More Natural & Healthy Treat Options

More Natural & Healthy Treat Options – Just in Time for Easter!

With Easter just around the corner, families are stocking up on all kinds of candy and chocolate in preparation for the festivities. In fact, Americans are expected to spend approximately $2.2 billion on Easter candy this year, according to the National Retail Federation. This is clearly a huge market right now, as families hope to fill children’s Easter baskets with a variety of sweets and treats – most of which are often filled with artificial colors and sweeteners. However, we know that many parents are looking for more natural options of candies and sweets that contain less harmful ingredients for the whole family to enjoy.

To help you out, we’ve found ten companies dedicated to providing natural, healthier options for sweets and desserts. With vegan, all natural, organic, and some gluten-free options, the variety offered by these companies will be sure to meet the tastes of family and friends, not just on Easter, but all year round!

1. Strawberry Hill Confectionary

strawberry hill

 

2. Sjaaks Organic Chocolates

Organic_Fair_Trade_Milk_Chocolate_Sitting_Bunny-large

 

3.  Lovely Candy 

lovely3

4. Surf Sweets 

gummyworms_sub

5. Chocolate Decadence

cc

6. Premium Chocolatiers

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 4.57.44 PM

7. Indie Candy

900-2

8. Rose City Chocolatier 

easter-lime-egg-275

9. Rescue Chocolate

rc_mocha_squares_in_tall_tower_small_large

10. Go Naturally 

Go-Naturally-Organic-Gluten-Free-Hard-Candies-Cherry-030568115229

Happy Easter!

GladRags Giveaway

April is know as Earth Month, here at NCW we want to take some time and make resolutions that help make our planet a healthier, cleaner and more sustainable place.

As women let’s start this resolution with a healthier, easier and safer period. Safer not only for our body but for mother nature as well.

How can we achieve such a thing? It is very simple

Green your menstrual days with GladRags Cloth Pad Sampler Kit

Did you know?

Disposable menstrual products are bad not only for your body but also for the environment. Most of the feminine hygiene products are harmful, may cause itchiness and irritation due to chemicals and fragrances they contain. Not to mention the bleach enhancements that are carcinogenic. Once disposed all these chemicals leach out into the environment and re-enter the ecosystem, the food and water supply.

This month we’ve teamed up with GladRags and we give you the chance to win a Cloth Pad Sampler Kit

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chinese Herbs- The Evolutionary Solution To Springtime Allergies

Chinese Herbs Offer New, Natural, and Effective Solution to Springtime Allergy Flare-Ups


Thirteen-herb blend Rootology: Breathe Free combats allergy symptoms for free-breathing in 20 minutes for most users, says herbalist Lexi Hagenson

Spring is here, and in many parts of the nation pollen counts are soaring, making life miserable for millions of allergy sufferers.

To combat annoying symptoms like runny nose, congestion, and itchy eyes, most allergy sufferers typically reach for the battery of drugs available over-the-counter. But according to a leading herbalist, a new, all-natural formulation based on Chinese Herbology, called Rootology: Breathe Free, can quiet springtime allergy symptoms in a way most Americans have not experienced.

“Rootology is a blend of 13 concentrated herbal extracts that works to immediately support nasal and sinus health against environmental allergens, like pollen, pet dander, dust, mold, chemicals and even wild fire smoke,” says nationally certified herbalist Lexi Hagenson, herbalist for Rootology. “Every one of the 13 herbs has a function, and they’re even more powerful in synergy, working together to support against congestion, sneezing, itchy watery eyes, sinus pressure and headache.”

Hagenson says that Xanthium fruit, one of Rootology’s main components, has been used by Eastern herbalists for thousands of years as an effective natural remedy for opening clogged nasal passages. Angelica root is a well-established remedy for relieving headache and sinus pain, and Ledebouriella root is an age-old treatment for itchy eyes.

“Rootology contains these three proven allergen fighters, plus 10 additional powerful immune-boosting extracts,” says Hagenson.

Hagenson says Rootology begins working in 20 minutes, to restore free breathing and stop itchy eyes and other annoying allergy symptoms. The herbal formulation can be taken as often as needed, and most users report no side-effects.

“After trying Rootology, consumers are starting to give both expected and unexpected feedback via reviews on our website, email, Twitter, and on our Facebook page,” says Rootology founder Simar Singh.

