For many of us, pets are a big part of the family. But if you are using flea and tick control products on them, you are unknowingly exposing your furry friends to chemicals that are toxic to their nervous system and can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, and tearing eyes. And in the worst cases, an overdose of these products can cause muscle twitching, seizures, respiratory paralysis and even death.
Even scarier, we are also exposing our families to these chemicals when they come in contact with the pets. Young children are particularly sensitive because their nervous system is still developing and their ability to metabolize these chemicals is weaker than that of adults. Because children often put their hands in their mouths after petting an animal, they are far more likely to ingest the hazardous residues left by flea and tick control products.
Not only are these products toxic to our pets and our families, they aren't even necessary to stop fleas and ticks from infesting our homes and our pets. Dousing our pets with chemicals and exposing our family to potential toxicants is not the only way. There are plenty of natural solutions to ward off fleas and ticks this summer. Here is a great post outlining five solutions for natural flea prevention, including essential oils, yeast, vinegar and lemon.
At our house, we use Apple Cider Vinegar. A little added to the dogs' food or water, regular grooming, and frequent vacuuming are all we need to keep these doggies happy and the fleas and ticks at bay.
In the interest of total honesty, I have to fess up that we found one tick on our small dog recently. Considering the amount of time this little guy is actually outdoors, I was shocked. But a quick pull on the little bugger with some fine-tip tweezers and I was able to pull the tick out, and totally impress/gross out my kids at the same time. To me, avoiding this one tick is not worth dousing my dogs with chemicals and exposing my family to toxicants.
If you already have a flea or tick infestation, and you really feel like you need a chemical solution, check out the GreenPaws Flea and Tick Product Directory to find safer alternatives before heading down to the pet store. GreenPaws has an easy-to-use rating system for most flea and tick products found in stores (and natural remedies too), ranging from one paw for use only when necessary to three paws for avoid use. They also disclose what chemicals are in each products and what side effects those chemicals may cause.
Enjoy a summer free of fleas, ticks, and chemicals with more natural solutions that are healthier and better for pets, kids, and pet parents too.