Pet owners typically go to extremes when it comes to healthcare for their animals. Either they do not take any healthcare measures or they spend way too much money to keep their pets healthy. Taking an eco-friendly approach allows pet owners to save money while providing pets with the care they need. Here are several ways to “go green” with pet healthcare.
Step 1: Avoid pet shampoos that claim to kill fleas. These contain chemicals that can be dangerous for pets. Use an herbal animal shampoo or bathe the pet in soap and water. If a soapy water solution is left on the coat of the animal for between 5 and 8 minutes, it will kill fleas by suffocation.
Step 2: Take a chemical-free approach to killing fleas. A flea collar creates a cloud of toxins that affect both the pet and its owner. According to the Cancer Prevention Coalition, many brand-name flea medications contain neurotoxins and/or carcinogens. Avoid older products sold over the counter because many of these contain toxic chemicals. Look for non-toxic, chemical-free flea medications.
Step 3: Make your own natural flea treatment. Slice two lemons and pour near-boiling water over them. Soak the lemons in the water overnight. Strain the liquid the next day and pour it into a spray bottle. Each day, spray the dog with the solution and then rub it into the pet’s coat. You can also spray pet bedding. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, this solution is 100 percent effective and safe for pets, humans, and the environment.
Cats detest citrus scents so make their flea treatment by adding one ounce of pennyroyal oil to 18 ounces of water. Dip a clean sponge into the solution and sponge the cat’s fur. Gently work the solution into the coat.
Step 4: Strip-mined ingredients are used to make most cat litter. Sodium bentonite clay, mined in Japan, is the clumping agent found in most litter products. This clay creates a dust that can harm the respiratory system and can cause diarrhea-related symptoms that can eventually kill a cat, particularly a kitten. When the cat cleans itself after visiting the litter box, the clay gets into its system and the clumping feature causes this to swell, creating a cement-like mass within the digestive tract of the animal.
Plant-based litter is an eco-friendly alternative available in clumping and dust-free varieties. Wood-based litter is another option but do not select litter made from scented shavings of pine or cedar because the scent can create health problems.