. Many people do not think diet is the cause as their pet has likely eaten the same food for long periods of time but sadly, the inflammatory damage can take years before you notice. Even nicer brands like Acana can be causing your pet’s inflammation. My biggest tip is to find a holistic vet to help you slowly transition your pet off ANY kibble OR food that contains the above ingredients as it may be causing their internal inflammation. We personally cook our dog’s food, however, you can find our approved food options here.
Did you know that most public water is loaded with viruses, fluoride, heavy metals, VOCs & chlorine? We never allow our dogs to drink tap water since it is often heavily contaminated. Always filter your whole family’s water, pets too! Unfortunately, most filters do not filter out enough of the contaminants so click here to see which we use and why.
Home Cleaning Products-
Our pets spend most of their time with their tummies flat on our floors so you want to be sure you are using a non-toxic, very gentle cleaner on not just your floors but the entire home. Pets also walk on the floors and then spend a good amount of time licking their paws so this is a really important thing to consider. Most cleaning products, even natural ones like Mrs. Meyers and Seventh Generation contain eczema and dermatitis triggering sulfates and preservatives so you want to make sure you are using a truly clean line in your home to keep your pet safe! To see how we clean our home, click here.
It may seem like a stretch but what you wash your personal linens and pet’s bedding with matters! Like everything else, conventional laundry detergents and dryer sheets are heavily contaminated with hormone-disrupting fragrances, irritating sulfates, and copolymers. Always wash your items with a fragrance-free, truly non-toxic wash. Luckily, we use the above brand for all of our home cleaning and laundry needs which makes it an easy swap!
More items that are often greenwashed, when products are labeled clean and natural but really aren’t, are your pet’s personal care products. From shampoos and deodorizers to skin sprays and balms, most conventional products are loaded with fragrances, penetration enhancers, skin-irritating surfactants, and harsh preservatives. There is truly only one brand that I have found to be acceptable and it can be found in my store here.
This is not only super clean, but it is also actually amazing for re-balancing out your pet’s good and bad bacteria! They also make an amazing hot spot spray that you can use while working to eliminate the source of your pet’s irritations.
Indoor Air Pollution-
Just like our water, our indoor air is a huge source of pollution and we all spend so much of our lives inside, breathing it in. You want to make sure your indoor air is as clean as it can be and free of mold, viruses, VOCs, gases, cooking smoke, smoke, mycotoxins, toxic chemicals, dust mites, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and more. I truly believe the air we breathe is one of the most important parts of living a healthy life for both us and our pets. Not all air filters are capable of filtering out the tiniest particles so to see which we use, click here!
While avoiding every toxin is impossible, we sure hope that by reducing you and your pet’s exposure to the above most common ones that you are able to give them some relief! Of course, this is a lot of information to take in and it may be overwhelming bu just remember, baby steps add up and reducing ANY toxin is better than nothing! We sure hope our tips will help!
May 5, 2020
This is great! For the cat lovers out there, kitty litter can be an irritant too. Also, living in the Bay Area means that I get black mold growth basically every winter :(. So that has to be cleaned (naturally of course).
May 5, 2020
Yesssssss synthetic kitty litter is the WORST!!!
May 5, 2020
You already got me involved with open farm but I could use all the help I could get with more!
May 5, 2020
I was wondering what you suggest for flea protection? I haven’t been able to find (unless I’m being a dumby) on organic bunny or bunnys buddies! I just rescued a 4 month puppy and at the first vet visit they gave us a flea prevention medicine but I am too scared to give it to her because I have heard about the potential of seizures. Thanks sooo much! I trust everything you suggest and your blogs have been so helpful moving to a cleaner, non toxic home life!