A growing number of people now realize the chemicals we put on our pets may result in health problems.
These controversial compounds may harm your pet. There’s also evidence they may pose a health risks to humans living in the same house as the pet.
You may not learn about this through the mainstream media outlets. These news sources are heavily subsidized by the enormous and powerful flea control industry. According to one estimate, Americans spend $16 billion a year on various flea powders, collars and “spot-on” treatments.
This is a huge sum of money. People apply these products, assuming they are safe. They may think there’s no other option. They’re not aware that natural flea control solutions exist, which don’t carry the same potential risks.
Holistic Flea and Tick Prevention
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But there is good news. There are various natural ways to control fleas and ticks. They work.
In fact, I’ve never used a chemical flea product on my own 16-year-old dog. I like to think this is part of the reason he’s lived a good long life, with relatively few health problems. (We also feed him well and try to use natural remedies instead of drugs. Our first line of defense is usually canine homeopathy.)
It appears as if we’re not alone. A growing number of pet owners are apparently saying “no” to the toxins, and opting for a natural solution. In recent years, various natural flea control products have come onto the market. The active ingredients are essential oils, or other plant-based ingredients, instead of questionable laboratory-made compounds.
Flea Treatment Dangers
The latter are particularly hazardous, according to the Center for Public Integrity, which noted they caused approximately 1,600 pet deaths recorded in a five-year period. A much larger number of animals were seriously injured. The most notorious offenders cited in this report are a class of chemicals called pyrethroids, which can cause seizures. Some experts also believe there’s a link between pyrethroid and cancer.
I’d venture to say the average pet owner has no idea of the potential dangers. I’ve even heard of strong chemicals being applied to a young puppy, at the vet. This may not be safe, for both the dog and its owner.
Putting these chemicals on your dog’s fur means they’ll likely wind up on the skin of other family members as well. About 60 percent of anything we apply to our skin makes its way into our bloodstream.
Side Effects of Flea and Tick Medication
If you have young children in the house, I believe you need to know what you’re getting into when you buy a chemical flea product. Perhaps, armed with all the facts, you’ll decide the risk is not worth the benefits.
There are potential side effects from these medications. There’s also the likelihood of exposure to toxic chemicals. Each family is different. If you live in a tick infested area, and you’re more worried about Lyme disease, you may decide the benefit is greater than the risk.
However, I’m personally more worried about potentially dangerous chemicals. Even though we live in a wooded area, I’m more concerned about the toxins than I am about the ticks.
Homemade Flea and Tick Prevention
We have a 16 year old dog. We’ve never once used a chemical flea product on him. We don’t need to, because safer options exist. One summer, for instance, I kept the ticks away with geranium essential oil.
One drop on his collar (not his skin) seemed to keep these pests away. (However, always check with your vet before using essential oils on a dog. Don’t use them on pregnant females or very young puppies. Also, never use them on cats.)
You should also know that natural flea products made with essential oils do exist, and that they are considered safe and effective.
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