Alternatives to manage pests & allergies
I remember the first time I used deet in the deep woods of Minnesota. Mosquitoes ruled the outdoors. You couldn't walk outside without a swam of them in your ear. I sprayed deet all over and went to the doc to dip my feet in the water - when I sat down I noticed that the deet I sprayed on my toes made the nail polish on my toes literally melt and bubble off. That one moment over 20 years ago opened my eyes to what I use on myself and my dog. Here are some products I have used over the years that were very effective in pest control and helping alleviate seasonal allergies:
Pest Control Collar: my all-time favorite pest control is amber: https://ambercrown.com/collections/pet-collars
The raw amber causes friction with the pet's fur and creates a frequency that pests hate. People in the park used to think Zeus was a hippy dog with this amber necklace and I was always happy to explain what the necklace was used for. It takes a few weeks to really start working, but when it does, it's amazing. I would take Zeus to the deep woods of Northern Minnesota a few times a year and not one mosquito bite. The photo above shows what life was like before the collar - I would use natural spray and then put a t-shirt on him so flies would stay off of him. I wish amber collar worked on humans! A lot of mom's use amber for teething because amber has a lot of healing properties.
I also ordered this for my parent's cat who didn't like to have it on his neck, but he loved to lick it. I think animals are intuitively self-healers and know what can help them.
Sprays & Shampoo: I have used Ark Naturals products for many years. I love their shampoo with Neem, a deet alternative https://www.arknaturals.com/product/neem-protect-shampoo/ Zeus smelled so good and he didn't mind the smell, even though he was very sensitive. They also have a Neem spray available. I used to spray a bandana with the spray and place on his neck for continued support, in addition to spraying in my hard and applying to the tips of his ears, underbelly and tail. I'd never spray anything directly on Zeus so it wouldn't get into his eyes or face to irritate him. Dogs are very sensitive to smells so use caution with any sprays, even the 100% natural sprays. I've also found that dogs can be very sensitive to some essential oils, which are in a lot of all natural sprays so make sure to do tests - spray a little on your finger and have them sniff and wait.... sometimes it takes a few minutes for dogs to have a reaction.
Allergies: pets are all susceptible to allergies, even cats who don't go outside. We bring in enough pollen to mites with us from the outdoors, in addition to our windows and doors. Allergies are basically an over-reaction to the immune system. Some pets are allergic to food, in addition to their environment, just like in humans. Sometimes it's hard to determine what exactly your pet is having a reaction to, but the important thing to keep in mind is strengthening their immune system - see "Immune Health" http://fortheloveofzeus.strikingly.com/blog/immune-health
Here are some products I have used for my pets and myself to control allergies:
Colostrum: https://www.thewholedog.org/id47.html - this is my immune and allergy go-to. I had to fly recently and was suffering from allergies. I started using it a few weeks before my flight so I wouldn't have sinus pain from flying and had no pain or discomfort. It also helped increase my energy level. My dogs loved this - I would purchase it in powder form and mix it with water to make it into a milky form. Be sure to mix well and have it the consistency of milk so it's not too tacky. All of my pets, including cats, loved it and actually saw it as treat time! Since this is cows milk, I only purchased products made in New Zealand because they don't use chemicals in their fields where the cows graze.
Omega 3 and 6: I remember reading about this supplement for helping reduce inflammation so immediately added to Zeus's food around age 1. In addition to controlling inflammation, his skin and coat were flawless. His vet would always ask me what I was feeding Zeus because his fur was so soft and he never had visible dander. My friends that were allergic to dogs never had any issues around Zeus because his coat was soft and his skin naturally moisturized.
Bathing: Pollen, mold and other outdoor allergens attach to our bodies, clothes, nasal passages, etc. so it's a good idea during allergy season to give your dog more frequent baths and for cats, wipe them down if they aren't fond of water. Also wipe your dog's paws after ever walk outside so they aren't tracking inside the house.
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