Are you prepared to defend against these critters?
I think it's great that there seems to be more interest in using repellents that are non-toxic. Yet I have seen many natural repellents that do not work which understandably causes frustration and leads to people going back to the chemical products.
If you are determined to be rid of toxic products for good keep reading!
When you are able to avoid using toxic repellents you will avoid all the negative health consequences that are associated with these products. Another issue is that the parasites are developing a resistance to many of the poisonous products that have been used against them. When the toxic products don't work effectively and successive treatments are given, it's the pet that ends up suffering for it. The long term solution to parasite prevention lies in achieving true health. While you are working your way towards that goal you can rely upon the power of plants to assist you.
But before we even think about a repellent to apply to our pets and ourselves I want to first go over what OTHER steps we can take to minimize these annoying critters!
The first and best prevention is to achieve a state of vibrant health including a robust immune system. Why? Because parasites are attracted to hosts that have high amounts of toxins built up in their bodies.
Parasites thrive when they team up with a toxic host.
Do you have any thoughts on why that is?
What would you say if I told you that parasites offer their toxic hosts a very valuable benefit?
Internal (and possibly external) parasites are able to take on some of the hosts toxic load unto themselves. They do in fact help their host to detox. Nature is truly amazing!
But when parasites die they release neurotoxins, heavy metals, viruses, and other toxins. Supporting detoxification pathways while working on eliminating parasites is advised.
Providing a wholesome fresh diet, minimizing exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins, minimizing stress and getting a moderate amount of exercise are the fundamentals of building great health. When our pets are able to maintain a healthy lifestyle parasites will be less interested in them. Because our environment is sadly quite toxic, regular detoxification is very much needed for most pets (and their humans) to maintain great health.
While we are addressing these fundamentals, and perhaps making changes to improve our pet's lifestyle so that they will be naturally unattractive to parasites we can employ some other strategies to keep the critters at bay.
Help for the home and yard
There are several ways to discourage fleas and ticks from taking up residence in both our indoor and outdoor spaces. Ticks prefer woodlands and area's with tall grass. Make sure to keep your grass trimmed short and prune back shrubs around walkways. Do not leave piles of leaves, sticks or pulled up weeds laying around. Keeping the grass nice and short will also reduce the numbers of mosquito's. Of course we all know to get rid of any standing water when possible as well.
Fleas prefer warm, shady and humid spots. Only a small percentage of the total flea population will be on the animal at any given time, so to successfully eradicate them from your space you will need to address the whole population. Vacuuming, washing bedding often and dusting diatomaceous earth in corners, along baseboards, on carpets and on cloth surfaces will go a long way to stopping the flea life cycle. There are also non-toxic flea "traps" that involve a pan with soapy water to catch and drown the fleas with some type of light source to attract them (lamp, night light, candle, etc).
Another option when you have fleas in outdoor area's is to apply nematodes to the soil. Nematodes are microscopic worms that love to dine on fleas. Bonus - they also like to chow down on cut worms, Japanese beetle larvae, weevils and more, plus they are not harmful to mammals or plants! You can find them at garden stores or order online.
For larger properties, you might look into getting some guinea fowl, chickens or ducks (they all like to eat ticks!).
Make your outdoor spaces uninviting to pests by growing plants that they dislike such as:
Sweet grass, Marigold, Citronella, Lavender, Catmint, Catnip, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Geranium, Peppermint, Garlic and Lemonbalm.
Lastly, you can treat your outdoor spaces with a non-toxic repellent. Two that I personally like are Cedarcide and Mosquito Barrier.
Ticks take between 12 and 24 hours to start feeding, so checking your pet regularly is very effective to prevent the transmission of tick born disease. Use a fine-tooth tick comb to groom your pet, with extra attention given to the undersides of the body and tail, the head and behind the ears. You can use the same process to brush fleas out of the coat.
There are both oral and topical substances that can provide some sensory camouflage, masking you or your pet's scent that these pesky critters find attractive.
Ingesting garlic orally (daily moderate amounts of raw garlic are safe for dogs) and apple cider vinegar can be of benefit.
Homeopathic remedies can also be used orally for prevention. I do recommend Mozi-Q, I have found it helps to minimize the number of mosquito bites.
Though I have not personally used them, I have heard a lot of very good feedback about Ambertick collars. I would gladly try them if they came in a large enough neck size for my crew!
You can also make your own natural spray repellent. One of the benefits of making your own is that you can customize the ingredients to repel specific bugs.
You can use Cedarcide as a base and add in essential oils or you can make it completely from scratch. Since water and oil do not mix, it is advisable to add a natural emulsifier to your repellent. An emulsifying agent is a substance that can bind together two un-mixable liquids such as oil and water. Aloe vera gel and witch hazel are both natural emulsifiers along with helping to support healthy skin.
