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Friday, 6 July 2012

Dog, Cat, Pet Shampoo - Unsafe, Harmful Ingredients to be Avoided



Dogs are exposed to so many toxins and carcinogens these days. Every additional unsafe ingredient we expose our dogs to creates a heavier toxic load on our dog’s system. 

Talking about unsafe ingredients in pet shampoo may seem trivial if you only bath your dog once in a blue-moon…but it is best to remember that you should look at toxic loading in broad perspective. 

Here is an example of how your dog’s and cat's  toxic load can build-up without you ever realizing it…

Your dog can be carrying a substantial toxic load. Now add a shampoo with toxic ingredients into the mix…even if that shampoo is only used a few times a year the bad (toxic, carcinogenic) ingredients are absorbed through your dog’s skin - resulting in further toxic load.

Don’t be fooled by labels that say ‘all natural’, ‘safe’ etc. As dog shampoo is not considered a drug, there are no regulations to govern the term ‘all natural’, ‘safe’. Many manufacturers’ take advantage of this gap in regulations, therefore the one and only way to protect your dog is to know what to avoid.

Take a look at this list below - if the dog shampoo you are using contains any of these, throw it out! If you are looking to purchase a product take this list with you, or compare it to the product you are buying if purchasing on-line.

You can also make your own dog or cat shampoo and rinse - to do so is simple and you will be 100% sure you are using a safe, truly natural product.



Ingredients to Avoid in Commercially Manufactured Dog, Pet Shampoo

  • 1,4-diaminobenzene
  • Artificial colors (i.e.  blue 1,2,4, disperse blue 1; green 1,2,3; red 4,9,17,19,22,33,40;  yellow 5,6,8; disperse yellow 3 - will be shown as D =&C or FD&C…i.e. FD&C Red No.6);
  • Benzalkonium Chloride and Benzethonium Chloride - synthetic germicides, long term use may affect immune system, cause asthma;
  • BHA;
  • BHT;
  • Coal Tar Dyes;
  • Diethanolamine (DEA);
  • DEA-Cocamide & Lauramide & Oleamidecondensates;
  • DEA-cocamide/lauramide condensates;
  • DEA-MEA/Acetame;
  • DEA-Sodium lauryl sulfate;
  • Dioxins;
  • Fragrances (Parfum) - unless from a truly all natural source;
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT);
  • Methicone;
  • Triethanolamine (TEA);
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS);
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES);
  • Paraphenylenediamine;
  • PEG-compounds (1,4-dioxane, propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters "eth" , i.e.polyethylene glycol);
  • P-phenylenediamine;
  • Propylene Glycol (used in anti-freeze!);
  • Phthalates;
  • Petrolatum or Mineral Oil (can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons);
  • Sodium Hydroxide;
  • Triclosan.
Although this list is lengthy, it represents only a portion of the harmful ingredients - toxins and carcinogens that can be present in off-the-shelf shampoo products for dogs and cats. 

In addition many companies including those that manufacture pet food and other pet products including shampoo and rinse test their products on 'research' dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals. These research animals suffer while enduring cruel and debilitating testing  and  are then 'euthanized' when no longer 'required' or when too damaged to be of further 'use'. The majority of research animals come from two basic sources: they are  breed specifically for use as research animals or, 2) they are from 'shelters', pounds and other animal control centers (ACC). While Pound Seizure is the law in places like Ontario Canada, some shelters in other parts of the USA and Canada choose to sell dogs and cats to D3 dealers that sell these innocent animals to research laboratories.

When you choose to make your own dog and cat pet care products you protect your own companion animal and while ensuring that you do not contribute to the abuse and death of other companion animals.

If you would like to make your own simple, safe, DIY all natural organic, herbal shampoo for dogs and cats you can try some of the recipes in this article.



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Monday, 2 July 2012

Homemade DIY Natural, Healthy Dog Treats - Recipes and Health Benefits




Commercially manufactured, highly processed dog kibble, cookies and treats can be full of poor nutrition, toxins and carcinogens. The manufacturer may promote their product as wholesome and (all) natural but the terms ‘wholesome’, ‘all-natural’ are not regulated - manufacturers can use the terms as liberally as they like. Many of these treats also contain sugar and other ingredients that are contradictory to a good diet.

As a healthy treat and addition to my dogs’ home made food, I wanted grain-free, healthy nutrient rich alternatives to replace the commercially manufactured dog cookies that I formerly added to my dogs’ daily meals.

