Pesticides & Preventatives Poisoning Pets?

Written by Jan on January 8, 2009 – 3:14 pm

Caution Sign

As most of you know, I have for years been sounding the warning siren about the slow poisoning of dogs from pesticides, co-called “preventatives” and other toxic chemicals. If your e-mails are any indication, many of you are listening. But many of you aren’t. Veterinary waiting rooms continue to be filled with accidentally poisoned pets. Some of these pets don’t survive.

Okay, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 46% of dogs and 39% of cats dying of disease will die of cancer. Pesticides are proven to increase your dog’s (or cats) chance of getting cancer.  A University of Pennsylvania vet school study showed topical insecticides (aka preventatives) “significantly increased” bladder cancer risk, especially in overweight dogs. Other studies have shown cancer risks from herbicides. Some products meant for pets can even increase the chance you and your children will become ill.

Snail, ant and rodent baits may also prove deadly, sometimes killing quickly, sometimes slowly. Don’t think it can’t happen to your pet. In the “poison free” yard of my favorite pet safety advocate (me!), both of my dogs were exposed to rat poison. I immediately induced vomiting, got advice from ASPCA‘s Poison Control Center, took them to the emergency room visit followed by weeks of Vitamin K supplementation yet my dog Jiggy’s liver enzymes rose off the charts. Now, nine months later, an incompetent exterminator has lost his job and Jiggy still shows impaired liver function.  Jiggy’s vet bills top $3000 with no end in sight.

Even when we don’t realize it, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and other poisons assault our dogs’ bodies in countless ways:

  • We purposefully apply insecticides to kill fleas and ticks. Surely, none of us would rub poison between our children’s shoulder blades, or bathe them in poisons, but when it comes to pets, we trustingly accept the “wisdom” of advertisers and flea-and-tick product vendors. You can check out your Flea and Tick products for safety at Green Paws. Don’t forget to check all the products your groomer or kennel owner uses, too, and have them send for a Green Paws Action Kit. And remember, even if a product is labeled “natural” or listed as “safe,” it may still be harmful to your pet’s long-term health.  In 2008, ASPCA toxicologists reported more than 31,000 calls related to insecticides, often because of misuse of flea and tick products. If you use one of these products–particularly products from Hartz, Sergeant’s, Farnam, and Bayer–please read Pesticides in Pet Products: Why Your Dog or Cat May Be at Risk I hope you’ll also watch this CBS video sent to me by one of the people featured; she lost her dog Lincoln to flea and tick medication.  Here are two related links from the Environmental Protection Agency: Increased Scrutiny of Flea and Tick Control Products for Pets and Listing of EPA-registered Spot-on Flea and Tick Products.
  • We administer insecticides orally to kill heartworms, even when sustained cool temps make contracting heartworms all but impossible (according to the University of Pennsylvania and other experts). Yet, advertisers tell us to buy these products year round. It’s about money, honey.
  • Pets unknowingly auto-apply pesticides, herbicides, and other toxins during walks with you. Even if your own yard is free of toxic chemicals, romps on golf courses, common areas and dog parks, with their unknown pesticide and herbicide products and treatment schedules, can prove deadly. Whatever gets on your pet’s feet is licked into their bodies, assaulting livers and increasing carcinogenic loads.
  • Pets eat hidden pesticides in their food, especially corn-laden grocery store kibble. Corn deemed unfit for human consumption—sometimes because of excessive pesticide contamination—often ends up in pet food. Pet food expert Dr. Jean Hofve tells me there is no upper limit for pesticide contamination.
  • Pets get into rodent, ant and snail poison even when you are careful. Some of these products (like rat poison) cause a slow death by internal bleeding and you may not recognize symptoms until it’s too late. Just a tiny amount of some products (like snail bait) can kill fast. (Read this to learn about snail bait poisoning.) My dogs’ poisoning came in an usual way: from rat bait locked inside a safe-looking bait box; a raccoon trying to get at the bait banged the box on the ground and my dogs found the scattered bait. Note: it’s not enough to use safe products in your yard. Ask your neighbors to as well.)
  • Pets (and hunting birds, coyotes, etc.) eat poisoned animals (rats, groundhogs, etc.) and are poisoned themselves. This happens more than you might suspect.

So here’s what to do to keep your pet safe from poison. First, check all products for child safety. If they’re not safe for kids, they’re not safe for dogs and cats. Second, wash your pet’s feet after walking on any suspect area. At least, wipe paws with a damp cloth. Clean paws, too, after walks on grimy chemically-laden streets and salted roads. If you wouldn’t lick a surface, don’t let your animal lick the grime off his paws. It just takes but a moment to wash up, and could save you countless tears, wasted days and thousands of dollars at the vet’s office.

Find a wealth of additional information in an article called Pesticides and Pets.  I hope you’ll print it and read it. No, don’t just read it. Study it.

The EPA has a flea and tick fact sheet and The National Pesticide Information Center has a tips sheet.

You can report a problem with pesticides, drugs or foods at this excellent new AVMA reporting page.  Also fill out the form at Beyond Pesticides.

