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Keeping Pets Healthy
The Importance of a Clean Environment
You may think of keeping your pet in good shape as a very difficult challenge. But really, there are so many different things we can do to keep our pets healthy, both physically and emotionally! The first and most important thing is to give our pets nutritious foods. And fortunately, this is also the easiest thing you can do - in fact, food may be the fastest, most direct path to good pet health.

A second very important aspect of pet health is exercise. Do you walk (or run) your dogs daily? Do you play with your cats? Pet professionals recognize that many behavioral problems in dogs and cats are due to a lack of exercise. Of course, different breeds, ages, and sizes of pets have their own unique needs. A chihuahua may not need as much running and vigorous playing as a border collie. A 15 year-old cat might not be as naturally active as a kitten. But universally, the need for exercise itself as an important means for building muscles and strengthening bones should be obvious.

What many people do tend to overlook is the environmental issue. Are you allergic to house dust? Just like us, your dogs and cats may have reactions to a variety of things they are exposed to on a daily basis. This includes not only dust but also chemicals - such as common household cleaning products! Your pets spend their lives very close to the ground, and this may make them particularly vulnerable to environmental pollutants.

Indoors or outdoors (especially indoors because pets as well as people are said to spend 90% of their time inside buildings) , this could be a problem. The longer your pets (or you, for that matter) are exposed to something, the greater the chance they may develop long-term allergies. If you and your pets live in a city, and spend much of your time indoors, the risks could be higher.

There are many sources of pollutions. Considering the fact that our family and pets spend al lot of time in the house, indoor air pollution is a major concern. Air pollution can be caused by biological substances such as viruses, airborne bacteria, fungi, pollens, dust mites. It can also be caused by outside contaminated air, faulty heating and air conditioning systems, smoking, house cleaning products, pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, formaldehyde, or asbestos.

Ironically, the rising concern of indoor pollutants can be attributed to modern improvements in building construction methods. These days, houses are solidly built with thorough insulation that it is very energy-efficient, saving you quite a bit of money for heating and cooling. But at the same time, once chemical fumes invade the home, there is a greater likelihood they will stay there. In addition, all the dust and pollens and other particles floating in the air - the ones that follow you in from the outside - will be trapped inside the house for a long time. Tight-sealed homes also give molds more opportunities to grow in damp, poorly ventilated areas like kitchens and bathrooms.

While you cannot control every pollutant in the outside world, you CAN control the environments your pets (and you!) live in.

  1. Use less pesticides in your backyard. (None would be even better!) There were an estimated 34,ooo pesticides in use as of 1995. No doubt, these days there are probably a lot more. Most of them are insoluble in water and remain hazardous for a long period of time.

  2. Clean your house with pet-friendly (environmentally safe) cleaners.

  3. Remove toxic chemicals, or keep them away from your pets. (Seeking non-toxic products is the best). When it cannot be avoided, use the chemicals in a well-ventilated area. A study shows that many of volatile organic compounds (ex. Paint, varnish, stain, air fresheners, moth repellents) pollutants have five times the concentration inside our buildings than outside.

  4. Give your pets filtered water (or bottled water) for drinking. Tap water may be polluted with chlorine, fluoride, nitrates, lead, arsenic, pesticides, mercury and so on.

  5. Vacuum the floor more often! (And always ventilate!)

  6. Brush and bathe your pets to remove pollutants from their furs (this is particularly important for cats, who groom themselves daily. They lick their fur which attracts toxins from places.)

  7. Controlling indoor moisture is a good way to reduce air pollution from molds, mildews, and mites.

  8. Change heating and air conditioning filters regularly.
Following these simple steps is a good start (but only a start!) for creating a pet-friendly environment for both you and your loving pets!

Special Note: Although every effort has been made to present healthy products and useful information to support your pets' health, the products and information contained within this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The contents of this site are not meant as a substitute for consultation with a trained veterinarian. If you are concerned about the health of your pets, you should ask your veterinarian for proper guidance suited to the specific condition of your pets. The owners of this website accept no liability for any consequences resulting from the use of products and/or information provided through this site. Please use your discretion when attending to your pets' health.
Special thanks to Fintan Darragh, Rich Bensen, Maggie, Jiji, and Mary Crissman for providing our pet pictures!
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