Keep the Bugs Away

We hear it on the local news and on the national news. We hear it at our doctor's office and veterinarian's office and all over social media, so what should we do? Do we lead with fear or with diligent natural solutions for ourselves and our pets to keep the bugs away?

What will our footprint look like on this earth?

Yesterday, I posted on my A Leash On Life facebook page that I was going to give my dogs a chemical based flea and tick "preventitive" this year. I believe, I jumped in to fear to quickly and I am taking the time now to make sure I am making the right decision for my dogs.

Today, I am reading more articles and I am searching for more answers. It is so damn hard to know what is the right thing to do. 

Do we give our furry best friends chemicals on their skin or in the form of a cookie so that the fleas and ticks die within minutes of biting our pets and if the answer is yes, then how do we know these same chemicals are not seriously harming our pets. 

Think about it. If these chemicals get in our pets blood stream and kill bugs, small or not, what are those same chemicals doing over time to our pets?

Would you use an applicator tip and put that same product on your kids necks? Or give your kids a "treat" like cookie to keep ticks off them? 

I am so resisting the temptation to give in to fear. I know, I know you are thinking that Lyme disease is all over New England and we have to do whatever is out there to protect ourselves and them. I get it. 

The question is, and it is a huge question, "will natural remedies work just as well?"

Here is more on what I am learning.

Heartworms, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes are a huge problems for millions of us. Over the last several years I have used essential oils and herbs with my pets. Now I am looking at even more positive natural options because at the end of the day we want our pets to be healthy and enjoy live with us. Right?

So here is to canine and feline health. Here is to optimal health for us all.

1) Let's start with essential oils.

There are several companies out there to purchase essential oils from. However, not all are created equal. I ask you to please make sure the essential oils you are purchasing are pure. Research where your oils are sourced from and do not think that essential oils that you can purchase for a few dollars at a huge wholesale store or club are pure. 

I use doTerra Essential Oils and there are a few other companies that I would consider purchasing my oils from, but only a few. 

My top picks for essential oils that repel all the creepy crawlies are Lemongrass, Rose Geranium, Cedarwood and Lavender. 

If you are interested in how I mix these oils and dilute them for our pets, please reach out to me. I would love to share my recipes with you depending on the size of your dogs.

2) Another very important aspect of pest control is giving our pets the best nutrition we possibly can. Improving health is essential to preventing attack from those nasty pests. 

If you consider supplements for your dogs, I agree it is something worth looking at and I am learning more on this topic. Stay tuned for my best picks.

Look at the ingredient label on your dog/cat food bags. What is the top six ingredients? Do you know what they are? The source of Protein should be the first ingredient. You should see vegetables and fruits. NO fillers! No processed foods. 

If our pets health is at their optimal performance, they have so much more strenght to fight off disease. Same as us. Right? A strong immune system is optimal. 

3) Garlic. I am learning more on this. In small amounts based on body weight, garlic can be a huge source of a proven, safe and effective way that has been used for centuries to prevent parasites in us humans and in animals. As I learn more about this I will share more and the products I think are the best.

4) Clothing. What have we been told for decades? When we go outside to wear clothing that protects us. How often do we heed the warning? How often do we go for a walk when it is warm outside and wear shorts and flip flops or shorts and tee shirts? It is annoying to take the time to "prepare". But, stop and think this through, if we take the time to protect ourselves and our pets with clothing, how simple is that, we will make a difference.

Yes, we can put a jacket on our dogs that has long sleeves for their legs. Just like you and I can put on jeans and socks that go up over so that when we put on our boots there is less opportunity for creatures to crawl in.

5) Be diligent in keeping your yard mowed short. Work to keep all tall grass and short stubby trees away from where your pets hang out. Do not feed squirrels, birds or any other wild animals in your yard. Keep wild rabbits and deer away. Be cautious of mice. Get them away from where your pets and you spend time. Mice are hanging out in the woods around your home, under your decks and in the high grass. I have learned that seeing eagles and hawks flying nearby is a very good thing! They are eating those critters that are carrying disease. 

I truly and honestly, hope you will realize you have the time to slow down and consider your options. Reach out to your veterinarians and doctors. Look at articles online and read everything you can get your hands on. Because as I know as fact, knowledge is powerful and can kill fear in its tracks.

Let's work together to keep the bugs away. 

I would love to know your positive ideas and thoughts.

Until next time, hand to paw,

Vicky