Finally, those of you who have my book, Scared Poopless: The Straight Scoop on Dog Care, please reread the chapter “Stop Pest-ering Me” to learn natural ways to protect your dogs from pests. If your pet has been exposed to any poison, immediately contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.

You can also find the links mentioned here on my Links page.  Want to know the truth about Heartworms? Click my heartworm link to find 3 in-depth articles. And please bookmark this blog post so others can find it. And here’s another article from my friends Drs. Kim Bloomer and Jeannie Thomason: Battling Fleas, Ticks, & Mosquitoes: Pet Health Care or Billion Dollar Pet Industry?

Sign up for notification of  future articles and our free dog care e-newsletter (delivered quarterly). Follow K9Author at Twitter.

Tags: cats, dogs, flea medicine, flea preventative, heartworm, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, poison, poison control, preventatives, spot-on flea and tick, tick
Posted under Cancer, Flea and Tick Meds, Pet Meds, Uncategorized | 61 Comments » Email This Post

61 Comments to “Pesticides & Preventatives Poisoning Pets?”

  1. Beagle Facts Says:

    Good article, but realize that more pets are dying of cancer because they are living longer, the same with people.

    In the past people would die of heart disease, not cancer, no one lived long enough for that.

  2. Jan Says:

    The problem isn’t that pets aren’t living longer so that cancer is evitable. It’s that dogs are getting cancer at a much younger age than they did in days gone by. This is what is alarming so many vets.

  3. Tammy Bain Says:

    I have a cardigan welsh corgi, he’s 9 mts old I have heard that heartgard can cause kidney problems in herding breeds. I lost my last dog to kidney desease and she was only 8 yrs old. I feel so guilty because I listened to everything the vet told me she shuold have as far as shots and frontline and you have any info on this product and herding breeds. right now I’m NOT giving ” Rocco” any of these products.

  4. Tom Trager Says:

    What can I do to get rid of dandelions safely?
    We have three (3) little dogs.

  5. yogisetyo Says:

    this is very informative and useful article for me. This post is very useful for me. This would help me to tell some important caution about cancer.



  6. Heartworm Medication: Is Year Round Protection Necessary? | Truth4Dogs Says:

    […] Part 2 of this article will explore who should consider giving meds year round, plus ways to cut back on any meds you give. Sign up at the upper right hand corner of our blog to receive notification of Part 2. In the meantime, you might like reading Pesticides & Preventatives Poisoning Pets? […]

  7. Grand River Kennel Club » Blog Archive » Pesticides & Preventatives Poisoning Pets? Says:

    […] Pesticides & Preventatives Poisoning Pets? […]

  8. Elizabeth Allen Says:

    Great article! I can never, ever read enough about this topic! Life makes us forget what we are doing as we get so caught up in the day to day of things. Easy to read, great articles like this make the world of difference as people are sometimes just so overwhelmed with all the information, true or otherwise out there. I have sent it to all my clients; let’s hope they read it! Learn more about poison-free living at

  9. Flea Meds Says:

    Great article……More pets are dying of cancer. Because they are living longer, the same with people. Very sad to say that dogs are living in short time with happy life…

  10. Dr. Kim Bloomer Says:

    For all of you who are saying that pets are living longer, you are sharing the disinformation of the status quo. Pets are not living longer. In fact their lives are being cut short by the kibble diets, the vaccines, and the pesticides.

    Dogs and cats are dying from cancer at age 1-5. That is NOT living longer. Medium sized dogs, when naturally reared without all these toxins, can live up to 30 years of age. When was the last time you saw a dog that old? Cats can live up to 40 years of age when naturally reared. I know of one sanctuary in CA that takes in supposedly older pets (age 16+) and through a NATURAL protocol without these pesticides and other toxins, detoxes them, feeds them a raw diet, they THEN live up to close to their normal years of 30-40 years.

    So please, stop with the disinformation and the rhetoric in saying they are living longer. That is just not true.

    Dr. Kim Bloomer

  11. Jan Says:

    ARE PETS LIVING LONGER? Brava Kim! I hear vet friends — like Margo Roman and Stephen Blake to name two — talk about how much younger dogs and cats are getting cancer. If so many human kids were dying this young of “old age diseases,” even our government would take notice.

    Holistic healers blame over-vaccination, commercial food and pesticides (for flea, heartworm, etc.) for the epidemic of poor health. Half of all dogs and a third of cats are now dying of cancer. It’s becoming commonplace to see pets with missing limbs and chunks out of their faces where tumors were removed. Vet bills are steadily rising: $11.1 billion in 2008 expecting to rise to $12.2 in 2009. Up $1.1 billion in just a year! According to the American Pet Product Manufacturer’s Association, surgical vet visits for dogs now AVERAGE $453 a year for dogs and $363 for cats.

    They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results. It’s also failing to read labels and think for ourselves. Fear marketing is winning. The losers are our pets.

  12. lindsey Says:

    My dog has all the signs of heartworms, i fear that it may be too late to help her. Is their anything i can do because I dont want to make her worse I just want to help her. If you have any advice I would love it. Thank you very much.

