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I was sent this story from a friend in response to the passing of my 17 year old Bordercollie mix. Bear was a constant in my life, always there for me, making sure the farm was in order. He wasn’t my agility dog, he never won any ribbons, but he had my heart. It was comforting to know that wherever I went on the farm, I was never out of his gaze. For 17 years I could count on him to be there for me no matter what my mood or the weather. The farm was his kingdom and he took his job seriously. It was the small things he appreciated most, a swim in the river, a nap in the barn, a pet from a visitor, greenies, a chew bone, eating the crumbs from the horses meal, riding on the golf cart, and just being with me whether we were watching tv or taking a walk. He never complained and was always grateful. Even though I still have my two wonderful aussie girls, there is an emptiness without him here watching over us…Today when I left the barn walking the path to the house, I thought I felt him there, I turned,saw nothing, then I smiled…for in his last days he could not walk, but today I felt him walking beside me once again, whole and healthy, watching over me.
This i dedicated to Bear, March 5, 2010, You are missed…

A Dog’s Purpose? (from a 6-year-old).

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker ‘s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ”I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. It has changed the way I try and live..

He said,”People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued, ”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do..

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY!

Thank you Mr. Bear

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The first thing to realize when dealing with car sickness is that in 95 percent of cases it is stress related and not motion related. The most powerful memory imprint of any dog’s brain is probably the car ride when it was taken away from all it ever new to be safe and secure, its litter mates and its mother. The most traumatic memory a young dog has is in relation to a ride in a car. So it’s not surprising that subsequent rides in a car should evoke very strong mental and subsequent physical trauma.

How do I help?

First, sit in your car in the driveway and invite your dog in with a treat, pet, and praise,then let him get out. You want to associate only positive things with the car ride. Next, just take a ride around the block. When you get home give your dog a treat, play, end it with fun!
If the dog has been sick in a car then estimate how long it was in the car before it was sick, say 20 minutes? Find a park about 5-10 minutes from home, preferably one just around the corner, even one within walking distance that the dog has been to before…. but this time drive there. It wouldn’t hurt to have someone else in the car too, to soothe the dog and distract him from the ride. Keep him happy all the way to the park. When at the park do all the enjoyable things that the dog loves, fetch the ball, chase the Frisbee, etc. The stay at the park doesn’t need to be that long…. just as enjoyable as possible. Then drive the dog home soothing him all the way again and when home make just as much fuss of the dog as you did at the park. Finish the session with his meal or a treat if time and conditions permit. You want to associate only positive things with the car ride.

This exercise is repeated several times a day or daily if time is limited. Once the dog is enthusiastic to go in the car then the length of the trip is lengthened slightly to 10-15 minutes etc. Once you can drive with the dog for 30 minutes with no signs of stress or anxiety then you have the problem pretty much licked. Some dogs may take a little longer than others. The idea is for as many happy repetitions as possible to overwrite the initial mental imprint the dog has from whatever caused the initial trauma. If you have rescued a dog it is likely it had several bad experiences with a car, possibly dropped off by those it trusted, then picked up by a stranger or animal control. Very traumatic events for the dog. It may take longer to build that trust again. Patience and love is the answer.
Rescue Remedy(www.rescueremedy.com) is an anti-anxiety spray or liquid that helps dogs get past events that cause them anxiety, car ride, thunderstorms, etc. I have used it successfully on my horses and dogs. In severe cases you may want to try this. It is organic and not harmful to your dogs, you can even take it to ease your anxiety! What we don’t realize is that it is our anxiety that transfers to the dog and makes his worse.(you’re thinking:”oh, no, i’ve got to take princess to class, i hope she doesn’t throw up in the car etc”) Your dog senses that and creates more anxiety (“oh, no, mom is worried about the car ride too!)

Try it, it works on most dogs. There are dogs who get sick due to other problems, and this didn’t work. A trip to the vet after the method failed brought the problem to the surface.
Let me know what you would like to hear about in future blogs!
Happy Car Riding!
Vicki at Purple Paws

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Signs of separation anxiety: excessive barking, soiling the crate or house, tearing up things, chewing things excessively, only when you’re gone.