To make up a 100 ml spray bottle:
Select a variety of essential oils for the particular bugs you want to repel. I like to have about 40 drops of essential oil for every 100 ml's. Then add in 2 tbsp of Aloe vera gel, 2 tbsp of Neem oil, 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and fill the bottle to about 2 thirds with witch hazel. Top off with distilled water. Shake well before using.
Please only use 100% pure essential oils with pets! If you require guidance you can receive that here.
(Use caution with Neem oil in pregnant or nursing animals, or on male animals that are actively breeding as it has the potential to affect fertility in larger doses). Keep in mind that virtually all substances have the potential to cause some toxic reactions, it's all dependent on the dose and how they are used.
Using a multi pronged approach for keeping parasites at bay will set you up for success and allow you to enjoy all that nature has to offer.
Now go and enjoy the outdoors!
No one can deny that the cost of Veterinary Care is rising. Medications and procedures can be quite taxing on the wallet.
One of the wonderful benefits of raising your dog using the principles of Naturopathy is that many health problems are prevented, keeping your spending on medical care to a minimum.
Natural modalities are also generally lower in cost than conventional treatments.
Years ago I was faced with the possibility of a huge medical bill for one of my dogs. We ended up at a specialist due to hind limb paralysis. This was a young dog with no history of trauma. The paralysis developed over about 24 hours.
We know that good health is dependent upon a healthy gut, both in people and animals. Unfortunately thousands of pets are facing a continual assault on their gastrointestinal system causing nagging symptoms to develop that diminish their quality of life and shorten their lifespan.
The belief in the healing power of nature is one of the core principles of Naturopathy.
This healing power is an inherent, self-organizing, ordered healing process of ALL living systems which establishes, maintains and restores health. There are natural laws surrounding life, health and disease. These laws involve living in harmony with nature and recognizing the wisdom of the body to heal itself.
The role of naturopathic practitioners is to support, facilitate and augment this process by identifying and removing obstacles to health and recovery, and by supporting the creation of both a healthy internal and external environment.
Cat's and dogs may love their toys, but many are made using cheap materials that can be quite harmful to our pets health. Sadly there aren't any standards to keep toxins out of pet toys.
It's up to the consumer to investigate the safety of a toy before giving it to their animal to play with.
Think about how your pet might carry their toys around in their mouth, lick them, lay on them, chew them and even sometimes swallow them - or pieces they have chewed off. If that toy contained a toxic substance then they are certainly getting exposed to it.
Anyone who has been reading my blog or Facebook page can see that I am an advocate for raising animals naturally. I have reached this standpoint because of many personal experiences and much questioning, research, evaluation and critical thinking. There are certainly many benefits to feeding raw, skipping the antibiotics, chemical flea preventatives and vaccines. But what is so important to understand is WHY these choices make such a difference in the health of our animals.
So what I want to delve into today is how we perceive the means by which our pet's maintain their health and also identify the mechanisms that allow them to regain their health after illness. The truth of the matter is possibly quite different than what you currently believe.
Humans are intelligent, civilized (well mostly), and possess advanced technology, yet remain challenged to replicate the conditions that promote health for captive and domesticated animals.
Our domesticated cats and dogs suffer from many of the same ailments as their human caretakers. Similar types of animals that are left to fend for themselves do not develop the same problems. Wild species of dogs and cats do not have allergies, skin issues, chronic digestive problems, hot spots, hip dysplasia, cystitis, etc. How is it that animals not receiving any medical care, finding their own food and shelter do not develop the same conditions as our pets who receive extensive veterinary care, scientifically formulated food, shelter from the elements and so on? Is is possible that the living conditions of our modern pets has something to do with their health issues? I want you to think about that...really think about it.
Wild canines and felines face much harsher living conditions than their domesticated cousins. Yet they have thrived in spite of the dangers they must face daily. Our domesticated animals have replaced the harsh conditions of a life in nature to living with humans where we provide for all their requirements as we see fit. Our pets generally live longer than their wild kin, but they suffer terribly from chronic physical and mental problems.
The laws of nature are immutable. When these laws are defied poor health will be the result...without fail. On the positive side, a return to nature's tenets will equally always result in health benefits.
Today's medicine is "sick care" not health care. Are you ready to unlearn and step away from all of the false medical indoctrination and re-establish your connection with nature?
For general learning on natural pet health I recommend Total Wellness for Pets, an online class offered by The American Council of Animal Naturopathy.
For a personalized plan for your pet visit our consultation page and begin your animal's journey back to health.
All living organisms need fuel. Each organism thrives consuming the types of food best suited to it. Dogs, cats, horses, trees and humans attain the highest standard of health when they are provided with the most suitable food for their individual species.
Can a deficient diet be overcome by supplying the specific deficient elements in the form of supplements?
Author - Jennifer Lee
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