It is once again flea, tick and mosquito season. I do not give my dogs monthly heart worm “preventative” (the medicine sold by veterinarians called heart worm “preventative” is not a preventative at all, but heart worm poison, designed to kill the larvae). I have been known to use Frontline or Advantage in the past, but not any more. I’ve heard of quite a few reactions to both lately and I’m not going to risk my dogs.
Instead, I spray them every morning before they go out with a homemade bug repellent. It contains the essential oils of citronella, cedarwood, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint and rose geranium as well as apple cider vinegar, all known bug repellents. In addition, I have calendula (marigold) blossoms soaking in apple cider vinegar. They need to soak for 30 days, at which point, I’ll strain the calendula blossoms out and add the vinegar to my spray solution. The dogs don’t appreciate getting sprayed, but it’s better than pulling out ticks. I think it smells good even if they don’t.
So far, so good, I’ve found no ticks on my dogs and I know they are out. My dogs never get fleas. My cats had them the first summer I moved to North Carolina, but not since.
In general, parasites are not a problem in healthy animals. It’s those who are fed inappropriate food, vaccinated and medicated to death that are much more susceptible to all types of parasites. As in most of my feelings about conventional medicine, I am more afraid of the medicine than I am of the possible disease.