Enduring the "Dog Days" of Summer & Avoiding "Cat"astrophes
Fighting Off Fleas
Both cats and dogs are susceptible to infection, even if they are indoors or concrete potty trained. Fleas are difficult to control because of their reproductive abilities and resilience. One female flea can lay over 2000 eggs in her life span,
which means infestation can occur rapidly, and the eggs that are laid can survive for months in the environment, simply awaiting an appropriate host. This means that a single flea can infect your entire household, potentially posing infestation.
For this reason, it is essential to control both the fleas on your pet as well as the fleas in the environment. The perfect areas for fleas include sand, bedding, flooring and carpets. In addition to the discomfort of itching and scratching from bites, fleas can cause other serious problems such as tapeworm infestations, flea bite dermatitis and in severe cases, anemia.
Many pets develop an allergy to flea bites, where one single bite can cause severe itching and discomfort for many days. When this occurs, natural remedies can naturally soothe discomfort and calm aggravated and itchy skin. German Chamomile is one such herb that has been used for centuries to soothe and cleanse the skin. Marigold also works well, as it has excellent anti-inflammatory properties and helps to prevent infection with its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Other herbs such as Cleavers and Witch hazel have also shown to be beneficial to skin health and have strong soothing and restorative properties.
While many people choose the conventional chemical method of flea and tick prevention, it is important to talk with your vet for the best combination approach. Chemical pesticides carry hidden health risks, and the EPA and FDA generally do not adequately test and assess health risks for most conventional insect control products—most of which still contain chemicals known to cause health problems in people and pets—both long and short-term. Due to their instinctual grooming habits, cats are especially vulnerable to pesticide residue.
Many natural remedies use safe amounts of herbal extracts, including essential oils that have natural repellent properties, while also providing many health benefits. To help prevent pests in the first place, keeping your pet properly groomed can go a long way. While excess dirt can be uncomfortable for your dog, it can also attract unwanted pests, thus keeping to a regular bathing schedule is best. Be careful not to over-wash, as this will strip the coat of natural oils. Most dogs should be bathed once every two months. Speak to your vet about the best bathing schedule, some breeds may have sensitive skin and require less bathing.
For Dogs: Try BeFree Flea Shampoo™
The ingredients are all chosen for their ability to repel parasites and they have the added benefit of gentle, effective cleansing of the skin naturally. They are also paraben, sodium laurel sulphate and harmful petrochemical-free.
For Cats: Clean-Cat Shampoo with Chamomile™
Specifically formulated for cats using ingredients that are soothing and calming, as a bath for a cat can be quite a traumatic experience! One of the ingredients is catnip to help make the bath more enjoyable. Gentle cleansing properties help keep the skin and coat healthy, and is also paraben, sodium laurel sulphate and harmful petrochemical-free.
Taming Ticks & Managing Mites
Most mites go unnoticed, as the majority of them are microscopic and do not cause any harm. However, some can become problematic to both people and their pets, namely ticks.
Ticks are blood-sucking skin parasites that latch and feed on the blood of their hosts, and as a result, transmit diseases. They inhabit areas where there are low bushes, shrubs, grass, or forests.
Ticks have a life cycle of approximately three months. If left untreated, tick-borne diseases can cause serious health complications and sometimes even be fatal, as in the case of Lyme disease. Dogs are especially susceptible, and infection can affect one animal differently to the next and even affect humans.
If you suspect that your dog or cat has been bitten by a tick, consult your vet. A thorough examination of your pet, blood tests and other diagnostic tests may be performed. Preventative measures are very important to protect your pet against ticks. Ask your vet about the most effective products and vaccinations to use, as some are quite harsh for your pet’s skin and cause serious side effects.
Mites, aside from ticks, are usually only noticed when skin problems and mange become evident. Mange is usually characterized by itchy skin, hair loss and general skin irritation, and if your pet shows any of these symptoms, a thorough examination at your local vet is necessary.
Natural and holistic remedies have been used for centuries to strengthen your pet’s immune system, eliminate toxins and maintain overall health and well-being. These remedies have proven to be safe and gentle on the body without the harsh side effects of strong and toxic chemicals.
A highly effective herb such as Carduus marianus (Milk Thistle) supports liver functioning and the removal of toxins. Homeopathic ingredients such as Crotalus hor., China, Ferrum phos and Aconite support the immune system, liver and red blood cells.
Natural products work best when used in combination with other healthy pet lifestyle habits. Check out our tips below for more prevention and care tips!
Try: Manage Mites Shampoo™ + Manage Mites Spray™
Discourages mites and other pests which supporting healthy skin in canines. These products contain no parabens, sodium laurel sulphate or harmful petrochemicals.
Tips for Managing Fleas, Ticks, & Other Pests
- Keep your pets away from environments or areas with tall grass or low brushes that may inhabit ticks.
- Opt for an easily washable bed for your pet. Wash pet bedding and cushioning regularly to prevent fleas.
- Feed your pet high-quality commercial food or an all natural diet that contains essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients to maintain optimum health. Add a little garlic juice to your pet’s food for a natural way to help prevent fleas.
- Provide fresh, clean water for your pet to avoid dehydration and flush out toxins
- Check your pet frequently for ticks, especially if they have been in a tick-infested area.
- Regularly disinfect your pet’s food and water bowls and sleeping environment.
- Consult with your vet for the best topical preventative.
- Keep consistent but separate– never use the same preventative or treatment products for your dog as you would for your cat.
- If one pet has been infected, you may need to treat other pets in the household, as well as treating bedding, collars, brushes and carpeting that your pet may have been in contact with.