10 Toxins to Avoid With Your Pets

Updated: Sep 11

Toxins affect everyone who lives in a household, including pets. When you expose yourself to toxins, you also expose your pet, but even when you start your toxin-free journey, there may be some things you miss or don't think about regarding your pet's safety.

Toxins don't just affect humans; they affect pets too. When transitioning to a toxin-free lifestyle, some things may slip through the cracks, or you may not know where to start. This list is meant to be a starting point, to open your eyes and provide you with better, natural, toxin-free alternatives. But first, what are the most common pet toxins?


As per the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the top 10 pet toxins in 2019 were (1):

  1. Over-the-Counter Medications

  2. Human Prescription Medications

  3. Food

  4. Chocolate

  5. Veterinary Products

  6. Household Products

  7. Rodenticide

  8. Plants

  9. Insecticide

  10. Garden Products

 

1. Over-the-Counter Medications

OTCs were the most common group of toxicants pets ingested, making up 19.7% of APCC calls. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, joint rubs, and herbal supplements fall within this category. Just like for humans, these aren’t always the safest option. OTCs are something I commonly avoid, and I follow these same guidelines with my beloved pet. Instead, I use homeopathic remedies meant for pets.


Homeopathy isn’t just for human beings! It’s important that our greatest companions are well taken care of too. Whether it’s skin issues or infections, oral health or digestion, joint pain, or simply a lack of energy, we’ve got a treatment for many common issues that might affect your pet. Homeopathy for cats, dogs, rabbits, and feathered friends is here. Give them only the best – explore Ollopets, homeopathy for pets brought to you by Olloïs Homeopathy. Ollopets offers the following pet remedies suitable for all pets:

  • Dental Care is organic oral drops formulated optimally with 5 different homeopathic remedies to address dental issues in pets. The dropper allows flexibility of use in your pet's water bowl or on treats.

  • Dental Spray is an organic oral spray formulated optimally with 5 different homeopathic remedies to address dental issues in pets.

  • Digestion is organic oral drops formulated optimally with 5 different homeopathic remedies to address pet digestion issues. The dropper allows flexibility of use in your pet's water bowl or on treats.

  • Eczema is organic oral drops formulated optimally with 5 different homeopathic remedies to address skin issues in pets. The dropper allows flexibility of use in your pet's water bowl or on treats.

  • Energy is organic oral drops formulated optimally with 9 different homeopathic remedies to address loss or need for more energy in pets. The dropper allows flexibility of use in your pet's water bowl or on treats.

  • Eye Care is organic oral drops formulated optimally with 5 different homeopathic remedies to address eye issues in pets. The dropper allows flexibility of use in your pet's water bowl or on treats.

  • Infection is organic oral drops formulated optimally with 4 different homeopathic remedies to address pet infection issues. The dropper allows flexibility of use in your pet's water bowl or on treats.

  • Joints & Muscles is organic oral drops formulated optimally with 6 different homeopathic remedies to address joint & muscle issues in pets. The dropper allows flexibility of use in your pet's water bowl or on treats.

  • Nausea is organic oral drops formulated optimally with 4 different homeopathic remedies to address motion sickness issues in pets. The dropper allows flexibility of use in your pet's water bowl or on treats.

  • Stress is organic oral drops formulated optimally with 7 different homeopathic remedies to address stress issues in pets. The dropper allows flexibility of use in your pet's water bowl or on treats.

  • Urinary is organic oral drops formulated optimally with 5 different homeopathic remedies to address urinary issues in pets. The dropper allows flexibility of use in your pet's water bowl or on treats.

  • Worms is organic oral drops formulated optimally with 5 different homeopathic remedies to address worms-related issues in pets. The dropper allows flexibility of use in your pet's water bowl or on treats.


2. Human Prescription Medications

Human prescription medications were the second most common toxin, accounting for 17.2% of cases. Cardiac, ADHD, thyroid, and antidepressant medications made up many of these cases. These are things I typically recommend against for humans as well as pets. In these cases, most commonly, they are accidental ingestion. Still, I highly recommend natural remedies for moments when you think you need a pharmaceutical instead of attempting to use human prescription medications with your pets.


Personally, I use Earthley Wellness for my herbal supplements, which have helped me overcome many health obstacles, leaving behind over 20 prescriptions. Additionally, they have several products that are dog safe, including:


  • Anti-Itch Soap uses nourishing oils to soothe and heal the skin naturally. Say goodbye to the dry itch and hello to beautifully radiant skin. Cool the itch of poison ivy, sumac, and oak with an all-natural, gentle soap.

  • Anxiety Calm Oil (Formula P) is a CBD oil formulated with 600 mg of pure-spectrum CBD in a hemp seed oil base for the full medicinal benefits of cannabis without the high.

  • Black Drawing Salve Stick is the perfect solution for splinters, rashes, bug bites, acne, and other problems you’d like to draw out of the skin.

