Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
George Orwell, Animal Farm
February is national Responsible Pet Owners Month. There are many ways to take good care of your best friends, but topping the list is protecting them from the toxins found inside and outside of our homes. The good people at the ASPCA have been putting out a list of the Top 10 Pet Toxins each year. This most recent list is filled with things that you might not think about when it comes to your fur baby.
Number 10 on the list is garden products. This includes the world’s most widely used glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup. According to the National Pesticide Information Center Glyphosate Fact Sheet, “Pets may be at risk if they touch or eat plants that are still wet with spray from products containing glyphosate. Glyphosate was deemed a definite animal carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015. But it can also cause many other health problems. Animals exposed to products with glyphosate may drool, vomit, have diarrhea, lose their appetite, or seem sleepy.” However, those are the short term effects. According to Dr. Karen Becker, a veterinarian known for her Healthy Pets blog, “Pets may be more vulnerable to toxins because they are lower to the ground, have unprotected paws and may eat foods laced with glyphosate.” In her encompassing video, Dr. Becker goes into detail about the effects of glyphosate on most mammals and life in general. Her concerns for our pets mirror the concerns for human health, including cancer and liver disease.
Even if you don’t spray herbicides and pesticides on your lawn, "Studies found that lawn chemicals travel to neighboring yards and inside homes, and chemicals have been found in the urine of dogs whose owners did not spray their lawns," reports Think About Now.
But if you do, we recommend these 10 Alternatives to Roundup that you can also share with your city council to have them stop spraying at parks and on sidewalks.
However, glyphosate doesn’t just stay on the other side of the doggy door. If you aren’t feeding your pet USDA certified organic pet food, or making your own organic food for them, they are likely to be consuming glyphosate in both their dry and canned food. Even “grain free” food that contains lentils, peas or soy can make your dog sick... because these crops are often sprayed with glyphosate as a drying agent. Carrots and potatoes absorb glyphosate through the roots from the soil that was sprayed with glyphosate weeks before as a pre-emergent weed killer. “Natural” doesn’t cut it....unless the food is organic and grain free you may still see health issues in your pet. If you are looking for more detailed information and help on what to feed your pet, visit Protect Pets from GMOs and Pesticides.
The cost to our families is not just deeply emotional when our pet gets sick or dies from toxic exposure, the financial impact can all be very stressful. Pet hospital fees cost around $20,000 for 3-5 days in treatment for pancreatic disease (a result of toxic overload), diabetes and organ damage. Most cannot afford this.
Luckily, in her video Dr. Becker provides tips for reducing your pet’s environmental exposure to glyphosate, removing glyphosate from your pet’s diet, and how to detoxify your pet. Prevention is key. As many of us know, being a pet owner is a great joy. It is trickier to find organic pet food, and it costs more in the short run, but in the long run, it’s worth it. May your pet have a long healthy life!