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Is Your Home Poisoning You and Your Pet?

Did you know many household cleaners contain a chemical called formaldehyde (also known as embalming solution), which could cause severe irritation to our pet's eyes, throat and skin? Or how about rug and carpet shampoos, they contain a chemical called perchloroethylene, which can cause dizziness, insomnia, nausea, tremors and loss of appetite? Some floor polishes contain chemicals that can cause cancer as well as damage to the heart, kidneys, liver and central nervous system. As a matter of fact, most household products do not even warn you of the chemical dangers they could cause.

So how toxic is your house? According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) 50% of all illness can be traced to indoor pollution, which can be directly related to the use of household cleaners. Many products on the shelves today claim to be safe, yet have warning labels. If a product is safe why do they need to warn you of danger? Most rooms in most homes contain these products which could cause any of the following; cancer, birth defects, or changes in human genetic structures. If it is affecting our health in this way imagine what it's doing to our pets.

Consider the effect of the following on your pet:

  • Bug spraying
  • Ant traps
  • Pest/rodent exterminating
  • Toilet bowl cleaners your pet can drink
  • Matches around the house (sulfur)
  • Lawn fertilizer/grass chemicals
  • Room deodorizers/sprays
  • Chlorinated pools your animal can drink from

Do you let your dog eat treats off the floor? Do you watch your cat lick itself clean after playing on the carpet? Do you enjoy watching your pet lounged out taking a snooze on the floor? Do you use household cleaners? If you answered yes, you must know the following information. Animals have faster metabolisms and smaller lungs than we do. Their bodies have to work harder to try and eliminate these toxins. Not only are they processing these chemicals at a faster rate, they are also breathing them in more rapidly.

Animals are obviously closer to the ground, which puts them in direct contact with these harmful substances. This makes them more vulnerable to toxic poisoning, which could result in death. Signs and symptoms of toxic poisoning can range from excessive drooling, vomiting and shallow breathing to muscle twitching, convulsions and seizures.

Develop a more acute awareness about the chemicals to which your pet(s) are exposed. Don't just trust grocery store labels and compelling commercial ads seen on television. Take the lead right now to ensure the cleaning products you purchase are safe for you, your pet and the environment. Shop for them at your local health food store. The cost is the same as chemical cleaners and you may even save thousands of dollars in vet bills!

If you suspect a toxic substance has poisoned your animal, induce vomiting immediately with some warm salt water or a little hydrogen peroxide (dosage varies based on size of animal). Call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 4ANIHELP (426-4435). They will guide you through the necessary procedures you must take to save your pets life.

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