The following recipe and its companion, my homemade dog food recipe is appropriate for:

  • Puppies;
  • Teenage Dogs;
  • Adult Dogs, and;
  • Senior Dogs.
The only reason the commercial pet food industry has established a sales niche for puppy food, v.s adult dog food, vs senior dog food is because the adult dog food produced by the pet food industry is often deficient in good source nutrition. 

While an adult dog may be able to sustain such deficiencies for longer periods of time - dogs that are more vulnerable - such as puppies, will show the effects of deficiencies more quickly, the same can be said for many senior dogs. 

As well, the pet food industry has created a niche for 'weight control' dog foods for adult and senior dogs. Another invention made necessary by the inadequacies of  pet food industry products. A dog that is on a species appropriate diet is much less likely to become overweight than a dog that is fed a nutrient poor and grain-based diet. Grain gets converted by the body into sugar very quickly - this spikes insulin levels and has a collective effect of creating constant hunger in the dog. In addition a dog that is fed a diet that is primarily comprised of  fillers and poor source carbohydrates must consume a much larger quantity of that 'food' in order to obtain actual nutritive value. The combination of these two facts creates obesity in dogs, just as it does in humans. If a dog is fed a truly good diet - that same diet can retain its value unchanged throughout the life-span of the dog - from puppy, hood to adult to senior. 

If you need your dog to loose weight - the best approach is to feed your dog a truly good diet, cut back on carbohydrates, increase protein and good source fat (i.e. coconut oil  a good source omega-6 fatty acid, a high quality omega-3 fatty acid such as Norwegian cod liver oil, Wild Alaskan salmon oil or Norwegian krill oil), introduce appropriate cooked, frozen-thawed and fresh veggies and fruit prepared properly to maximize absorption of nutrients, and turmeric. 

For puppies up to 8 months of age exclude the garlic from the recipe. Once puppy is 8 months of age add the garlic to the recipe.

Recipe #1 - Meat Balls with Coconut Oil and Herbs
 
Ingredients 

  • 3 cups meat or fish
    • if you feed your dog raw food, use raw meat
    • if you feed your dog dry or wet processed food, or cooked food - cook the meat on lowest possible temperature until just cooked, then remove from heat.
  • 3 to 4 tbs of coconut oil, olive oil or sesame oil;
  • 3 to 4 tbs of organic apple cider vinegar;
  • 2 cups grated/shredded cheese - cheddar, mozzarella, provolone or Swiss;
  • 1 fresh lemon (rind, pulp, juice, seeds removed), finely minced - lemons have many beneficial properties;
  • 1/8 cup organic basil - fresh or dry
  • 1/8 cup organic anise seed (whole or ground);
  • 1/8 cup organic caraway seed (whole or ground);
  • 1/8 cup organic fennel seed (whole or ground); 
Optional Ingredients
  • 4 garlic cloves, finally minced (yes, it is safe for dogs when fed in reasonable amounts daily and offers many health benefits.). If you are making this recipe for cats, don't use garlic.
  • 1/8 cup dry or fresh dill (chopped);
  • 1/8 cup ground flax seed, or chia, or saba chia seed, or hemp hearts.
Preparation, Serving and Storing
  • Mix all ingredients  together in a large bowl.
  • You can form into little round pebbles, balls or flat cookie shapes using a spoon and your palms.
  • Place in a container.
  • Store in refrigerator for up to one week - you can also freeze it.
  • If you are not going to be freezing the treat you can simply place in container and spoon out at treat-time.
  • You can also use this as a food topper at meal-time.
  • You can cut the recipe in half, thirds, or quarters depending on how many dogs you have and how often you want to feed them the treat.
Recipe #2 - Scrambled Eggs, Cheese and Coconut Oil
 
Ingredients 

  • 6 eggs - free-range, or organic provide the best nutrition!
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbs coconut oil (depends on the size of the fry pan you are using);
  • 1/2 cup grated/shredded cheese - cheddar, mozzarella, provolone or Swiss;
Preparation
  • If going raw with this treat just whisk all ingredients together and serve.
  • If cooking this treat - 
    • Add the coconut oil to a fry pan and set on low heat;
    • Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk them;
    • Add the grated cheese to the whisked eggs;
    • Pour the egg and cheese mixture into the heated fry pan and cook on low heat;
    • Scramble them as they start to cook;
    • When the eggs are fluffy and still a little moist they are ready to serve;
    • Allow the scrambled eggs to cool down to warm, before placing the treat in your dog's food bowl. 


