Yesterday, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group published a report, apparently the first of its kind, showing that companion pets harbor alarming amounts of toxic chemicals in their systems -- the same kinds of chemicals found in humans, but at higher levels, including stain- and grease-guards, fire retardants, mercury, and more. Given that there are eight times more dogs and cats in the U.S. than there are children under 5, that's gotta concern a lot of people.
From the report:
"Seventy percent more households have dogs or cats than children of any age. These pets are often beloved family members, and yet they can be subjected to chronic, constant exposures to chemical contaminants in homes, yards, and parks that pet owners cannot always prevent. ... Just as children ingest pollutants in tap water, play on lawns with pesticide residues, or breathe in an array of indoor air contaminants, so do their pets. But with their compressed lifespans, developing and aging seven or more times faster than children, pets also develop health problems much more rapidly. Pets, like infants and toddlers, have limited diets and play close to the floor, often licking the ground as well as their paws, greatly increasing both their exposures to chemicals and the resulting health risks."
This bums me out (we have an adorable black Lab, Lucy), but of course it makes perfect sense, and kudos to EWG for undertaking this study. What to do? Things to consider: healthy treats, organic lawn care products (I love and use stuff from Gardens Alive) ... any other ideas out there?