I came across an article, ‘The Dangers of Flea And Tick Products’ , written by holistic veterinarian Dr. Deva Khalsa which was published at Dogs Naturally Magazine.
This prompted me to contact Dr. Deva and she was only too happy to share her views on natural pet care.
What advice or recommendations can you provide for pet owners who would like to keep their pets naturally healthy?
1. Go Green
Adding a bit of green to your pet’s diet is good for your dog or cat. Eating more vegetables has many heath benefits -one important one being decreasing cancer risk.
Cats often like cooked asparagus while our easier to please canine friends love a broccoli stem bone. Go green outside as well by using natural fertilizers for the yard, avoiding herbicides and using natural flea and tick control.
2. Nurture with Nutrition
As conscientious consumers we tend to review ingredient lists for our food and need to do the same for our pets. Look for labels that state ingredients as chicken, beef or lamb and not poultry by-products or beef by-products, etc.
Choose superior brands of pet foods that promise healthier ingredients. When you’re in the mood you can add some good ol’ home cookin’ for your best friends. It’s easy and fun to make delicious treats at home.
Dr. Khalsa’s Natural Dog book is filled with delicious recipes and nutrition tips.
3. Security with Supplements
I like to think of vitamins and minerals as a form of supplemental health insurance for pets, providing the nutrients needed to maintain health. A daily balanced and complete supplement is the most valuable contribution you can make toward increasing your pet’s longevity.
To be truly effective, both the vitamins and minerals need to be balanced, complete and able to be absorbed. Read and compare labels carefully.
“Choose vitamins that state the milligrams or International Units on the label and contain high quality ingredients.”
4. Heal Holistically
Holistic treatments can be powerful tools that compliment and enhance the body’s innate ability to rebalance and restore itself, thus helping your pet to overcome illnesses and diseases.
Holistic medicine provides gentle but effective guidance that can remedy many diseases and health problems without the side effects so often associated with more conventional forms of medicine.
The holistic experience creates a wiser and stronger body, more able to maintain and retain health.
5. Quality Time and Exercise
Both dogs and cats are social animals. Social animals don’t want to be alone- they want company and interesting interactions
Relationships are an important part of health. Strong bonds with others means protection from loneliness and depression. It goes both ways. Healthier pets are happier pets and happier pets are healthier pets. Just as vitally important is that both humans and pets benefit from the quality time spent together.
If it’s not safe for your cat to go outside every day, make sure he has a scratching post and a selection of toys.
All dogs need exercise, even notorious couch-potato breeds. Of course, taking the dog for a brisk long walk is the perfect excuse for you to get some exercise too!
6. Routine Medical Examination
A yearly health check will help detect problems before they become serious. Older pets should get yearly blood panels to monitor their health.
How can pet owners ward off ticks/fleas without the use of chemicals?
Garlic has been fed to dogs in order to help prevent flea infestation. There are many products on the market containing garlic for this very purpose. Both powdered and raw garlic are effective although raw garlic has significantly more health benefits.
When using garlic as a flea preventive it’s important to use a castile soap or detergent free shampoo.
Dogs don’t sweat as humans do and the garlic ‘aroma’ comes out in the oil on their coat. It takes several weeks for the garlic compounds to build up in the oil and a detergent shampoo removes the oil and you’re back to square one again. I do not recommend garlic for cats.
Some people have found that adding apple cider vinegar to the drinking water of dogs will help to ward off fleas and ticks. Both garlic and apple cider vinegar work internally to make a dog’s body less susceptible to flea and tick infestation.
Neem Powder can be used externally to ward off and also kill fleas and ticks.
Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled around the house, yard and on your pet.
Ticked Off is an excellent product available in the United States.