Non- Toxic pet care

It comes so naturally for me to buy non-toxic products for our home.  From cleaning the kitchen to brushing out teeth and washing our hair, I always make sure to read the labels to be sure there aren’t any phosphates or phthalates or parabens.  I know.  Big words, right?  This easily carries over to caring for our dogs.  I have most recently been using the Nature’s Dog All Natural Goat’s Milk Shampoo Bar from Canus for bathing my dogs.  I like that the only waste is the box that the bar comes in, but since it can be recycled, there’s really no waste.  Using ingredients like cedarwood oil, goat’s milk, juniper and tea tree oils and shea butter to bathe my dogs leaves me feeling good that they (or I) aren’t exposed to harsh chemicals.  They can lick themselves afterwards (you know all dogs do that after a bath) and I don’t have to worry about what they might be ingesting.  I love the smell of my dogs after a bath because it comes from essential oils rather than artificial fragrance of some sort. 
Where natural and non-toxic pet care gets challenging is when there is an issue with fleas.  They are relentless and breed like freaks to invade your home and cause misery to your pet and, really, the entire family.
With true diligence it’s possible to get them under control without surrendering yourself to nasty chemical-filled products.  Here’s what I’ve had to do recently:

  • Bathe your pet regularly (I’m doing this once a week)
  • While you are bathing them, wash their beds (bed covers) – when it gets cold I like to put the bed outside for a bit because little pests tend to die in low temperatures.
  • Salt your carpets and especially places where the dogs frequently lay.  If they lay on any of the furniture in your home, sprinkle salt under the cushions and leave it.  Why salt?  Because it dehydrates and kills the fleas and their eggs.  I sprinkle the salt in the morning and vacuum in the afternoon (about every 2-3 days).
  • Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum – so important to stay on top of this one!
  • Apple cider vinegar in their water and brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast and garlic in their food.  These improve their health, making them less desirable to the fleas.  I only add about a teaspoon of the vinegar to the water because the taste can be strong. 
  • If you have a flea comb, check your pet regularly.  I have a small bowl of soapy water ready so when I catch one of the nasty pests I can immediately dunk it.  (they move fast and will jump off of the comb if given the chance.

Even though it can seem daunting, we can care for our pets without the use of toxic chemicals.

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