Fifteen Steps to Detox Your Pet

Natural Pet Detox Solutions

Make your dog smile with natural detox solutions.

The words “toxic” and “toxin” get thrown around a lot; from toxic waste to pop star lyrics, they’re often overused and misunderstood. But the truth is: toxins can cause, worsen, or accelerate numerous health problems in your pet. And since these toxins are often hidden in our pet’s food, air and environment, it can be difficult to pinpoint how many they’re actually receiving.

Our pets are in an extremely difficult situation because of their size and their inability to communicate. We may affectionately call them our little friends, but the truth is that “little” moniker can be a big problem. Since they’re smaller, small amounts of toxins can have a greater impact on their health. Plus, they can’t say to you, “This water is making me sick,” or “You’re going to spray the lawn with what?!” so we can’t know everything that’s effecting them.

Thankfully, there’s help! With a little primer on what toxins are most likely hurting your pet, and some easy to follow steps on how to stop them, you and your furry friend will be well on your way to living a healthy, toxin free life!

Tracking Your Pet’s Toxins

Toxins get into your pet through several means; including eating, licking, breathing, touching, and even normal biological processes. Outdoor toxins like weed killers, pesticides, automotive exhaust & motor oil, and chemical road or sidewalk de-icers get into our pets when they breathe them in, eat chemical-laden grass, lick dust or residue off their paws and fur, or absorb them through their paws. Household products like cleaners, air fresheners, laundry products and other chemicals can invade where your pets sleep and lounge. Toxins in drinking water, commercial food and treats, and medications are usually directly ingested by your pet. Finally, some toxins, like ammonia, are produced within your pet’s body, either through their own metabolic processes or by microbial activity, most often bacteria and/or yeast in the GI tract.

The Ill Effects of Toxins on Your Pet

In a healthy body, toxins are rounded up and eliminated quickly through the organs of elimination, including the liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines, and skin. Our pets’ wild counterparts have very efficient toxin elimination systems that have developed over centuries to handle the natural toxins they encounter. But in the modern world, our domesticated pets are bombarded daily with an overwhelming number of toxins, most of which their bodies have not had enough evolutionary time to adapt to.

In the short run, our pet’s bodies react to toxins like ours do: the immune system ramps up processes like inflammation, mucus production and diarrhea to help an army of cells resolve the problem and purge the offending “invaders” from the system. But when the body is overwhelmed with too many toxins, it is forced to store them until there is an opportunity to eliminate them at a better time. For many pets, the better time never arrives, and these toxins will accumulate indefinitely, causing symptoms like lethargy, fatigue, and proneness to infection. Ultimately, toxic overload can impede the work of your pet’s immune system to the point where tumors and cysts may form, and serious health conditions may develop as organ function is impaired.

Detoxing Your Pet

1. Upgrade Food & Treats – Improving the quality of your pet’s diet is the best thing you can do to improve well-being and longevity. Stop giving your pets any grocery store or pet store chain foods & treats; you are feeding them chemical additives, artificial colors & flavors with every bite. Along with these toxic indigestible ingredients, they are filled with poor quality proteins and fillers that tax your pet’s digestion and increase the toxic load in their bodies. Choose natural, high quality food and treats. Only Natural Pet Store offers only the best in highly digestible, additive-free natural dog foods & natural cat food and natural dog treats & natural cat treats.

2. Filtered Water Only – While the water that flows through your household pipes may be technically “fit to drink,” it is filled with toxic minerals, metal levels, chemicals like fluoride and chlorine, and even trace amounts dangerous prescription drugs. Your pets deserve better! Water filtration units are readily available and you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good one. Pet fountains from Drinkwell and Pioneer Pet Water Filters not only filter the water, but entice pets that don’t like to drink water: a great benefit to their kidneys. It’s well worth the investment and, after all, what’s more valuable than your pet’s health?

3. Add Nutraceuticals and Cleansing HerbsNutrient supplements that contain “greens” and cleansing herbs can help your pet tremendously. Greens supplements add a wide variety of nutrients commonly missing from even the best pet foods, including full spectrum amino acids, chlorophyll, antioxidants, trace minerals, and essential fatty acids. Cleansing herbs have unique properties that support the health of essential organ systems and are extremely easy to administer. We offer many excellent greens and cleansing herb supplements.

