Pesticides are toxic chemicals designed to kill.
They are used to destroy insects and other organisms which can damage crops in the belief that although they are lethal to pests, they are safe for us and our pets to ingest in small amounts.
What this fails to take into account however, is:
- The cumulative effects of exposure to pesticide residues day after day, month after month, year after year.
- The impact on the body of mixtures of these toxic chemicals, which no studies have assessed.
The Damage They Can Do
Pesticides can cause acute or chronic poisoning.
This usually occurs following exposure to either a large amount of pesticide, or a particularly toxic chemical.
This is most commonly seen in pets following accidental ingestion of a poison (e.g. slug bait) or the direct administration or application of an insecticide (such as a flea or tick product).
Signs usually appear quickly and can include:
- skin and eye irritation
- breathing problems
- triggering of allergies
- abdominal cramps
- nervous system disturbances
- bone marrow suppression
- blood disorders (which can result in excessive / uncontrolled bleeding)
Long term exposure to pesticides, has been linked to the development of many serious diseases, for example:
The scale of the problem
But does all this really affect pets?
In a recent investigation, the Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) found that that a wide range of vegetables and fruits being given to children as part of a government scheme aimed at promoting healthy eating habits, contained a staggering 123 different pesticide residues.
Some of the produce tested contained as many as 13 toxic chemicals.
And these are the same vegetables and fruits being added to many commercial dog and cat foods, including tinned, dry and raw.
Here are some examples, showing percentages of single and multiple pesticide residues present in vegetables and fruit commonly used in pet food (source: Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food 2005 – 2016) :
In all the samples tested:
- 84% tested positive for one residue
- 66% tested positive for multiple residues
Slashing The Risk To Pets
Given these findings and the potential pesticide residues have for causing serious harm to health, it makes sense to stop feeding non-organic vegetables and fruits to dogs and cats – either directly, or in commercially produced pet food.
This is a vital step in:
- lowering the chemical burden on modern day pets
- reducing the risk of cancer, liver and kidney disease, immune system disturbances, neurological problems, endocrine gland dysfunction, behavioural changes and many other conditions
- promoting and maintaining long term health
Steps To Take
1. Switch to a pet food which doesn’t contain non-organic vegetables and fruits (or grains, herbs and other plants, many of which are heavily treated with pesticides).
Look for these and similar ingredients listed on product labels: apple, broccoli, butternut squash, kale, spinach etc.
2. If you want to give vegetables – buy organic
Some pets benefit from a little plant fibre in their diet. Most dogs and cats however, don’t need vegetables or fruits in the diet because they can’t digest plant cell walls.
3. Supplement with Superfood
There are far healthier and much more nutritious alternatives to vegetables and fruits, which don’t have the risks that these do.
A spoonful of VITALITY, for example:
- contains around 20 times the antioxidant beta-carotene as in carrots
- has approximately 5 times the antioxidant ability as blueberries
- supplies as much calcium as milk
- is twice as rich in protein as meat
- provides an exceptionally rich supply of numerous amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, co-enzymes, RNA, DNA and many other nutrients important for optimum cellular health
And whereas 90% of most vegetables and fruits in the diet pass straight through the body and out in the stools, over 90% of the nutrients in VITALITY enter the bloodstream within several hours of eating.