Well, I woke up in the middle of the night and inadvertently stumbled across my first tick of the year.
As a child whose parent has Lyme, this is like my worst nightmare. Well, to be fair, all bugs.
What’s annoying is I can’t even determine where it came from or if it just found its way into the house.
Curse you, Texas!
How do you guys prep for Spring/Summer? And do any of you Find it’s necessary to check the dogs after the dog park?
I don’t know if the ticks are really out and about yet over here in Virginia, or I just haven’t seen any yet. I don’t really do anything to “prepare” for tick season, other than apply K9 Advantix to my dogs. Some people don’t like using any kind of chemicals on their pets, but I’ve always used K9 Advantix and have never had a bad experience with it. I can honestly say that ever since I got my first dog less than two years ago, I have never had any problems with fleas or ticks. I’ve had to pick less than a handful off of Sam over the last year and a half that I’ve had her, and that was when I wasn’t keeping up on the K9 Advantix every month.
I live in a very heavily wooded area with lots of wildlife, so I know the ticks definitely get bad out there. My dad has gotten more ticks on him in this area than my dogs! I’ve had Motley since last August, and Helo since January — I have yet to find a tick on either of them… Even at the dog park, I don’t worry about checking them for any fleas or ticks because K9 Advantix is supposed to repel them. Sam has been going to dog parks since I adopted her, and has never gotten fleas or ticks from other dogs in my experience thus far. Even in our wooded/marshy neighborhood, Sam loves to be in the bushes and has never seemed to bring any bugs inside with her.
If you’re worried about Emma getting Lymes, you can have her vaccinated for it. Sam and Motley have been vaccinated for Lymes disease, but I have yet to get Helo vaccinated. It definitely doesn’t hurt to be on the safe side! Also, K9 Advantix has an improved formula (K9 Advantix II) which kills all life stages of the flea. Most of the retailers around here don’t even sell the original anymore, and instead sell the K9 Advantix II. So far it works just as well as the original K9 Advantix.
Adding a small clove of garlic to your dog’s diet can help to naturally repel fleas and other insects. Fleas particularly dislike the flavor of garlic and yeast (nutritional or brewer’s yeast). Mixing garlic and yeast with your pet’s food can render their blood unpalatable to fleas. Garlic does not have the same concentration as it’s close relative the onion (which as you should know, are toxic to dogs). Onions can cause a form of anemia in dogs. No evidence shows that garlic will result in the same. The compound in onions that causes anemia is found in an almost nonexistent amount in garlic. Some foods, treats, flea and tick powders, and supplements include garlic as one of the ingredients. If garlic were toxic to dogs, this would not be the case.
Response to Squidtarts: I guess I forgot to mention that garlic is a controversial topic. Some people think it’s okay, and other’s think it’s not. I don’t think a normal dog owner would feed their dog enough garlic to cause any toxic effects. A small quantity a day is not going to harm a dog. If garlic was toxic enough to do any serious damage to our dogs, I don’t think brand names like NaturVet would be allowed to sell products like their Love Drops (for skin and coat) or Brewer’s Yeast and Garlic tablets (also used to promote a healthy, shiny coat, reduce shedding, and repair skin damage by flea infestation).
There are tens of thousands of sites devoted to warning pet owners about the toxicity of garlic. Yet, there are also over hundreds of thousands of sites that proclaim the benefits of garlic (many of them are reputable holistic veterinarians who have widely used garlic in their practice for several years). Garlic has a wide spectrum of antimicrobial activity against viruses, bacteria, fungi and worms, and can aid in the building of the immune system while helping the prevention of infections (especially for animals who have immune suppressive conditions). Garlic oil can be used to treat ear infections and ear mites.
I think ultimately it’s the dog owner’s decision based off of their own opinion. I believe that too much of anything can be toxic to humans and animals, and that moderation is key. As long as you don’t feed too much garlic, your dog should be fine. I’ve given my dogs garlic, and treats that contain garlic and they are as healthy as can be! I probably wouldn’t feed garlic to them regularly, but as a short term remedy it would be perfectly okay.
The reason the ASPCA has added garlic to their list of toxic plants is because of the huge controversy, which was basically started due to the fact that garlic is in the same genus as the onion. Onions have compounds that cause a form of anemia in dogs. Garlic has a nearly untraceable amount of these compounds — not nearly enough to be toxic if given in moderate amounts. When did you ever hear of a dog dying from garlic, or getting some kind of illness? I’m sure it could happen if a dog consumed too much garlic… But who would do such a thing in the first place? We’re talking about adding a small amount of garlic powder, or a clove of garlic — not an entire bulb of garlic (which is sure to make anyone sick)!
The website even states that garlic can cause anemia. This is an interesting article on garlic for dogs. “There exists NO university, official laboratory, or scientific study showing normal amounts of garlic to be harmful to dogs. None. Even the vets have never submitted scientific proof of their statements that you should not feed garlic to dogs. Holistic vets recommend garlic — Dogs For The Deaf feeds garlic extract to their dogs daily. We trust science over rumors, and think that garlic in moderate amounts can be good for dogs in many ways.” An interesting statement made by a member of Garlic Valley Farms, Inc. Who better to understand garlic than garlic manufacturers?
You even said so yourself: “if ingested in large quantities.” So, in my opinion, if garlic is not used in excess, it can be very beneficial to the health of your dogs — particularly their skin, coat, and maybe even the heart (my mom took garlic pills along with fish oil to help her heart and reduce cholesterol).
As for whether or not it is effective against fleas all depends on the situation. Some people have had success using garlic to ward against fleas (especially people who prefer natural solutions rather than chemical ones), while others have not. But the same goes for people who use Frontline or Advantix. Different things work for different people.