Safe Pet Products for Dogs and Cats: There’s a Host of Products Available, but Which Ones are Safest?

February 27, 2019
As a dog owner with over 25 years of experience, I can attest that having a dog is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in my life. The companionship and joy they bring is incomparable.

When it comes to the health of a dog or cat, pet parents want to make sure they are doing the best possible things for their pets and keeping them safe on top of that. For example, if a pet is experiencing fleas or has a tick, which products serve them the best? There are many products available at the pet stores and at the vet’s office, but certain products are known to cause more harm than good. This is the time to start asking questions and weighing the pros and cons about which products are best suited for certain pets.

Popular Products Containing Chemicals

There are certain well-known products (especially flea and tick products) that are on the market and are widely used for dogs and cats. Some of these products are safe and some are proven to cause potential harm to pets, although widely used. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), certain animals have reacted negatively and even died from these products, particularly spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control. Before buying any products, it is best to read through a list of reputable and registered products, and then decide. The EPA has a list of registered products on their website for pet parents to use as a guide when choosing flea and tick products for their pets in order to avoid any problems or reactions.

Natural and Organic Products

If a pet owner does not want to choose the popular pet products on the market consisting of many harsh chemicals he can always take another route and choose pet sprays, powders and flea collars that are completely all natural. Many of these products contain essential oils that are known to repel insects; some even kill the insects on contact. When looking for a product of this sort, a pet owner may search for “herbal”, “all natural” or “organic” on the label. Some pet parents are also into making their own pet products such as flea shampoos, flea sprays and other types of repellents created with herbs and flowers such as pennyroyal or lavender.

Sampling Products

When sampling products for a pet, always take precaution to use the directed amount on the product and follow package directions. Spot check any new products and look for redness, rashes, swelling or other reactions from the pet. If the pet has a result such as listed, discontinue use of product or consult the veterinarian. Another good tip is to use the product on the pet when the pet can be monitored and not at a time when the pet and parent are apart. This way, the pet parent is available if there happens to be an adverse reaction to the product. The ASPCA recommends always consulting a veterinarian before using spot-on products on very young or old pets and pregnant and sick pets.

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