  13. Jan Says:

    WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOUR DOG HAS HEARTWORM Hi Lindsey. Don’t panic. Dogs survive heartworm all the time. In fact, the current movie star dog Benji is a healthy heartworm survivor.

    Here’s what to do.

    First, make sure your dog has heartworm (or doesn’t have it) by having your vet do a simple blood test called a heartworm antigen test. You can learn more about diagnosis at

    Second, if your dog doesn’t have heartworm, please read my articles on heartworm prevention.

    Third, if your dog does have heartworm, my vet recommends a cardiac ultrasound before starting any treatment. If the infestation is mild, you will treat differently than if it is major.

    Fourth, there’s an interesting video on heartworm treatment that you should watch. You can fast forward through the commercial beginning to about halfway through. Discuss this option with your vet before proceeding.

    Let me know how it goes. Don’t worry. Learn the facts and then proceed calmly. Remember, your dog will sense your stress and then become worried herself.

  14. Eva Seekers Says:

    I am at this site too late. After a routine exam Friday, my sweet doxie Penny, was given the 6 month heartworm injection, along with rabies. I was worried about it, but was told it was fine, it wouldn’t hurt her at all. Today (Sunday) she is ok, but feels warm, and is acting very tired! I am pissed to say the least, that my vet failed to inform me of possible side effects and problems. I’m also upset with myself for not checking it out first! She was given to me 5 years ago, already grown, and is now 10-11 years old. She has never had the heartworm prevention as far as I know, and her blood test was negative!!!!! I do live in the deep south, which is why I went ahead with it. If anyone reading this is a vet, is there anything can be done to help her now, if she gets worse? Something tells me no! I am very worried, as she is my best friend, and I love her as much as she loves me. You know, God entrusted everything to us, what do we think he thinks about how we care for what he has given us? Any advice, I will be very grateful.

  15. Jan Says:

    Eva, I can think of few things more reckless than giving Proheart 6, especially without explaining the history of the drug and connected deaths. And giving it was a highly reactive shot like rabies? That’s horrible. I hope you don’t go back to that vet again — except to conplain. This is a violation of the doctrine of informed consent, which violates veterinary reponsibility. I hope you read my article on Proheart 6 and the two on heartworm medications. These three articles are on the same page ( Also see my rabies shot page:

    As to what you can do now, I think you need a vet trained in homeopathy to help her deal with medication. Find one from the referral lists on my Find a Good Vet at I hope this helps.

  16. Eva Seekers Says:

    Thanks Jan, I’ve been looking everywhere on the net for something homepathy to give her to help dilute, or help her get rid of this toxic medicine. I’m not having much luck without having big dollars. Do you know of any place that might have ideas or remedies for free or low cost? Does anyone here know of someone or something? The vet I take her to, billed me so I can make payments as I lost my job this last year! In addition, she found 2 cysts near her lowest breasts, and wanted to take out ALL OF HER BREAST GLANDS, to prevent cancer. That I backed way up on, as this seemed to me needless pain for my girl. I tell all the board that as of today, she seems to be doing ok, but is still acting tired, her hot feeling seems to be less today, but I’m still worried. I just started studying herbs and their health applications, I just wish I knew more to help rid her body of these poisons. Again, thanks to any and all who may help!

  17. Stephanie Says:

    I am so thankful for you and embrace your written word! You get to say all the things I’m repeatedly told not to… It isn’t good “business” to scare people and put their decisions under some light. I say this because I’m very passionate about the issue of pesticide use and the human responsibility to make informed decisions. Our pets and children depend on us to do what is right. I should know. I started Wondercide because my Akita-Husky mix, Luna, had serious side effects to her vet prescribed flea & tick medication, Frontline. It wasn’t just one vet over the 9 years of her life that prescribed it, it was many. As I traveled for work and life experience through my twenties, Luna was there with me every step of the way…and I never knew that I was poisoning her. I didn’t know I was reducing her lifespan by more than 30%. Its harsh, and its true. But the reality of the magnitude of the problem is far worse. When she got sick, I got informed. We sought out to find an alternative flea and tick control for all of our “kids” living here in the coastal south. Down here, garlic tablets and brewers yeast just don’t cut it. The pest control service wasn’t working and it smelled horrible. What is going on here? I became obsessed with finding a truly safe alternative to pesticides. I quit my job and cashed in every penny of savings. It turns out the adage is true, “Treat the Source Not the Symptom”. And the other one about “putting your mind to it”…that one is true too!
    So what we have now, is a vision and a mission that will stand firm and fight the good fight with people like you. For us, it isn’t about money or margins, its about saving lives. Its about educating people to 1.) READ THE LABELS of the products they use, 2.) ask tough questions, 3.)don’t accept the term “safe” without an ingredient label and a little research.

    Jan, you are very eloquent in your direction and I truly appreciate your time here! Thanks again for all of your wisdom! I can’t get enough of your blogs and articles. Hope to meet you at the IHPE in September. Thanks again.

