The premiere of this column was initially to be about the basics of Pets & Herbalism. That was until ticks were found on this writer’s cats. Seems tick season has arrived a tad early! With this in mind, let’s rather, embark on the topic of fleas, ticks and other warm weather parasites.
Today, our pet parents have many more options then they once had in recent years and with the push back towards the natural and owners looking for the best treatments for their beloved furry family members, the market for natural pet products has exploded! Up until World War II, herbs were what everybody kept in their medicine cabinets (or kitchens). They were used for the family, pets and livestock. God’s healing gifts. That and prayer! Don’t believe it? Ask your grandmother or great-grandmother, who were probably, for the most part, the health practitioners of the household.
The Pharmaceutical companies then decided, due to the wide margin of variables in the use of medicinal plants, (insect infestations, varying quality of plant constituents due to growing conditions and availability of some plants to name a few), that it was a better investment to control mineral medicines. Plants were taken and the main medicinal property was synthesized from them, leaving behind other vital components of each, actually creating ‘new’ medicines, not the original that was a synergy(or “wholeness of nutritional/medicinal components”) of all the plants constituents. In so doing, the benefits of the gentle healing process for which the plant was sought after and its lack of adverse effects were lost .
Fast forward to today’s treatments for fleas, ticks and other “skin parasites”. It’s been proven that pets (or anyone for that matter), with a compromised immune system is more prone to DIS-ease and/or infestations (which are usually causative of of said diseases). Therefore, a good healthy, natural diet for all, is the foundation of good health.
We will also discuss at a later point how food and nutrition are actually medicinal to the funtional mechanics of our bodies and our pets’.
It is the opinion of many that the flea collars, powders, sprays and shampoos of today are laden with chemicals that are not only HARMFUL to some, but downright TOXIC, LETHAL and FATAL to others. The harsh chemicals in the products we use are poisons when ingested. They are harsh enough externally to cause allergic skin conditions leaving some pets with permanent fur loss, irritation, blisters and burns on their skin. Some may even inadvertently hang or choke themselves in an attempt to relieve itching or attempting to remove the collar by their own means. A pet once got his collar caught in his mouth trying to get it off, cutting the inside of his mouth and bleeding profusely until he could be caught and the collar removed.
For this reason and others, alternative treatment should be considered an option. If collars are your preference, there are NON-toxic, natural ones to choose from. Herbs too, have several “route of delivery” options (the way in which they may be given or taken). They may be added as whole fresh, dried, cut or in powder form to foods or drinking water. Tea infusions may be made and also added in this way or used in a spray bottle for external use on skin. Oils and salves may be used for wound care. These may be made at home or bought from reputable suppliers. Investigate and be a wise consumer. We will be covering many many topics and be passing along information to our readers about how they can switch to a more Natural Pet Care system in the Philadelphia area! Stop back, read us often.
Our next article:
Repellant Recipes – for those who would like to try making their own.
Your ‘buds’ give you hours of joy and unconditional, trusting love. Give them yours!
Below is a starter list of websites and local suppliers of Natural Pet products.
(with many locations in Phila., area)
These should give you a good look at what is available and get you started on Your Examination.
Have a happier, healthier Flea & Tick season