It wasn't long ago that the majority of dogs lived most of their lives outside. Hard to imagine that today. Some dogs got to come inside at night, if the weather was bad, or for a special occasion - like Christmas (seriously).
Since they weren't sitting next to us every night, we didn't notice that they had that "dog smell". It was customary every summer to put a new "flea collar" on your dog and if the fleas "got bad" you'd give your dog a bath outside where they would promptly go roll in the dirt upon completion.
We'd like to hear from you! Do you remember what year your dog started living in the house as part of your family? Was there a specific reason why? Who made the decision? Put your reply in the comments section!
Thankfully our dogs are now an integral part of our families. Can you even imagine making your dog sleep outside now?
Why did we want to look back on the integration of the dog into the family?
We were trying to pinpoint when we made our dog's environment toxic. We asked some veterinarians this question and their responses were enlightening. They said that in their experience, the number one reason dogs died before the late 1990s was from old age or being hit by a car. Now, it is cancer and hormone (endocrine) dysfunction, liver dysfunction, heart problems and a growing list that resembles human ailments way too closely.
We studied these responses and compared them to changes in our society. It is true that with leash laws, less dogs are running around to be hit by cars. That however can't account for the fact that over 50% of all dogs die from cancer and only 5% of these cancers are genetic. The remaining 95% are environmental or lifestyle related.
So, at some point, starting probably in the late 1990s, as our dogs became our fur babies, we introduced toxins into their world and increased their chances of getting cancer. Ugh. We were well-meaning, but even the best intentions have backfired.
So what has changed? Their food, flea and tick treatments, and grooming products are 3 biggies. The pet grooming product market has boomed yet regulations in the pet grooming industry are non-existent. That's right - nonexistent! There are no standards for ingredient purity and many manufacturers are using ingredients that have links to not only dry and itchy skin but also hormone disruption, cancer and many other health issues.
Next week, we are going to start breaking down the ingredients in traditional pet grooming products to put some focus on each of them. Until then, let us know when you first remember dogs being indoor dogs! Post your comment on our Facebook wall or in the comments section on our blog!