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Detoxing Your Pet’s World
By Jessica Turquette–Owner of the Moab BARKery

Pets are generally much smaller than we are, with much smaller organs of elimination like the liver, kidneys and lungs. When exposed to toxins, their bodies have to work much harder than ours to eliminate them. Pets also have a shorter life span; they do not have the luxury of time that we have for their bodies to eliminate toxins gradually. Our pets can’t talk to let us know when something in their food or their environment is making them feel sick, they can’t switch their own food or decide to stop using a household cleaner that irritates their lungs. Since we control our pet’s environment, they rely on us 100% to reduce toxins they encounter.

Toxins get in to your pet through several means. Some are accidentally ingested, outdoor toxins like weed killers, pesticides and lawn and garden fertilizers get in to pets when they breathe them in, eat chemical laden grass, lick dust or residue off their paws or fur, or absorb them through their paws. Other environmental toxins arrive the same way from cleaners, air fresheners, laundry products and other household chemicals. More toxins can be directly ingested in your pet’s drinking water, in commercial treats and food, and in over the counter or prescription medications they take. Some toxins are produced within your pet’s body; whether through their metabolic processes or by microbial activity, most often bacteria and yeast in the GI tract.

In a healthy body, toxins are rounded up and eliminated quickly through the organs of elimination (liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin). Our pets are bombarded daily with an overwhelming number of toxins, most of which their bodies have had not had enough evolutionary time to adapt to. Our pet’s bodies react to toxins as ours do – the immune system ramps up processes like inflammation, mucus production or diarrhea to help the immune system resolve the problem and purge the toxins from their system.

When the body is overwhelmed with too many toxins, it is forced to store them until there is an opportunity to eliminate them. For many pets, this time never arrives, and toxins can accumulate indefinitely, where over time they can cause symptoms like lethargy, fatigue and proneness to infection. Toxic overload can impede the work of your pet’s immune system to the point where tumors or cysts may form and other serious health conditions may develop as cells degrade and organ function is impaired.

The good news is that for most pets, their bodies are well equipped to handle disease, eliminate a reasonable amount of toxins and restore their organs and body systems to health, with your help. Taking these steps will help detox your pet.
Upgrade Food and Treats – Improving the quality of your pet’s diet is always the very best thing you can do to improve well-being and longevity. If you are giving your pets any grocery store food and treats, you are definitely giving them a dose of chemical additives, artificial colors and flavors with every bite. Commercial food and treats have plenty of these toxic indigestible ingredients, along with poor quality proteins and fillers that tax your pet’s digestion and increase the toxic load on their bodies. Choose natural food and treats, like those we offer at the Moab BARKery. We offer only the best in highly digestible, additive free foods and treats like Diamond Naturals and Basil and Baxter dog biscuits that are all natural and cost less than $6.00/pound. We all so have free samples of almost every food we carry in the store so you can try and new and better food with your pet.

Filtered Water Only – While the water that flows through your household pipes may be technically fit to drink, it contains enough toxic mineral and metal levels, chemicals like fluoride and chlorine and even trace amounts of hormone-like compounds. Your pets deserve better. Water filtration units are readily available and you do not have to spend a lot to get a good one.

Eliminate Household Chemicals – Beside the obvious chemicals in bug killers, cleaning products and solvents, beware of those found in perfumes, air fresheners, scented plug-ins, laundry products and even dryer sheets. These are laden with chemicals typically unregulated and untested by US health protection agencies and many of them are known to cause or worsen respiratory conditions like asthma in people and pets. Look for 100% natural cleaning products, or make your own.

Improve Air Quality – Indoor air pollution can come from household chemicals and it should be well understood that pets are affected by the toxins in cigarette smoke. Toxins in the air also come from chemicals outgassing from synthetic household items like flooring, carpeting and furniture. If you have items that are giving off that tell-tale new smell, be sure to keep pets off and out of these areas and consider using fans or leaving windows open for some fresh air while these items are exuding high levels of chemical residues.