4. Eliminate Household Chemicals – Along with obvious products like bug killers and cleaning solvents, beware of things like perfumes, air fresheners (including scented plug-ins), and laundry products like dryer sheets These are laden with chemicals unregulated and untested by US health protection agencies, and many of them are known to cause or worsen respiratory conditions like asthma. Choose 100% natural cleaning products. Check out our selection of natural, biodegradable cleaners, or make your own natural cleaner. There are many online resources for making effective cleaning products from ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.

5. Exercise Every Day – Your pet needs exercise as much as you do, and daily workouts have many benefits for protecting your pet from toxins. Exercise improves the movement of waste materials through the digestive tract, reducing the toxic effects of a too-sluggish bowel. Exercise also improves circulation of blood and lymph fluid, two primary means of eliminating micro-toxins and cellular debris from the body. Exercise also improves respiration and helps remove excess mucus from the respiratory tract. Don’t let a dog’s bad walking behavior or a cat’s boredom prevent you from giving your pets the exercise they need.  Walking harnesses can curb your dog’s pulling tendencies, making walks easier, and outdoor walking harness for cats allow for safe outdoor exercise. Plus, some interactive toys for dogs & interactive toys for cats will keep your pet’s muscles toned from “hunting prey.”

6. Improve Air Quality – Indoor air pollution can come from household chemicals, cigarette and cigar smoke, gaseous chemicals emanating from new synthetic household items like flooring, carpeting, and furniture, and even dust. If you have new household items that are giving off that tell-tale “new” smell, be sure to keep these areas of the house well-ventilated, keep pets off and out of these areas and consider using window fans or leaving windows open for some fresh air while the items are exuding high levels of volatile organic compounds. Use bathroom fans to reduce chemical residues from spray-on cosmetic items like hair spray and perfume. And consider purchasing an air purifier to continually cycle and filter your house’s air.

7. Minimize Exposure to Outdoor Pollutants & Chemicals – Pets that spend time outdoors will undoubtedly encounter chemicals used for pest control, weed killers, fertilizers and more. If your dog likes to munch on grass, keep a close eye on them when you walk near neighbors’ yards and in public places like parks, where use of chemicals is common. Adding greens to the diet may help curb this tendency in both cats and dogs to graze on grass outside. For cats, a great solution is the SmartCat Kitty Garden, which lets you grow a healthy assortment of grasses free of contaminants.

8. Keep Conventional Meds in Check – Toxic compounds are plentiful in conventional flea and tick products, heartworm medications, and many conventional drugs, including vaccines. While chemical treatments and conventional medications may be needed, it pays to be mindful of the frequency of dosing, and to look for natural alternatives when they are appropriate. We offer many natural flea and tick control products, as well as natural remedies for common pet health conditions that offer safer alternatives to their conventional counterparts; check with your vet about natural remedies that may be of benefit. We also suggest carefully considering the misguided notion that every pet requires annual boosters for vaccines. Read our article, “The Truth About Pet Vaccinations,” for more information on this critical topic.

9. Support the Liver – Your pet’s liver does the lion’s share of eliminating of toxins. Antioxidants assist the liver in this process, and many detoxification remedies have herbs like milk thistle that are of great value to your pet’s liver. While young, healthy pets are unlikely to require daily liver support, older pets and those taking medications may benefit from regular use of liver support products. As always, consult a holistic vet to determine whether and how liver-supporting remedies may be of benefit to your companion. Read more about liver support in our article, “Taking Care of the Liver,” by our consulting holistic veterinarian, Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM.

10. Provide Immune Support – Your pet’s immune system works in tandem with the elimination organs to flush toxins, and supporting immune health keeps your pet’s liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin healthy so they can do their detoxification work. For healthy pets, daily immune support is found in a quality multivitamin & mineral supplement. Extra immune support, especially important for older and active pets, is provided by antioxidant supplements.

