Pets today come into contact with an eye watering array of chemicals, many of which can:
- corrupt DNA (increasing the risk of cancer)
- destroy ‘friendly’ gut flora (disturbing digestion and the immune system)
- poison bone marrow (which can result in bleeding disorders and / or an immune system that can’t fight off infections, protect the body against cancer or heal the body effectively)
- inflame the bowels
- disturb the nervous system (leading to neurological signs, such as muscle weakness, incoordination or fits)
- damage the liver and kidneys (reducing the body’s ability to break down and excrete toxic substances)
- disrupt endocrine glands (causing hormonal disturbances)
- derange the immune system (weakening natural defence mechanisms and / or triggering the development of dietary sensitivities, allergies and cancer)
A Huge Problem
There are literally tens of thousands of chemicals used in the home, industries, agriculture and food production, with the number increasing by 2000 new compounds per year –The Natural Environment Research Council.
Many of these substances have been linked to liver and kidney disease, hormone disturbances, immune system problems, inflammatory bowel conditions, cancer and a wide range of other diseases.
What Can Be Done To Protect Pets?
Environmental chemicals are present almost everywhere, in:
- carbon monoxide
- nitrogen oxides
- small particles
- heavy metals – such as cadmium, chromium or mercury
- oils and tars
- industrial chemicals and waste (including the increasingly ubiquitous microplastics)
As for soil, plus:
- chemicals present in sewerage
Because they are so widespread, these chemicals are virtually impossible to avoid.
The best way to guard against their ill-effects is to increase the body’s ability to cope with them successfully, so the damage they can cause to health is minimised.
This means providing maximum nutritional support to the liver, kidneys and bowels (main organs of detoxification) and the immune system, which is primarily responsible for tissue healing, regeneration and repair.
Numerous potentially toxic chemicals, are also found in food, pet products and household goods.
Common examples are:
- synthetic vitamins
- industrial salts
- flea preparations
- plastic dishes and toys
In and around the home:
- garden products (fertilisers, weedkillers, pest control etc.)
- air fresheners and scented candles
- artificial fabrics
- toxic agents used in furniture (eg flame retardants, stain repellents, dyes etc.)
- adhesives (eg formaldehyde – a known carcinogen – in floor tile glues)
- human personal care products which come into contact with cats and dogs (e.g. shampoos, deodorants, cosmetics, perfumes and aftershaves)
In contrast to environmental chemicals, a significant number of harmful substances in food, pet products and household goods can be avoided, by choosing alternatives instead. And the way to do this, will be covered in this series of blogs.
Why Cutting Chemicals Is So Important for Pets
The toxic effect of many chemicals is magnified in pets because:
- Although many environmental and dietary chemicals are usually present only in very small amounts, continuous daily exposure to these over long periods of time increases the likelihood of significant cellular damage occurring. One example of this, is a dog or cat fed on a pet food containing chemical additives or pesticide residues, week after week, year after year.
- Their relatively small size means that the concentration of chemicals they are exposed to is correspondingly much higher than it is for us.
- Dogs and cats regularly swallow harmful substances which have collected on the skin and coat during self-grooming, which allows them to rapidly enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
These and other factors, are why it’s so important to prevent unnecessary exposure to as many of these noxious substances as possible.
And the best way to do this will be highlighted in this series of blogs – beginning with how to remove 123 potentially toxic chemicals from the diet in a single stroke.