Protecting Your Pet Against Pests
The summer season officially starts June 21st and brings with it many exciting activities – delicious backyard BBQs, swimming at your local pool, camping under the stars, and family vacation road trips – but one thing that summertime also brings (which isn’t very fun) is fleas and ticks.
I just returned from a recent trip to Canada and boy, I think they grow larger and hungrier breeds of pests in that country. Mosquitoes, black flies, gnats, and ticks were plentiful there. My dog, Ubi (short for “You Be Good”) and I were exposed to the ultimate challenge trying to stay away from these pests.
Fleas and ticks carry a multitude of diseases that can be transmitted to both pets and human - Lyme Disease, Tapeworms, and Cat Scratch Fever, just to name a few. Needless to say, these nasty pests can cause much discomfort in both humans and their pets.
The first step to flea and tick prevention is to ensure that you and your pet build up your immune systems. A healthy, strong immune system and high nutrient levels of antioxidants, B complex, selenium and zinc in the body help repel insects in pets and humans. (Source: www.alternativemedicine.com)
Here are some tips on how to effectively be flea and tick free:
- The very first thing you must make sure of is that your pet is being fed a balanced, high quality raw food diet, like BARF World’s Juicy BARF Diet patties and nuggets.
A bones and raw food diet (BARF) is what your pet is naturally designed to eat. Feeding your dog BARF relieves stress on the digestive system and results in maximum absorption of nutrients to support a healthy immune system.
- Supplement your dog’s diet with E-BARF Plus - an added digestive aid and overall health support supplement from BARF World. E-BARF Plus helps give your pet’s immune system an added boost during the flea/tick and allergy season. Plus it contains Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic Powder – two ingredients fleas and ticks absolutely detest!
- Be sure to include omegas 3, 6, and 9 (like those found in BARF World’s E-Omega Coat oil) in your pet’s daily meals to strengthen skin, coat and heart health.
Dr. Ray & Kathi Greenfield's BARF pup, Emmy.
It is quite rare to find a BARF fed dog with a serious flea and tick problem. Fleas and ticks seem to prefer unhealthy animals as they are less able to fight an infestation. Healthy puppies raised on natural raw food (like the BARF diet), do not exhibit the range and severity of skin issues that their artificially-fed cousins suffer from.
Of course, when you go outside, you may encounter areas that are already infested with fleas, ticks and other pests. If your dog becomes plagued by fleas or ticks, wash your pet with a natural shampoo or natural dish soap to kill any fleas or ticks on the body. You can then spray your pets down with a natural, topical spray made from essential oils.
Here are a couple of recipes recommended by Dr. Stephen Blake, DVM
For fleas and mosquitoes - not recommended for cats:
Mix one drop each of Lemon, Lemongrass and R. C.* per ounce of water. Spray this on your dog after they are dried off. You can also spray them with this any time they are going into an area that is flea/tick or mosquito infested to help repel them. I do not recommend spraying essential oils on cats because of their sensitivity to strong odors, such as essentials.
* R.C. is a blend of essential oils containing four blends of Eucalyptus species, Pine, Lavender, Cypress, Spruce, Myrtle, Marjoram and Peppermint.
For the yard: Put 2 ounces of dish soap in an Ortho hose sprayer bottle and fill the rest up with water. Spray the entire yard once or twice per week to kill adult fleas. Repeat as needed or weekly for prevention during flea season. Do not spray succulent plants - if you do, rinse plants off after spraying. To kill flea eggs, mix 1/4 tsp Wintergreen per ounce of water in your hose sprayer and spray after the soap mixture. Do this once per week until there are no fleas on your pets and then repeat as needed.
For ticks – also not recommended for cats:
Mix one drop of each of the following oils in water and spray it on them each day they go out in tick-infested areas: Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage and Thyme. I recommend using it in their bedding areas and places they sleep or hang out.
If you follow these natural care tips, I’m sure you and your pets will stay flea and tick free this summer!
"Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist and has been formulating raw diets for more than thirty years. Recognized as one of the early pioneers in promoting raw foods to pets, Rob's history of developing and promoting raw meat diets has exposed him to dogs, cats, and zoo carnivores worldwide. Rob and his wife love to travel with their dog, Ubi - a sheltie/beagle mix.