11. Skin Salvation – Your pet’s skin and coat is the first line of defense against toxins, and a regular brushing regimen will help your pet’s skin “breathe” and facilitate this process. Regular grooming also removes dust and debris that may contain toxic residue, making personal grooming far less worrisome. Consider the quality of your pet’s bath products, and choose natural grooming products that skip the toxic ingredients, preventing your pet from absorbing fewer toxins at bath time. Natural skin health products and natural shampoo & bath products support healthy skin and are just as effective as their toxic counterparts.

12. Support Healthy Digestion – Most eliminated toxins pass through the colon, and a healthy digestive system keeps them moving through before they damage the intestinal walls or are reabsorbed. A sluggish bowel (constipation), or an irritated one (diarrhea) suggests a microbe imbalance, which complicates elimination of toxins. With constipation, toxic materials can be released back into your pet’s bloodstream before they pass through. Plus, microbes out of balance (for example bacteria and yeast) can produce their own toxins. Look for products designed to help your pet’s digestion which contain probiotics or digestive enzymes, or complete gastrointestinal support formulas that contain both.

13. Support the Kidneys – The simplest thing you can do to support health kidneys is ensure your pet drinks an ample amount of filtered water every day. Toxins are highly concentrated in chronically dehydrated pets and can damage the kidneys’ filtration system. Likewise, mineral particles can form when urine is highly concentrated, resulting in the formation of dreaded stones that are painful, cause blockages and set the stage for recurrent infections. If your pet doesn’t drink much water, consider a pet fountain and provide more liquids with meals by adding broth, gravy, or water to their food and using canned food to provide extra moisture. For pets with urinary tract issues, consider remedies for urinary tract and kidney support.

14. Keep It Clean – Studies show that the home environment generally has far worse air quality than the outdoors. Much of the toxic material found in our homes, however, blows into our houses from dust and outdoor pollutants. Keep your home free of dust with regular dusting and vacuuming; this greatly reduces toxic particulate matter that our pets breathe and ingest. Another place to be strict with cleaning is your pet’s food and water bowls. Change water daily and wash your pet’s bowls, as dust and germs accumulate here in abundance.

15. Gently Detox with Herbs & Homeopathics – Because our pets live with us and ingest many toxins in our shared environment, even the healthiest cats and dogs can benefit from regular intervals of gentle detoxification. We carry several excellent pet detoxification formulas with herbs like milk thistle, red clover, dandelion, and astragalus that support your pet’s organs and help eliminate stored toxins.

Keeping Your Pet Toxin Free

Keep in mind that as the body is eliminating toxins, it is not unusual for there to be a brief “healing crisis,” in which a cat or dog may develop symptoms like a runny nose or changes in bowel function or appetite. Such symptoms usually subside in a few days. As always, observe your pet closely and stop any remedy if concerning symptoms develop. Always consult with a holistic veterinarian for appropriate guidance. Please see our article, “Administering Remedies to Your Companion,” for additional suggestions.

The good news is that for most pets, their bodies are remarkably well-equipped to handle disease, eliminate a reasonable amount of toxins, and restore their own organs and body systems to health – with your help. When a natural diet and clean environment are combined with adequate nutrients, rest, exercise and joy, your pets are capable of a level of health you never thought possible.

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Only Natural Pet and Natural Capitalism Solutions

As our loyal readers know, we have been on a search this year to find the perfect partner to help take Only Natural Pet, and then the Pet Industry, to new levels of sustainability. After talking to, and getting proposals from, a wide variety of for-profit and not-for profit organizations…we have found the ideal partner!
Natural Capitalism Solutions is a non-profit group that works with and educates businesses, communities, and governments on the business case for sustainability. NCS was founded ten years ago by Hunter Lovins, who has been working in sustainability for over 40 years. Beyond working and implementing innovative sustainability solutions with clients, NCS also runs sustainability education programs, Hunter inspires and educates millions of people each year through speaking engagements (just take a look at her TEDxMileHigh talk), and NCS boasts an amazing internship program.