  18. Jan Says:

    Eva, my vaccination activist friend Elizabeth Hart sent me the following when I mentioned your dog being vaccinated against rabies at the same time she was given Proheart 6?

    Did I mention to you that the vet who vaccinated my dog Sasha told me he’d given Sasha ProHeart when he vaccinated her? When I did some research and found out about ProHeart 6 in the US, I challenged him about this – and then he said he’d made a mistake, he hadn’t given it to her after all… What a vet, eh?

    When ProHeart 6 was reintroduced to the US market, It was specifically stated: “ProHeart 6 should not be given within one month of your dog being vaccinated.”

    It just makes me sick that people trust their vets, and so many vets are not worthy of that trust.

  19. Jan Says:

    Eva, the thing about homeopathy is that using the wrong remedy can make your dog worse. You need to match the remedy to the exact symptoms, rather than just use, say, a vaccine remedy. My homeopath does phone consults reasonably. Why don’t you contact her and see what she’ll charge? [Contact info was sent privately to avoid the spam bots.] Beware free advice unless it comes from a licensed homeopath.

    The one thing you MUST do is report the reaction to your vet. It needs to go into her record in case she gets worse. In that case, you’ll want to get an exemption to the rabies shot when the next one is due. I hope you’ll also admonish your vet for using Proheart 6. If you’ve read my article about it, you’ll know why I think that. If I remember correctly, you had to be warned about the drug before your dog got it. That was a condition for getting the drug back on the market. If you weren’t warned, your vet could be in big trouble. In that case, you should ask them to pay for any additional medical care.

    Re vaccinating, your dog is unlikely to need any other shots. Make sure you read my vaccination articles on my blog, especially the one on avoiding unnecessary shots.

    Good luck! (I hope you’ll subscribe to my blog or newsletter for more information. It’s free.

    Eva responded by email: Hi Jan, thanks so much! I will contact her! I have also been speaking with someone from another site, yes, my vet could get into deep trouble for not warning me. I am also going to report Penny’s reaction to the CVM, and also speak with Senate finance, Angela Choy for the senator of Nebraska. I am learning, and trying to find out all I can. Even if my Penny is ok, she will never again have this vaccine, and my hope is that no pets will be subjected to it! Things like this, really get my back up, as our pets/friends don’t have a voice with which to speak. I have read about so many different reactions to all kinds of so called meds to protect our pets, I have been so ignorant, I just thought their meds were regulated too, boy, was I dumb! It seems the only thing regulated is who gets what part of the money pie, off the sales of these drugs,LOL.

    There is a true movie I saw once, about a boy who developed a life threatening condition, who’s regular parents kept digging and fighting for treatments and cures, until one day, they actually found a common oil that halted the condition and reversed the effects of the disease. I am always inspired by these 2 people who refused to give up, the film is Lorenzo’s Oil! I know that even we ordinary people can make a difference, and I’m so frusterated that I can do nothing for my baby, that I have now taken up this cause. My mother had a boston terrier that at age 13 died from cancer. This was out of the blue, but looking back at how my mom always took her for shots, gave her heartworm meds, etc, I’m starting to wonder….

    Thank you again for all the advice, and if you know someone I should write to about this problem, just let me know. I’ll be keeping my eye on your site, and have signed up for the news letter.

  20. Jan Says:

    Stephanie, thanks for all the kind words about my blog, I have just recently learned about your non-toxic flea products. They look wonderful. I wish there were more people working to make safe products for our animal friends. — Jan Rasmusen

  21. Kelli Says:

    My most precious cocker spaniel, and my best little buddy had a reaction on February 1, 2010 after I applied some TopSpot Frontline treatment between his shoulder blades the night before. I did this every 2-3 months to prevent fleas, ticks, etc. from harming him. He appeared to be losing weight and shivering some during January and when I had his hair trimmed I was shocked at the realization that he had indeed lost some weight.

    Feb. 1st when he began gasping for breath and walking slowly and acting weak, I called the veterinarian and told them about the medication I had applied. They seemed unconcerned and scheduled an appointment to look at him on Friday, Feb. 5th. That day he was weak, out of breath and when he exerted himself, his tongue turned blue! They took x-rays to reveal large masses of tumors or something which was pushing his lungs up and leaving him with only 30% lung space to breathe. While doing a biopsy with a needle, he declined and was put on oxygen. He was found to be anemic and they belleved he was bleeding internally. I had to rush him to an emergency vet.

    Weeks before this boy was chasing a soccer ball around the yard and bringing it back to me to kick for him. He was full of energy and constantly going. Now he was so plainly in bad shape. The emergency vet put him in an oxygen chamber and did blood tests. He stayed in care most of the weekend as we waited for biopsy results on Monday, which turned out to be “inconclusive.” The vet gave me the news that he was not a good candidate for surgery due to his condition. He did not want to do chemotherapy unless he knew if he had cancer or if it would respond to chemotherapy.

