Hey readers! How are the high temperatures treating you and your pup?
On the last blog post, we talked about the importance of keeping your dog’s coat healthy for the exposure to sun rays (and other environmental elements) during the summer season. In light of this, we want to add a little bit more to it... something that we feel is also very important when it comes your dog’s overall healthy skin : Fleas and Ticks.
What a horrible, horrible plague it is! Numerous customers come to us looking for magic remedies that will deter these implacable and annoying creatures. We are not here to tell you: “there is no such thing as a magic remedy”... but we wouldn’t be lying. Today we want to introduce two simple, proactive and accessible ways to help your dog enjoy the summer without worrying about him getting any sort of parasites.
Firstly, and most importantly, we should all know what fleas and ticks are and secondly, we should be able to identify them.
One could imagine that fleas and ticks are the same, but they are actually very much different.
Fleas are six-legged insects who don’t have wings, they can jump REALLY FAR and they like warmer temperatures. They have a fewer number of hosts in their list than ticks (living things they can jump on) such as cats, dogs, raccoons and some birds, but once they’ve found a host - they can live there until they die. What they do is basically live in a doggie’s body while they suck blood.
In Canada, peak flea season is early August to early October. Nevertheless, we would always recommend to be proactive and start preparing the anti-flea army!
Fleas can lay between 20-40 eggs per day for several weeks, and the longer they stay, the more eggs they produce! One thing you should know: only adults feed on the host, not baby fleas, or eggs!
Fleas don’t only go wherever the dog goes, but they will also stay wherever they know the dog will go or sleep: beds, carpets, etc.
Aside from discomfort, one should be aware of allergic reactions to flea saliva, which creates a rash. Hair loss and anemia in your dog could also be other symptoms of fleas.
Fleas can transmit bartonellosis and tapeworm. While fleas aren’t something anyone would want for their dog, better watch out for ticks - as they bring the worse stuff to the party!
Ticks are a very noticeable, external, eight-legged arachnid parasite. Flat bodied creatures when they don’t have their belly full of blood meal, they have a very hard skeleton - meaning they are hard to squish (and don’t try to - you might release any disease they may carry).
Ticks are known for transmitting potentially deadly diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. However, ticks need to be attached to the dog’s body for at least 24 hours before they can transmit Lyme disease.
As mentioned before, ticks have more hosts than fleas - as they can also have snakes and rodents as hosts, and worse... humans. They are typically found in wooded areas and are able to survive freezing temperatures, sometimes, tougher to kill.
Ticks can be referred to as ”Patient Predators” as they can wait until the right host comes along, waiting for extended periods of time. A curious thing about this creatures is that when they lay eggs (potentially thousands of eggs at a time!), they automatically die. When engorged, they detach from the host and lay the eggs where they fall off. A bit different from fleas, right?
How can I be proactive enough to avoid this?
It’s not magic, but it’s very close to it.
Have you ever heard of Diatomaceous Earth? I know, the name is complicated and so complex is its utility, as it can be used for a variety of instances such as industrial, scientific experiments, detox solution, mechanical pesticide and colon cleansing. It also may sound a bit new, but its been around for a while now. However what could be new, is the match between it and dogs. Surprisingly, this chalky and dusty material has been consumed by humans for years.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE), also known as Fossil Shell Flour or diatomite, is a cheap but truly effective way to control external and internal parasites from your pooch. It is an organic and non-toxic way to defeat parasites. In the same vain, it can be used internally (fed) and externally (on body). This natural pesticide is known to control bed bugs, cockroaches, ants, fleas, ticks and other parasites. Please keep in mind that it can affect other insects that you may not want to kill, so when it comes to outdoor use - use it wisely!
It consists of fossilized remains of hard shelled algae (siliceous sedimentary rock) called diatoms that are harvested and milled to a very fine powder. DE resembles bits of broken glass... your first thought could be: ‘is that safe?’ and yes, it is - I’ll explain why…
It works through physical force and NOT chemical action. This means that instead of poisoning the pests, it causes physical harm; the sharp edges of the DE contact the parasite and pierce their coating/skeleton/body, so they completely dehydrate (a very powerful desiccant) to then die. Most of the commercial pesticides have to be strong in toxins for them to actually kill the parasites. Adding to this, some parasites might even find ways to develop ‘resistance’ to these chemical pesticides. This is definitely not the case with DE because, as mentioned before - damage is on a physical level - defeating any intent of survival.
