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Everyday Chemicals and Your Pet

Posted 12.16.15 by Karen Gant, DVM


As more and more people strive for healthier lifestyles for themselves,  this is also spilling over into the lives of their pets!  From eating healthy, to exercise and environmental enrichment for pets, one very overlooked area are chemicals that your pets (and yourself!)  are exposed to in the home every day.

A great study performed by the Environmental Working Group identified Teflon levels in dogs to be 2.4 times higher than that in humans and flame retardants 23.4 times higher in cats than in people! To see complete study, go to

Many groups are lobbying in Congress to monitor and put limits on toxic substances in our homes.

Cleaning supplies and laundry products are also a huge area of contamination for your pet. Not only can they ingest the chemicals, but they are also absorbing them through their skin, breathing them in  and ingesting via grooming!

Some of the most dangerous products  are:

  • Drain cleaners
  • Pool chemicals
  • Concentrated dishwashing chemicals
  • Lime-removal products
  • Oven cleaners
  • Concentrated toilet cleaners (puts a new spin on pot licker..)

Also, cats are more susceptible to ingestion as they groom. Dryer sheets, floor cleaners and  aerosol sprays get on cats fur and are licked off, causing problems ranging from GI upset to respiratory issues.

We encourage you to slow down while you are shopping, think about yourself, your kids, and your pets, and take a closer look at every product you invite into your home in order to keep every member of your family healthy. There are many ways to clean green and decrease your pet’s exposure  to potential harmful chemicals.

Awareness of these hazards is the first step!

Dr. Karen Gant

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