Everyday we encounter toxins that we involuntarily take into our body and the same applies to our dogs. Some of these things are out of our control but there are still ways we can regulate our dog’s exposure to these toxins for a healthier lifestyle.
How to Detoxify Your Dog: Tips and Natural Remedies
As much as we want to, we really don’t have full control over the amount of toxins that we consume on a daily basis. Toxins are defined as anything that could cause any health issues to one’s body and deteriorates their general well-being in varying degrees.
Dogs are also susceptible to exposure to such toxins in a lot of ways that are similar to us people as well. However, their small size actually renders them more vulnerable to them. Having smaller organs that help flush out these toxins means that they would have to work twice as hard in order to function properly. Additionally, as we dog parents unfortunately know, dogs have a much shorter life span as compared to ours so they don’t have as much time to fully detoxify overtime.
Common Sources of Toxins for Dogs:
As you go through this list, you will find that many of the toxins affecting our dogs come from our products ranging from food to cleaning materials to the plants we have nearby. Watch out for the following toxins:
Our food is some of the most toxic poisons that our dog can ingest. Whether you voluntarily give them your food or not, you should still be vigilant on what types of food you give your dog. Listed below are some of the toxins that your dog must avoid ingesting at all costs:
Alcohol might be a no-brainer to some but its effects may actually be much worse than you expect. Alcoholic beverages that contain alcohol cause diarrhea, vomiting, poor coordination, difficulty in breathing, and even death.
Avocado is actually a toxin to our dogs despite it being a food that provides us people a plethora of benefits. Horses, rabbits, and birds are also some animals that are affected by this toxin. It causes cardiovascular damage and death in birds, while it causes swollen head and neck to horses, donkeys, and dogs.
Macadamia Nuts, as delicious as they are, can cause many complications to your dog such as vomiting, hypothermia, weakness, and depression to name a few. Upon ingestion, symptoms would appear in the 12-hour range and can last up to 12 to 48 hours.
Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine are products that contain methylxanthines, which are substances that are usually found in cacao seeds. It can cause panting, hyperactivity, vomiting and diarrhea, tremors, and even death. The darker the chocolate is, the more dangerous it is as it contains more methylxanthines.
Citrus is not as healthy to our dogs as it is to us people. Each part of these fruits, including leaves, stems, and even the peels, contain amounts of essential oils and citric acids to an extent that leads to irritation and depression in the central nervous system if taken in large amounts. Ingesting small portions of these can still cause minor upset in the stomach.
Milk and Dairy products can cause your dogs to have diarrhea or other digestive problems. Dogs don’t have as much lactase as us, which is responsible for breaking down the lactose contained in milk.
We commonly use insecticides to protect crops, eliminate pests and insects, and generally improve our immediate environment. However, these prove to be poisonous to our dogs as it contains organophosphates and carbonates. Ingestion of this toxin can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, muscle tremors, and seizures.
It may not come as a surprise to some dog parents that some plant species are poisonous to our dogs. Ingestion of these toxins can cause a variety of complications that range from vomiting to serious illnesses and even death. Dogs can usually determine which plants are harmful to them or not, but their curiosity could get the better of them. Check the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants.
Household cleaning materials
The ingredients in household cleaning materials are also toxic to us humans so it’s no surprise that dogs should steer clear from these products as well. Bleach is the number one ingredient that can cause pet poisoning and stomach and respiratory tract problems. Antifreeze, paint thinner, and chemicals used in pools are also dog poisons. All of these can lead to symptoms such as stomach upset, depression, chemical burns, renal failure, and even death in some cases.
If you have a green thumb and love gardening around your home, you might want to consider the use of fertilizers. These products usually contain varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium compounds that lead to moderate gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, hypersalivation, and abdominal pain when ingested by your dog.
The Major Systems You Need to Detoxify
There are three major systems in the body that need support for optimal functioning. These are organs that already function well as they are under normal conditions. However, they still need support for our dogs to live a healthier lifestyle and a longer life.
Liver Detox for Dogs
The liver cleanses the body of toxins through excretion in bile, which also aids in digestion of fats. Moreover, the liver produces glycogen that acts as the storage for energy. It is also in charge of producing protein for your dog’s body. Given all of these, the liver is considered to be the most important organ for detoxification. Every artificial chemical and other toxins are all metabolized in the liver.