I posted this video on my blog called “Through a Dogs Ear” because I am a firm believer in music to calm your dog. I use it all the time on my dogs and my horses. “Through a Dogs Ear” is a collection of 4 dvds and 1 book for you and your dog. There is even one dvd that is for driving, designed to relax the dog but keep the driver awake.
Boarding facilities that play this music find the dogs more relaxed and calm.
If your dog has separation anxiety there are some things you can do to ease that. 99% of the clients who come to me because their dog has separation anxiety allow their dogs to sleep in the bed with them. Dogs are pack animals and sleeping with you solidifies the pack behavior, everyone sleeps in the den together. Therefore, when the dog is “left behind” from the pack, it goes against all pack instincts and causes anxiety. Insecure dogs develop this more often than do other dogs.
So what can you do? Give you dog a bed of his own to sleep on in your room. If you crate your dog while you’re gone, put the crate in your room and let your dog sleep there. When you go to bed at night play calming music,(and I highly reccomend “Through a Dogs Ear” dvd’s), the dog will then begin to associate the crate and the music with relaxing. Put calming music on at least 20 min before you leave. You should also play the music at various other times when you are home so that the dog does not associate the music with you leaving. As you know, dogs learn through repetition and consistency, so if the only time you play the music is when you leave they will learn that. So mix it up!
During the day when you are home, put your dog in its crate, play music, and if he is good let him out in 10 minutes or so. I perceive separation anxiety as a trust issue. Your dog must trust that you will return to them. Dogs that have been abandoned or crated for cruel amounts of time often have this issue as well.
You must build on their trust. Put them in their crate and go through the routine of leaving, go out the door, if their is no howling or erratic behavior, come back in, praise, and let them out.
Give the dog a special toy or safe treat when you leave, one that they only get when they go in the crate. My favorite is the Kong Toy. I stuff it with peanut butter and place it in the freezer. When I leave they get it in their crate. Puppies and dogs both like the cold on their gums, it’s soothing for teething, and the frozen peanut butter makes them have to work at it longer. Chewing releases energy and anxiety in a dog. Have you ever come home to find your baseboards or chair leg chewed? Your dog was doing what it knew to do to release anxiety or energy!
Putting your dog in a crate essentially tells your dog that it is off duty. He doesn’t have to worry about the house, just chill! Your dogs crate should be his safe, secure place, a place where your dog will go on his own when he wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of the household.
Last, but most important, go through obedience training with your dog. Training builds a trust and a language with your dog, as well as building self-confidence. A bond is created with your dog that will improve your dogs behavior in many ways. So look for a trainer in your area that uses positive-reward based training.
Next blog: Does Dog get Car Sick?

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Positive Dog Training Techniques Puppy Power Training Blog.

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How to Dog-Proof Your House – Paw Nation.

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This article comes from Laurie Williams on of the competitors on America’s Greatest Dog. She brings up some very good points I thought I would share.
TV Dog Training – Helping or Hurting?

Laurie Williams
Comments (3)
Never before has there been more information and resources available to help pet parents live harmoniously with their canine companions. If you surf the net you will discover thousands of training Web sites; the dog training section in bookstores and libraries is inundated with new titles every month; and dog training is a regular weekly feature on some television channels. However, you know what they say about a little knowledge. It’s dangerous, and incomplete and inaccurate information is even worse.

Where has all this abundance of conflicting and misleading information taken us? On one hand it has prompted many people to make more out of things that are really just normal dog behavior in certain circumstances. I receive many calls from concerned puppy parents about their aggressive 12-week-old puppy, only to determine the puppy is just exhibiting normal puppy behavior on its way to learning bite inhibition. And then there are the pet parents who feel their dog is showing dominance by jumping up on them to greet them, and they want to show him they’re the pack leaders like Cesar says. Uggggh. If I had a nickel for every time that term is over or incorrectly used I’d be rich! Well, okay, at least these pet parents are trying to be proactive and prevent issues before they become serious problems, and that’s certainly a good thing.

