As a pet parent, you want what is best for your furry friend. If you are also environmentally conscious, then you only want to use natural products in your home. There are a growing number of natural pet care brands that cater to people who want to use healthier products for their cats, dogs and other pets.
What is Natural Pet Care?
Natural pet care is the use of products that are free of harmful chemicals. The products are made from natural ingredients or materials that are safer for both pets and people to be around. These pet products are also eco-friendly and keep the home and the environment free of toxic chemicals and synthetic compounds. Natural pet products include food, shampoos, bedding, flea and tick treatments, and medical treatments.
Why Unnatural Products are Harmful
Unnatural pet products affect not only pets, but humans as well. Any unnatural products used on a pet’s skin can transfer to adults and children. Pets also spend time on furniture so these products end up on upholstery. Synthetic ingredients in shampoos or in flea and tick products can irritate or damage a pet’s skin and/or fur.
Using unnatural products contributes to air and water pollution. The chemicals used in pet products often find their way into the ground water, soil and air, and this harms the wildlife and the environment. These products also trigger allergies to the pets or chemical sensitivity issues for both pets and humans.
Why Natural Pet Products are Better
Natural pet products provide a host of benefits for pets, people and the environment such as:
- better for the environment because the products breakdown and are absorbed more readily by the environment, unlike most chemicals and synthetics.
- an excellent track record for centuries because natural remedies have proven to be effective in treating pets.
- no testing on animals.
- less likely to trigger allergic reactions in pets when applied to skin.
Natural Pet Food
Diet is an important consideration for keeping pets healthy. Not only do pets need fresh water daily, but they also need high quality foods so they get the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy. According to DoctorDog.com, natural foods also reduce the chances of having health problems, such digestive disorders and allergies.
Some people enjoy home cooking for their pets, and there are recipes and cookbooks available for this. If you don’t have the time or inclination to cook food for your dog or cat, you can buy natural or organic pet foods and treats. These brands contain high quality ingredients that are better absorbed by the body.
It’s important to read the label of any food you want to give your pet. The first few ingredients should be animal proteins such as chicken, beef, turkey, or fish. Also, avoid any foods that use additives, chemical preservatives, grain fillers such as wheat gluten, by-products, bone meal, or artificial sweeteners, coloring agents or flavors. If you buy top quality natural or organic pet foods, you are assured of giving your pet the nutrients it requires for optimal health.
Pets and Cleaning
Pets need regular bathing just as people do. There are natural or organic bathing supplies on the market that use mild cleansing agents rather than harsh detergents. You can also make your own shampoo using dry cornmeal. Sprinkle it on your pet, let it sit for a few minutes and then brush it all out.
Another issue with pets is cleaning up their messes. There are many natural cleaning products you can buy, but you can also use white vinegar and baking soda to make your own cleaning solvents.
Bedding for Your Pet
Although many pets enjoy sleeping with their human parents, they should have their own beds. Choosing bedding made from organic or natural fibers is a better choice than synthetic materials. Natural fibers such as cotton and linen breathe better and are free of fumes that might cause allergies or respiratory ailments for your pet.
The latest trend is organic pet toys. Since pets often lick, chew or bite such items, it’s best if their toys were made of healthier materials. Although there aren’t that many organic toys on the market yet, it doesn’t hurt to buy them and see if your pet enjoys playing with the new toys.
Natural Treatments for Pet Problems
There are natural remedies you can use to treat your furry children. Stress affects animals as well as people. One way to reduce stress is with herbal remedies.
One herb that effectively calms a pet is Valerian. After grinding up the Valerian root, sprinkle a very tiny bit on pet food. You can also brew chamomile tea, let it cool, and then encourage your pet to sip a little of it. You can even soak a treat in the tea and feed it to your pet.
For an extra health boost, you can add antioxidant-rich herbs to pet food. According to Care2.com, the herbs to try include fresh or dried oregano, dill, rosemary, peppermint, lemon balm or cinnamon. Experiment with the herbs to find your pet’s favorite flavors. Of course, let your pet’s veterinarian know that you are considering using these herbs to get his or her blessing.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur in both cats and dogs. Although a trip to the vet is necessary to rule out other issues. There are a few ways to prevent UTIs. Dandelion root is recommended by some holistic veterinarians. You can sprinkle a teaspoon of ground dandelion root on the pet’s food a few times each week.
Flea and tick problems are an ongoing problem. Natural flea and tick collars prevent the problem safely. Another option is to make your own flea and tick product using essential oils such as lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint. Apply 10 drops of one oil to a bandanna, and wrap the cloth around your pet’s neck to deter pests.
There is a lot you can do to keep your pet healthy, clean, and calm using just natural products. Natural pet care is becoming more popular as people look for ways to help their pets while also helping the environment.
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