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The Wellness Blog

4 Ways to Control Fleas and Ticks Naturally

Now that the weather’s getting warmer, it won’t be long before flea and tick season are here again.

Here are 4 Ways to Control Fleas and Ticks Naturally:

Apple cider vinegar can make a good spray too. Just mix it with water in a clean spray bottle, about ½ and ½. Then spray it on your pet daily. Pay special attention to behind the ears and the base of the tail where fleas tend to collect.

1–All Natural “Flea” Collars for dogs—rub one of the following essential oils onto a rope collar or bandana to keep fleas and ticks at bay.  Eucalyptus, lavender or citronella are all scents that repel pests.  You will need to do this weekly to keep it fresh and effective.

2—Supersonic –  This small electronic device looks like a tag or pendant and fits on your pet’s collar.  It emits a series of electronic pulses to prevent fleas and ticks from setting up camp on your furry friend.  It’s safe for dogs and cats.

3—Vacuum often – If you have carpeted floors, be sure to vacuum frequently to pick up any possible flea larvae.  Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs per day and they’ll fall off your pet into the carpet and furniture where your pet sits.  Frequent vacuuming can rid your house of these pests before they hatch.

4—Diatomaceous earth–  You can sprinkle this powder around your yard and pet bedding to prevent fleas and ticks.  It’s made of fossilized diatoms (a type of phytoplankton) and appears soft and powdery to the naked eye.  However, if you look at it under a microscope, it’s actually full of sharp edges. These sharp edges provide effective natural flea prevention. Because when fleas crawl through the substance, the sharp shell edges slice their bodies. They leak water from the soft tissue and dehydrate.

Side Effects: A word of caution, the sharp edges can harm your respiratory track so wear a mask and goggles when you’re applying it to large areas like your yard or pet beds.

Let it settle without your pet around so they don’t breathe in the substance.  Be aware, it’ll wash away in the rain for wait for a dry day and you’ll need to reapply it after heavy rains.

What’s your favorite method for preventing fleas and ticks?  We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

May 2013 Ask Wellness

Q: My sister seems to think that dry dog food is the best for her dog instead of wet canned food. She said dry is better because it helps clean their teeth, is this so?

A: That’s a great question. Many pet parents like to top the dry food with canned food. It can provide additional nutrition, if weight is an issue.

The best way to answer your question is to first put the question in a human perspective. We humans brush our teeth daily and even twice daily, yet we still need to have our teeth cleaned annually or even more frequently.

The point is, that no matter whether we feed all dry for or we feed some softer food, your pet will still need her teeth cleaned at some point. Feeding just dry food may slow the process but not by much.

Q: I have 2 small dogs (a Maltipoo and a terrier mix) both under 20 pounds. I have heard that I should not feed them wet food every day, but I feed them 1/2 can of wet food each day. I leave the dry out for them to eat throughout the day and I also give them some snacks each day. Is this okay? Should I change my feeding schedule at all?

A: There is no problem feeding any dog a combination of canned and dry food as you have described. Be careful to only feed enough each day to maintain a slightly lean body condition (that goes for small dogs and larger dogs as well).

Canned foods are nutritious and a great complement to dry diets. They can add variety to the diet and encourage proper nutrition in dogs that are picky eaters or having trouble maintaining adequate weight. They do contain significant calories and that should be considered when making up the daily diet.


Click It or Ticket Extends to Pets

CA and NJ are now requiring pets “buckle up” when riding in the car and other states are likely to follow in the near future.   The reason is unrestrained animals pose hazards.  Whether they want to climb in the driver’s lap because they’re nervous or they’re roaming all over the car pets can create a serious distraction for the driver.

Even if your dog loves to ride and always sits nicely in the back seat, your pet can be seriously hurt in an accident if they’re not restrained.    Imagine getting rear-ended and your pet being hurled into the windshield.

If you don’t want to use a crate to transport your dog, you can stay safe on the road with doggie seat belts.

Here are 3 Types of Dog Seat Belts:

Harness:

Many of the restraints are harnesses.  You slip your dog’s front legs into the opening and it attaches at the back like a walking harness.  They have clips that clip into the seat existing seat belt buckle to secure them similar to the way a person is strapped in.

Zipline:

These restraints have a harness with a strap that goes across your car ceiling to create a zip line.  If your dog is nervous in the car, this gives him the ability to roam from window to window but he’s relegated to the back seat or back cab of an SUV.

Car Seat Lookout:

Small dogs will enjoy a car seat lookout.  This seat is raised so small pets can look out the window as you cruise down the road.  Some are a plush lined box for your pet while others can double as a soft-sided crate with a lid you can zip up if you need to carry your dog into the vet or onto a plane.

Have you used any of these with your pet?  We’d love to hear about your experience on our Facebook Page.

A Puppy Welcome Basket is a Fun Dog Gift Idea

Have a relative, friend or neighbor that recently welcomed a new pup into their home? What better way to show you care than with a puppy welcome basket?  Chock full of good things puppies love, the new puppy parents will be surprised and delighted by your thoughtful gesture.

Here are some dog gift ideas to include:

  • Puppy Kong – Kongs are great toys because they’re durable and can withstand sharp puppy teeth.  When filled with peanut butter or Wellness treats they can keep him occupied for hours.
  • Squeaky toys—Dogs love squeaky toys.  Plus, they come in cute shapes like bagels or rolled up newspapers.
  • Training pads— When a puppy has to go, he goes.  Help train him with special pads designed to sop up the mess.
  • Puppy toothbrush and toothpaste –  Banish puppy breath by keeping a clean mouth!
  • Shirt/collar/leash of parent’s favorite sports team  – Imagine how delighted they’ll be when Max shares this allegiance.
  • An assortment of Wellness® dog treats (of course!) including Just for Puppy Treats – great for training! We do more than make pet food. We create Wellness.™

What are your favorite dog gift ideas for a puppy welcome basket?  We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.