The environment is full of harmful toxins which both people and their pets are constantly exposed to during the course of a lifetime. The worrying thing is there are many things we commonly use around the home which are quite harmful to an animal's health which makes it especially important to invest in more pet-friendly products. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on all the chemicals you typically use in the home, especially if you share it with a dog, cat or any other pets.
Pets are incredibly sensitive to chemicals and can get very sick as a result of inhaling anything that's airborne or if they ingest a product albeit by accident it can prove fatal. Dogs and cats often lick themselves and if they’ve rubbed up against something as innocuous as a freshly polished item of furniture they may well suffer a physical reaction to chemicals commonly found in furniture polish.
Brachycephalic dog breeds like the Pug, Boston terrier and French Bulldog are very susceptible to suffering from breathing issues which can be made much worse if they have to breath in airborne chemicals released every time an air freshener is sprayed around a room. So, how can you protect a pet from breathing in all these toxins which ultimately leads to them experiencing a “chemical overload”?
By far the worst pollutants commonly found inside a home are VOCs or volatile organic compounds which are carbon-based and which can linger in the air for ages if a room is not well ventilated. The chemicals do eventually evaporate at room temperature, but the time it takes can be very damaging to a pet's health and well-being. Products that contain these harmful chemicals includes disinfectants and if an animal is exposed to them on a long-term basis it can lead to them developing cancers, but it can also affect their kidney and liver function and cause serious damage to their central nervous systems.
With this said, even short-term exposure can result in a pet experiencing dizziness, they can develop breathing issues and have bouts of vomiting. These chemicals cause a nasty irritation in the mucus membranes of your pet's eyes, nose and mouth. The problem is that pets are more at risk simply because they are closer to a freshly polished or cleaned surface due to their size and height. The result is they can have a nasty toxic reaction that could mean an urgent trip to the vet.
New carpets also present a real headache for pets because they contain lots of chemicals which are not only used in making them, but laying them too. These include the following:
On top of this, when a carpet is laid, a fitter will typically use all sorts of volatile adhesives which are very toxic to animals. The only way around the problem is to ask for a carpet to be “gassed off” before it is fitted in your home. This involves airing it out in a well ventilated area for at least 72 hours before it is installed. Where possible you should ask the fitter to use staples rather than any adhesives and to always leave windows open in a room where a carpet has been newly laid in your house.
The same problems are associated with new furniture and furnishings because lots of chemicals are used to protect wood and the fabric used on soft furnishings. It's always advisable to keep pets away from new furniture and to prevent them from sleeping under anything which puts them at greater risk of inhaling some nasty chemicals which could cause a toxic reaction.
It's all too easy to use air fresheners around the home to help get rid of some of those doggy and kitty smells. It's far better to use pet-friendly plants which you can place around the home and which will help filter the air. Another great product that neutralises smells very effectively is baking soda, something that can usually be found in most kitchen cupboards. You can also eliminate pet smells by cooking up some wonderful smelling herbs on the stove or to heat up some natural oils in a burner. Two very good choices are lavender and vanilla oils which not only help get rid of smells, but they are very soothing too. If your home needs perking up, try some lemon and orange oils which will do the job nicely.
These days there's a superb choice of safe alternatives you can use to clean your home and this includes things like pet-friendly oven cleaners. It takes a bit of organising to go “greener”, but the effort is well worth it because the end result is a safer environment for you, your family and pet. It does not have to cost you a fortune to run a green home if and the benefits make perfect sense because it reduces the risk of a pet having a nasty reaction to chemicals that are commonly found in many household products.