Many people will shell out for clean food and natural body care products for themselves, but don’t think twice about what they’re putting in their pets’ bowls (or on their fur). But, those little systems can be just as sensitive to overly processed foods, additives, chemicals and byproducts as ours are. It might cost a little extra, but in the long-term, more natural, better-for-them products will cut back on vet bills and medications. And aren’t all those adorable snuggles worth it?
Just like there’s healthy junk food out there for us, you can find natural treats to give your four-legged friends—as a training reward or just because they’re so darn cute. Dogs love peanut butter and pumpkin, and Doggy Delirious (11) makes preservative-free treats in those exact flavors. For the felines, Zuke’s Natural Purrz salmon cat treats (6) are full of omega fatty acids for a silky coat—and salmon is the first ingredient. They’re about the same price as regular cat treats (which contain who-knows-what), too.
Bones + Rawhide Chews
The jury’s still out on whether bones (either from the butcher or store-bought) and rawhide chews are safe for dogs, so make sure to check with your vet. Some experts warn that they can cause dental fractures, gastroenteritis, digestive obstructions, contamination from additives and glues, or even salmonella. The marrow in bones can also be too rich for some dogs. But if you get the go-ahead, natural dental chew sticks (17), rawhide (2) or (if you can stomach watching them eat it) animal chews (19)—which can contain easier-to-chew items like hooves and ears—are a good option. And, if you want to avoid bones altogether, feed your dog carrots!
Nothing like a pet freaking out to make the whole family freak out. Especially when you’re moving or traveling with the fur baby in tow. Bach’s Rescue Remedy is a go-to homeopathic calming remedy for humans, and they make a pet version (12 + 14) that’s just as effective for animals. Nature’s Miracle makes a calming spray (16) that’s just for cats, too.
There are tons of natural foods out there, and your vet is obviously the go-to resource for one that’s best for your pet. My poor kitty suffered from terrible tummy troubles until I finally broke down and switched him to Royal Canin food (a.k.a. the expensive natural one my vet sells) from his usual diet of whatever kibble was on sale at Target that week. It’s more than I’d like to pay, but he’s much happier and healthier…and my dining room rug doesn’t need to be professionally cleaned every month now :) If you like the idea of homemade dog food but don’t want to take on that venture, Sojos (4) makes a unique, byproduct-free mix (it’s also available in grain-free varieties) that you combine with raw meat and water at home.
A lot of catnips claim to be organic, so make sure it’s legit! Sojos’ catnip (8) is certified as such and comes in a cute little tin.
Shampooing a dog is rarely a positive experience for anyone involved, but a non-toxic shampoo will at least mean your buddy’s not being soaked in irritating ingredients—and if his coat stays healthy and shiny, you may not need to bathe him as often! Try Molly’s Suds (5) or Honest Pet (10), which contains aloe and castile soap.
You know you’re a pet parent when cleaning up vomit (or…other things) off the floor has become part of your weekly routine. Nature’s Miracle (1) and Biokleen Bac Out (18) enzymatic cleaners are more natural, eco-friendlier options that will clean accidents of any kind right up from most surfaces.
Speaking of stains, even if your dog doesn’t have accidents, you’re gonna need a deodorizer spray at some point. Truce’s doggy deodorizer spray (7) can be used on beds, crates or wherever your pup’s odor lingers (they warn not to use it near cats, FYI).
It probably won’t clump like Tidy Cats, but biodegradable sWheat Scoop (13) and chemical- and silica-free Feline Pine (15) litters also won’t fill your house with that awful perfumed-poop smell when you scoop it! They’re better for the environment, too. BoxieCat (9) offers clay-based, scent-free, hypoallergenic litter via a subscription program, meaning you never have to think about buying it—or hauling it into the house—again. Might as well upgrade your scoop (3) to a sturdy, recycled one as well!0