Detoxing our Pets…By Dr. Jeannie Thomason

Most pet health symptoms, illness and diseases are caused by an accumulation of toxins
that our petʼs immune systems have become too weak to eliminate. Our pets are suffering
from chronic health issues that rarely existed 40 years ago. Most of these illnesses relate to
a breakdown of the immune system due to poor nutrition, over vaccinating and an overload
of accumulated toxins. Much of this can be avoided and/or helped naturally by cleansing or
detoxing your pet from the inside out.
We live in a toxic world! Toxins can cause, worsen, or accelerate numerous health problems
in both our own bodies and even more so in our pets. Our pets are in an extremely difficult
situation because of their size. Since most of our dogs and cats are smaller than us
humans, even small amounts of toxins can have a greater impact on their health.
The thing is that the toxins in the world today are not necessarily visible to us, they are
hiding in the food we feed our pets, they are in the very air we breathe, the water we drink,
the household cleaners we use daily, the fertilizer we use on the lawn, they are everywhere
to the point that it can often be difficult to pinpoint just how many toxins our pets are actually
bombarded with daily.
Toxic Environment
Toxins get into your canine (or feline or feathered) companion through several different
means; including eating, licking, breathing, touching, and even normal biological processes.
Outside the house, there are toxins like weed killers, pesticides, automotive exhaust &
motor oil, etc. These get into our pets systems when they breathe them in, eat chemicalladen
grass, lick dust or residue off their paws and fur, or absorb them through their paws.
Household products like cleaners, air fresheners, laundry products and other chemicals
permeate where they lie, sleep and eat. Toxins not often thought about are in the drinking
water, processed and/or commercial pet food and treats, and even in the material our petʼs
toys and bedding is made of! Not to mention the vaccinations and medications which are
directly injected into or ingested by our pets.
The Effects of Toxins on Our Pets
In an ideal world and situation, if our pets are healthy, toxins are rounded up so to speak
and pumped through the eliminative organs – the liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines, and skin,
and then eliminated from the body. In the short run, our petʼs bodies react to toxins like our
human bodies do: the immune system ramps up processes like inflammation, mucus
production and diarrhea to help an army of cells to resolve the problem and purge the
offending “invaders” from the system. However, when the immune system is weakened due
to stress, vaccinations, non-species appropriate foods, medications and of course the
household and outdoor toxins, the body becomes overwhelmed and it is forced to store
them until the immune system is stronger and has an opportunity to eliminate them at a
better time. Sadly, for most pets today, the better time never arrives, and these toxins
accumulate indefinitely, causing symptoms such as yeast overgrowth, lethargy, skin
ailments, infections and digestive upsets. Ultimately, the toxic overload will impede the work
of your petʼs immune system to the point where tumors and cysts may form, and serious
health conditions such as diabetes, kidney and/or liver disease and cancer, may develop as
the organʼs functions are impaired.
Think of it this way: Have you ever changed the oil in your car and forgotten to change the
oil filter? It didn’t take long for the oil to become filthy and unable to properly lubricate your
car’s engine did it? Well, the same holds true for your petʼs body. How can your dog or cat
have clean nourishing blood if its filtering systems are filthy and clogged full of toxins?
Where do you think new toxins will go when the filters are already clogged and dirty? What
eventually happens to the contaminated blood? You may have guessed it? The
contaminated blood travels directly into the other tissues and organs of the body causing
imbalance, which if not detoxed and cleaned up turn into digestive problems such as IBD,
skin problems such as mange, hot spots, etc. Even arthritis can be brought on by a body
over-loaded with toxins and then as mentioned above even worse – cancer, cushings,
diabetes, and of course ultimately a miserable death.