    When he stabilized the vet thought that he would do better at home if I keep him from exerting himself and keep him comfortable for his last days. I told him I was going to fight these tumors and not let them take my dog. I researched on-line and found natural herbal remedies to make a tea that was supposed to shrink tumors, strengthen the immune system and heal. He seemed to make some wonderful improvements the first couple of weeks. Then he began to have more symptoms. Without going into our painful journey, I prayed he would let me know when it was time. I even took him to the vet twice to put him down and could not. I had to know I did everything I could for him since he counted on me and was fighting so hard for his life.

    He wanted to continue with our daily routine, though he was not in any shape to run errands with me, etc. so I left him home. It was hard to leave for work each day. I left work early most days to spend quality time with my kid. Then one day I noticed he slowed down more and did not want to eat. He was such a good boy he would eat a bite or two if I coaxed him, but it was clear he didn’t really want to. That day he began to go downhill, clearly. We went back to the emergency vet who agreed to check and see if the tea had helped at all. My precious boy had less lung space to breathe than before due to the tumors growing in size. I was crushed.

    That day I said goodbye to my best friend, my trusted and loyal companion for 8 1/2 years. We had so many plans together that would never happen now. I made so many promises to him. He had a joy of life and loved going everywhere with me. He loved everybody and all other animals, even when they weren’t friendly, he was a gentleman. A part of me died with my dog that day. I have since been reading and researching, trying to understand why this happened to my beautiful boy. I contacted his breeder who still has his sire and dam and full sister and they are all in excellent health.

    I feel that I let my boy down and I am painfully angry that pet owners are being lied to by the pet food industry and the providers of pet products that are so toxic they can kill our loved ones. So angry. I believe I am finished beating myself up over this. I cannot bring Beau back. I miss his happy face every time I expect to see him there. Meanwhile in his honor I hope to have a voice and make some things change. I hope all pet owners will have a voice and make some things change. It’s the only right thing to do. I am so greatful that I had those years of joy and I would do it all over again, only with more education and care. Maybe he would have lived longer and healthier if I had only known better.


  22. Lola Allen Says:

    there are so many rats at home and i am looking for a really good rat poison`*’

  23. Joanne Says:

    Hi Jan,

    Well we have Riley all cared for now and it has been a real learning experience. I’m only sorry it took our sweet little guy to teach us the many things we’ve learned in these past few days. After two baths in Dawn liquid soap, Riley is 90% back to being his own loveable self. We are working on getting the other 10% + back now. I have found the name of a homeopathic vet here and I’m waiting for a call back from them.

    As for the horrible flea and tick treatment we gave Riley it was Advantage Multi from Bayer Health Care. We have been giving him that crap every spring, once a month since we got him, four years ago. It was last year that I noticed after my husband gave Riley his flea treatments he would get very lethargic and off his food and water for two or three days. I mentioned this to my husband who thought Riley might just be feeling under the weather. When Riley had his seizures last week, he had had his third treatment for this season. As soon as the stuff went on him he climbed onto his bed and turned his back to us and stayed there until it was bedtime for everyone. Ask me how guilty I feel for not taking better care of our little guy and protecting him the way I should have. Lordy! I’m even feeling the guilt of having our last dog treated with that stuff. We had Buffy for eighteen years and every year that little fella would endure that crap being put on him. In his eighteenth year, he developed stomach cancer (no bloody wonder) and we had to let him go. Brother….what a heartache that was. It took me thirteen years before I brought Riley into our lives. They have been the best and most rewarding years I can remember having in a long time. Riley seems to have had a hard time of it before we got him from the rescue home, and to know that we have been causing him such suffering is just crushing me. But thanks to my little boy, I have found my voice and believe me I haven’t shut up since this happened. I have called everyone I know who has a dog and let them know this product is not safe for their pet.

