How to Handle Flea & Tick Season Naturally
It's become "just part of the annual visit" when we go to our Dogtors, each year we get the "flea & tick" pill and we don't think too much about it. Unless you happen to be one of those pet parents who has personally seen the adverse reactions that can occur when our pets are given these harmful chemicals. 😬
Chemical treatments for flea & tick come in the form of a topical application applied to the skin between the shoulder blades or in a pill the animal ingests, regardless of how the chemicals are being administered, they all work the same. Chemical flea & tick treatments are pesticides that paralyze the insects nervous system to kill them once they've bitten your pet. In order for these chemicals to work, the pesticide must be present in your pet's bloodstream. If your animal has an adverse reaction to the chemicals, which by the way, 66% of animals do, you need to seek medical assistance immediately! 🏥
Though no one wants a tick or any of the diseases they can spread, pesticides are something I'm not willing to put on, or in, Zaner! Choosing how you want to combat tick season is an individual decision and we want to ensure pet parents know the potential risks associated with conventional methods as well as alternative natural options for their furry family! 🐾
As noted above, 66% of animals have had an adverse reaction to conventional flea & tick preventatives that are classified as isoxazoline products. Isoxazoline products include:
- Bravecto (fluralaner) tablets for dogs;
- Bravecto (fluralaner) topical solution for cats and dogs;
- Nexgard (afoxalaner) tablets for dogs; and,
- Simparica (sarolaner) and Simparica Trio (sarolaner/moxidectin/pyrantel) tablets for dogs.
Adverse reactions can include:
- Skin irritation
- Agitation or lethargy
- Nervous system effects
- Depressed appearance
So what do we do? We recommend a few things to keep our furry guys safe and reduce their exposure to toxic chemicals! First things first! We need to evaluate our risk for getting fleas and ticks. We're lucky in Saskatchewan that we have a relatively short tick season, so protecting the furry guys during tick season is key!
If you are in a heavily populated tick area, you could definitely look at incorporating a blended protocol that includes some conventional methods, in combination with natural options. In this instance, you want to talk to your Dogtor about using a chemical that ONLY deters the bugs you have in your area. Getting a chemical filled pill that fights every bug in the world, exposes your pet to more harmful chemicals that are not necessary when they're not at risk of coming in contact with the insect.
Secondly, you want to look for a conventional treatment with the shortest duration possible. If our tick season is only one to two months, you don't want chemicals in your pet's body that last 6-12 months.
The third step is just as important; if you are using a conventional method to fight fleas & ticks, make sure to detox your pet's liver afterwards. This helps to protect their organs from harm and can also help prevent the negative side effects associated with conventional methods. We recommend using Milk Thistle or the Adored Beast Liver Tonic in the weeks following administration to detox and support the liver after the use of chemicals.
If you've got a furry city slicker on your hands like Zaner, we recommend using natural preventatives. When we're relying on natural deterrents, it's important to use several at one time. Natural options are not potent like chemicals, which means they're also not harmful to our pets, however in order to give our pets as much protection as possible, doubling, tripling or quadrupling up our natural preventative protocols is what we recommend!
Here is how I protect Zaner during tick season!
You'll see in the picture of Zane at the top of this blog, he is wearing his Amber Crown Collar! The Amber Crown Collar, as pictured directly above this text is a raw baltic Amber Collar that works in two ways to protect him!
- The raw amber emits an aromatic terpene that repels the bugs
- Upon laying against the fur, the collar will also "charge" which creates a slight static charge that neither our pets nor we can feel, but makes it tough for the bugs to stick to the fur
We also use our Super Dog Shampoo Bar which is an insect repelling shampoo along with our pet safe bug spray! We have two options, Bug Off and Eff-Off Bugs which both smell delicious! They are both a blend of pet safe organic essential oils.
Pro Tip: I use it for Zaner as well as myself! A little goes a long way! I put about three drops on my hands, rub them together and then rub it on Zaner's legs and undercarriage, making sure to avoid is his face and eyes. The rest goes on me!
Finally, we will be using our brand new product this year which is called Tickless!
The Tickless devices emit a series of ultrasonic pulses that are imperceptible to humans, pets or wildlife, but interfere with the ability of ticks and fleas to orient themselves.
The Tickless Devices are environmentally friendly, contain no chemicals or fragrances which makes them perfectly safe to use for everyone!
We have the Tickless devices for both furry guys and their parents! Zaner will wear his on his harness and mine will be clipped to my belt! We have a limited supply and have been told these are a hot item! So be sure to get your's quick!
Again, how you protect your pet during flea & tick season is your decision! You need to be comfortable with the approach you take. My personal perspective is that I want to reduce or eliminate as many chemicals Zane is exposed to as possible! I take the same approach both in and outside of my home regarding products I use to clean and how I maintain my yard! Stay tuned for our pet friendly, earth friendly weed killer recipe as well as a natural option to keep your yard pest free this summer!