Sources:  Dr. Judy Morgan, Dog Owner’s Summit March 2023, Dangers of Chemicals and Natural Alternatives, Dr. John Tegzes: Hidden Hazards and Toxins in Pet Foods Mistaken for Allergies, ASPCA Poison Control 

Like us, our animal companions are exposed to a large variety of toxins in everyday life. Holistic veterans believe the substantial increase in cancer and other chronic conditions among animals is directly related. Due to their smaller size, our animals often have a much more significant exposure to the same chemicals than we do.  Additionally, our animals spend a great deal more time on the floor and on the grass than we do and lick themselves, adding to the toxic impact of household and garden chemicals.

Unfortunately, many of the toxins come directly from their food and water.  The impact of toxins are also considered to be at the root for many issues that are mistaken for allergies, according to Dr. Tegzes.  Sources of toxins are numerous, so I am focusing on the most commonly encountered.

Source 1:  Tap Water
Our tap water can be loaded with toxins and, among other things, can predispose our animals to issues with their kidneys and other organs, because of the additional load it takes to filter out Chlorine, Fluoride and the like.   To mitigate, offer spring or filtered water.

Source 2:  Pet Food
Not only are the grains used in pet food frequently waste products (i.e. leftover from alcohol production), but most grains are heavily sprayed with glyphosates, which wreak havoc on our pets bodies in multiple ways and destroy their microbiomes.  According to Dr. Tegzes, when it comes to toxins, kibble is most likely to be contaminated by hidden toxins.  Additionally, kibble is loaded with bacteria and is highly inflammatory.  To mitigate, ditch the kibble, cook your own pet food, look for companies that use human grade products and read pet food labels carefully.

Source 3:  Household Cleaners and Garden Products
The types of cleaners and products that can cause issues for your pets are too numerous to mention.  To mitigate, clean with soap and water whenever you can (I use microfiber cloths that are excellent at removing stains), look for more natural products, use beneficial insects to control plant-related diseases, etc. If you have recently used chemicals in your yard, consider buying in expensive “boots” to wear when your animals are outside.

Source 4:  Over the Counter Medications
In 2018, the ASPCA received 213,773 calls, almost 20% of which were related to ingestion of over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, cold medications, and herbal supplements. Even a medication that does not require a prescription can be extremely dangerous to your pet. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and naproxen can cause acute kidney failure and should never be given to pets. To mitigate, do not try to treat your pet’s medical problems without consulting your veterinarian and never give them a medication that is not approved for veterinary use.

Source 5:  Anti-Parastic Medications
According to Dr. Judy Morgan, many commercial parasite preventatives don’t work because they don’t repel and kill the bugs after they bite your pet.  Many of these are neurotoxins.  To mitigate, use natural products containing safe compounds (in appropriate doses) like the product Wondercide.  To be completely upfront, I have found that a number of these don’t work as well, but I would rather have my cat deal with a few fleas, etc. than placing a toxic load on her body.  We check her for ticks daily.

According to the Centers for Disease Control “In most cases, a tick must be attached for 36 to 48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted. If you remove a tick quickly (within 24 hours), you can greatly reduce your chances of getting Lyme disease

In addition to the sources I have highlighted, there are a number of human foods and plants that are toxic to pets as well.  I would highly recommend looking into this!