    As for Bayer….they were my first mark. I called them the Monday morning after Riley had his seizures. I knew by the runaround on the phone just trying to get a live person to answer the phone I knew I would be fighting with the big boys. Well, Wednesday morning I finally got a return call from Bayer’s staff vet. I told her what had happened to Riley on the previous Friday night, about our race to the all night clinic and then of his third seizure on Friday night. I explained that Riley had been taking Advantage Multi and she had the bloody nerve to tell me that seizures were NOT a side effect with Advantage. My God!!! It is right on the Bayer site in the description of the Advance Multi that some of the side effects could be lethargic, off food and water, panting, pacing AND SEIZURES!!! I asked her if she ever went on line and actually checked out just how often pets were seizing after having been given Advantage Multi. She of course said she has been on line. I told her to check elsewhere because the complaints were out there. Hundreds of them! She then told me…are you ready for this? …she told me that Bayer would of course pay any vet costs that we have over this event!!!! MY DOG IS NOT AN EVENT!!! Aww poop! I’m getting pissed off again just thinking about her. I then asked her what testing was done by Bayer to bring this product to market. Her answer nearly did me in and it took everything I had not to call her every fowl named in the book and then hang up on her. She told me they tested the product by feeding it to dogs in their food, once a day for a year! God! Those poor suffering animals! I can’t believe how stupid I’ve been. The vet of course said the animals did not have any bad side effects. Oh Lord! How dumb did she think I was? My little guy was foaming at the mouth from having it topically applied. What did the poor animals do that had to chew and ingest this poison???
    I guess I should mention that three months ago, after seeing and reading about the horrid conditions animals endure just to become a pot roast or stuffed turkey for our Sunday dinner table, I became a vegetarian. I have tried three times to eat meat but I just can’t do it. All I can picture is a baby chick or young cow who never got the chance to grow to adulthood and still had to suffer horribly during their short life span. How very cruel we are as a species. 🙁
    As for my little guy, we took him to our own vet on Saturday to have his blood work run again to make certain everything was ok. Well the work up showed everything was normal. I have all my copies that I will be taking with me when I get my appointment with the homeopathic vet. This vet also believes in the raw food diet. I really want to put Riley on the raw food but I am so frightened about giving him the raw neck bones of chickens. I’m terrified he’ll choke. He has so few teeth and I’m not certain if he’d even be able to chew a bone enough to break it down enough for him to swallow. I have spent hours checking out what is really in this great food that we’ve been feeding him now and it makes me sick to think it is just the throw away waste of products large food companies can’t pass off for human consumption. But I am committed to finding the very best food to give Riley. Food that I know will be safe and with proper nutrition. I see a lot of changes taking place in the Grant household in the near future. For starters, yesterday I cleaned out my cupboard that holds all my cleaning products. I now have only two cleaning agents in my home. Vinegar and Antibacterial wipes for my bathroom and around my kitchen sink. No more fantastic, Windex, Clorox, oven cleaner etc….N-O-T-H-I-N-G! My little guy will not have to walk on floors that have chemical residue on them again. My husband wanted to give all the cleaning stuff to my neighbors or my daughters and I nixed that idea fast. I told him if we’re giving it away because we want to protect Riley, why the devil would I give it to someone else that has pets in their homes. So it has gone to the recycling depot. I’ll be saving mega bucks from now on!

    I want to tell you how much I’m enjoying ‘Scared Poopless’. Your two babies are the absolute cutest (sorry Jan…next to Riley) I’ve ever seen and the photos of Jiggy, well, he and Riley could be taken for blood brothers. I have gone on your website several times looking for MY DOG’S LIFE form, but haven’t been able to find it. I guess I should warn you, I’m not very good on the computer. 🙁 The book is absolutely wonderful and what an in-the-know mom you are. I think Chiclet and Jiggy fell on good times when they choose you to be their mom. there are so many gems of great info that most of us don’t really consider when trying to keep our little ones safe. And to have Chiclet be the voice of reason was a wonderful idea. It really does make you think a different way about you own pet.

    Well I think I best let you get back to your very busy life and once again thank you for all your valuable insight into caring for our four legged babies. I know Riley will be a beneficiary of that insight. One more thing before I close. The MRI that the vet at the all night clinic thought we should have just to make certain that Riley did not have a brain tumor was never a consideration with me. Though I do believe Bayer would also pick up the tab for that, I was not prepared to have Riley given anymore drugs so they could take a picture of his little brain. I knew in my heart and more importantly my reasoning brain that the only thing wrong with Riley was he had been given poison in the guise of a treatment. So, there will be no MRI and the money that Bayer is sending to our vet to cover the costs of Rileys treatment on Saturday (which we have already paid for) will be donated to the SPCA in Riley’s name. And if by chance Bayer also sends a check to cover the cost of the vet bill we paid at the all night clinic on Friday, that also will be donated to the SPCA in Riley’s name. This whole thing has never been and never will be about money. It was about a company and a vet giving out a product that could and has caused damage to our dog. So now, finally at age sixty nine I can say thank God I have found my voice and companies and vets alike you better disclose any details that can do harm to my dog if you are asking me to let you apply anything chemical to his little body! I too am to blame. But my blame is I trusted. I trusted that my vet and the companies he deals with would do only what is good and safe for my dog and they would inform me of any products that they needed to administer to my dog and allow me and my husband to make an informed decision as to whether we want to give this to our pet.

    Again many thanks for the book and the time. I am looking forward to your newsletters in the future.
    God bless and keep you and your sweet bundles safe and well.
    Your latest fans…Joanne and Riley.

  24. Jan Says:

    Joanne, thanks for posting your story.

    It drives me crazy that vets and manufacturers ALWAYS say they’ve never heard of this reaction before. The manufacturers probably hear it daily. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    I hope you’ll admonish your vet for not knowing the side effects of the products they sell and especially for recommending an expensive MRI without even considering the drug reaction first. Remember to get the vet or Bayer to pay you back for the product as well as the services. I presume Canada has a local veterinary medical board. You could file a complaint. Maybe the vet will think twice before doing this again.

  25. dawge Says:

    Just a note to thank you for providing information about the toxification (and potential detoxification) of America’s dogs.

    The thing is, dogs don’t have the opportunity to learn the issues in order to protect themselves from poorly educated veterinarians. But be protected they must be from ubiquitous exposure to harmful environmental materials in the general and indoor environments, from food, and from toxic dog medicines.

