We have years of scientific literature showing that pets are guardians for human problems. The question then is, are we paying attention to our pets? Let’s look behind the scenes for just a minute.
The Washington, DC based Environmental Working Group (EWG) has actually tested dogs and cats for chemical exposure and found many worrisome contaminants at levels much higher than in humans. EWG’s analysis found levels of flame retardants (used in furniture, fabrics and electronics) and mercury (likely from fish in pet foods) in cats twenty-three times and five times higher, respectively, than in humans. Levels of perfluorinated chemicals (from stain- and grease-proof coatings) in dogs were found to be 2.4 times higher than in people. Perfluorinated chemicals have been linked to causing several different types of cancers in animals. Overall, 35 worrisome chemicals in dogs and 46 in cats were found.
How do you feel about what you have just read? Overloaded? Helpless to protect your pet? Don’t be.
The really good news is that we have alternatives available to us today. We have green cleaning products to clean our homes and our pets. There are a myriad of dog and cat foods readily available, with most pet stores carrying pet healthy brands that are in the mainstream of pricing. The choices of fabrics (like micro suede or leather) and safe flooring options (without the use of perfluorinated chemicals) is abundant. Many of these changes can be done immediately, while others might not happen until the couch or the flooring need replacing.
Armed with knowledge we can make healthy choices not just for ourselves, but our pets as well.