Happy New Year! It is always exciting to start a new year, full of hope and wonder for what lies ahead. We at All Pet and Home Care have very exciting news to begin our year. January will be our very first edition of our new monthly e-newsletter! We have been working hard on it and hope you enjoy it. Please share your thoughts with us, as this is all for YOU!
We hope everyone has a healthy and happy 2020, for all your two legged AND four-legged family. My challenge to you is to try to make a resolution to get rid of unnecessary chemicals in your life. Instead, or in addition to, counting calories, try counting chemicals. When you do you will be shocked at how much we are exposed to in our daily lives. From toiletries to cleaning products and even food. Two of the unhealthiest household items I ditched years ago (recommended by my holistic veterinarian) were Glade plug-ins and fabric softeners. I swapped them out with an essential oil diffuser for air freshening (actually air cleaning), and white vinegar and wool dryer balls for clothes softening. Best decisions ever! My husband’s allergies started clearing up and my lungs felt better. Now on to this month’s blog!
Most dogs (and some cats) enjoy winter, especially playing in the snow. (I’m talking to you, Bella Frazier!) Here are some cold weather pet tips to help make winter a safe and fun time for all. -Use pet safe deicers. This stuff is VERY toxic to our pets. Both externally and internally. And, sadly, while researching for this blog I found very few that are truly safe. I could have, and considered, writing an entire blog just on what I learned. It was alarming. Especially about what years of road salt is doing to our water supply and watersheds. But that is another story for another time. Originally, I wanted to do a top 10 of the safest products, but as I researched, I could not come up with 5 that I felt good about. Most products read “safer” on their labels not “safe”, and very few will list their ingredients. That is also the case for many deicers we use that are not pet safe. Here are the chemicals that are toxic to both pets and humans. This way you will know what to stay away from. Calcium chloride, Potassium chloride and Sodium chloride are toxic to pets. They are not kind to humans either, but they are commonly used in road salt and some rock salts. Use products that are magnesium based instead for a safer alternative. Here are two products that after researching, I am willing to try: • Green Gobbler Pet Safe Ice Melt- Made from magnesium chloride, from the Dead Sea. It also claims to be safe for plants. • Redmond Ice Melt Salt- All natural, dye-, polymer- and urea-free. 60+ minerals help it brine faster and last longer. The company was started in 1958, when the Redmond brothers found a large deposit of volcanic ash and natural salt on their farm. They created this eco-friendly ice-melter from that. If you would rather ditch the commercial stuff altogether, here is a homemade recipe that a friend gave me years ago that works. I’ve seen it pop up a lot in recent years, since people are getting more conscious about chemical exposure. I use this on our walkway and steps. If there is a stubborn spot, I pour a small amount of coarse kosher or table salt on the spot after applying the mixture and it melts fast. Another benefit from this mixture is that it seems to last a while and will keep the area ice free days later. The recipe is easy. 1/2 gallon of very hot water, 1 Teaspoon Dawn dish soap (must be Dawn) and 1 Tablespoon rubbing alcohol. Mix it all together, pour into a watering can with a rosette nozzle and spread over icy area. It may be a small amount of effort, but I find it to be worth it. -Never let your dogs drink from pools of melted snow near roads, as many will contain high concentrations of rock salt. -Protect their paws. Use a paw sealant such as my favorite, Musher’s Secret. This will protect them from exposure to road salt, antifreeze and ice balls. The paw pads absorb chemicals faster than any other part of a pet’s body. When pets walk on rock salt, it burns. They will try licking it off their paws to stop the burning. Once it is ingested it can cause many other serious health issues. Minimize exposure to salt by walking in grass instead of treated areas. Always rinse or wipe paws with damp cloth upon returning from walk. As important as paws are our shoes and boots. Always remove your shoes or boots at the door or wipe them off well before walking through your house. This will limit the chemicals brought into your home from your shoes. -Avoid antifreeze spills. Antifreeze is made from ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic to humans and animals. Sometimes it contains propylene glycol, which is also a food additive in processed foods like salad dressings. It is also used in processed pet food (kibble). It has been deemed “safe” by the FDA. Both have a sweet taste. Our pets cannot tell the difference between the two. If you suspect your pet ingested antifreeze seek veterinarian care immediately. -Know your dog’s limits. Short coated, thin, elderly or young dogs get cold faster. Limit their outdoor time and consider outfitting them with a sweater or coat. Pets are susceptible to frostbite. The signs of frostbite are red, swollen areas or skin that is white or very pale. To treat, immerse affected area in WARM water for 15-20 minutes. Hypothermia in severe cases of exposure are possible. Symptoms include shivering, low body temperature, stumbling, drowsiness, exhaustion. To treat, the pet’s body temperature must be raised. Surround body in hot water bottles and/or warm moist towels, or immerse body in room temperature water, while slowly adding warm water. Try to get pet to drink warm liquids, such as warm bone broth. Call veterinarian immediately. -Check under your hood. Even if you do not have cats, outside cats will often find warm vehicles and sleep in the wheel wells or engine compartments. They can be severely injured if your vehicle is started when they are in there. Bang on hood or honk horn before starting your vehicle. -Think about fire safety. Wagging tails can knock over lit candles. Crackling fireplaces and hot embers can be very interesting to our furry friends. Be sure fireplaces are screened and all candles and open flames are out of reach. -When traveling with your pet assemble and store an emergency kit in the trunk. It should include a few days’ worth of extra food, water, medications, first aid kit, blanket. Be sure to have an emergency kit in the trunk at all times for your family, too! Just replace the pet food with some granola bars! I hope you enjoyed this and found it informative. Now get out there and build snowman or have a snowball battle!