South Central WI Archive
  • South Central Wisconsin
  • May 2016
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Preventing summer pests: fleas, ticks and mosquitos!

Spring is here, and with it comes ticks, fleas, mosquitos and other pests and parasites that are looking to prey on your dog or cat to survive. Treating your pet alone will not rid your home of the parasites as they spend most of their time living in places like your carpets, bedding, furniture and other unsuspecting places. If your pet is affected by fleas, it is necessary to treat the entire house so your pet doesn’t get reinfected.

Some dogs and cats will have a higher susceptibility to flea problems, while others are hardly bothered by the little pests. Fleas can be viewed as an indicator of an animal’s general health. Parasites in general, and fleas in particular, are most attracted to the weak, unhealthy or very young animal whose immune system is not functioning well or is not fully developed. The long-term solution to a flea problem is to reduce your pet’s susceptibility to fleas by improving his/her health.

Over vaccinated pets or those that or on antibiotics, steroids and other medications have a weakened immune system and likely a drug-damaged liver and kidney. The animal’s problems become a never-ending circle of medication and sickness such as skin problems, allergies and flea infestations. These are all symptoms and signs of a nutritional deficiency and toxic overload.

You may be currently using a chemical topical, shampoos or sprays to prevent or kill parasites. You should know that these chemical pesticide deterrents dispensed by your vet can have many adverse effects including liver damage, kidney damage, hair loss, severe skin rashes, epileptic seizures, brain damage, instability in walking and many more.

The toxic chemicals can, over time, result in renal failure (kidney failure) and/or liver damage to the point of the liver becoming unable to filter the blood and in many cases, complete liver failure.

Contaminated blood circulating throughout the body day after day will most definitely contribute to other more complicated health issues, such as diabetes and arthritis to name just two of the most common long-term side effects. The side effects from these toxic chemicals are so bad that in many cases, pets can actually die within days of receiving these lethal doses of chemicals prescribed to kill a little bitty parasite.

Does your pet need to be poisoned just to kill a little parasite that could be prevented or removed without any of the dangerous side effects listed above? Especially when there are a whole variety of natural remedies to prevent these parasites?

Preventing fleas, ticks and other parasites

Following is a better, simpler, less expensive, and safer way to prevent fleas, ticks and mosquitoes naturally:

1. Nutrition

As we discussed earlier, parasites prey on weak hosts with compromised immune systems. Feeding your pet a nutritionally dense diet supplemented with immune boasters will naturally ward off these pests. More and more veterinarians (especially holistic vets) are beginning to be more aware of the role nutrition plays in health and are beginning to recommend to their clients a raw diet or a home prepared one with supplements. At the very least, some are recommending that owners begin to supplement their pets still on a processed pet food diet, by giving them a daily dose of salmon oil, probiotic and immune boasting supplements.

The food your pets eat should provide all of the nutritional components which are necessary for all organs and systems of a healthy body to perform efficiently. A properly functioning body does an amazing job at preventing disease and healing itself, and to do this it requires the energies and nutrients of a biologically appropriate diet.

Feeding a raw meat diet balanced with all the nutrients for your cat or dog will provide your pet the best opportunity for optimal health. If your dog already has an existing disease and/or compromised immune system, a cooked diet with added supplements to balance the diet is much more healthy then feeding a high processed food high in grains and/or carbohydrates.

If your preference is to feed your pet a dry kibble, feed a food that is high in meat content, free of grains and potatoes. Also, be sure it is free of any chemical preservatives such as BTA, BHA and ethoxiquin. If possible, feed a food that is also hormone, antibiotic and GMO free. Freeze Dried diets are also “raw” and will be the most bioavailable dry food you can feed.

2. Supplements

Probiotics and digestive enzymes are highly recommended for flea sufferers. By assisting the transport of nutrients through the body and aiding in the breakdown and removal of waste products. Probiotics and digestive-enzymes help alleviate the food-allergy problems found in many commercially fed dogs with flea problems and help boost the immune system. Organic apple cidar vinegar added to your pets water can also help keep an acidic and clean digestive tract.

3. Natural flea, tick and mosquito repellents

Natural flea and tick repellents, shampoos and sprays made up of essential oils that are offensive to fleas, ticks and mosquitos are very effective. These parasite deterrent cocktails are made up of citronella, cedar, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint and lavender. Essential oils are naturally designed to repel fleas and ticks without using potentially dangerous pesticides found in common insect repellents. Essential oil formulations do need to be applied more frequently than synthetic pesticides, but the benefits far outweigh the exposure to harsh chemical smells and toxic side effects. Richard’s Organics and Natural Defense are two brands specifically formulated for cats and dogs and can be found in many speciality pet stores.

Michelle Lonergan

Michelle Lonergan is a holistic groomer and owns Tabby & Jack’s Pet Supplies and Holistic Grooming in Madison and Fitchburg. She has studied pet nutrition her whole life and is well known in the Madison area for her expertise in healing dogs and cats with a tailored diet, supplements and natural topicals. She works with many holistic vets in the Madison area to manage a health plan through proper nutrition. If you have questions or comments about this article or need advice on tailoring a diet for your pet, please contact Michelle Lonergan at [email protected]

Website: [email protected]
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