Singh says they heard from a personal fitness trainer who used Rootology as a performance enhancer, because, it opened up his air passages and enhanced his breathing and oxygen intake. The trainer said, he now recommends the product to all his fitness clients.

“We have quite a few people telling us they use Rootology when traveling, or when allergies or sinuses flare up in a new locale,” says Singh. ”You never know what’s going to hit you when you travel to someplace new, so it’s always smart to keep some Rootology in your flight bag. Why let a little pollen, smog, or smoke from distant wild-fires ruin your business trip or vacation?”

Parents are advised to consult with a physician before giving Rootology to children under 12 years old.

ABOUT LEXI HAGENSON

Lexi Hagenson is a Nationally Certified Herbalist, Holistic Nutritional Counselor, and Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in Chicago, Illinois. She worked to perfect the formula that is Rootology.

ABOUT SIMAR SINGH

Simar Singh is the Founder and CEO of Rootology. Introduced to ancient Chinese herbal formulations by his father, he’d been benefitting for years before realizing that all Americans should also benefit, founding Rootology to ensure just that.

ABOUT ROOTOLOGY

More information, including location of retail stores where Rootology can be purchased, can be found at www.rootologyhealth.com.

CanvasPop – Personalized Art for the Modern Home

Some of you may have encountered a snag when it comes to decorating your modern home with framed pictures of family, friends, and your favorite places. The struggle is figuring out how to fill your home with these beautiful memories without sacrificing the contemporary style and decor you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Sometimes the traditional clutter of bulky picture frames just doesn’t flow with the sleek style of today’s modern decor. Luckily, we have found a solution.

CanvasPop (www.canvaspop.com) takes your photographs of all your most treasured memories and transforms them into high-resolution, high-quality, canvas artwork of any size.  Whether it be a landscape of your favorite vacation spot, a collection of family portraits, or your own photography, CanvasPop offers an affordable way to make it the new focus point of any room in your home. You choose the style, size, or optional filters to ensure that it will fit in seamlessly with your style and taste.

This company is so dedicated to customer satisfaction that they even offer a 100% Love Guarantee – either you love it or they’ll make it right! They print your photos on the highest quality canvas, ensuring that it will never crack, fade, warp or crease. And while they’re hoping that they never disappoint, if your canvas print does not turn out exactly as you want it to, they will reprint for free or give you all your money back. Over 100,000 loyal customers have already trusted CanvasPop to turn their photos into stylish additions to their homes, and now you can too. Enter promo code “NCW” to receive 30% off anything from www.canvaspop.com until April 30! 

Canvas prints are a sleek, stylish way to incorporate your own artistic abilities and cherished memories into your contemporary home. The fact that you can choose every detail about the photo, the size, and style of the print means that you can fit it perfectly into the carefully decided themes and schemes of your home. Let CanvasPop make your decorating dreams a reality.

10 Dirty Places In Your Home

We teamed up with Beth Greer, in-home consultant, award-winning journalist and author of Super Natural Home, to identify some of the dirtiest places in your home.  Greer says, “Everything that goes in us, on us, and surrounds us can have a hugh impact on our health and well-being, so it’s important to choose products that come from nature whenever possible. Eat real food, not processed; use personal care products made with essential oils instead of synthetic fragrance; clean your home with simple yet effective cleaning products like vinegar and hydrogen peroxide; choose glass over plastic, and you’ll be well on your way to keeping you and your children healthy and happy.”

1. Your Morning Cup of Joe

480144471

Coffee beans are one of the most highly sprayed crops in the world. If you add a hormone-filled splash of milk and artificial sweeteners, it’s not the best way to start your day. Try organic coffee, organic milk and skip the sweetener (or try a natural one) to get you going on the right foot.

2. The pile of shopping receipts

450170243

You’ve likely heard of bisphenol A (BPA) as an endocrine disruptor recently banned in baby bottles. You may not know you could be exposed to it through cash register receipts. The Environmental Working Group found BPA from major retailers, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and automatic teller machines (ATMs).  Refuse receipts, ask for e-mail proof of purchase when available, and never give a child a receipt to play with.

3. Carpet

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 5.05.40 PM

We track countless bacteria, viruses, and pesticides into our homes with our shoes.  They lodge into our carpets where our children are crawling or walking around. The fastest way to a cleaner, healthier home is a shoeless home. Designate “indoor-only shoes” or simply re-use those hotel slippers you know you took home from your last vacation.