Minimize Exposure to Outdoor Pollutants & Chemicals – pets that spend time outdoors will undoubtedly encounter chemicals used for pest control, weed killer, fertilizers and more. If your dog likes to eat grass or other plants, keep a close eye on them when you are walking near other people’s yards and in public places like parks. Adding greens to their diet may help curb this tendency in both cats and dogs. For cats, a great solution is the Petlinks Nibilicious Seed Kit, which lets you grow healthy oat grass free of contaminants. For dogs a great option is Steve’s Real Food Carnaforage, a freeze dried raw goat’s milk probiotic that is blended with spirulina, dandelion and milk thistle.

Support The Liver – Your pet’s liver does the lion’s share of toxin elimination. Antioxidants can assist the liver and many detoxification remedies have herbs like milk thistle that can be of great value to your pet’s liver. Many pets will not require daily liver support, older pets and those taking daily medications may benefit from regular use of liver support products. Moab BARKery carries a liver support tincture from a local company Sister Root called Liver Lover.

Provide Immune Support – Your pet’s immune system works in tandem with the elimination organs to keep your pet well, and supporting immune health keeps your pet’s liver, kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin healthy so they can do their detoxification work. For healthy pets, daily immune support is found in a quality multivitamin and mineral supplement. The Moab BARKery sells Nupro, a powdered supplement that makes gravy to add to your dog’s food or Nupro Nuggets for Cats.

Skin Salvation – Cats and dogs eliminate toxins through their skin and a regular brushing regimen will help your pet’s skin breathe and facilitate this process. Regular grooming also removes dust and debris that may contain toxic residue. For dogs especially, consider the quality of the bath products you use and choose natural products that skip the toxic ingredients so your pet absorbs fewer toxins at bath time. The Moab BARKery Self -Serve Dog Wash and Grooming Services use Earthbath Grooming products exclusively and these are also sold in store.

Keep It Clean – Keeping your home free of dust with regular dusting and vacuuming can greatly reduce the toxic particulate that your pets end up ingesting. Another place to be strict with cleaning is your pet’s water and food bowls. Change water daily and wash your pet’s bowls, as dust and germs accumulate here in abundance.

MoabBarkery website

Dog Friendly Walks/Hikes in the Moab Area
Trail or Walk Difficulty Length
(one way)
Proximity to Downtown
MillCreek Pathway
easy 1.1 miles Little to no driving
Starts at 100 S & 100 W
Portal Overlook
(trailhead @ Jaycee Park)
Hard 2.0 miles 25 min drive N on US-191 to W on Utah 279 (4.2 miles)
Moab Rim Hard 3.0 miles
(to Hidden Valley trail)
8 minute drive 2.6 miles down Kane Creek Blvd from US-191
Negro Bill Canyon
(aka William Grandstaff Canyon)
Moderate 2.0 miles 10 minute drive N on US-191 to
W on Utah 128, 3 miles
Hunter Canyon Easy 2.0 miles 25 minute drive (mild off-road)
7.5 miles down Kane Creek Blvd from US-191
Corona Arch Trail Easy/Moderate 1.5 miles 25 minute drive N on US-191 to
W Utah 279 (10 miles)
Hidden Valley
(trailhead at end of Angel Rock Rd)
Hard 2.0 miles 10 minute drive S on US-191
3 miles to Angel Rock Rd
Fisher Towers
(trailhead 2.2 miles off Utah 128)
Moderate 2.2 miles 35 minute drive N on US-191 to Utah 128, then 21 miles

Tips for enjoying your time with your dog here in the Moab area:

  • Bring lots of extra water for you and your dog.1 gallon per day for every 60lbs of dog!!
  • Don’t let dogs chase wildlife (especially coyotes, they can lead dogs into an ambush).
  • In the city, dogs are required to be leashed, but on public lands off leash with voice control is allowed.
  • Slickrock and sand is very abrasive!  Check paw pads often, or buy and use booties.
  • If it’s over 85 degrees only consider early AM or late PM hikes, daycare or leave your dog at home.
  • Pack out my poop!  Seriously or the other hikers without dogs will eventually demand no dogs allowed!


To see past articles about animals, pets and their care check our archives.

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