    Some issues:

    irresponsible veterinary interventions,
    genetically modified `foods’ in the canine food supply,
    toxic chemicals in canine drinking water,
    indoor air pollution exposures to tVOCs
    (toxic volatile organic chemicals,)
    toxic chemical carpet poisoning of dogs,
    lead dust exposure,
    and other similar causes of canine health decline, suffering and premature dog death in America.

    It is my experience that many veterinarians are the equivalent of “brilliant idiots.” Are they playing dumb when they say other dog owners aren’t voicing concern about potential or actual toxic injuries to their dogs? Are they for real when they drop their jaws after being asked about the advisability of applying a systemic biocide like Frontline to a dog’s skin? Do they believe for a moment that there is a comprehensive system of effective government regulatory control in place for the adequate protection of the American dog?

    If they are not intellectual nits, then they must immoralists who have decided not to provide proper care for their canine patients.

    I’ll spare you the details, but my last visit to the vet with my dog “Luckey Barker” was a very demoralizing experience. Seems if you ask questions, the vet may get nasty and stop smiling. But if you let the vet treat the dog like a pin cushion and stick it with dangerous materials,… well, then this seems to be a cause for literal happiness. I say this because the vet I last saw appears to be `vaccination-happy’ in a pushy sort of way.

    Just a quick scan of your site tells me that the vet I was dealing with is an adept in the provision of disinformation and misinformation. Said she’d never heard a bad word about Frontline which I simply find impossible to believe. He got his mandatory rabies shot, and she would have very happily injected him with two other `combo’ shots had I not told her that I needed to research the issue. Now I read that rabies shots should not be given with other shots.

    To me it looks like too many of these vets may be practicing sadistic `slash and burn medicine.’ Its vitally important to get the word out to people about the risks. Its important to alert them to alternatives. Its necessary to create `dialogue’ around the issue of industrialized dog medicine.

    Prevention is the name of the game. Toxics use reduction for America’s canine population shold be made the policy option of choice. Where toxic materials must be used, proceed with utmost caution, etc. While modern veterinary medicine does some wonderful things for dogs, it is poisoning them at the same time. The same thing can be said about canine nutrition and canine food production.


  26. Jan Says:

    Dawg, well said!

  27. Christina Cole Says:

    My dog has nose cancer. We illegally got sprayed in our back yard with harsh pesticides a few months back. Now my dog has cancer. Do you think this is something worth pursuing against the company that sprayed in my yard?


  28. Jan Says:

    Christina, I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. Whether you pursue it depends on the circumstances, if you can prove your dog got sprayed, if the chemical was a known carcinogen, etc. I’m no lawyer, but I suspect you have two avenues to pursue: against the company doing the spraying and the company making the chemical. It’s worth a try.

    The bigger question is what are you doing for your dog?

  29. Leslie Says:

    I have a question. I can see that insecticides are toxic, but I developed a flea problem this last summer. Daily Vaccuming was not practical, and even the building where my rescued cats reside, became infested. (No carpeting or upholstry there.)
    What can anyone reccommend? I thought my problem was worse because I chose not to use revolution this year on my 3 shelties that go in and out. I think the extra wet conditions early in the year were perhaps the bigger culprit. Any tips?

  30. Pest Control people Says:

    As you always have pets it may be worth investing in a few electronic flea traps, though the initial cost is higher than sprays, they provide on-going flea control with minimum hassle. A heat lamp mimics warm-blooded animals to attract fleas from bedding and carpets. Each trap will cover a 10 metre radius. The sticky pad acts as an early indicator of flea infestation.

  31. Darrick Whittinghill Says:

    I’ve been to this site twice in the last week, so it must be a real popular website this. How do you get this stuff?? Best I’ve seen and I’ve been reading up on something similar for a while now.

  32. Jan Says:

    Hi Darrick. I’m delighted you like Truth4Dogs. I get my research mostly from veterinarian friends, published studies, personal experience, etc. I try to be as thorough as possible in my research. As you know, there’s a lot of bad info on the web. Too much of it is profit oriented.

  33. Beth Says:

    I realize that I’m well over 2 1/2 years late, but here goes nothing.

    The article you sited was written in 1989. None of the modern flea and tick preventatives were even available at that time. Most of the chemicals tested in that study were flea dips, powders and shampoos which aren’t even used anymore. This article is much more recent and tested modern flea preventatives such as fipronil (Frontline) and Imidacloprid (Advantage) and showed no correlation between increased rate of cancer development and use of insecticides.

    Additionally, how do we know that more pets are dying of cancer now than in years past? Our ability to diagnose cancer is much stronger now than it was 15 years ago. Almost every clinic now has access to ultrasound and radiology (x-ray) equipment. This was not the case 15-20 years ago. So it is more likely that we are just better at diagnosing these problems than we were before.

    It’s very sad that people are falling for the misconception that all veterinarians are idiots that are just out to scam the public. And I’m disappointed that anyone would lump all veterinarians into one category. Just because I went to a dentist that didn’t properly numb my gums once doesn’t mean that all dentists are incompetent idiots.