4. Chewing Gum

97771982

Think you are taking the short cut to fresh breath with a stick of gum? Turns out most chewing gum contains monosodium glutamate – yes, that’s the MSG you’ve been avoiding in your Chinese food. MSG has many aliases including glutamic acid, gelatin, and hydrolyzed protein among others. The key is to read labels carefully and if you are eating processed food, make sure there are no food additives.

5. Indoor air

177825584

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says your indoor air may be 2 to 5 times as polluted and in some cases, more than 100 times more polluted than your outdoor air.  Indoor air pollutants have been ranked among the top five environmental risks to public health. (Dr. Bennett tackles this one in Wellness For Life, p. X)

6. The Shower

463419261

You know that new plastic shower curtain liner smell?  The PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic shower curtains have high concentrations of phthalates.  The Virginia-based Center for Health, Environment and Justice says VOCs always come from easy to clean wallpaper made from PVC, shorted to “vinyl.”  There are many natural alternatives including paper-based wallpaper and bamboo shower curtains, but check the ingredients list to make sure they haven’t been mixed with vinyl.

7. Kitchen Counters

162536023

If you are using conventional cleaners to wipe down your countertops, you could be putting your family at risk for exposure to a host of toxic chemicals. The word fragrance can mean there are up to 100 different synthetic chemicals inside. “Fragrance” is a manufacturer’s catchphrase. The Natural Academy of Sciences (NAS) says 95 percent of the ingredients used to create fragrance comes from petroleum and other known toxic and sensitizers. Check out Behind the Label: Cleaners on p. X for more.

8. Toys

BATB1209_EarthWormsAsst2

The US government does not require full testing of checmicals before they are added to toys. HealthyToys.org reported the presence of lead (yes, lead!) in 35 percent of toys tested.  If you have a hand-me-down toy manufactured before February 2009, it may have  phthalates, a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that make plastic soft.  Read labels to make sure it says “no phthalates” and stick with wooden toys colored with natural dyes or a few boxes, pots, pants and wooden spoons always do the trick!

9. Living room couch

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 5.29.05 PM

The contents in the cushions of your comfy, kid-friendly couch may be sprayed with polybrominated diphenlyethers( PBDEs) also known as flame-retardants. They are designed to slow a fire, but in fact, they are linked to cancer, birth defects, learning disabilities and other health issues. It is recommended you mop and dust often with a microfiber cloth and use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.

10. Microwave popcorn

465786977

The Food and Drug Administration looked at microwaveable popcorn packaging and found a toxic chemical called PFOA (perflurooctanoic acid). It is used as a coating inside the bag to prevent food from sticking and the PFOA  leaches into the popcorn during the microwaving process. Make your own popcorn on the stove. It’s a lot more fun that way anyway!

 

Article From The Dirty Issue

Q&A with CBS Lucky Dog Host: Brandon McMillan

Brandon McMillan

Animal Expert, Trainer, and Host of the Hit CBS Show Lucky Dog

NCW:  Tell us about your show Lucky Dog on CBS.

BM:  Lucky Dog is a show where I prove that shelter dogs are just as trainable and lovable as breeder bought. In every episode of Lucky Dog I rescue one dog from death row, take it back to the training facility and transform the unruly and untrained into amazing dogs that now serve a purpose in someone’s life. Every episode has a happy ending as I find the perfect family for the dog. Just a week earlier the dog had no hope and now their future is bright as day. I believe every dog deserves a second chance. That’s exactly my goal on Lucky Dog.

NCW: If you could give one piece of advice to pet parents, what would it be?

BM: I say follow through when working with your animal. Too many people say a command once, the dog doesn’t respond and the parents give up. You’ve just taught the dog that you’ll give up before they do. The game is chess not checkers.

NCW:  Has there been one experience on the show so far that stood out as unusually challenging?

BM: I had one woman who wanted to get a dog for her son. Halfway through the process I find out she’s petrified of dogs herself. So I went from dog trainer to human trainer. I had to get her over her fear of dogs. It was quite the process.

NCW: Tell us about your experience with the Great White Serial Killer on the Discovery Channel.  What was it like being in the water with great whites?