Unfortunately I also get calls from people whose dogs are struggling with very serious behavior issues like severe aggression but have unrealistic expectations of fixing those problems. Why? Well, they saw a dog with the exact same issue on TV and that dog was fixed in one episode! Make no mistake about it, behavior modification takes time, patience and consistency. There is no quick fix or magic to it, only the magic of television. Having been on the boob tube myself, let me state unequivocally right here and now that you can’t always believe what you see on television, and reality television is anything but real, it’s meant to be entertainment. Even if the genre is supposed to be public education, make no mistake about it, the show still needs to be entertaining. After all, if no one is watching, the show won’t get any sponsors to pay for it! Additionally, everything you see may not have happened in exactly the way it’s been presented, or in the same sequence, or even on the same day!

And what about follow up? Did the owners continue with the behavior modification? Has the dog continued to improve or has he reverted back to old habits? Rarely, if ever, are any of those questions answered on any of the television training shows. We’re presented with quick glimpses that end with the trainer closing up his or her computer or getting in his or her car and driving away. Happy ending? Maybe. Hopefully. But those profound and quick changes we’re presented can be extinguished just as quickly if there is no consistency in the training and behavior modification to follow.

And then there’s the subject of dog training methods. Even if the show instructs the viewers “not to try this at home,” overzealous owners will do so anyway, which can have disastrous and downright dangerous results. I know more than a few people who’ve been bitten when attempting to physically overpower or dominate their dog, like they saw the trainer do on TV. I am always hopeful that most will listen to the part of the disclaimer that tells the viewer to “contact a professional” first.

That’s where I come in.

While I may not agree with or use the same methods a television dog trainer uses, if his or her show helps make people aware of their dog’s behavior and gets them interested in training, that’s a good thing. If it prompts someone to pick up the phone and call me, all the better! Once I get them in the door, I’ll get my chance to show them how real dog training and behavior modification works.

What do you think about TV dog training shows?

What’s your favorite or least favorite show?

Who’s your favorite or least favorite TV dog trainer and why?

What kind of TV dog training show would you like to see?

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Flea and Tick Collars Leave Toxic Pesticide Residue

Dan Shapley,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waldemar Dabrowski / Istock

In a finding that shouldn’t come as a surprise, but nonetheless sounds alarming, a new study has found that flea and tick collars leave a toxic pesticide residue on pets’ fur that can be transferred to humans.

The Natural Resources Defense Council study found “high levels” of both propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos (TCVP), both of which it described as known carcinogens and neurotoxins. The group claims that the Environmental Protection Agency’s risk calculations are not accurate, leaving children particularly vulnerable to exposure.

“These chemical-laden flea collars expose humans to highly hazardous chemicals that can damage the brain and nervous system and cause cancer,” according to NRDC. “Children are particularly at risk from these pesticides because their neurological and metabolic systems are still developing. They are also more likely than adults to put their hands in their mouths after petting an animal, leading to the ingestion of hazardous residues.”

The test results showed levels of pesticides left on fur that were up to 1,000 times higher than acceptable risk levels the EPA has set for children. The NRDC sees the chemical residue as “a significant neurological risk,” and says that harmful levels of chemical can remain on an animal’s fur for up to two weeks.

The group filed a lawsuit against 16 pet product retailers and manufacturers, claiming that they are illegally selling pet products without properly labeling the hazardous substances they contain. The lawsuit is filed in California, where Proposition 65 — the Toxic Enforcement Act — sets the nation’s toughest rules against selling products with hazardous chemicals.

There was no immediate public reaction from the industry, but The Daily Green has requested comment and will update this post when it becomes available.

In 2000, the NRDC claimed victory when six pesticides once commonly used on pet products were banned.

