Do artificial fragrances and chemicals effect your pets? - McDowell's Herbal Treatments

Home cleaning products, deodorisers and air fresheners, insect repellants and most pet shampoos all contain artifical fragrances and chemicals. Often these are used to get a 'clean and 'fresh' smell, and to cover other odours. These chemicals don't have to be specified on the label but can pose significant health risks for your pet's health...

stock chemicals cat SMLL

Numerous studies suggest that these artificial fragrances and chemicals are based on ingredients that can have a detrimental effect on the physical health of your family, and especially your animal companions, who can be more sensitive than we are. Some of these chemicals have the potential to cause cancer and brain damage in humans, so it’s reasonable to assume they’re also harmful to dogs and cats...

There are two main ways animals are exposed to artificial fragrances - inhalation or direct contact with the skin. 

Some sources of the chemicals include;

  • Lawns with pesticide residues and garden weed killers
  • Stain-proofing chemicals
  • Fire retardants (PBDEs)
  • Plastics chemical (like BPA)
  • phthalates
  • Chew toys containing plastic softeners

In a study of plastics and food packaging chemicals, heavy metals, fire retardants, and stain-proofing chemicals, blood and urine from 20 dogs and 37 cats conducted by the Environmental Working Group, it was found that "Dogs and cats were contaminated with 48 of 70 industrial chemicals tested, including 43 chemicals at levels higher than those typically found in people" (1). 

Manufacturing companies do not have to show their products are safe for pets. There are few standards that limit chemical contamination in pet food, pet toys and other products for our companion animals (2). 

What can we use instead?

For your own health and the health of your pets, switch out any harsh chemical cleaners.

Baking soda and vinegar are excellent cleaners. Research showed that white vinegar can actually kill mould, unlike bleach (which just bleaches but fails to kill).

McDowells products

Zyota Shampoo
Skin is one of the the largest organs in the human body, and the same goes for your dog, so looking after it should be your top priority. Zyota’s probiotic shampoo is packed full of the beneficial culture Zoonatant™, a postbiotic supernatant which inhibits pathogenic bacteria to protect the established microbiome for your dog’s better health.

The Midge-away formula was developed in response to those seeking a 100% natural non-toxic solution to dealing with insects and midges. It's effective without dangerous chemicals. 

Collidal Silver
Colloidal Silver was used and proven to be effective against hundreds of disease-causing bacterium by the 1940s. Its action as a broad spectrum antibiotic has never been matched by the modern pharmaceuticals in that it produces no drug resistance whatsoever. Use Colloidal silver as a safe and chemical-free way to clean and sanitise animal bowls, bedding, 

Anisoptera Range
100% pure organic essential oils to use in oil diffusers, burners, baths or add to your massage oil or creams. Our blend Silver Wisp contains cedarwood, peppermint, lemon and eucalyptus, with a lively, penetrating aroma is fresh and clean.
NB. Please check which essential oils are safe for pets. 


(1) Polluted Pets - Environmental Working Group study
2) FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. Pet Food Recall (Melamine)/Tainted Animal Feed. 

Have a question? Contact McDowell's Herbal Treatments

McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

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