From the time we bring home our first little puppy, kitten or foal or adopt an adult pet into our family, we have the best intentions to give them a happy and healthy life. It is our desire that they live long and healthy lives so that we can enjoy each other for years to come.
Unfortunately, too many pet parents are unaware that many of the most common practices of caring for our pets are actually harming them. And before we know it, years have gone by. We’ve often raised and lost many beloved pets and the knowledge we have about how to care for our pets becomes ingrained in us.
We give the same vaccines over and over.
We use the same food again and again.
We use flea, tick and fly repellent by the gallons.
We treat trauma and illness with the same drugs year in and year out.
Often, we do this without question year after year. But at what point do we begin to question the practices we’ve followed for so long?
In this post, I share 5 common mistakes that even the most loving and devoted pet parents are making. Because of them, the health and wellness of pets are being compromised. The effects can be sudden or can take years to manifest in various ailments that include, but are not limited to, allergies, anxiety, nervous system damage, liver damage, auto-immune disease, cancer and more.
The good news is that it’s never too late to make simple and lasting changes that can improve your pet’s health almost immediately. Here are common mistakes that loving pet parents make with solutions based in natural pet care.
Reducing the number and frequency of vaccinations that you give your pet is one of the best ways to reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals. Years ago many vaccines were administered yearly. Now most of those are recommended every three years. But did you know that there is a way to avoid most vaccinations all together? There is a test called a titer that measures your pet’s level of antibodies for a certain disease, distemper, for example. Annual or bi-annual testing can determine if your pet is at risk for a disease and whether or not they need a booster. Of course, adopting a holistic lifestyle is the best defense against many diseases. Talk to your holistic vet about titers and reducing yearly vaccines.
Buying pet food and feed at the grocery, hardware or feed store
There was a time when pets were fed human food as a rule and the incidence of chronic and catastrophic disease was much lower than it is today. But with the commercialization of manufactured pet food in the 1950’s, came the introduction of cheap ingredients and preservatives such as GMO corn and ethoxyquin, which promote poor health and a host of side effects, such as allergies, obesity and even cancer. Most national commercial brands are distributed through grocery, hardware, feed and national pet store chains. Many of these have had recalls because of tainted ingredients, which caused death in many cases. What were considered premium brands in years past have either changed their formulas to include cheaper ingredients or have been bought out by a larger brand and the quality has diminished. One of the best decisions you can make for your pet’s health is to upgrade the type of food you buy and purchase it from a locally owned pet store, preferably one that embraces natural care for pets. They can advise you as to how to introduce a better quality food for your pets’ health. And while it may be more expensive, your pet will be healthier so you will have fewer expenses for vet care.
Using Chemical Filled Products
Did you know that topical flea treatments contain insecticides and nerve agents? Is it any wonder they are not recommended for use on puppies and warn you against getting any on your skin?
How about that wonderful smelling shampoo that you or your groomer are using to bathe Fido or Frisky on a regular basis? Many common ingredients such as sulfates, preservatives, fragrances and artificial dyes are known hormone disruptors and carcinogens, probably not what you want to knowingly expose your beloved pet to.
Your locally owned pet shop or herbal retailer will be able to advise you on what products can be used effectively and safely. Or download my free guide, “5 Easy Steps to a Healthier Pet NOW” by entering your information in my banner above. In it I recommend several natural flea, tick and insect repellents for your pet, home and yard. If you are still unsure, I can consult with or coach you in natural care for your pet. Contact me here to schedule an exploratory call to see if working with me is right for you.
Treating your Home with Toxic Chemicals
As our society has gotten further away from living close to nature, there has been a proliferation of pest and weed prevention inside and outside our homes. Since moving out of the country and into an urban community, I have been shocked as to how common it is for my neighbors to spray their homes, inside and out, their lawns and their gardens, both flower and vegetable, with toxic chemicals to prevent insects and weeds. But these practices are harmful, even deadly to you and your pets. The chemical agents are ingested and absorbed into your pet’s system through inhalation, absorption through their eyes, skin and coats and ingestion after walking on lawns and then licking their feet afterwards. Whenever possible eliminate using these harmful chemicals inside and outside your home. Avoid lawns that are newly sprayed and be sure your pet never drinks water from puddles that may contain run off from treated areas.
Feeding Processed Human Food
Who of us hasn’t, at one time or another, shared our pizza crust, peppermints or tuna fish with our dogs, horses and cats? I remember my uncle used to give his German Shepherd platefuls of pasta almost daily thinking it was an act of love since the dog loved it so much. But just as processed food is not good for humans, it is also detrimental for pets. You may be thinking that once in a while won’t hurt but there are easy and much better options for treats that aren’t introducing harmful ingredients to your pets. Some healthier treats are raw chicken necks or organ meat for dogs and cats, and apples or carrots for horses. Keep these yummy (for your pet) natural treats on hand. Your pets will love you (even more) for it.
Transferring Personal Stress
As I discuss in my blog post “3 Ways Stress Manifests in Pets,” our lives are filled with the ups and downs of juggling everyday living along with the bigger life issues such as births, deaths, moves, marriage, divorce, natural disasters and more. For those finding it difficult to manage their own stress and live balanced mindful lives, it’s likely that your stress is transferring to your pet. Animals love unconditionally and because our pets are bonded with us they are extremely sensitive to our emotions, both positive and negative. And when our negative emotions go unchecked they can manifest in our pets in the form of anxiety, allergies, illness, poor behavior and more. Mindfulness, meditation and energy healing are just a few of the natural ways I help my animal clients and their parents resolve unhealthy stress and improve their health and quality of life.
Now that you know some of the common mistakes pet parents make that are harming their pets, what changes will you make?
If you are still unsure, I offer consulting and coaching in natural pet care for your pet. Contact me here to schedule an exploratory call to see if working with me is right for you.
In love and light,