Thursday, February 26, 2009

“Expert” Advice on Eliminating Dog Odor

I was surfing a hugely popular Internet Dog portal and found a feature on how to live with a dog and make your home smell “fresh.” It advised using deodorizing products, regularly laundering any fabric the dog encounters, using air fresheners, room- and fabric-sprays and carpet powders.

All this advice probably would eliminate doggie “odor.” Good for us! But what would the dog have to say about how those things affect him?

Manufacturers of this particular range of consumer products are not required to disclose their ingredients. Many contain toxic chemicals such as acetone, limonene, acetaldehyde, chloromethane, 1,4-dioxanephenols and glutaraldehydes. In recent studies five out of six products tested emitted one or more known carcinogens.

The artificial fragrance products used in air-fresheners and room and fabric sprays contain high concentrations of potent and long-lasting synthetic chemicals. They are designed to disperse quickly into the air where they can linger on fabrics and surfaces for months. They can numb the olfactory sense, increase allergies and asthmatic reactions, and cause migraine headaches, throat irritation, fatigue, forgetfulness and irritability. Found in some products are 1-4-dichlorobenzene – a suspected carcinogen that caused liver and kidney tumors in animals.

Artificial fragrances are also used in laundry detergent. And, if you see the word "surfactant" on the label it means that the product may contain benzene and sodium sulfonates, ethanols, ethoxylates, phenols and di-, ti- and monoethanolamines. Detergents also contain phosphates and phosphate alternatives, optical brighteners and petroleum distillates. These chemicals can have toxic effects on mammals, creating chronic health problems and altering the activity of certain genes.

Do the right thing for the planet, yourself and dog in your life. NEVER use products that contain chemicals and artificial fragrances. Clean with a dilute solution of vinegar or use only eco-friendly, unscented cleaners. Moreover, learn to love the smell of a dog!

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