Instead of using flea and tick collars and other pesticides, the NRDC recommends:

  • frequent use of a flea comb
  • regular bathing of pets
  • regular vacuuming and washing of pet bedding
  • administering of chemical flea and tick controls by pill, only when absolutely necessary (find the least toxic products at NRDC’s www.greenpaws.org)

Reprinted with Permission of Hearst Communications, Inc. Originally Published: Flea and Tick Collars Leave Toxic Pesticide Residue

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2009/07/29/hearstmaggreen476744.DTL#ixzz0PXcq773K

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I thought that my readers would like the information included in this newsletter. It says all the things I’ve been informing you about in great detail. The link to the Natural Pet store will be very helpful to you all. There are many articles and products on their website. Here’s to a happy itch free pet!

 

 

The Natural Approach to Flea Control
by Dr. Larry Siegler

As flea season is in full swing in many areas around the country, we are realizing that some of you may need a bit of guidance with the war you are waging in your households. There are so many products available for fighting the battle against fleas that a trip to the pet store or a little research online can leave you a bit overwhelmed and bewildered. At Only Natural Pet Store we carry only what works and only what is safe for your companions and everyone else in your household. We also do not carry anything damaging to the environment.

There are three stages, or areas to address, in the flea eviction process; the companion animal – internally and externally, the household environment, and the great outdoors (or at least “securing the perimeter”). But before we wage war, it is best to know the enemy.

The (Almost) Invincible Flea

First let’s talk about the population statistics of our foe. The adult fleas hopping around on your companion and in your house are only about 1% of the entire flea population in your home environment. This means that for every flea you see, there are probably at least 99 more in one or another stage of development lurking around the house or yard. Eight to ten percent of the population is in the pupae (cocoon) stage, 35-37% is in the larval stage and 50-54% of the population consists of flea eggs.

The adult female flea can lay from 10 to 50 eggs a day in ideal weather. Fleas tend to prefer warm, somewhat humid weather – 75-95 degrees with 60-85% humidity. Considering an adult flea can live up to 60-100 days, a single flea could lay upwards of 2000 eggs in her lifetime. And even if only half of those go on to reproduce…well; you get the picture – lots and lots of fleas!

The eggs are laid on the “host” – your companion animal, and most will fall off onto the floor or bedding, or in the yard. The majority of those eggs and the resulting larvae and pupae remain within fifty feet of their host’s favorite resting spot, so keep that in mind when we get to the part about treating the environment. Flea larvae emerge from the eggs within 1 to 10 days, although if conditions are not ideal, the egg can remain in the environment much longer, waiting for the right opportunity to hatch. The larval stage lasts 5 to 11 days and is a time of vulnerability in the flea’s life cycle. Once they spin their cocoons and “pupate,” which takes 5 to 9 days, they are then in a pre-adult state within the cocoon that can last from only a few days to more than 6 months.

Now you can understand why “bug bombs” just don’t work. They only kill the fleas in the adult and larval stage at best. So all those thousands of eggs and little cocoons are still lurking and waiting for the proper conditions in order to emerge and start the whole population explosion all over again.

One more detail about our foe the flea: they can spread disease and tapeworms. The way the flea feeds is by sticking its pointy little nose into the host and injecting a bit of “saliva” to thin the blood before sucking it. This is why so many pets are allergic to flea bites and end up with severe rashes and hot spots.

Stage 1 – Armoring Your Companions

Protection from the Inside Out

Another important fact about fleas is that they prefer weaker, less healthy hosts and very young puppies and kittens with undeveloped immune systems. Knowing this, we can arm our pets for flea resistance by boosting their health and immunity. If you have a flea problem, this is the first place to start.

If you’ve read any of the other articles on our site, you’ve heard this before: Diet is the foundation of health. Nothing you give your dog or cat can do as much good for their health and immunity as a proper diet. After years of experience and research, we have come to believe that the best diet for both dogs and cats is a biologically appropriate raw food diet. We realize, however, that not everyone is comfortable with or can manage to feed an all-raw diet, so just feed the very best diet you can. At the minimum this means top quality processed foods that do not contain fillers, chemical preservatives, or food colorings. No “by-products” or “digests.” Meat should be the first ingredient, not grains. Dogs can be fed a mix of canned and dry foods, but cats should be fed mostly canned foods, dehydrated or freeze dried if they are to be fed processed diets – grains should be avoided as much as possible for cats. For more information see our article, “What You Need to Know About Your Pet’s Food.”

