Around 38% of American households have dogs and around 25% have cats, with bird-loving homes coming in at a distant third at 2.8% – as found by the American Veterinary Medical Association. For many of these households, pets are well-loved members of the family that receive just as much loving care as human ones. If the natural lifestyle extends to everything you do – from your hobbies to the food you eat – how can you ensure that your pet reaps the same benefits?
Choosing The Right Toys
Many pet toys contain toxins such as PVC, phthalates, lead, BPGA, chromium and formaldehyde. These can cause poisoning, which, in turn, can lead to everything from vomiting to blindness, seizures and muscle spasms. Be vigilant about the type of toys and bedding you buy. Opt for those that are BPA-free or organic. Top brands to watch out for include West Paw (which makes toxin-free dog beds), PURRfect (which makes cat toys without chemicals), and P.L.A.Y. (which also makes safe beds).
Choosing Quality Food
Your pet’s diet has a vital effect on their health, so feeding them food made with organic, biologically appropriate ingredients in lieu of over-processed foods can be a big boon to their well-being. Organic foods grown without pesticides have higher levels of antioxidants and (in the case of meat) Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biologically appropriate foods, meanwhile, are those which mirror the type of meals dogs and cats would naturally find in the wild. These diets tend to be rich in quality meat and low in carbohydrates, and they tend to contain whole fruits, vegetables and botanicals. It is important to talk to your vet about various options, choosing a nutritious option which is made with quality ingredients.
Nature-Derived Additions To Your Pet’s Food
In some cases, your pet may benefit from an additional boost of nutrients such as Omega-3s, Vitamins A&E, and Glucosamine and Chondroitin for hip and joint health. Pets needing nutrient boosts include those with joint, heart and kidney disease. Omega-3s for pets can be obtained from fish oil and fortified foods. If your dog has any of these diseases, speak to your vet about whether or not supplementation or specific foods may be useful. Pets who have gastrointestinal or bleeding disorders, for instance, should not consume Omega-3 supplements. Striking the perfect balance should not be left to experimentation.
Embracing The Great Outdoors
If you have a dog, then you probably know that it needs at least two good walks a day to boost aspects such as cardiovascular fitness and circulation. If possible, take your dog to a green area so that both of you can enjoy the healing effects of nature. Studies show that just 10 minutes in a natural setting can significantly lower stress, but parks and forests are also a great place for your dog to enjoy free play and to play fetch with you.
Ensuring your pets enjoy the most of nature is a multifaceted goal that includes feeding them well, giving them safe toys, and embracing exercise in the Great Outdoors. Try to set a few minutes aside per day to make mindful decisions your pet can benefit from. Toxins are an issue in daily life, but they certainly don’t affect humans alone; they are also found in abundance in everything from pet clothing right through to toys and beds, so avoid these unhealthy choices.