  • Cod Liver Oil is pure, virgin cod liver oil from Norway! The fish are caught in a safe, healthy area, and the livers are pressed for oil immediately. The result is an oil that’s light in color, rich in nutrients, and low in contaminants. No additives. A rich source of vitamin A, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Gut Health Oil is an herbal tincture created to help detox the gut for improved health. This product can help to eliminate candida, parasites, and other stomach issues like bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and more. It’s also a prebiotic, encouraging good gut bacteria growth to support better wellness.

  • Immune-Aid Vitamin C Powder is a vitamin c supplement made with 100% real food. Organic berries and orange peel provide natural vitamin C to boost the immune system. This powder makes the perfect nutrient-rich addition to your pet's daily routine.

  • Milk Flowin’ Salve is an all-natural, herbal salve created to help relieve clogged milk ducts. This salve helps keep lymphatic fluids and milk moving to work out any existing clogs and prevent future ones.

  • Soothing Skin Balm is made with 100% natural and pure ingredients to effectively soothe eczema and other skin issues. From dry skin to psoriasis, this balm helps to provide relief from symptoms of a variety of conditions. Pills and medicated creams can be ineffective and contain harmful ingredients. This cream is pure, effective, and safe for pets.

  • Sun Soothe is an all-natural, after-sun lotion to help calm skin that has been exposed to the sun. This cooling lotion helps to relieve pain and redness, prevent peeling, and moisturize the skin.

  • Vitamin D Cream is rich in vitamins A, D, E, and K2. The fat-soluble vitamins are balanced so that they can be used by the body in the easiest and most beneficial way. Studies show that vitamin D is absorbed nearly eight times better topically than orally!


3. Food

Toxic food consumption ranked number three, making up 12.1% of cases. Most of these cases were of xylitol, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, and protein bars. Although this is regarding accidental human food consumption, I thought this would be a great opportunity to educate about dog food quality.


When it comes to dog food, always research the food you are feeding. When I previously fed my dog kibble, I used Dog Food Advisor to get reviews, ratings, and recalls on food. Unfortunately, the food I gave her was recalled every other month, despite switching brands with every recall. Eventually, I made the switch and started raw feeding. I recommend a balanced raw food diet for pets but understand that it isn’t possible for everyone, so I have links to check your pet’s food quality.


Check your dog food here.


Check your other pet foods here.


4. Chocolate

Chocolate consumption ranked number four, with 10.7% of APCC cases concerning this sweet treat. That works out to over 67 cases a day! Dogs especially love chocolate and can eat enough to get themselves into trouble. Instead of giving your dog chocolate, try carob, a safe chocolate alternative for pets.


Carob is a fruit that looks like a dark brown pea pod, which carries pulp and seeds coming from a carob tree, or Ceratonia siliqua. Carob is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals with benefits like lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, treating diarrhea, and easing stomach and digestion issues (2). You can buy organic carob powder on Amazon or directly through Anthony's Goods to make homemade treats for your pet.


I really like buying Bocce's Bakery for sweet treats safe for my dog. Some of their clean options with carob ingredients include:

  • Birthday Cake Biscuits is a five-ingredient wheat-free treat made from real food. A birthday cake your pup can enjoy every day. Treat your pup to this simply sweet biscuit and celebrate their birthday year-round.

  • Mud Pie Oh My Dog Biscuits is a four-ingredient wheat-free treat made from real food. A dessert to drool for. The perfect everyday biscuit in a simple recipe with an extra dose of fun!


5. Veterinary Products

Veterinary products came in at fifth place, accounting for 9.3% of cases. This was especially so with chewable medications because they're tasty, and dogs will eat the entire container. It's best to avoid these products in general. Just like human medications, pets also have many unwanted side effects, and our pets can't communicate these side effects with us. Instead, think about other natural alternatives when possible.


Personally, I am a huge fan of the natural remedy line from Earth Animal. Earth Animal is deeply dedicated to caring for animals, people, and the Earth, making the highest quality pet

products while always considering the social and environmental impact of everything they do. Earth Animal offers the following natural remedies suitable for all pets:

  • Aches & Discomfort is a reviving, organic herbal blend that helps support a normal inflammatory response throughout the body, helping to soothe occasional discomfort, stiffness, and soreness.

  • Allergy & Skin is a relieving, organic herbal blend that helps maintain healthy skin and soothes skin-related issues associated with seasonal allergies. It also aids in calming irritations of the skin caused by insect bites.

  • Calmness is a relieving, organic herbal blend that supports balanced behavior, promotes a calming effect, helps manage normal stress, and helps maintain contentment during travel, grooming, thunderstorms, fireworks, motion sickness, or environmental changes.

  • Clean Ears is a gentle cleanser that removes the discharge and reduces inflammation in and around the ears.

  • Clean Eyes is a gentle astringent that cleanses the eyes and promotes long-term ocular health. It helps to remove discharge and soothes discomfort.

  • Clean Mouth, Gums & Breath is a refreshing, organic herbal blend that neutralizes odor to promote fresh breath. It also supports the normal inflammatory responses to help soothe and comfort gums.

  • Cough, Wheeze & Sneeze is an organic herbal blend that supports respiratory function and health. And it helps to support normal circulation.