Essential Fatty Acids will help build the immune system and boost the health of the skin and coat. Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics will help your pet get the most nutrition from his food and aid the digestive process. Garlic and B-vitamins tend to make the animal less tasty to fleas, so many guardians supplement with garlic & brewers yeast, (a good source of vitamin B1), during flea season to help their companions ward off attacks. Keep in mind that some animals are allergic to brewer’s yeast, so watch closely the first week or so to make sure the itching doesn’t get worse.

Over-vaccination is taxing on the immune system of dogs and cats. Educate yourself about the risks of too many vaccinations before succumbing to the usual pressure to vaccinate annually for a variety of diseases. See the article The Truth About Pet Vaccinations for more information.

External Protection

The ultimate weapon in the battle with fleas is the Flea Comb. It is the best way to investigate whether the scratching your dog or cat is doing is due to fleas or is just a little itch. Run the comb through your pet’s hair and gather a bit of hair & “dirt.” Then put this between two damp white paper towels and press them together – if the “dirt” creates rusty looking spots on the paper towel, then there is a flea – most likely a family of fleas – somewhere on your companion. If you keep combing, you will likely trap some of them in the comb. Drown them in SOAPY water – fleas have been known to jump out of plain water. Flea combing daily may sound tedious, but it is very helpful while you are working on the environmental control measures necessary to rid your world of fleas. Just remember that for every adult flea you drown in that soapy water you are preventing generations of future parasites from searching for food in your home.

There are many topical sprays and shampoos out there touting their effectiveness at killing or deterring fleas. Many of them contain chemicals and pesticides however, that are not conducive to building your companion’s immune system. Cats in particular are susceptible to the toxic nature of many of these products because they are constantly grooming themselves and ingesting whatever they have been sprayed with.

For repelling fleas from dogs, we recommend Neem Oil products. Neem oil spray, shampoo, and conditioner not only help repel fleas, they also help soothe and heal irritated skin. Bite This! Essential oil blend is another good repellent for use on dogs. You can put a drop on their collar and dilute it into a spray to mist your dog. Other essential oils that seem to be “flea repellent” are cedar, tea tree, citronella, eucalyptus and pennyroyal (the last two are toxic to cats). Combining a little neem oil spray with your flea combing is a great way to both spread the neem oil throughout the animal’s coat and give you extra help with catching the fleas. Pay particular attention to the neck and chest on cats and the top of the hips/base of the tail and under the legs and belly on dogs. When using any product like these with a strong odor, just keep in mind that your dog or cat has a much stronger sense of smell than you do (as do the fleas), so don’t overdo it. Cats especially seem to be sensitive, so use repellent sprays on them sparingly. For cats spray a small amount of Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Spray onto a cloth and wipe it on lightly. We do not recommend the use of full-strength essential oils on cats. One more precaution about using essential oils – they can interfere with the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies, so don’t use them if you are treating your pet with homeopathy or any of the HomeoPet or Newton Homeopathic products.

For killing fleas once they are on your pet, we recommend natural flea powders. Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy is a powder made from diatomaceous earth that is safe for use on dogs and cats as well as around the home, (which we will get to next). It kills fleas in all life stages by dehydrating them, a method that is not only non-toxic to pets, humans and the environment, also a method that fleas cannot develop an immunity to, as they do with all other pesticides over time. There are many varieties of diatomaceous earth available. Some have impurities or contaminants that make them less safe than the type in Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy. Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy is safe if eaten, so your cat can lick and clean herself all she wants when treated with it and it will not hurt her. It is a very fine powder and a little goes a long way. Suggested use is approximately 1 teaspoon per 10 lbs. of body weight. Using the flea comb to help spread the powder throughout your companion’s coat is helpful.

