This post may contain affiliate links.
On Sunday, I shared my temptation to delete my Facebook account because my feed was depressing.
For the past year, all of the posts that come through my feed are either political, about the pandemic, or warning me of the many ways I'm killing my dogs. So I thought I'd write about it because blogging always cheers me up.
The list was a lot longer than I realized, turning my rant into a two-parter. Feel free to add anything I've missed in the comments.
16 – Ceramic Dishes
Shortly after I switched my dogs to ceramic dishes, I was told that ceramic dishes were bad for dogs because they're made in China (more on this below) and may have lead or other dangerous materials.
I prefer ceramic dishes because (1) they're heavier and won't slide around, (2) I get the pasta dishes so that I can spread the food out, and (3) they don't rust. Now, I'm being told that the ceramic dishes I spent 30 minutes agonizing over at the store are dangerous for my dogs? Well, damn.
So I did more reading and learned that the dishes I purchased for my dogs are fine because they don't have lead or other harmful paints or materials in the glaze.
17 – Stainless Steel Dishes
I learned about the different grades of stainless steel a few years ago and was immediately annoyed that this was a question I'd have that would stump everyone in the pet store. What the HELL??? Basically, high-quality stainless steel doesn't leech off into the food, doesn't rust, and has a longer life. I have a feeling that most of the stainless steel dishes we see at the store aren't of the highest quality.
I learned about Basis bowls which run $25 a pop for the size that I want. I'm not prepared to make that kind of investment in six dog dishes, so I purchased the ceramic pasta bowls instead. They're working out fine.
But I am thinking of buying a 2-pack of large Basis bowls. With shipping, this would be about $70, so I'm going to check back over Black Friday weekend.
18 – Plastic
We all know that plastic is bad. One-use plastic is destroying the planet. Plastic leeches chemicals into our liquids and foods when we heat them repeatedly, especially in that dark beast, the microwave.
Let's move on. And do better.
19 – Candles, Plugins, and Air Fresheners
Rodney shared a video of his dog after being exposed to a plugin and it freaked me out. I tossed all of the plugins and the candles too. Basically, these things heat up and shoot out chemicals and other toxins as they freshen our homes and make us think of pumpkin spice. Candles are evil because the wick is metals (toxins) and the candles aren't made from the best ingredients.
After learning these things, I put my foot into essential oils. Today, I order essential oils from Simply Earth, Plant Therapy, and animalEO (for my pets). These are companies that are committed to providing high-quality essential oils and other products without destroying the earth or taking advantage of indigenous tribes.
20 – Harnesses
I stopped responding to warnings about using harnesses with my dogs. I know folks mean well, but my dogs are good.
So, what's the heal with harnesses?
People tell me that harnesses encourage some dogs to pull, harnesses encourage aggression, and they will pull a dog's spine out of alignment. Some people agree with one or all of these statements; others will tell me that it's poppycock. So, I use harnesses because I don't like attaching a leash to a dog collar; plus three of my dogs don't wear collars.
21 – Chew Toys
I've stopped posting about the toys that I purchase for my dogs because there's always going to be that one person who warns the world about it every single thing. GOSH!!! Can't we just have fun with our dogs???
Although the Negative Nancy's of the world are quite annoying, they do have a point and I'll admit that – not to them though. I'm petty like that. Many of the chew toys on the market are made of plastic, which we all know comes with a host of issues. I read a story once about a dog that died from chewing on a popular plastic chew – the issue was that it was kept outside to keep the dog occupied and the sun+plastic resulted in a highly toxic toy that killed the dog. Now that I type that, I'm thinking of all the plastic or rubber toys that are outside right now – are they safe?
Besides the harmful chemicals that are apparently okay to use when making pet products, chew toys come with the risk of a broken tooth, choking, or a blockage. It's like my house is a death trap.
22 – WIFI
When I learned about this, I was so pissed off. With the spread of 5G, I keep expecting birds to either fly away in mass or drop dead out of the sky along with bees and butterflies. I won't dive into the conspiracy theories around 5G because, frankly, I'm over it all. My brain can't take anymore. But WiFi is serious, to some, and it's suggested that (1) we shut off WiFi when we're not using it and (2) that we don't stand, sit, or chill near the WiFi router. Why? Because WiFi increases our pet's risk of cancer, according to some, and the studies to test the veracity of this claim have been inconclusive.
But, of course, every time I sit down to relax and work on my blog or watch a movie – I wonder if I'm killing my dogs.
23 – Household Cleaners
Household cleaners were one of the first things that I changed when I began looking at changes I could make to my dogs' diet and environment. It's not hard to understand that household cleaners can be problematic. The scent of many of them is so overwhelming that I feel like I'm about to have a sinus infection after I clean the house with them. And if I feel like crap, how do my dogs feel?
So it didn't take much to convince me to switch from the cleaners that claim to smell like lemons, oranges, and lavender (when they just smell of chemicals) to making my own cleaners using white vinegar, water, and essential oils. Johan wasn't convinced, so I cleaned the house with my mixture without telling him. He hasn't known that I've been cleaning the house this way for close to a decade.