Like we said, it can be used both internally and externally. How? Adding a daily dose of DE to your dog’s meal could help deworm and kill any living parasite in your doggie’s body. It can literally kill worms within a week of being fed daily. Still, it is important that you feed 30 consecutive days to catch any eggs or any insect cycle life.
But... how much is too much?
It can be used as a proactive way of controlling pests, but also as a treatment. If you were to feed it to your dogs, you should consider the following dosage: 1 tsp per 25 lb of body weight.
If you were to use it externally, there is actually no limit when it comes to external use. As long as it covers the body of the dog - it’ll do! Try to limit the use around the face as the mucosa can be irritable to some dogs’ skin. Following the same idea, we should always be careful when applying, as too much exposure to DE in the close air can cause respiratory issues. Try to apply it in a ventilated space to minimize this risk, or apply it in a way that it is not directly exposed to both your doggie’s face or yours.
You could also dust it along his bedding area and surrounding carpeted areas that your doggie visits. After a few days of letting your doggie lounge around it, give him a bath with a good shampoo + moisturizing conditioner, as DE can dry out your doggie’s skin. It is highly important that you revitalize your dog’s skin after using externally. If your dog has any type of skin condition, we recommend asking your veterinarian’s opinion first.
A couple of tips before we move on to the next point:
- It’s highly recommended that you find a food grade/human grade Diatomaceous Earth. If this is not on label, it will most likely be for industrial and mechanical uses, and should not be anywhere near your home and family.
- Dogs, cats (or both pregnant dogs and cats), puppies and kittens are suitable candidates to use DE both internally and externally.
- While spreading DE, remember it only works in dry areas. So do not apply to damp or wet surfaces, as it won’t work as intended.
- Let your veterinarian know you’re using DE for your dog - it’s always good that your vet has all the info when it comes to their overall health history.
- If you are camping or going to the cottage, DE is a MUST!
The DE that you’ll find at Sit! Stay! Dog Emporium is Organic and Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth from Big Country Raw. We have been carrying it for years now, receiving the greatest reviews from very happy four-legged customers. You will find it for $9.99 and it is ALWAYS in stock!
As always, any question or concern you may have, our knowledgeable team is always here for you.
It is not just a freshener & repellent. It is also proof that proactiveness is always the way to go. Some customers described it as a “miracle in a bottle”! Just as with Diatomaceous Earth (DE), this freshener is something to have in your arsenal during the summer months.
This 100% natural bug-be-gone freshener is made with essential oils (citronella, lemon, lemongrass and lavender) and distilled water, giving a fresh outdoorsy aroma, with citrus scents. In comparison with many bug repellents out there on the market, this is completely free of any chemicals - and because of this, it is completely safe to use (and often).
Your dog is also less likely to be exposed to other products which will have chemicals and potentially irritate the skin and create hot spots. Plus it’s lick-safe!
Aside from fleas and ticks, it works amazingly well for flies and mosquitoes!
It is only natural to have fun with your dog in the outdoors! Especially in the summer.
Don’t let ANY bug stop you from doing outdoor activities with your pooch.
So let’s just help them by protecting them from any element out there. Oh... and yes, it does smell GREAT. While you’re at it, you might as well put some on yourself, too! It’s completely human-safe.
Fur Freshener can be used for:
- - park time!
- - between baths
- - dealing with that wet dog smell
- - camping/campfires
- - hiking
- - going to the cottage
- - doggie day care
- - long walks
- - anytime you head outside, basically!
We like green, and because of this, we appreciate and support eco-friendly products. We also know many pet parents will seek this out when it comes to pet products! This is why we feel it is important to share this with you.
Find it always in stock at Sit! Stay!
Last post, we talked about how to help your dog stay cool this summer (direct link: click here). This one was all about how to keep them bug-free! We truly hope this was helpful and as always, if you have any questions or concerns... you know where to find us!
- Sit! Stay! Team