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    Allergens and Toxins: The Difference a Change Makes

    • 3 min read

    Otis here. Pet parents become very concerned when their little buddies get sick. Watery eyes, diarrhea, lack of appetite, itching and lethargy can all indicate that something is wrong. If a trip to the vet doesn’t shed light on the cause, it’s time to be a doggy detective.

    You have to break out the notebook and investigate. Allergies and toxins can mess with your pup’s health. We have three areas for you to search for health clues.

    Environmental Triggers

    It’s no secret that pollen and perfumes can make people sneeze. The same things can irritate pups. You have to inspect your home and any outdoor play areas, plus any places your dog visits frequently– the dog park, day care, your office, etc.

    Take your notebook and check out your home. Even if you’re using non-toxic cleaners, they may contain something that disagrees with your pup. Scan the labels for any problematic ingredients. Check out your laundry detergent and dryer products as well. Anything your pup touches could be the culprit. List any product changes you make in that notebook.

    Pay attention to the products you use for personal and pup grooming. Avoid spraying perfume, hairspray and dry shampoo while your dog is in the room with you and pay attention if his reaction is negative after you’ve groomed yourself. While dog shampoo may be hypoallergenic, that doesn’t guarantee your dog won’t be allergic to some component.

    Change your air filters and vacuum regularly to reduce dust. Leave your shoes at the door to avoid tracking outside allergens and toxins throughout your home.

    Pollen, plants, pesticides and pollutants in outdoor play areas can also affect your dog’s health. Keep track of things you notice and your pup’s reactions. For example, if the gardener comes on Monday and your dog has a rash Tuesday, there may be something in the gardening products or the plants themselves that doesn’t sit well with your little friend.

    Toxic and Dirty Toys

    We’ve talked about what toxic toys can do to pets. It’s pretty evident by the products we carry in the online store that we’re firm believers in pet- and earth-friendly toys.

    Of course, people love gifting fur babies with new toys. Promotional tennis balls, giveaway rope bones, and discount store toys from human grandparents may contain toxins and allergens. Use that notebook to track those toys and their effects on your dog. (If you don’t want to be rude and just throw those toys away, take a photo of your dog with the toys and share with the gift giver.)

    Keep your baby’s toys clean. We have recommendations on how to wash all of the toys. Regular cleaning can reduce bacteria build-up. Be sure to use detergents that are non-toxic. Also, replace toys when time and play wear them down.

    You Are What You Eat

    The foods people eat play a huge role in their overall health. Eating food from the vending machine all the time can make you feel worn down, give you blemishes and make your gut unhappy. The same holds true for dogs.

    Investigate the ingredients of your dog’s food. Could anything inside cause your pup’s health issues? Write down any dietary changes you make for your buddy in that notebook and any changes you see in your dog after the change.

    Chopper has always been a sensitive guy. Revamping our toy box with non-toxic toys has made a noticeable impact on Chopper’s itchy skin and tearstained eyes. Our mom also switched us over to Heedfoods, a company that works with vets and pet dietitians to create tasty pet food that contains prebiotics and probiotics. She’s noticed improvement in our skin, poop and overall health since making the change.

    While your vet is an important figure in your pet’s health, there are lots of things that could be contributing to your dog’s health issues. Fix what you can at home and share your findings with your vet. As you can see, some simple changes have really made a difference for my fur brother.

    Until next time--

    Chopper & Otis