24 – Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softeners
Like household cleaners, laundry detergent and fabric softeners are turning our homes into death chambers for our dogs. Or so some will have us believe. But, I get it – chemicals, chemicals, chemicals. I've tried several natural laundry detergent brands and they clean for sh&% so I returned to my favorite brand.
This is probably where I'm failing my dogs because I still use detergent and fabric softeners. I reach for brands that claim to have fewer harsh chemicals, but there is still a risk. According to social media.
25 – Chemical Flea & Tick Medications / Repellents
Choosing natural flea repellents was one of my first steps on this journey. I switched from Frontline Plus to a product that contained lavender essential oils. And I'm so glad I did given all of the warnings that have been coming out about these products recently. Over the years, the options available to pet parents have increased and I've tried several brands and all of them worked. Today, I use Kin+Kind flea repellent, and this product, along with essential oils by animalEO, keeps my dogs and home flea-free.
26 – Essential Oils
Essential oils are like garlic and mushrooms – at least one person will comment that they're toxic to dogs. When it comes to essential oils, there has been a lot of misinformation shared for years and people have swallowed every drop. But then Dr. Melissa Shelton came along and began opening people's eyes to the benefits of essential oils. I use essential oils on myself, to clean and freshen the house, and on my dogs. I buy from Plant Therapy and Simply Earth for the house (and myself) and I order from animalEO for my dogs.
What I've learned is that it's about quality and how we use essential oils. For example, I do not purchase essential oils from the grocery store. I do not add essential oils to my dogs' diet. And I don't apply pure essential oils to my dogs for fear of injury.
Be smart and educate yourself.
27 – Anything from China
Ever since the chicken jerky fiasco, I've been warned about buying things made in China. Whenever I get this warning, I want to ask the person doling out this important advice if anything in their home comes from China. Is this a Glass Houses situation?
Several years ago, chicken jerky that was processed in China was killing pets due to a chemical used in processing. After much gaslighting, there was a successful class-action lawsuit. The chicken jerky brands are still on the market, but they don't use the same processing – the damage was done. People still buy the treats, but for many, this was the kick in the butt they needed to start looking into fresh food.
But this leap from chicken jerky treats to EVERYTHING from Asia being problematic is confusing. The one example that came to mind as I'm typing is the ceramic dishes I mentioned above. I collect Rae Dunn mugs and other dishes. Someone commented that they were made in China so don't use them with my pets. There may be something I'm unaware of, but what I DO know is that dishes made in China aren't dangerous. However, antique and some painted dishware can be problematic because there was a time when lead and questionable chemicals were fine to use on dishes.
So, it's not the country…it's the materials used in the product.
28 – Negative Energy
August was a rough month for me. My grandmother passed away. It's the anniversary of Sydney getting sick. And I learned that we might be selling our home and moving. On top of that, the world is still in the midst of a global pandemic, our state is back in masks, and social media is a den of negativity. So it's been hard not to dive deep into self-pity, but then I think about how my negative energy is shortening my dogs' lives.
So I started something new that's helping.
Over on YouTube, there are videos that help you sleep and some send messages subliminally while we sleep – I've been getting a better night's sleep, I wake up in a better mood, and I deal with life a lot better. I still have ups and downs, but I'm not a cloud of negativity floating around the house, determined to make everyone miserable.
So the dogs are safe from mood swings.
29 – Air Purifiers
A couple of years ago, I purchased a few air purifiers to reduce the pollen and dust from the air. Johan and I have allergies and I thought this would help. And with all of the warnings about toxins floating around the house, an air purifier will reduce my dogs' exposure. Not only did the air purifiers help, but they also served to reduce dog smells in the house too.
When I was researching air purifiers, I stumbled upon a warning about using ozone generators and ionizing purifiers around pets (and humans). An ozone generator creates ozone and circulates it around the air, killing bacteria, odors, mold, and other pollutants. The ionizing purifiers create ozone as they clean the air. Sadly, the ozone is toxic to pets and humans. So I stuck with HEPA filters, which are said to be perfectly safe.
30 – Vaccinations
And, finally, vaccinations. If you're still reading this blog post, then you are aware of the risk of over-vaccination and the belief that vaccines protect us for a longer period of time than what we've been told. So, after my dogs' one-year boosters, I no longer vaccinate them – for anything.
I guess that makes me anti-vax and worthy of condemnation according to social media. The science is out there and that, combined with anecdotal evidence, inspired me to adjust my vaccination schedule for my dogs. Don't believe me, chat with a few holistic vets about vaccination protocols. They'll blow your mind.
And when new vaccines come through, I do a lot of reading before I decline the vaccine. I have yet to find one vaccine that my dogs need today. But I'll keep an open mind because…you know, science.
I'm sure that there are many more things that I could add to my list, but after over 4,000 words – I think I'll pass the baton to others to add to this list. What things are people trying to tell you will harm your dogs that I haven't covered in this Two-Part list?