You can cut the recipe in half, thirds, or quarters depending on how many dogs you have. Provided you use whole eggs (both yolk and egg white) when making this recipe your dog can have this treat daily. If you only use the egg white, give this treat a maximum of 3 times per week. Long-term consumption of egg white without the egg yolk can cause a our dog to have a biotin deficiency. Egg white contains avidin which over time can interfere with the body's absorption of biotin. Egg yolk contains biotin in sufficient amounts to balance and the intake of avidin.

Health Benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, helps support your dog’s immune system, it is a natural insect repellent fleas and ticks do not like acidic environments…they don’t like the smell of ACV. I give my dogs’ ACV on a daily basis - it makes there skin and blood much less tasty to fleas, ticks and Mosquitoes. ACV is also excellent for a dog’s coat - when used topically and when ingested. ACV can also be used to treat ear infections.


Anise Seed
Anise seed has anti-oxidant, disease preventing and many health promoting properties. Anise is rich in B Complex Vitamins, Vitamin A and C (anti-oxidants) and important minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese zinc and potassium. 

 

Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds are rich in antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins (i.e. A, B-complex, C, E, thiamine, pyridoxine, riboflavin, niacin) and minerals (i.e. calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc). Caraway seeds are also high in good fibre.


Cheese - Cheddar, Mozzarella, Provolone or Swiss
Cheddar, Mozzarella, Provolone and Swiss cheese are a good source of protein; rich in calcium; a good source of vitamin A; an aid to controlling hypertension; a source of Linoleic acid and Sphingolipids (help prevent cancer) . A dog’s teeth and jaws are comprised primarily of calcium. When there is not enough calcium in a dog’s diet the risk of developing periodontitis increases. Calcium is best when combined with phosphorus and Vitamin D


Coconut Oil
In addition to being an excellent source of Omega 6 fatty acids, coconut oil offers an amazing array of health benefits for example coconut oil is a digestive aid, promotes healthy bones, supports the immune system, metabolism, skin and fur. f you would like to know more about the many benefits of coconut oil you can click here.


Olive Oil or Sesame Oil
Making sure your dog gets enough Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in their diet is essential to good health. Olive Oil and Sesame Oil are both good sources of Omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids must be consumed on a daily basis and in the correct ratio. You can read this article to learn more about Omega 3 and 6 Health benefits, best sources and dosage. You can add ground flax seeds if you want to include Omega 3 fatty acids in this recipe as well as Omega 6.

 


Dill Weed
Dill contains monoterpene which helps anti-oxidants attach to oxidized molecules - thus supporting the fight against free-radicals. Dill is also a digestive aid and helps to regulate insulin levels and may help in controlling bad LDL.



Eggs
Eggs contain Lutein and zeaxanthin - two caratenoids that support eye health - particularly important for aiding in the prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts. Eggs are high in protein and iron and naturally occurring vitamin D. Eggs are rich in vitamins and minerals (i.e. sulpher) that support the growth and maintenance of healthy fur and nails. With the growth of mass production of eggs Omega 6 levels have risen dramatically resulting in a disruption of the natural ratio of Omega 6 to 3 in eggs. For that reason it is best to purchase Omega-3 enriched eggs.



Garlic
Garlic has many health benefits - you can read about them here. Unlike onions, garlic is good for a dog’s health. Don't give garlic to cats.



Fresh Lemon Juice
Lemon is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral, immune system boosting, a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain bioflavonoids, calcium, citric acid, limonene, magnesium and vitamin C. Lemon is also excellent for treating periodontal issues, for avoiding and treating ear infections and when used as a household cleaner thus reducing your dog’s exposure to harsh chemicals.



Additional Treat Recipes


DIY Nutritious Treats Made with Yogurt and Cheese

  • DIY Smoothies & Frozen Treats for Dogs – Nutrient Rich Refreshing Relief During Hot Weather - recipes and health benefits here.


Holistic Support

Additional Assistance - Holistic Health and Wellness Service
If you require additional support, and guidance - contact me to discuss your requirements. I will determine the appropriate course of action for your situation and I will let you know the applicable fees. I offer consultative services to clients around the world...
Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services
  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice - information and payment here >>. 
  • Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans - information and payment here >>.
Dog Obedience Training and Behavior Modification Services
  • In-Person sessions - information and payment here >>.
  • On-Line consultation and sessions - information and payment here >>.