Bathing your companion is an excellent way to kill fleas. Use a neem shampoo like Only Natural Pet Herbal Defense Shampoo or a soothing shampoo such as oatmeal from Shea Pet or Doc Ackerman’s if your companion has irritated skin. You can add a drop or two of essential oils to the oatmeal shampoo to make it more “flea unfriendly.” Leave the lather on your pet for a few minutes to help smother any persistent fleas, and then RINSE WELL. Soap residue can dry the skin and make the itchiness worse. You can follow with Only Natural Herbal Defense Conditioner, SheaPet’s Shea Butter Conditioner, or Doc Ackerman’s Orange Cream Conditioner to help prevent dry skin.

Why not use flea collars?

Good question! The answer is that flea collars only repel fleas around the animal’s neck and do very little for the rest of the body. Fleas are very resourceful; they will find a good spot far enough away from that collar to hang out. Also, most flea collars, especially anything non-toxic, are only effective for a short time.

What about “spot-on” flea products?

A pesticide is a pesticide no matter what you call it. We only recommend spot-on flea products as a last resort for animals with severe flea allergies. The most thorough investigation we have seen of these products was done by Whole Dog Journal as reported in the article, “Are ‘Spot-On’ Flea Killers Safe?” in the February, 2002 issue (click here to read the article). Here is an excerpt from that article: “All pesticides pose some degree of health risk to humans and animals. Despite advertising claims to the contrary, both over-the-counter and veterinarian-prescribed flea-killing topical treatments are pesticides that enter our companions’ internal organs (livers, kidneys), move into their intestinal tracts, and are eventually eliminated in their feces and urine.”

Systemic pesticides are NOT a good way to build an animal’s immune system; on the contrary, they can only weaken it. Some guardians report that their companions appear more lethargic and depressed for a day or more after applying spot-on flea products. More severe reactions that have been reported include excessive salivation, skin rashes, convulsions, tremors, hyperactivity, stiffened limbs and lameness. Consider that to be deemed safe for use on our companions, these products only need be tested for 3-, 13- or 52-week intervals. Higher doses are used to compensate for the shorter testing periods. NO STUDIES have been done on the LONG TERM effects of applying these pesticides to animals repeatedly over long periods of time.

One more reason not to use pesticides is that they end up in our environment – including on your lawn. Fleas will develop immunity to any pesticide over time. This is already being seen with some of the spot-on products. They cannot, however, develop immunity to dehydration, which is how diatomaceous earth and boric acid products kill fleas.

Stage 2 – The Household Environment

You cannot rid your companion of fleas by treating him or her alone, unless you are willing to resort to pesticides. Most of the population lives and develops in your house and yard, not on your pet. Treating the environment is essential if you want to win this war.

Carpets, Flooring & Furniture

Vacuuming and washing the hard floors often – daily during the height of flea season – is the least toxic way to control fleas. This will remove most of the adults, and some eggs and larvae. Keep in mind the larvae don’t like light, so vacuum under furniture and around baseboards anywhere near your pet’s favorite places to hang out. Remember to either vacuum some Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy or an herbal flea powder into the vacuum bag to kill any fleas in the bag, or remove the bag and discard it in a sealed plastic bag after use.

Some infestations, however, are just too much to be controlled by vacuuming alone, and not everyone has the time to clean all the floors daily. That’s when we recommend using one or more of the natural “powders” available for ridding your home of fleas. The least toxic substances available for this are diatomaceous earth and boric acid products.

Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy, discussed above, can be used on carpeting, on the pet’s bedding, on furniture and on hard floors. It is a very fine powder similar in consistency to talcum powder, so it gets into cracks and crevices on hardwood and linoleum floors easily. It acts more quickly than boric acid products, and a difference in the flea population can be noticeable in 24–48 hours. Diatomaceous earth, however, does not last as long as the boric acid products. Monthly applications are recommended in areas with heavy flea populations, especially during the height of flea season.

