A Healthy Happy Home for your pet with organic pet products!
Pet owners enjoy great health benefits
Are you one of the nations pet lovers? Just under half of all UK adults own at least one pet – that’s over 11 million cats, nearly 9 million dogs and 1 million rabbits (The PAW report, PDSA 2019).
Pets make us human! Who would set off in pouring rain for a walk if it wasn’t for the excited canine jumping around and wagging its tail! The unconditional love of your pooch, the companionship and happiness that pet owning provides all go towards improving our health. Over 88% of pet owners say their pet enhances their quality of life too (Statista, 2019).
Scientists have found that there are many health benefits of owning a pet including:
• Lower blood pressure
• Decreased cholesterol
• Reduced triglyceride levels
• Less feelings of loneliness
• More exercise and outdoor activities
• Increased opportunities for socialisation (CDC, USA)
Pets are great for children too – improving their self esteem and positive emotional development. With help from adults, pet owning can help kids understand how to care for animals with patience and gentleness.
How to keep your pet happy and healthy
So what is our contribution? Are we really aware of our pet’s needs? Owning a pet is expensive both in terms of money and time so it is very important that we choose our companions carefully. The RSPCA has some very useful publications including how to look after dogs, cats & many other animals (www.rspca.org.uk).
There are 5 key welfare needs for animals in our care:
- Protect from pain, suffering, injury & disease
- Live in a suitable environment
- Be housed with, or apart from other animals
- Be able to exhibit normal behavioural patterns
- Have suitable diets.
Regular visits to the vet are a must for vaccinations, tick & flea treatment and weight control. Diets should be healthy and nutritious. There are now plenty of organic pet foods on the market which mean your pet is not exposed to harmful toxins from pesticides and GM ingredients. Organic Authority says that organic pet foods tend to reduce skin ailments and allergies, reduce digestive disorders and encourage better health and stronger immunity in animals.
Home hygiene and organic pet products
Keeping our home environment clean is essential for healthy pets and their owners and using organic pet products is a must. Pet bedding is a priority and should be washed as regularly as our own bed linen. Animal toys can be added to the pet bedding load. Don’t forget collars, coats & harnesses – these can easily become grubby and harbour bacteria. Always wash pet fabrics separately. Depending on the pet bedding material wash between 40-60 degrees although higher temperatures will remove more bacteria. It is very important to use an organic laundry liquid to ensure that your pet’s skin is not irritated by toxic chemicals.
As long as your pet doesn’t have a known problem with dermatitis, fragrance can help to reduce odour and has lots of other benefits. Organic lavender essential oil is a great choice for pets as it is soothing but anti-bacterial. The lavender fragrance reduces stress in animals as well as humans and is a good topical treatment for burns, wounds and scratching. An organic minty laundry liquid is another good choice for pets. Peppermint can help to discourage fleas as well as having anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
Laundry conditioner is not necessary but if you do choose to use one make sure it is made from organic and natural ingredients and your washing machine rinse cycles ensure that all residues are washed away. If possible, always air or line dry pet bedding and toys.
Puppies and kittens
Organic pet products are always preferred for puppies and kittens where extra care is needed. Cleaning up litter trays and accidents should always be carried out quickly and floors and surfaces mopped with an organic floor soap. Pet baskets should either be washable or made of a hard surface which can be cleaned with an organic multi-surface spray. A spray with a herbal blend of organic essential oils using lemongrass and rosemary is ideal for removing bacteria, dirt and dust and has a lovely fresh fragrance too.
Eating & drinking
All pets should have their own food and water bowls and these should be washed carefully with hot water and an organic washing up liquid after every meal. Dedicated washing up brushes and cleaning cloths for your pet helps to avoid transfer of bacteria and viruses. Patios and terraces outside should be cleaned periodically with a powerful hose and some organic washing up liquid that is fully biodegradable.
We all want to cuddle, stroke and play with our pets which is great for reducing our stress but we must ensure that we wash our hands thoroughly afterwards. An organic castile soap is ideal for this task. Children should be encouraged to share good hygiene practices. Dogs and cats should not share beds with owners as this could mean that pets pass on some nasty illnesses including salmonella, fungal infections and worms. Grooming our pets can be very therapeutic and is important to keep fur clean and not matted. Brushing cats and dogs also helps to discourage fleas and ticks.
With good home hygiene we will keep our pets healthy and happy so we can enjoy them at their best!