Detoxing Your Pet
1. Proper Nutrition – Improving the quality of your petʼs diet is the first and best thing you
can do to improve well-being, detoxing and longevity. Stop giving your pets kibble and
canned foods. Dogs and cats are carnivores after all and these processed diets are laden
with GMO foods, chemical additives, artificial colors & flavors with every bite. Along with
these toxic indigestible ingredients, they are filled with ingredients that are not digestible
for carnivores and have been cooked and processed at such high temperatures that there
is no nutritive value remaining. The cooked and indigestible ingredients tax your petʼs
digestion and over-work their pancreas in an attempt to break down, digest and utilize
anything it can. Feeding processed, non-species appropriate foods greatly increase the
toxic load in their bodies. Commercial pet treats are made with the same ingredients and
processed a lot like pet food is so they are just as un-fit for our pets. If you feel you must
give your dogs (or cats) treats, dehydrated or freeze dried meat or organs are the
healthiest way to go. No seasoning, no added vegetables, oils, preservatives, colors, etc.
just dehydrated meat.
2. Filtered Water Only – While your tap water in your house may be technically “fit to
drink,” in reality it is not! It is filled with heavy metals, chemicals like fluoride and chlorine,
and even trace amounts of dangerous prescription drugs. Filtered water is much healthier
for our pets!
3. Support The Digestive System With Enzymes and Probiotics – Most eliminated toxins
pass through the colon, and a healthy digestive system is designed to keep the bacteria and
toxins moving through quickly before they damage the intestinal walls or are reabsorbed.
Often, a sluggish bowel (constipation), or an irritated one (diarrhea) suggests a microbe
imbalance. With constipation, toxic materials can be released back into your petʼs
bloodstream before they pass through. Plus, microbes out of balance (for example bacteria
and yeast) can produce their own toxins. Supplement with Probiotics and digestive
enzymes to help your petʼs digestion.
Enzymes are powerful substances responsible for initiating every action in the body. As
such, without them the body will die. Enzymes are also responsible for digesting food and
breaking down and removing old and diseased tissue and cells from the body. When our
petʼs enzyme stores are low, diseased tissues and cells remain inside the body – because
the enzymes aren’t available to help remove them. Processed or cooked pet food diets lack
enzymes and as a result, kibble and canned fed dog and cats are enzyme depleted. This
means that their bodies are not able to detoxify away the old, diseased cells and tissue as
they should be able to, and of course leads to disease and health problems. Supplementing
our petʼs daily intake of enzymes empowers their bodies to engage in an on-going
detoxification and removing the old, diseased cells and tissue before they build up and
cause problems.
Probiotics aid in detoxing the body and improve body composition. Probiotics are healthy,
friendly bacteria that restore and maintain a balance in the intestines. Probiotics have
shown to improve gastrointestinal health and prevent liver disease, decrease inflammation
and improve blood glucose uptake into the cells for fuel (and balance the insulin sensitivity).
4. Eliminate Household Chemicals – In the first study of its kind, Environmental Working
Group found that American pets are polluted with even higher levels of many of the same
synthetic industrial chemicals that researchers have recently found in people, including
newborns. The results show that Americaʼs pets are serving as involuntary sentinels of the
widespread chemical contamination that scientists increasingly link to a growing array of
health problems across a wide range of animals—wild, domesticated and human.
Along with obvious products like bug killers and cleaning solvents, beware of things like
perfumes, air fresheners (including scented plug-ins),laundry soap, dryer sheets, floor
cleaners, sink and tub cleaners, toilet cleaners, etc. These are laden with chemicals
unregulated and untested by US health protection agencies, and many of them are known
to cause organ failure and cancer. Choose only 100% chemical free, natural cleaning
products. Start reading labels and replace items as you run out with safe and beneficial
ones.
5. Exercise – Our pets needs exercise as much as we do and actually more! Daily workouts
have many benefits for protecting our pets from toxins and keeping them healthy.
Exercise improves the movement of waste materials through the digestive tract. Exercise
also improves circulation of blood and lymph fluid, two primary means of eliminating
micro-toxins and cellular debris from the body. Exercise also improves respiration and
helps remove excess mucus from the respiratory tract.
6. Sunbathing – Dogs are built to be outside in the fresh air, sunbathing, napping and of
course exercising. I am sure you are aware of the benefits of humans getting time in the
sun and getting as much vitamin D3 as possible. It is even more important for our dogs!