BM:  Working with Jeff Kurr on GWSK was amazing. He’s the best in the world when it comes to filming sharks. He called me up and asked if I wanted to host one of his shows, and I didn’t even let him finish his sentence. The great whites were absolutely scary and beautiful at the same time. I had an 18 foot, 2 ton, great white attack my cage when we were shooting in New Zealand. It was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever had – definitely thought it was the end. Even Jeff said he’d never seen anything like that moment…Bucket list checked for me, lol!

 

Q&A With Spot On Square Founders Bob & Nicole

1. Who does what?

We are fortunate we both have individual skill sets that play important roles for Spot On Square. Bob is an accomplished product designer who has designed all Spot On Square products to date. He is heavily involved in the manufacturing process, tech aspects, and overall planning/growth of the company.  As a former teacher, Nicole hones her multi-tasking and organizational skills in overseeing operations, marketing. We also have great team members that oversee daily operations, sales and customer support.

2. Where do you get your inspiration?

We live in the Bay area in a neighborhood of Mid Century Modern homes that is full of family focused, design centric and creative people. Through our daily experiences with the awesome people and architecture in our community, we are constantly inspired to create better products.

It goes without saying that our daily inspiration definitely comes from our home and family. We design for our family and what would work for our home environment. We will not offer products that we would not be 100% happy to have in our own home or used by our own children.  We actually use most of the products we offer. This gives us the best opportunity to experience our products as our customers would and inspire new ways of developing future products.

3. What is is your favorite material or texture?

This is an ever-evolving answer for us. We love the mixed material usage in modern architecture and our offerings reflect that. Our first collection in 2007, the Hiya Collection, was originally offered in a sustainable bamboo, which was not used in nursery furnishings at the time. Our popular Roh Crib was the first acrylic crib in the US market in 2009 and our new Alto Collection (available mid 2014) uses interchangeable translucent panels with encapsulated natural materials. We strive to be ahead of the curve in using new architectural quality material that has not been used in a nursery setting before.

4. Is your home the house of your dreams?

Mostly, the answer is a heartfelt yes… there are always more dreamy offerings and certainly always things we wish could work better for a family of five, but we do really love our current home. We have always been fans of mid-century modern homes and are so happy to own what’s called an Eichler home in the Bay Area. We actually owned a different Eichler home in southern CA before moving up north. Joseph Eichler worked with architects in the 50’s through the 70’s to build beautiful mid-century modern homes. To us, our home is an architectural gem and something that we knew we would be inspired by on a daily basis. Many of our neighbors are in the design industry as well, so it’s proven to be a dynamic and inspiring place to live.

5. What is your favorite room in the house?

Our favorite room in the house is our kitchen. Bob did a complete remodel all on his own – from the designing to the hands on demo and rebuilding –  to create a beautiful yet family friendly space for our family. It’s the heart of our home where we all cook/eat together, plan our week on the giant chalkboard wall, play games at the table and open the large sliders to our courtyard for outside dining and playing.

6. Which design blog or website  you can’t enough of?

There are so many… we love Design Milk, Designspiration and Contemporist come to mind quickly… the list can go on and on.

7. East Coast/West Coast? How do they differ design wise?

That’s a big question.  We love both areas. While they may have some differences, overall, design has become global and we see influence merging and evolving on a broader scale. From our experience living on the west coast, the design industry is more laid back, open to color/material exploration, entrepreneurial and technology oriented.

8. Sustainability and Design? How do they synergistically influence each other?

For us, sustainability and design naturally influence each other. We approach each concept not only in terms of what might be different or exciting from a design perspective, but also with thoughtful consideration in regards to materials and processes available that will allow us offer eco-friendly, sustainable products.

9. What are the trends in furniture design?

We are greatly influenced by architectural trends with exploration in color, form and material offerings. Our Roh Collection and soon to be released Alto Collection  are great examples of this. With growing emphasis on eco-friendly and sustainable design, it’s an exciting time to see a wide range of new material offerings available to us that are modern, eco-friendly and sustainable.

 

Raise A Glass

CADE Winery Photos by Adrián Gregorutti / Stratus Winery Photos by Ben Rahn

The warmth of the afternoon sun mixes with the cool breeze of the quiet blue sky, working in perfect harmony to combine the scent of rich soil and sweetly ripened grapes hanging from the vine.  Each ingredient comes together in one taste of fine wine, when the intriguing flavors and complex aromatics reach your palate.  Great wine is the culmination of many different variables, all working together – sun, soil, site, grapes…and wineries are taking steps to preserve the land for generations to come.