In Phase I of our partnership we will focus on showing what organizations within the pet industry can do to increase their sustainability and decrease their environmental impact. This information will be available through an online educational sustainability toolkit called My Pet Sustainability Project that will include the business case for sustainability, what to consider with a supply chain, how to make a building more efficient, how to communicate sustainability, and tracking and regulation information.
On February 19th we will be convening a group of pet supply company CEOs, Founders, and Senior Leaders at Global Pet Expo, the annual pet trade show in Florida. This will be the beginning of our Sustainability Working Group (SWG) that will help and encourage everyone to “Green Up the Pet Industry”.
It all begins with a presentation from Natural Capitalism Solutions CEO Toby Russell that features Only Natural Pet as the ‘case study’ for the process, procedures, and tool kit we are now in the midst of developing.
We will recruit a group of ‘early adopters’ that will have the opportunity to help sponsor and provide key input on Phase II of our development.
Good things ahead!
Happy New Year to you and your furry friends and here’s to a green future for all of us.

Chris

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The Power of Daily Vitamins

Just like you, your pets can benefit greatly from a daily vitamin. That’s why our holistic vet formulated our new Ultimate Daily Vitamins!

Unlike their predecessors (our extremely popular Super Daily line), the new Ultimate Daily Vitamins are species appropriate! Dogs and cats (aside from having hugely different personalities and being sworn cartoon enemies) have two very different anatomies. The Ultimate Daily Vitamins were created specifically with your dog and cat in mind! Plus, each one features all of the building blocks your pet needs for a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

This includes:

  • Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes for proper nutrient absorption and to support a healthy gut; one of the main components of a healthy immune system.

  • Essential Fatty Acids, including the Omega 3’s DPA and EPA, which are hugely important for a beautiful coat and maintaining healthy skin, organ function, and more!
  • Glucosamine, MSM, and Chondroitin, plus New Zealand Green Lipped mussels, for supporting healthy joints.
  • Tons of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D, calcium, potassium and more for maintaining healthy organ, nervous, muscle and skeletal function.

But don’t take my word for it; just ask Lindsay and Goose!

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Give Your Pets a Feast this Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving coming up this week, a lot of us have turkey, and sweet potatoes, and broccoli, and (you name it!) on the mind. And while we’re getting ready to enjoy a delicious meal with our loved ones, we should make sure to include our pets in the festivities as well!

One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the state of your plate towards the end of your first serving: the mashed potatoes have tucked in the turkey, the broccoli has snuggled up with the stuffing, and the yams have cuddled up with cranberries. Every bite, in a word, is kaleidoscopic! Only Natural Pet Easy Raw brings the same hearty, nutritious mix to your pets. Both the dog formula and cat formula feature quality and down right delicious freeze-dried meats and nutrient dense, “superfood” produce like low glycemic sweet potatoes, antioxidant rich cranberries, broccoli, apples and pumpkin.

Plus, EasyRaw is one of the best options for your pet’s diet, offering them improved digestion, healthy weight control, and essential nutrients that can help their body stay strong and thrive.

Just check out our video and see for yourself!

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The Importance of Fish Oil!

You’ve probably been hearing a lot recently about the importance of essential fatty acids in your diet. But it’s important to remember that these are just as important for your pet! Essential fatty acids (also called EFAs) are fats that are required to be in the diet, but they cannot be produced by the body, hence the “essential” in the name. EFAs have a whole slew of benefits, including proper cell membrane formation, proper hormonal processes, cardiovascular support, and digestive support, not to mention a beautiful skin & coat. Unfortunately, like most of our diets, our pet’s diets are lacking many of these essential fatty acids, especially Omega-3’s including EPA and DEA.

Along with a high quality diet that has little processing (like raw pet food or freeze-dried pet food), adding a fish oil supplement is one of the best things you can do to increase your pet’s essential fatty acid intake.

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Immune Support 101

With how complex your pet’s immune system can be, caring for it naturally and effectively can seem to be a pretty daunting task. But with a little planning, supporting your pet’s immune system doesn’t have to be that hard.

Supplements

Along with Immune Strengthener, herbs, mushrooms and nutraceuticals like Cat’s Claw, Chinese Herbs, Medicinal Mushrooms and Colostrum can be a huge help.

Diet

Diet is always the first line of defense; it is the foundation of health. If your companion is consuming highly processed food that provides only minimal nutrition and includes toxins such as chemical preservatives, food dyes, texturizers, and other additives, his immune system is being depleted daily just to cope with that diet. Fresh, wholesome food, like frozen raw or non-frozen raw, is the first step in building a strong immune system.

