Do you use disinfectants and strong cleaning agents? Air fresheners? Pesticides and rodenticides? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes!” then this article for you!
It may surprise you to learn that most pets are introduced to more toxic and dangerous chemicals in the home than any other place they frequent. So, let’s get serious about cleaning out those hazardous materials you probably didn't even know about and make our homes healthier for everyone!
LET'S GET GREEN!
Just like humans, animals are sensitive to chemicals and there’s no bigger exposure to our pets than those harmful toxins and gases in the home. Commonly used in home products are VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which evaporate at room temperature and remain airborne for a long time.
Exposure to our pets can lead to:
• Breathing problems
• Irritations in eyes, mouth and nose
• Liver/Kidney damage
• Central nervous system damage
IT’S IN THE AIR
Air fresheners may give the impression of cleaning the air and leaving a lovely smell, however they actually irritate breathing passages and mucus membranes, especially in certain breeds. Similarly, if you have an indoor plant it is wise to research to see if it is toxic to animals should they decide to take a bite!
Cleaning agents also produce a harmful gas that can linger for a long time, irriating the eyes, nose and mouths of our fur friends.
What you can do!
Install a pet-friendly plant and use baking soda to neutralise smells around the home (even on carpeting). Burning natural oils, such as citrus oils, vanilla and cinnamon, can give your home that sweet smell. Use natural and non-toxic cleaners and water instead of heavy, strong cleaners.
IT’S IN THE CARPET
Laying down a new carpet can cause a massive upheaval of allergens and chemicals in the air. Formaldehyde, benzene, and acetone are three of the biggest and that’s not even counting the stain protectors, moth proofing and flame retardant chemicals used to keep the carpet in top shape! The strong adhesive used to attach the carpet is another nasty chemical that does no good to our pets.
Here’s an alternative!
What can you do if you need a new carpet? It’s easy! Simply ask the sales person to allow the carpet to “gas” off before installation. Also opt for staples rather than adhesives and allow for an airing of the room after the carpet is lain.
IT’S IN THE FURNITURE
In the same fashion, new furniture is treated with all manner of chemicals to protect it from wear and harm. Therefore, keep pets off new furniture so it can air out before it is used.
PESTICIDES / RODENTICIDES
Bombing or spraying your home kills those pesty, small critters, so imagine what it does to your pet, who often sits on the floor when all the fumes and chemicals settle?
The point of these chemicals is to attach to floors and walls and continue to keep those pests away long after the bomb is gone, so if possible use natural, non-toxic alternatives. If you must use these bombs, simply keep pets out of the home for 48 hours and open windows to allow airing.
Going green benefits everyone, not just your loyal fur friend, and while it may take a bit more consideration and effort it is by far the best option to helping you and your pets live a happy and healthy life!