CADE_PatioNight01

 

PAVING THE WAY TO SUSTAINABILITY

“The wine we grow is dependent on the health of the land on which it is grown. 
We foster that health with every step as we farm our vineyard and guide our winemaking. 

Each vintage bottled is a reflection of this ongoing commitment.” – Stratus Wines Environmental Mission Statement

A leader in sustainability, Stratus Wines’ philosophy is forward thinking and boundary pushing in terms of everything that they do.  So it’s not surprising that in 2005 this Ontario, Canada based winery became the first winery, globally, to be fully LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. Not just the barrel cellar, not just the hospitality retail area, but the entire winemaking / hospitality facility is fully LEED certified.  Suzanne Janke, Director of Hospitality and Retail at Stratus Wines stated, “It was important to be as thorough as possible, and to let both the lifestyle aspects of the wine business as well as the wine production area really reflect the idea of preserving the land.” She went on to say, “We really try to do things thoroughly.  We don’t like to stop half way, and so to have the barrel cellar LEED certified and not everything else would have been fine but it wouldn’t have been true to the goals of the entire project, which are really to do things in a complete way.”

Unique in the fact that they use geothermal technology to heat and cool the entire building, including the fermentation tanks, Stratus aims to push the boundaries in all facets of the winery from building design, to vineyard management, to the wine making approach.  Additionally, glass was used in both the building and winery cellars, which provide the workers with an open environment allowing natural light and vistas through the windows that connect them to the land.  Stratus didn’t stop there, the environmental consciousness continued to smaller gestures such as the composting of all waste from plant material; washrooms with waterless-flush urinals and motion-detector light switches; bicycle racks and showers to encourage cycling to work; and even a hybrid, gas-electric Toyota Prius to make winery deliveries.  Ian Theaker, Principal of Integral Green Consulting and member of the Canada Green Building Council’s Board of Directors, commented on Stratus’ thoughtful design, “Your efforts have resulted in a building that will protect our common resources and environment over its entire life.”

CADE-Door05

WHY IS LEED IMPORTANT FOR A WINERY?

Winery or not, sustainable practices are important, period. Which is why the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), developed the green building rating system, known as LEED.  It was created to promote a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. Minimizing the environmental impact on your land and the land of your neighbors, conserving water, energy and materials, demonstrating the importance of social responsibility, and creating a healthier work environment for your employees are only a few of the many benefits to a LEED design.  While LEED and sustainable practices are critical, they are especially so for wineries. Janke explains, “Wine is a byproduct of the land…without great fruit we can’t make great wines, and we need to preserve these lands for generations to come.”

AND THE TREND CONTINUES…

Janke believes this is growing trend, and a prime example is a neighboring winery to Stratus, which also received LEED certification. Janke goes on to say, “And not just wineries, but there are some other park related or environmental attractions that have since received LEED certification in the region, and I think that one certification sort of fuels the other.“ Juancarlos Fernandez the visionary architect behind CADE Winery, believes that LEED certification amongst wineries is more than just a trend, rather it is becoming the norm, explaining that the new building codes in California require wineries to build to a basic level of LEED. “Now when you do a use permit for a new winery they ask you ‘What are you going to do that’s sustainable and green?’ and you have to have minimum requirements…In California right now buildings over 7,000 sq. ft. are required to have basic LEED requirements.”

In 2010, CADE Winery, was awarded LEED certification becoming Napa Valley’s first 100% LEED Gold certified estate winery. Fernandez’s strong and masculine design had already encompassed many sustainable design elements before LEED certification was ever discussed, which made obtaining LEED certification that much easier.   Some of the “green” elements implemented by Fernandez were the use of recycled steel; concrete mixed with fly ash to reduce the use of cement; naturally insulated caves and fermentation room; additional insulation from recycled materials, such as blue jeans; individually jacketed fermentation tanks; and structural glass and solar panels to minimize the use of electricity.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 10.36.21 AM

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

“We have an ongoing commitment to our practice…to not just rest on our laurels after receiving this LEED certification.  It’s a holistic approach to the way we run the business”, explains Janke of Stratus’ long-term approach to sustainability.  Which begs the question, ‘After certification, what’s next?’  Although LEED certification is an important step in the right direction, sustainability doesn’t end there.  Rather, companies and wineries alike must continue to push boundaries and challenge themselves to constantly implement new and better practices. Janke explained that every year at Stratus, they have a green committee that looks for ways to improve the sustainability or the operations in all different departments.  From small changes, that you might say are negligible, like improving the way they recycle, or the way they discard of organic matter, to more significant expense related items.  Much like the integrity of the wine that we love, our health and well-being are directly linked to the health of the land that we live on – you can’t enjoy one, without the other.