Antioxidants

Antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage to cells, boost immune function, and possibly decrease the risk of infections, degenerative diseases, and cancer. Antioxidants exist as vitamins, minerals, and other compounds in foods. They act as scavengers, helping to prevent cell and tissue damage by destroying free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that the body normally produces to defend against bacteria and other pathogens; but if left unchecked, they can damage the body at the cellular level.

Stress and Exercise

Stress suppresses the immune system. Our pets can experience emotional stress from any number of sources, such as territorial disputes among pets (especially cats), social stress, and noise and light pollution. Exercise helps reduce stress and helps build and maintain a strong body and immune system. Moderate exercise has been shown to improve immune function in humans and animals.Weight control is also key – overweight animals are much more susceptible to chronic and acute diseases and infections. Proper diet AND exercise are needed to help with weight control.

These simple and healthy steps and ingredients can keep your pet’s immune system operating efficiently and properly for many years to come!

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Tessa Did It!

It has been a long couple of months, but with a lot of hard work, Tessa finally reached her weight loss goal! (I should clarify, a lot of hard work by her… but those walks in the park were no walk in the park for me either.) Tessa joined our family as a plump, 3 year old English bulldog about 3 months ago. We adopted her with the hope of bringing another animal into our lives (to join the 2 dogs and 2 cats), but also to offer her a better quality of life.

She weighed just over 57 pounds when we brought her home and her chest measured 31 inches around… definitely not her ideal shape (geometrically and figuratively). She struggled to get on the couch when we watched a movie, she labored to get upstairs when it was time for bed, and she couldn’t even keep up with her new sisters Annie and Ashley. We knew something had to change.

We started by taking her to the vet and also consulting the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. We found out that not only was she the equivalent of a 5’4″ woman who was 60 lbs overweight, but the vet felt she could lose in excess of 10 lbs! We discussed with the vet what our best path for a slimmer and happy Tessa would be. Her checklist include a lot of the pointers you would imagine, including exercise and smaller servings, but she also mentioned a number of holistic solutions, including vitamins and supplements like fish oil and digestive enzymes, and even some things I would never imagine, like healthy table scraps.

The exercise routine was difficult to get started (to say the least). The front steps were about the extent of what she could handle. To supplement her outings, we got her started on several joint support supplements, including Get Up & Go and Lubri Ease. Now she’s pulling us around the block on her evening walks and with a running start, she can gracefully get up on the bed and couch!

Her diet was probably the simplest, and one of the most effective, steps we took to get Tessa on the right track. She was eating Iams at the shelter, and all of the extra fillers and carbohydrates were packing on the pounds. We got her off of that and on to “I and love and you” Nude Food kibble, which was a similar consistency, but much healthier, including higher protein amounts, unique carbohydrates (like lentils and chick peas) and even added natural sources of nutrients like glucosamine. Once she was completely transitioned, we started mixing in EasyRaw with her “I and love and you.” She is crazy about the taste (like the huge, whole chunks of raw, freeze dried turkey) and the vet said the quality raw was just what she needed for healthier stool and high protein.

The healthy table scraps took me for a loop. The best part about the vet recommending those is that it made me think about my diet as well. When Tessa would start circling my legs in the kitchen, it made me consider whether I should grab the carrots or the chips… I definitely went for the carrots.

To keep Tessa’s body functioning on all cylinders, the vet recommended an all inclusive daily vitamins, plus some extras like fish oil and digestive enzymes. She was one of our guinea pigs for our newest Ultimate Super Daily Plus vitamins, and I’ll say it worked perfectly. She gobbled the powder with every meal and I knew that on top of a healthy diet, she was also receiving all the nutrients necessary for keeping her happy and healthy.

Surprisingly enough, one of the most beneficial things for Tessa’s weight loss was a positive attitude and a lot of encouragement! Not a day goes by that I don’t compliment Tessa on what a great job she’s done and the amazing work she continues to do. And for those of you who might think this is a little silly, think about how helpful support is for a difficult task in your life and then remember, we all get by with a little help from our friends.

Now, Tessa is a slim 45 pounds and doing fantastic! And just because she reached her goal, that doesn’t mean her weight loss habits are ending. Just like everything in pet care, weight loss is a journey, not a destination.

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