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Pets are exposed to a number of toxic environments in their lifetime. However, the place you think is the safest is often the one that is most dangerous to the health of your pet. The modern home has more gases, chemicals and natural toxins than any other place your pet is likely to come across in the neighborhood. In spite of that, most pet owners are blissfully unaware of the health hazard posed by innocuous products like furniture polishes and air fresheners.
Just like humans, animals also fall ill due to physical reactions to most of the chemicals which are used to manufacture textiles and furniture in the home, and also cleaning products which leave residual films. On the other hand, air fresheners can irritate the mucus membranes and breathing passages – particularly in brachycephalic breeds. Damp carpets can also pose a health risk to your pet, considering the fact that they are so close to the source. To top it all, a lot of the plants that are used to keep the air clean in your house can be toxic to your pet as well. Luckily, there are things you can do to make sure that your pet stays protected from chemical overload.
Keep a tab on the chemicals
You need to exercise a lot of care with volatile organic compounds. They are carbon based chemicals and tend to evaporate at room temperature. Most of them stay around in the air for a long time especially if the ventilation is poor. These are often found in furniture manufactured out of composite wood products, disinfecting solutions (citrus-scented or pine-lemon cleaners and bleach). Prolonged exposure to these products can cause cancer, kidney or liver damage, and affect the central nervous system. Short term exposure can lead to vomiting, dizziness, breathing problems and irritate the mucus membranes in the eyes, nose and mouth.
New carpeting also has a lot of chemicals associated with their manufacture and installation. Along with benzene, formaldehyde and acetone, carpets are usually treated with moth proofing, stain protectors and fire retardants. Finally, they are attached to the floor with the help of volatile adhesives. So, if you are planning to buy a new carpet, make sure that the carpet is “gassed off” before the installation. If it is possible, use staples to install them instead of adhesives and make sure that the room is well-aired for the brief period after the installation.
When it comes to new furniture, manufacturers use a lot of chemicals to protect the fabric, wood and all the other components. Make sure that you air out the new pieces before you let your pet stretch out on them. That will drastically lower the risk of an adverse chemical reaction.