Dear Mom (or Dad):
Today I walked barefoot on a sidewalk full of germs. Returning home, I didn’t wipe my paws off but proceeded to jump on my bed, walk around the house, and watched as my roommate put a pair of rubber gloves on her hands.
Gasp, I shuddered to myself, why the gloves? She put a funny smelling solution in between my shoulders and said it would help protect me against pests. The package of mystery liquid read “Avoid contact with skin, eyes or clothing. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling.”
Signed, the Family Dog
Think about it: Our dogs spend their time walking where we take them, eating what we feed them, and having chemicals and topical flea and tick solutions applied as we, their owners/pet parents, choose. With paw to pen, Fido would indeed scrawl that across the family memo board.
Contrary to popular belief, fleas and ticks don’t take the fall or winter months off. Fleas and ticks are a way of life for dogs and cats but controlling them is a matter of choice.
According to the Lyme Research Alliance, fall is the time of year when ticks are most active. Fidose of Reality wants dog parents to control ticks (and fleas) in non-toxic ways. The Lyme Research Alliance checked with the Environmental Protection Agency recently and they concur: many bottled tick-and-flea repellents can cause everything from mild skin irritation and hair loss to seizures and even death in cats and dogs. The EPA is now looking into “pursuing a series of actions to increase the safety of spot-on products” (those applied to the neck or back of dogs and cats).
So what can dog moms and dog dads do in the meantime that is non-toxic and prevents fleas and ticks?
- Here are three chemical free ways to keep ticks and fleas away, with one product to nip fleas in the bud should they land on your pooch.
- Avoid what the Lyme Research Alliance calls high-risk zones. You know those piles of leaves that appear this time of year? Keep dogs away, fun as they sound crunching under foot. Ticks carry disease so keep lawns mowed, dogs away from piles of leaves, and stack wood in a dry location (ticks love dark, moist environments).
- Keep DEET-containing products away from dogs. They are designed for humans and not pets. DEET is highly toxic for pets.
- Stop “tick taxis” in their tracks. Ticks can cling onto dogs and then hitch a ride into your home. Closely examine dogs before allowing them inside after a walk. Areas of interest include ears, face, eyelids, muzzle and paws. One time, before I went the natural route, a tick adhered to my dog’s head and I thought it was a growth. That nasty thing was removed before he could infect.
How are you preventing ticks?? Any suggestions for things that have worked for you are welcomed and encouraged….