We live in SE Florida, haven to many pests and though some are very beneficial, some, like ticks and fleas as well as mosquitos, are not.
Most people use topicals or pills to prevent their pets from getting fleas and ticks without realising these are highly toxic and do cause cancer. There are other options which work if you are determined to keep your yard and pets toxic free. Keeping all the grass or greenery against the fence low lessens the attack of ticks as they like to get on high levels waiting for a warm body to walk by and attach itself to your dog/cat. Mosquitos lay eggs on your dog which, when born, can cause heartworms, a horrible thing to have but I also have a natural, and much less expensive way to treat. I will send a shout out for this in the future.
So how do you deal, naturally without putting your pets' or your health in danger as pesticides destroy the environment, bees, who are necessary to pollinate, and your own health? Diatomaceous earth, which is now widely sold everywhere, is a natural pest deterrent. You can put in in your dog's coat, I bought a little gadget to help put it on their coat, and it dries the ticks/fleas and they die off. If you buy the edible one, mix into your pet's topping which you mix with the kibble, and this helps with intestinal parasites. Edible diatomaceous earth is good for your hair, nails, skin as it is 86% silica, a necessary element and one we don't get much of unless we take silica supplements.
Buy Neem spray and before your dog goes out, spray him/her lightly with Neem which mosquitos hate so you don't need to give heart medication as this, too, is pure poison. Neem spray, a natural and harmless substance, but mostquitos hate the smell, like citronella. You can spray it on yourself as well!
I do have a story, or stories to tell , about the evils of pesticides. My prize Bibitzza, a bitch who had had 3 litters of beautiful, fat, healthy puppies, went into heat when I had a terrible tick infestation. Unfortunately, when it becomes an infestation, it is very difficult to rid yourself of these pests naturally. My son send me his pest guy and he began spraying my home and yard with so called "pet/child safe" pesticides. He bagan spraying when Bibitzza went into heat and all through her 63 days of gestation (pregnancy). On the much anticipated day arrived , she gave birth in the middle of the night and I always keep the lights low as what baby wants to come out into bright light from the comfort of the womb? The first baby looked weird and as I took him/her, we never knew the gender, saw it suffered from gastroschisis which means it had no flesh covering its intestines, liver, kidneys, etc. Everything was visible. It had no genitalia so we didn't know its gender. What was horrific was that the baby responded to petting so I fed him/her as the mother, naturally, wanted nothing to do with the baby. The second one was a gorgeous little girl except it had no rectum or tail! It was a nightmare!! Bibitzza gave birth to a third baby, a boy and he seemed okay. Next morning the two babies were euthanized and it was heartbreaking. The boy died in his sleep on the third day. I called the pest guy and asked what he had sprayed in my house and yard.....he said Bi-Fen! This is a very strong and dangerous pesticide used to kill termites!!! So much for the pet/child safe mode!! We sued the company and won... My son's 2 pitbulls died a year later of horrific cancer all caused by the Bi-Fen.
Bibitzza has had 2 litters after this traumatic experience and , no pesticides, had beautiful, gorgeous, healthy babies each time, proving the poor freaks were the result of the spraying of pesticides which were so strong it could have affected a small child and did affect our respiratory systems.
So what about natural preventives for heartworm? I never give my dogs ivermectinm, the main chemical in those expensive Heartgard pills. Ivermectin is very cheap, a bottle is $27 and lasts forever, refrigerated so the pharmaceutical companies are scamming you by charging you an outrageous amount for heartworm pills. So how do dogs get heartworms, by a mosquito laying its larva on them. By spraying your dog with Neem before he goes out during mosquito season, here in Florida it's year round, the mosquitos hate the smell and will stay away. Also avoid peak mosquito hours, dusk and dawn and don't leave your dog outside: there is no such thing as an outside dog, they are social beings and need their family.
I use some of the following to prevent mosquitos from coming near my dogs, besides lightly spraying my dogs with Neem, and/or mixture of geranium/lemongrass spray, these oils are easily found in Whole Foods, Nutrismart or whatever health food store is in your area. to prevent heartworms without using poison:
The following are fed to the dog:
Coconut oil in their kibble with yoghurt. Coconut oil is known to repel and expel parasites
Carrots: I give my dogs thin slices of organic carrots as treats that I wash but don't peel, the most nutrients are in the peel. You can also cook carrots with meat and mix that with yoghurt, diatomaceous earth, coconut oil and garlic.....yes garlic. There's a huge debate that garlic is toxic to dogs but I have given my dogs garlic in the topping I make with all the above ingredients and I have never had a problem. Onions are toxic to dogs so do not give them that. Cloves also are a very safe alternative to heartworm prevention. Just crushthe cloves, or buy cloves but make sure there's nothing else in it and add to above mixture.
Black walnut extract, 1 DROP of black walnut extract per 10 lbsone daily in your dog's food. For smaller dogs, like my Bolognese it's 1 drop every 3 days.
Hawthorn and Dandelion tincture boost you dog's heart by strengthening the heart muscle, improve circulation.. Add 2 drops of a commercial hawthorn/dandelion tincture for every 3 lbs . I give this again, in their food.
I also use black walnut extract, 1 drop for dogs over 10 lbs, 1 drop every 3 days.
So there you have it!! I have lived in SE Florida for more years than I care to think but have used these remedies for my dogs as well as the rescue dogs I take in, Little White Wonder Dog Rescue of SE Fl is mine and I don't just rescue white dogs, but I don't take in dogs bigger than 15 lbs. Never had any dog get heartworm. I have rescued dogs with heartworm, erlichiosis, and giardia and treated heartworm naturally.
I encourage comments, suggestions, questions to Lexi@starlightBolognese.com