When you adopted your dog, you agreed to provide him with the best care possible. This commitment encompasses a range of responsibilities: loving them, feeding them, playing with them, taking them out for walks, cleaning up after them, forgiving them when they destroy your belongings, and more.
Our pets are precious to us, and most of us would do anything to care for our four-legged family members.
Unfortunately, there are evil people in the world more than ready to take advantage of our love of dogs.
This can take shape in many ways, especially through dog scams that target their owners.
Lost dog scams
Lost dog scams, for example, target emotional dog owners looking for lost pets.
Though this seems like an insane, heartless, and impossible scam to anyone who has ever loved an animal, the truth is that some people are more than willing to use your vulnerabilities to get money.
That’s just one of many scams that target dog owners.
Organic product scams
The word “organic” typically sprouts in people’s minds with images of green fields, naturally-tended gardens, and objects made by hand and sealed with a kiss.
While organic products are generally more expensive, a fact that seems to back up the implied assurance of origin and quality, the label “organic” is unregulated.
Companies often abuse this fact and label their products as organic even when they are not.
That’s one way companies abuse green marketing and scam you into spending more money on their businesses, and dog products are no exception.
Companies know how much people love their dogs and want to give them only the best, and they are banking on people being willing to shell out a few extra dollars to ensure quality.
Intentionally mislabeling products as green is called “greenwashing,” and is done quite often.
To protect yourself, look for indications that show the products are regulated before purchasing dog toys and accessories that are labeled as eco-friendly, biodegradable, nontoxic, and recyclable.
No warnings about toxins
The mislabeling of green products is especially concerning due to the amount of toxins present in many products that could harm dogs.
Because dogs are usually — with the exception of big dogs the size of small horses — a lot smaller and closer to the ground than humans, they often have more exposure to harmful chemicals and objects found on the ground. These chemicals pose little threat to humans but can be dangerous to dogs especially true when you take into account how much they like to smell, lick, and pick things up from the floor.
Cleaners and pesticides include some of the most threatening toxins to your pet. The chemicals we use to clean floors and wash carpets, along with the ones we use to kill unwanted plants in the yard, can irritate your dog’s skin, or worse, poison your pet if ingested.
To avoid green dog scams, use non-toxic cleaners in your house or make your own natural cleaners.
Dangers hidden in bed
Watch out for hidden toxins that you may not be aware of, like toxins in your mattress that could be harmful to you and your dog. According to mattress experts, these toxins can include the following:
- Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE)
- Decabromodiphenyl Oxide
- Boric Acid
- Antimony Trioxide
- Polyvinylidene Chloride
If you are in the market for a new mattress, either because yours is getting old or because you are now concerned about you and your dog sleeping on a pile of toxins every night, you can look for a toxin-free, eco-friendly one.
Though these mattresses are usually labeled organic, we know that companies often abuse that label.
There are other ways to double check and ensure your mattress is not harmful. This can be done by looking for approval by companies that set standards for organic labeling, like Global Organic Latex Standard.
Unregulated dog food
Aside from medical procedures and kennel boarding, most of the money pet-owners spend on their dogs is spent buying dog food, according to a dog food infographic by Dog Food Genius.
Because dog food is not regulated, dog scams in this area can include unproven claims about the quality of the ingredients and the health benefits the food provides.
But by doing some research, you can ensure you’re giving your dog the best food for his age, size and breed. As you choose the food, be sure to avoid certain hazardous ingredients including:
- Meat byproducts
- Fillers, such as corn. wheat, rice and soy
- Foods harmful to dogs, like onions, grapes, and garlic
Dog Food Genius also suggests avoiding dog food that contains harmful chemical preservatives including:
- Chemical preservatives:
- Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
- Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
- Propylene Glycol (PG)
Although you need to do research, filtering out brands that use dangerous ingredients is the first step toward ensuring that you feed your dog healthy food.
Use that same critical eye to buy healthy, eco-friendly dog treats.
We love our dogs, and we want to provide the best for them, but that doesn’t mean spending money on the most expensive products, especially if they are dog scams that don’t back up their claims of being green and healthy.
It’s worth it to spend time doing research into dog products before you buy them to make sure you’re getting products that are safe and healthy. After all, our cute pups deserve the best.
Devin Morrissey prides himself on being a jack of all trades; his career trajectory is more a zigzag than an obvious trend, just the way he likes it. He pops up across the Pacific Northwest, dragging his dog around whenever possible. You can follow him more reliably on Twitter.