The following are the supplements you can incorporate into your dog’s lifestyle in order to support liver detox in dogs:
Milk Thistle, otherwise known as Silymarin, serves as a protection against toxins and other oxidative effects. Using this helps regenerate the liver cells as well as stimulate protein synthesis in the liver.
Glutathione is responsible for removing foreign chemical compounds that come from external factors, which is called xenobiotics. It contains an important amino acid called glycine, which assists in manufacturing glutathione. Glycine also helps flush out chlorine that is found in public water supplies, heavy metals, and public residues.
Antioxidants helps decrease the number of liver enzymes, which causes liver diseases. Highly recommended antioxidant supplements include Vitamins C and E, silymarin, and S-adenosyl-methionine.
Skin Detox for Dogs
Although skin regenerates itself through turning over dead cells, bacteria, oils, toxins, and grime, it’s still important that we maintain a healthy and consistent cleaning regimen for our dog. We are always exposed to various toxins that can easily land on our skin and even more so to our dogs who are way too active especially outside.
Constant bathing is one the most basic and simplest way to combat skin toxins. Bacteria build up on their skin as they sweat and itch, which are actually processes of detoxification. However, accumulation of these bacteria will be counterproductive to its intended function. Given that, bathing and showering will help ease your dog’s discomfort. Another method is to do regular deep brushing to get rid of dead skin cells and hair that may build up.
Kidney Detox for Dogs
The functions of the kidneys include filtering the toxins and waste produced by the body, sustaining the water and electrolyte balance, producing hormones, regulating blood pressure and Vitamin D, and aid in producing red blood cells. All of these very crucial functions may need further support in order to maximize its effectiveness.
To do so, always give your dog plenty of filtered water and not just tap water. Keeping them well-hydrated with purified water aids the kidney in performing better. With that, always bring a jug or bowl of water with you even when you’re out travelling. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are especially helpful for dogs who have chronic renal diseases. In the same vein, take your dog to the veterinarian to get a more customized diet plan for your dog.
Home and Natural Detox for Dogs
Detox for dogs may sound too much especially with how crucial each step and information you have to take into account. However, you can actually do these at the comforts of your home as often as every day. Remember, this isn’t just a short-term detoxification. Rather, it’s a long-term commitment to a healthier lifestyle for your dog. Take note of the following home and natural remedies to aid in detoxifying your dog:
Use filtered water
Tap water actually isn’t as safe to drink as you think it is. It still contains just enough toxic mineral and metal levels that prove to be damaging to your dog’s health. You wouldn’t have to take much effort in filtering your dog’s water as there are water filtration units that you can find in many stores. This is something that you should definitely invest in especially when your dog’s health is also in the line!
Countless studies and research have proved that exercise has so many benefits to us and even to dogs now. Doing so everyday helps decrease the effects of poor bowel movement through an improvement in the movement of waste materials through the digestive tract. Moreover, exercise aids in blood and lymph fluid circulation in the body, which are both responsible for eliminating mycotoxins and cellular debris from the body.
Improve air quality at home
You can actually have air pollution even inside of your home coming from many sources including cigarette, cigar smoke, flooring, furniture, and other household chemicals. Make sure to ventilate your house every day through the use of window fans or leaving them open to let fresh air in. Also consider using bathroom fans to decrease residues of chemicals that originate from products like hair sprays and perfume.
Dog Detox Tips
- Keep every household cleaning materials, insecticide, rodenticide, and other chemicals in places that won’t be accessible to your dog.
- If you still really want to keep plants in your home, choose the ones that are not toxic to your dog. Check out the ASPCA list again to take note of what you should and shouldn’t buy.
- Don’t use too much veterinary drugs, like vaccines. Although they are important, too much of these in short periods of time can do more harm than good. Only use these types of medications when it is necessary to protect your dog from illnesses.
- Incorporate naturally detoxifying foods to your dog’s diet such as asparagus, parsley, and freshly ground turmeric root.
Learn how to detoxify your dog for a healthier lifestyle! Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever done any of these and what your experience is!