  • Emotional Balance is a healing blend of flower essences that helps reduce fear and calm anxious behavior. It helps to balance the emotions and minimize neurotic behavior such as separation anxiety, fear of loud noises, thunderstorms, visits to the groomer, relocation, obedience issues, aggressive behavior, or bereavement.

  • Herbal Skin Relief is a relieving blend of herbs that helps soothe and calm irritated skin. Our Balm naturally assists in healing hot spots, licking wounds, dry or cracked paws, rashes, bug bites, and any skin sores while providing soothing relief!

  • Immune Support is a reviving organic herbal blend that helps jump-start and balances the immune system. It helps provide immune support and strengthen cells and organs to guard against common conditions due to stress or weakness in the body.

  • No More Runs is a relieving, organic herbal blend designed to calm the stomach and the digestive system. It helps reduce discomfort, soothe irritation, and support healthy digestion and bowel health.

  • Urinary & Kidney Relief is a soothing, organic herbal blend for peak periods of urinary tract distress. It helps normalize bladder & kidney muscle function and to maintain and normalize bladder control and health.

  • Vital Eye is an organic herbal blend that supports healthy eye function and also helps calm irritations, maintain optimal vision, and support eye health.


6. Household Products

Household items were number six, making up 7.7% of APCC cases. Home improvement projects can expose pets to many potential toxins such as paint, adhesives, or spackle. Another common toxin is household cleaners.


Household cleaners aren’t the best for humans; they’re usually filled with toxins and fragrances and often rated terribly on the Environmental Working Group website. Check out the rating of your current home care products here.


I recommend the unscented home care line from Earthley Wellness. Their home care line includes the following products:

  • Cleaning Paste provides a pure clean for extra dirty areas that need thorough scrubbing. Made with natural soap and baking soda, this paste can be used to easily clean sinks, tubs, tiles, and more.

  • Cleaning Spray Concentrate provides a pure clean you can trust! Using the most natural and effective ingredients, you can finally enjoy cleaning with safe products for the whole family (and pets). Use to clean surfaces throughout your home.

  • Dishwasher Detergent effectively cleans dishes without harsh chemicals. Using plant-based ingredients, our detergent is tough on dirty dishes but safe for the whole family (and pets).

  • Dish Soap Bar provides a pure, low-waste clean for dishes. Using the most natural and effective ingredients, this soap can be used to effectively hand-wash dirty dishes.

  • Laundry Detergent is pure, eco-friendly, and safe for the whole family (and pets). With absolutely no harsh chemicals, this powder detergent is tough on dirty clothes but gentle on the skin. Using plant-based ingredients, your clothes will be thoroughly cleaned and smell naturally fresh!


7. Rodenticide

Rodenticide exposure cases increased in number in 2019, to 6.8% of the APCC caseload. Some mouse and rat baits, such as anticoagulants, bromethalin, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), corn gluten, and zinc phosphide, can cause bleeding, kidney failure, seizures, or even death (3). The same qualities that make rodenticides appealing to rodents are appealing to many household animals. To prevent these accidents, consider a more humane method of rodent traps such as these reusable, animal-friendly no-kill mouse traps.


8. Plants

Many pet owners are unaware that many plants are toxic to pets; unfortunately, pets sometimes eat them. In 2019, 6.1% of calls made to the APCC involved plants, especially lily exposure and cats. The most common poisonous plants to pets, besides Lillies, include (4):

  • Marijuana (learn about safe CBD options here)

  • Sago Palm

  • Tulip/Narcissus Bulbs

  • Azalea/Rhododendron

  • Oleander

  • Castor Bean

  • Cyclamen

  • Kalanchoe

  • Yew

  • Amaryllis

  • Autumn Crocus

  • Chrysanthemum

  • English Ivy

  • Peace Lily (aka Mauna Loa Peace Lily)

  • Pothos

  • Schefflera

Check out the full list of toxic plants for pets here.


9. Insecticide

Insecticide was another pretty big reason for calls to the APCC in 2019, ranking ninth place and accounting for 5.1% of all calls. Insecticides are usually filled with toxins bad for humans, let alone animals.


If you have a dog, I highly suggest using Earthley’s Pest-Aside. Pest-Aside is the natural and effective way to prevent bug bites! This essential oil blend repels bugs to ward off those itchy, annoying bites so you can enjoy the great outdoors. This salve comes in a convenient tube, so it’s perfect to take on the go for a mess-free application. I just apply a drop on the outer part of my dog's color, and bugs steer clear.


If you have other animals, I would recommend Bug Soother Spray, which is safe for horses, chickens, tigers, and other pets. Bug Soother Spray repels gnats, no-see-ums, sand fleas, black flies, and some mosquitoes. There are over 175 varieties of mosquitoes in the US (over 3,000 worldwide). Bug Soother is effective for some types of mosquitoes. Customers have reported that this spray can defend against fruit flies, fleas, and more.


10. Garden Products

Garden products ranked tenth in 2019, making up 2.4% of cases. Garden products include herbicides and soil enhancements, things that even humans shouldn't be consuming. Personally, I would recommend against the use of these things completely.


What are your go-to natural remedies for pets?


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