7. Improve Indoor Air Quality – Indoor air pollution can come from household chemicals,
cigarette and cigar smoke, gaseous chemicals emanating from synthetic household items
like flooring, carpeting, and furniture, and even dust. When weather permits and is safely
possible, leave windows open for some fresh air and consider purchasing an air purifier
to continually cycle and filter your houseʼs air.
8. Minimize Exposure to Outdoor Pollutants & Chemicals – Pets should be spending
quality time outdoors and will undoubtedly be encountering toxic chemicals used for pest
control, weed killers, fertilizers and more. Dogs and cats enjoy eating grass and it can be
a good thing for them to do on occasion. However, keep a close eye on them when you
walk near neighborsʼ yards and in public places like parks, where use of chemicals is
common place.
9. Stop The Use Of Conventional Medications – Toxic compounds are plentiful in
conventional flea and tick products, heartworm medications and conventional
medications including vaccinations. There are healthy and natural alternatives for all of
these! Choose natural flea and tick control products, as well as natural remedies for
common pet health conditions that offer safer alternatives to their conventional
counterparts.
10. Support the Liver – Your petʼs liver does a huge share of eliminating of toxins.
Antioxidants assist the liver in this process, and many detoxification remedies have herbs
like milk thistle in them that are of great value to your petʼs liver. While young, healthy
pets are unlikely to require daily liver support, older pets who have been on kibble all their
live, been vaccinated and and/or have taken medications may benefit from regular use of
liver support products.
11. Support the Kidneys – The simplest thing you can do to support healthy kidneys is
ensure your pet drinks filtered water every day. Toxins are highly concentrated in
chronically dehydrated pets (pets that are fed dry, processed foods and then only have
access to water twice a day). Dehydration can damage the kidneysʼ filtration system.
Likewise, mineral particles can form when urine is highly concentrated, resulting in the
formation of dreaded stones that are painful, cause blockages and set the stage for
recurrent infections. A species specific raw diet has a proper moisture level for our
carnivore pets so they will not need to drink as often as a dog fed dry foods.
12. Provide Immune Support – Your petʼs immune system works in tandem with the
elimination organs to flush out toxins, so it is important to support and boost the immune
health to keep your petʼs liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin healthy to do their
detoxification work. Immune support and boosting is especially important while your pet is
detoxing as well as when they are ill, stressed or older pets.
13. Care of The Skin – Your petʼs skin and coat is the first line of defense against toxins,
and a regular brushing regimen will help your petʼs skin “breathe” and facilitate in the
detoxing process. Regular grooming also removes dust and debris that may contain
toxic residue. Bathing your healthy dog more than a few times year is not necessary and
in fact, regular bathing can ruin the natural balance of natural oils your dog’s body
produces that keep a good coat. Make sure you bathe with a 100% natural shampoo
and bath products – enriched with herbs, pure essential oils and vegetable proteins. This
is the best way to help clean the coat and nourish the skin instead of drying it out and
clogging the pores with chemicals and preventing your pet from absorbing fewer toxins
at bath time. Most commercial shampoos contain phosphates and sodium based
detergents that not only dry out and irritate the skin but are actually carcinogenic. They
also strip the skin of natural oils that help protect it, throwing off the skin’s natural
balance. Chemical ingredients to stay away from are sodium lauryl sulfates, cocomide
DEA, cocomide MEA, and TEA lauryl sulfate, and propylene glycol, just to name a few.
Keeping Your Pet Toxin Free
Keep in mind that as the body is eliminating toxins, it is not unusual for there to be a
“healing response or crisis,” in which a cat or dog may develop symptoms such as runny
eyes, stinky, itchy ears and/or skin, diarrhea, etc. The good news is that for most pets, their
bodies are remarkably well-equipped to handle disease, eliminate a reasonable amount of
toxins, and restore their own organs and body systems to health – with your help. When a
raw species appropriate diet and a clean living environment are combined with adequate
nutrients, rest, sunshine, fresh air, exercise and joy, your pets are capable of a level of
health you never thought possible