Local pet store, Growlies, recommends considering diatomaceous earth, a natural and non-toxic tick, flea and parasite prevention and control remedy.
With hotter days on the horizon, ticks, fleas and parasites can be cause for concern when it comes to pet ownership. Changes in migratory patterns of deer and birds, along with warmer climates, have boosted the number of ticks we’re seeing – the tick population in British Columbia has increased by 10 times over the past 20 years.
Why is flea and tick prevention important?
Simply put, fleas and ticks are a health risk. The annual number of dogs infected with serious diseases transmitted from fleas and ticks is in the thousands. Some of these diseases, including Lyme disease, are transmissible to humans. The effects of flea and tick bites range from skin irritations to severe allergic reactions.
For cats and dogs, flea bites cause intense scratching, flakey skin, scabs, hot spots, hair loss and even paralysis. For humans, symptoms of flea bites include redness around the bite area and itching. If you have an allergic reaction, you may experience dizziness, nausea or even shortness of breath. In some instances, pets and humans may need to seek emergency medical care as a result of tick and flea bites.
A natural prevention for ticks and fleas
There are two choices to protect your pet from tick and flea bites: pharmaceutical or natural treatment. Pharmaceutical treatments for your cat and dog include oral and topical products containing synthetic parasiticide and/or insecticide drugs. These chemical-based treatments effect the entire body – fleas and ticks decide to feast on your pet, they ingest these drugs via your pet’s blood, become paralyzed and die.
Growlies pet grocer, located in Langford, recommends a more natural method to combat ticks and fleas: diatomaceous earth. This is a naturally occurring sedimentary rock made up of fossilized remains of diatoms – a type of hard-shelled protist – and natural clay. This siliceous sedimentary rock is crumbled into a fine powder and can be gently rubbed into your cat or dog’s fur and places they rest.
Diatomaceous earth damages the exoskeletons of ticks and fleas and absorbs moisture from their bodies until they dry up and die off. Food grade diatomaceous earth is safe for dogs and cats to ingest and when taken orally, helps to combat internal parasites like worms.