Friday, April 13, 2012

Keep Your Pets Flea and Tick Free!

Brownie Boy says, "Say no to fleas and ticks!"

Guest bloggers The Staff at Petagogy

Spring is finally here, which means baseball, tulips, sunny weather and, unfortunately, the return of fleas and ticks! Thanks to the unseasonably mild winter, the flea and tick population in our area is much larger than usual, so we’re expecting a higher than average flea and tick problem this spring, summer and fall throughout Western Pennsylvania. 

It’s extremely important to make sure that both dogs and cats are protected against fleas and ticks. Although traditional flea and tick medications like Frontline and K9 Advantix are effective, there are many natural alternatives available. These alternatives lack the pesticides and chemicals that are in the normally prescribed preventatives. 

Simple remedies such as bathing your dog or cat often and giving your pet supplements, including omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and B complex vitamins, which boost your pet’s natural ability to repel insects, can help keep your pet flea and tick free. 

Another great supplement is natural brewer’s yeast, which, given daily, will help repel all types of bugs. Other dietary additions that will boost the ability of your pet to repel bugs include seaweed, fresh garlic (in small quantities), and organic apple cider vinegar. Further, certain scents and oils repel insects naturally, including rosemary, lemon, lavender, clove, thyme and peppermint. 

Before depending on chemical-based treatments for your animals this flea and tick season, give the following natural remedies a try: 

  • Bathe your pet with a shampoo made from ingredients that repel fleas and ticks naturally. Natural grooming product brands like Pal Dog and Cloudstar make lavender, rosemary, and mint scents that are both good smelling and effective for insect prevention.   
  • To check for fleas, brush through your dog or cat’s hair with a flea comb. Doing this above a white sheet or white paper allows you to see if there are actually fleas. 
  • After walks, thoroughly check you dogs for ticks. If you find any, use fine-tipped tweezers to remove them, being careful not to crush the tick. Tick removal instruments like the Tick Key also help you remove ticks without squeezing them and are the easiest and safest way to remove the entire embedded tick.
  • Both Ark Naturals and Sentry Natural Defense make safe and effective flea and tick sprays for both dogs and cats that contain ingredients like geranium, clove and peppermint oil. These sprays will protect your pets from fleas and ticks if sprayed liberally once a week or whenever your pet will be outside or in wooded areas.  
  • Sentry Natural Defense also makes a safe monthly topical application made entirely of natural oils and ingredients that will kill and repel fleas and ticks on contact. 

In addition to being safe, natural ways for preventing fleas and ticks, many of these remedies cost much less than the traditional flea and tick medicines. They are also safe to use around children and other pets. Prevention is the best way to make sure your pets are safe during the upcoming warm weather months when more time is spent having fun outdoors.

Petagogy specializes in premium and natural pet foods, treats and supplies for dogs, cats and small mammals. Petagogy is located at 5880 Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

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