Icewine Riesling box_2008_H

Article From The Happiness Issue

FOR THE LOVE OF DESIGN: Cool Kids Company Giveaway

Have You Met Miffy?

To know Miffy is to love Miffy. Even if you’re not familiar with this cute and quirky character from Holland’s best-selling children’s book series, you can still invite her into your home to light up your life. Sweet and serene, the Miffy lamps work as nightlight for kids and adults alike.

This week we’ve teamed up with Cool Kids Company and  we give to one lucky winner a unique decor item for your little one’s room. Let Miffy light up your space and your soul, as its cute and adorable design will raise a lot of smiles! A lighting piece that is safe for your children even to cuddle and play due to its soft material and LED light source (lamp does not get hot).
Make it yours nowENTER MIFFY CONTEST !

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Household Items Can Be More Dangerous Than You Think

Pet Talk: Toxic Household Items

As caring pet owners, we are typically well aware of the various dangers that threaten our furry friends’ safety. Keeping their vaccinations up to date, making sure they are properly groomed, and providing them with the most nutritious food to ensure good health are just a few things that we tend to with the utmost importance. However, numerous pet-poisonous items commonly found around our households are often overlooked and can be detrimental to our pets’ lives.

A large variety of household plants, foods, and chemicals that are considered safe for human use are toxic to our pets. Some of the most dangerous plants to keep out of your pets reach include any flowers in the lily family, including sago palms, oleander, foxglove, castor bean, and poinsettias. Though these are bad for both cats and dogs, the toxic dose often differs between species.

“Some of the most common foods that can be toxic to dogs are grapes and raisins, or any food items containing the artificial sweetener xylitol, which can be contained in chewing gum as well as many low-calorie foods as a sugar substitute,” said Dr. Medora Pashmakova, a Clinical Associate Professor in emergency and critical care at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “Chocolate is also a well-known toxin to pets; however, it’s particularly the dark chocolate and baking chocolate varieties that pose the real threats due to their higher cocoa and theobromine content.”

Although cats are more discerning when it comes to eating household items, grooming themselves after coming into contact with any toxic chemicals can be very dangerous. “Owners of cats should be vigilant about any chemical spills or even the use of countertop cleaning products, which can be caustic when cats groom themselves after being in contact,” said Pashmakova.  “In addition, even small volumes of ingested antifreeze or coolant fluid can be lethal to cats and requires seeing a veterinarian right away, without waiting for clinical signs to appear.”

A good rule of thumb is that if something is toxic to humans, it is likely toxic to our pets as well. “At the same time, medications considered safe in people (such as over the counter pain medications or cold/flu medications) are NOT safe for dogs and cats,” Pashmakova said. “Never give your dog or cat human medications without speaking to a veterinarian first.”

Dr. Pashmakova explains that keeping your pets safe is similar to keeping babies safe. This sometimes includes pet-proofing your house and anticipating what cats, dogs, ferrets, and other small animals can get into. “Keeping cupboards secured, bathrooms closed, bathroom garbage stowed away, medications locked up, and any chemical spills cleaned up quickly and thoroughly are just some basics that all pet owners should keep in mind,” said Pashmakova. “Having a good plan of action in the event of ingestion is also key.” This can be something as simple as calling your veterinarian during daytime hours or calling an emergency hospital after-hours.

If your pet ingests any of these items, it is best to play it safe and contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center; they can help you determine if your pet needs to be seen by a doctor and if they consumed a toxic dose. The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital ER is always available to advise on toxic ingestions, and the Animal Poison Control Hotline affiliated with the University of Illinois veterinary school is a 24/7 resource with board-certified toxicologists to advise owners or veterinarians on how to deal with toxicities.

There is no harm in being extra cautious when dealing with possible toxicities around the house. Be sure to keep these particular items out of your pet’s reach at all times, and to call your veterinarian or poison control center immediately if they do come into contact with them. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the safety of your furry family member.

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be viewed on the Web at vetmed.tamu.edu/pettalk. Suggestions for future topics may be directed to editor@cvm.tamu.edu.