Boric acid products, such as Fleabusters and Fleago, work in a similar fashion to the diatomaceous earth by dehydrating the fleas. When applied correctly, they offer protection for up to a year or more as they remain deep in the carpet fibers. Fleabusters may also be used on hard floors as the powder is fine enough to reach into cracks and crevices well. Both products may be used on furniture. All visible powder must be worked into the carpet, floor or furniture well with a broom or carpet rake, and any remaining visible powder should be vacuumed up. Boric acid kills flea larvae, but is not as effective at killing the adults, so you may not see the results for 2-6 weeks while the adult population dies off. During the initial weeks after application, it is helpful to vacuum frequently to remove the adult fleas. Boric acid products are more toxic than diatomaceous earth products as well, so you should not use them directly on dogs or cats, or in areas where small children play.

With all of the flea powder products, common sense caution must be used. Follow package directions carefully. The natural flea control powders are drying agents, and therefore they can irritate nasal passages and lungs if inhaled directly. Avoid overzealous shaking of the container while spreading the powder onto the floor so you don’t create clouds of dust. If you have any questions about the application process with any of our products, please call or email and we will be happy to help.

Bedding

Don’t forget the sleeping quarters! Wash your pet’s bedding in hot, soapy water at least weekly. You can even add some essential oils or Bite This! To the water for extra flea-zapping power. Sprinkle a little Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy onto DRY bedding and work it in to help kill the little pests while your companion sleeps.

Stage 3 – Securing the Perimeter (Your Yard)

Last, but certainly not least, treat the yard. Remember that the larvae don’t like light – so rake up any leaves and keep the grass cut. Watering can help drown the larvae as well. A majority of the fleas and larvae will be within 50 feet of your companion’s favorite spot to rest, so focus on those areas. Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy can be applied to grass to kill fleas in the yard by sprinkling the powder or mixing with water and applying with a hose sprayer.

Beneficial Nematodes are another way to control fleas in the yard. Beneficial nematodes are a flea parasite (mother nature always has a balancing mechanism). They are tiny little bugs that prey on both adult fleas and larvae. They can be applied with a hose sprayer or, on a smaller yard, with a watering can. Some garden centers and nurseries carry them or can order them for you, as well as some of the “natural” pet stores. An Internet search will provide many sources as well.

The Pre-emptive Strike
One last point to make: don’t wait until you see fleas on your companion to treat your environment! If you live in an area with a predictable flea season, begin the treatment a month before it starts. If you live in the Southern US where flea season is every season, start now and plan to treat your home regularly. Using natural methods takes a bit more work than dropping a spot of pesticides on your cat’s or dog’s back, but in the long run your companion and your environment will be healthier for your efforts.

The articles and information in the Holistic Healthcare Library are presented for informational purposes only and are not intended as an endorsement of any product. The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local veterinarian. Instead, the content offers the reader information and opinions written by our staff, guest authors, and/or veterinarians concerning animal health issues and animal care products.

The Natural Approach to Flea Control at Only Natural Pet Store

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Dogs all over are scratching and itching right now. Several causes, fleas, dry skin, and contact allergies. Believe it or not, dogs can actually be allergic to grass! The natural way to deal with these are: wash your dog more frequently with a non-soap shampoo. Soap dries the dogs skin, so if you wash with these shampoos which have soaps and perfumes in them, while they smell nice, will actually make your dogs problem worse. Hypo-allergenic, oatmeal and baking soda will do the trick. Next, add Olive oil to your dogs food daily. The Omega-3’s will help your dogs skin and coat as well as being healthy for their insides!  Add Brewers Yeast and Garlic to their food to provide a natural antibiotic effect and repel fleas. Finally, add Pro-Biotics to their diet to help build a healthy immune system.

Your dogs diet could be the source of the itching. Feed a dog food that contains no corn, wheat, or beef, no artificial preservatives, flavors,or fillers. Shop the organic aisle of your local Pet store. Dogs can have allergies to these things and the only way they can tell you is scratch!

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