A lot of the stuff you use on your pet, from food to flea dips, are toxic and bad not only for the furry friends but for the planet too. Here are some quick suggestions for changes you can make that will be good for you, the kids, the pets and the planet.
Natural First Aid
For smaller accidents like cuts, scrapes, minor burns, you do not need to use OTC meds. For most of these, a simple application of fresh Aloe Vera will take care of the problem. Instead of meds for vomiting, try using Activated Charcoal. For hairballs or constipation, give organic vegetable oil. For fleas, try washing the animal with the following rinse: Pour 2 packed cups of fresh Peppermint, Rosemary or Pennyroyal into a large pot. Pour over with 1 cup of boiling water. Allow to steep like tea. As the water cools and the tea steeps, it will start to smell very strongly. Once it is dark and strong smelling, strain out the herbs. Then mix the remaining liquid with 4 full quarts of lukewarm water. Make sure this is tepid in temperature, safe to use on your pet. And then wash and rinse and do this once a week if necessary to keep the bugs off. Another flea and tick shampoo idea: Pour 2 ounces of natural liquid soap into a squeeze bottle. This can be any natural castile or glycerin soap that is non toxic and chemical free. Blend the soap with 5 drops of oil of citronella (buy the pure organic kind, not the stuff they sell in bargain bins), 5 drops of Organic Rose Geranium Essential Oil and 5 drops of Organic Lavender Essential Oil. Shake it up really good and then wash the pup or kitty with it. Dry off well and repeat every week.
Control Indoor Air Quality
This is hard to do when you have pets and a lot of time and effort can be wasted on it. I have a house full of fuzzy cats who roll on my carpets, pee in places they shouldn’t, keep a huge litter box in total disarray and puke up hairballs on the tile floors. So I know something about odor.
I absolutely swear by vinegar. It is a natural source of acetic acid, which neutralizes ammonia. To make a spray or a wash, just mix 2 cups of white distilled vinegar with 1 gallon of water. You can put this in a bucket and wash down walls and floors or put it in a spray bottle and spritz where it’s needed. It’s great on furniture and for spot spritzing spray marks on walls or little poopoo stains on bath carpets or other little droppings that you don’t want to have to wash an entire area to rid of. It is so non toxic you can really pile it on. Yes, your home may smell like salad dressing for a few hours but afterwards… clean!
Baking Soda is another great odor fighter. Add it to the litterbox and don’t be shy about it. It’s non toxic, won’t make the cats sick and is easy to clean up when tracked about. To combat odor build-up in carpet make your own “carpet deodorant” by mixing 1 cup of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Pour into a plastic bag and add approximately 30 drops of your favorite essential oil(s). Then seal the bag and shake gently to mix the ingredients thoroughly. Sprinkle onto carpet and let it sit for several hours before vacuuming. If you want to add flea fighting abilities to your carpet dust, just add in essential oils like Citronella, Grapefruit, Rose Geranium , Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, and / or Orange. These smell absolutely fantastic and the bugs will bounce out the door.
Green Pet Toys and Food
I know they say you should always feed your pet commercial pet food but there is something to be said for giving Fido the left overs. This keeps food out of the landfill, saves money on canned food and allows you to buy in larger, cheaper quantities. With that much said, I also suggest buying organic foods for your pets. And when it comes to toys, you must stop buying plastic, metal, man made toys for the fuzzy ones. They love sticks, ropes, old clothes and towels as much as they like the dancing mouse. Make chew toys out of rope (choose cotton or hemp rope, please!) or fill old socks with catnip to keep kitty peaceful and happy. I have a toy I made for my cats that includes old ropes, strings, rubber bands, found feathers and, at the end of the mile long mess, a stuffed sock with catnip. They fly over the sofa, skid across the kitchen floor and leap over my bed in hot pursuit. For a few pennies, it just doesn’t get any more fun.