Hocking Hills, OH –
As you are greening up and cleaning up your act at home, work and on the road, don't forget to include your extended family--your domestic pets. Remember that when you reduce or eliminate the toxic chemicals from inside and outside of your home, you are making positive strides on behalf of the environment. Along with it, your physical health should improve. In your efforts remember Fido, Fluffy and Fritz. Think about the food they are ingesting. Think about the products you are using to clean up after them and to keep your home smelling fresh. Think about the items that they are chewing on and playing with. Think about the topical treatments you are putting on your pets.
A few years ago I switched our dog Sasha to organic and all natural dog food. The dog food we use does not have a bunch of additives and preservatives. It is free of corn, wheat and soy. The immediate results were that Sasha lost weight (she was overweight from fillers and preservatives). Another result is that her fur is shiny and healthy. She does not have skin disorders and allergies. She does not have digestive disorders. Her immune system is stronger. People are amazed when I tell them that Sasha is eleven years old. Many people think she is a puppy. She looks great and our only visit to the vet is our annual wellness visit. What a pleasant surprise when I came across information recently that stresses how important an animal's nutrition is (duh). By feeding animals a natural, high quality diet free of additives and preservatives, of course, the health of an animal improves. Did you know that a strong immune system and high nutrient levels help to repel insects (i.e. fleas) as well? (www.alternativemedicine.com).
Using toxic free methods for cleaning up after your pet is just as important as what you are feeding them. What you put around them can either be breathed in or absorbed through their skin. Make sure that it's safe and healthy for your pet and the environment. Here are some ideas for all natural clean ups and deodorizing.
Visit www.arbico-organics.com for all natural deodorizers (even for cat urine) or www.earthkind.com (866.632.1725) for six wonderful varieties of all natural room deodorizers. BioKleen has a lime deodorizer called Bacout found in stores.
Fill one spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide and a second with vinegar (9-10% is best). First, spray with vinegar, and then immediately with peroxide. Rinse.
Try to avoid kitty litter with clay as they pose environmental stresses and threats. Mining clay is hard on the environment. Clay litters contribute significantly to landfills.
There are four wonderful non-clay, clumping, scoopable brands of litter you might find at your local pet store, co-op, organic grocer or health store: SwheatScoop, WonderWheat, The World's Best Cat Litter and Natural Pine Pellet from Planet Wise.
Rug Cleaner/spot remover
1. Steam clean carpets with all natural soap or with just hot water.
2. Mix C vinegar, C water, a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
1. Liberally sprinkle baking soda onto dry carpets, wait 15 minutes and vacuum. Repeat if necessary.
2. Fill a large shaker bottle full of baking soda. Add a touch of cinnamon, cloves or other favorite spice. Mix. Sprinkle over carpet and leave for a while. Vacuum. Don't use dark colored spices on light carpet.
Visit your local pet store, organic grocer or co-op to find flea and tick repellent, all natural and biodegradable shampoos, and organic and all natural non toxic pet toys. Some common organic and all natural brands you will find are: All Terrain, Ark Naturals, BioKleen, Halo, Kathy Sanfo, Natural Pet, and Petguard
Online visit: www.arbico-organics.com, www.eartheasy.com, www.judyshealthcafe.com, www.onlynaturalpet.com. Also, check out Green America's Green Pages online, www.greenpages.org, under "Pet Care" for more resources.
Remember that when you keep your pet in the green loop, you will most likely have a healthier pet and save money due to fewer vet visits and meds. The real bonus is that you and your pet will enjoy a higher quality of life and hopefully a longer one together.
Next week's topic: Natural flea and tick control.
Byline Bio: Gwen Corbett, Owner Bear's Den Cottages
www.bearsdencottages.com, Green Lodging
Helping Individuals and Businesses Go Green