It’s official flea and tick season for our pets.  And it may not only be your pets scratching if left untreated. With so many products, and just as many opinions, for prevention and treatment, the information landscape can be overwhelming.   So it’s time to weigh in on traditional medicines and holistic options for flea and tick control for dogs and cats.

Where are they?

These tiny pests love warm weather and tend to live in shady areas, in tall grass or in overgrown areas. To better help you identify your season, click here to discover the season of your state.  This will certainly play into your plan when deciding how you will help manage your pet’s health.

Traditional Medicine

When considering options, keep in mind that there are two paths of traditional medicine – flea and tick prevention and flea and tick treatment.

Fleas and ticks can bring a range of diseases, some of which can be transferred to humans.  Some of these illness can include:  plague, lyme disease, allergies, sensitivities, all of which can lead to the loss of large patches of fur and make our fur babies susceptible to worms and other parasites.

In the treatment arena there are medicines like Bravecto, Frontline Cats and Dogs, Nexgard and Comfortis.  In the prevention path there is Pet Armour Plus, K9 Advantix, and Frontline.

Just as in human medicine, there can be side effects to traditonal medicine.  When administering medicine be sure to watch your pet for things like vomitting, diahrehea, lethargy, weakness, staggering, disorientation, hypothermia, abdominal pain, light or severe depression and allergic reactions such as rashes and itching.

Before administering any medicines, consult with your veterinarian.  And even before that, make yourself an educated consumer.  Being educated and aligning your education with personal beliefs will help you determine the best decision for your pet and family.

To help begin your research and understanding the different medicinal options, click here to read reviews of the top 7 flea and tick treatments.

Holistic Alternative Medicine

Many pet owners look for alternative methods of keeping their fur baby safe and healthy.

One such method is using a citrus spray on your pet to keep fleas away.  Following is one such option.

  •     Pour 2 cups of water in large pot and bring to a boil.
  •     Slice 1 lemon into thin slicies and add to the water with rind
  •     Pour 1/3 cup of dried rosemary to the mxiture
  •     Boil mixture for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover and allow to sit overnight to room temperature.
  •     Strain mixture into a spray bottle. Spray lightly avoiding their eyes.
  •     For sensitive areas, try spraying on a cloth and wipe carefully
  •     Additional protection – add 2-3 drops to their collar. Be careful not to add too much.

Other simple solutions include bathing your pet on regular basis.  Fleas fall off and drown. Be sure to treat your yard to keep the little pests out of the house and off your pet.  Check out a great example that can attach to your watering hose by clicking here. And just as important, be sure to launder all of your pets belongings like beds, furniture covers and blankets.  And of course vacuuming and disinfecting floors keeps the home clean and pest free too.

Insect Shield with Pet Clothes

Just like when a person covers their skin or shield their face from the sun, there are great options in fashion forward options that offer great protection.  Find out about this great protective tshirt by clicking here or on the photo.

There are additional fashion options that may also add protection like neck gear, booties, and traditional flea collars. And some of these options afford additional benefits like protection against mosquitos.

Flea and tick protection is about health and comfort for your pet and your family.  Discuss both traditional and holistic preventive and treatment options with your vetinarian.  Every pet has their own distinctive personality and lifestyle so you’ll want to take that into consideration when planning how to best keep your pet healthy and your home free of pests..

Love a Charity

The pet community has a big heart and if you are able to share your love of animals with a charity, take a look at the following and consider donating whatever you can.

Mission K9 Rescue  – This organization operates in Texas, Colorado and California to provide support to MWDs, Contract Workings Dogs, and other service dogs as they enter retirement. Mission K9 Rescue provides monetary, transportation, adoption, and professional assistance for these retired hero dogs. They also work with the American Humane Association to make sure Military Working Dogs are brought home after service, and not left in the country were they served.

Paws and Stripes – Paws and Stripes provides service dogs for wounded military veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury. This group believes in the value of integrating service dog training and education with mental health support. The dogs involved in Paws and Stripes are all from local animal rescues and shelters. So K9 lives in need are finding rescue too! And, the programs are FREE to the veterans.

Nowzad – This charity’s original purpose was to help soldiers in Afghanistan bring home the dogs they adopted on the frontlines. To date, over 700 soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been reunited with their adopted dogs and cats once back in their home countries. Operating as a non-profit in Illinois, they are also a registered charity in England and Wales. And Nowzad is hard at work helping to spread animal welfare in Afghanistan as well. 

Blue Star Service Dogs – Blue Star Service Dogs is an organization that provides our military veterans living with PTSD and TBI another method of healing through service and companion dogs. Through their programs, they seek to help heal the wounds of war and provide families with new beginnings. Their work also raises awareness about the potential of shelter and rescue dogs everywhere. All of their dogs are rescues.

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