A family dog or cat is a member of the family for most pet owners. However, the products that are typically used to protect these much-loved pets from fleas, ticks, and heartworm utilize highly toxic chemicals that can carry serious health risks for their pets including brain or nerve damage, application site irritation and cancer.

In addition, these health risks extend to those who play with and care for them and are especially alarming for those with small children. In fact, a report published by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) states, “Despite popular perception to the contrary, the widespread use of these pet products is no indication that they are safe. On the contrary, the pesticides they introduce into the home include chemicals toxic to the brain and nervous system, chemicals that may disrupt the human hormone (endocrine) system, and pesticides suspected of causing cancer.” They further add, “Evidence also now strongly suggests that insecticide exposures may increase the risk of some long-term degenerative diseases of the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s.”

Humans can be exposed to toxic chemicals by skin absorption when applying products or by touching their pet after treatment. Additionally, children often ingest chemicals by transference of these toxins from their hands to their mouths. Even cats can be exposed and can be seriously harmed if the cat grooms the dog, or if they share bedding.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) further adds, “Labels may warn not to get these substances on your skin, to wash your hands after applying them, and to keep them away from children, yet these chemicals are absorbed by your animal’s skin. Immediate effects of pesticide overdose include vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, seizures, and respiratory problems.”

However, like young children, pets can’t report when they’re feeling the ill effects of toxicity. Moreover, pet owners may have difficulty recognizing non-specific signs, which can then lead to misdiagnosis and underreporting of the effects.

Christopher Rehm, DVM, President of the American Heartworm Society and practicing veterinarian has been quoted saying that even though it’s easy for veterinarians to kill heartworms in infected animals, doing so makes animals sicker in the short term. He adds that prevention is vastly preferable to treatment.

Of course, pet owners need to keep fleas and ticks off and treat them for prevention of heartworm, but safer alternatives are available that can effectively protect pets without the unnecessary health risks. In actuality, from the standpoint both of the pet and the humans who love and care for them, the safest approach is to avoid the use of chemical insecticides whenever possible.

One terrific alternative is Cedarcide, a handcrafted insecticide and repellent made from natural cedarwood oil. This safe and effective, naturally toxin-free product is designed for people, pets and home use and makes the continued use of older, more toxic pet products unnecessary. This ready to use formula is made to control insects in all stages of life and can be used daily, weekly or as needed. We have has Cedarcide in our store. If you would like to purchase, visit our kitchen on the southwest corner of Oakland Park Blvd and Federal Highway. 

As Dr Michael Fox, DVM says, “Healthy animals are less attractive, for reasons that science has yet to determine, to fleas and other external and internal pests and parasites, whose whole existence is one of opportunistic survival and multiplication. Dogs and cats on the kind of ‘junk’ foods that are still widely sold are far more prone to fleas and other parasitic and infectious health problems than those who are on a wholesome, whole-food diet.

This is why it matters what we feed and the way we protect both our pets and our entire family from insects. That’s why we now offer Cedarcide in addition to our healthy canine & feline meals – because we care!

If you would like more information about naturally caring for your furry family member, please visit