    “Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.” ― G.K. Chesterton

  34. Jan Says:

    Beth, here’s an article written by a veterinarian in mid-2011 about cancer, including a lot of info on carcinogenic pet pesticides.

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  36. Jan Says:

    Tall chestnut, thanks for your words about Truth4Dogs. You can sign up at

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  38. Advantix reaction :( - Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community Says:

    […] reactions. Reporting Pesticide Incidents This is a wonderful site to get valuable info….. Pesticides, Flea Meds, Heartworm Meds and Dog Health | Truth4Dogs I hope your little one is feeling better soon. __________________ to : Jake J.J. […]

  39. Jade Wood Says:

    You have all validated my suspicions that flea and heart worm meds can cause seizures in dogs. I told my husband that our Pomeranian seemed to have a seizure after I give him the two treatments. Although he has not had a lot of seizures, I don’t give him the meds in the winter or fall because I don’t think they are necessary so his seizures are always in the summer. Thanks for all the great information about the pesticides as well. I went on line to a vet and asked him what he thought the problem was and if it had any relationship to the meds and of course he said NO! Thanks again, Jade

  40. Jan Says:

    Hi Jade. I wrote an article about why vets don’t recognize vaccine reactions; it applies to all pet meds.

    Good for you for standing up for your Pom.

  41. Renee Says:

    Hi! Thanks for this site. I’m doing my best to take great care of my 3 dogs. I previously used flea and tick preventatives year round and just this winter have switched to seasonally. I’ll look for more natural ways to repel pesky critters to avoid the chemicals all together. My question was about de-wormers. I recently moved to the country from the city and my dogs are constantly rolling in horse poop and eating live caught wild mice and other nasty behaviours. I give them healthy dog food, blue-green algae and probiotics but was concerned about worms. I asked around and everyone freaked out and said I *have* to go to a vet and get prescription meds to de-worm a dog and there is *no way* I could do it myself. Quite a few people de-worm monthly too. These opinions seem excessive to me. I was thinking of de-worming 1-2x a year. There’s an OTC med that is relatively safe that I’ve used in the past with no bad side effects. I was also looking into using D-earth. What do you think? Is deworming something only a vet must do? What do you recommend.

  42. Jan Says:

    Renee, all I can say is to test for worms before de-worming. Just because everyone deworms often doesn’t mean it’s good practice. Most people vaccinate regularly when there is no medical reason for doing it. I would never worm, that is, administer toxic chemicals, without proof it was necessary.

    I am told by vet friends that healthy adult animals generally repeal worms on their own.

    For more information, you might visit and see if they have an article or ebook on the subject.

  43. Renee Says:

    Ok, I will check it out. Thanks for the response. 🙂

  44. karen Says:

    My beautiful 6 year old Yorkie dies three weeks ago from thyroid cancer. In her six years she had three applications of frontline in 2012…the ticks were so bad here that the vet convinced us to use the product saying it is so safe you can drink it. Well Ihave never been one to do internet research but wish I had. If i had the money I would have had testing done on Maisy to confirm cause of death.
    Is there any place collection info on deaths of dogs after using frontline?

  45. Jan Says:

    Karen, I’m so sorry for your loss. Two things you need to do. Contact the manufacturer of Frontline and also report the reaction to the FDA. You’ll find links here.

  46. lorrie Says:

    there is something alot of us would never even think about that i would like to share as sadly it has happened to my toby he’s a puppy ans so likes to eat & chew on everything to include waterbugs you know the big one that look lik huge roaches .well ive been putting contac poison our the kind in syringes but not where he could eat it so i thougth never even considered that eatting the bugs would poison him 2 little 2 late he’s still holding on but barely. i hope u will share this information. thankyou.

  47. Patt Says:

    Hi Jan, I just came from a vet. & had my 4 yr old mini poodle given booster parvovirus & rabies. He had a disgusted look on his face b/c I wanted to look into natural products for heartworm & flea & tick prevention .I am really tired of seeing this as if I am not a responsible pet owner! I wish I had read your article first. Now at least I feel I am on the right path & even tho I have limited funds I will seek out a naturopathic vet who is on the same page as me. I came from the north with lots of black flies & mosquitos & found pure citronella spray worked well (you dilute it with baby oil) on humans & dogs . I am also trying brewers yeast with garlic with my dog . Any suggestions for heartworm prevention? Patt

  48. Jan Says:

    Patt, here is a two-part article on heartworm prevention.

    Also, it’s unlikely your poodle needed anything other than the rabies shot. Please read this:

    And yes, you need a new vet! Find referral lists here: If you like to read, I’d suggest you read this about vaccinating small dogs when you get a chance:

  49. Dog Joint Health Says:

    This web site really has all of the info I wanted concerning
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  50. claire p walsh phd Says:

    i am responding tothe loss kare has had..i too have the same grief. on father’s day , my beloved 8 year old yorkie died 24 hours after her first dose of trifexis…apparantly it was a heart attack…and my 9 year ol lashapoo now has kidney problems after that first dose…what is going on about trifexix? i know many paople who have had problems and losses because of it? but vets continue to prescribe it

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