Spring is here. The mountain is alive with the morning chorus of the birds, and the clover has budded into crimson art. It is one of the most delightful times of year. Zion and Obie love sunbathing on the patio while they watch the skies for hawks and snap at the giant carpenter bees that bumble by.
Spring comes with it's own set of care for our fur babies. Each season of the year, just like us, dogs have slightly different needs to be as well as they can be. While the spring brings such beauty, it also brings allergies, bugs, and the dreaded ticks. Dogs may also be going into nature more, or bouncing through lakes and rivers.
After my deep dive into the disaster that is the pet care/food business, we are very passionate about caring for the pups as naturally and holistically as possible.
Note: I am not a veterinarian. I suggest consulting a holistic naturally minded vet before starting any new health program.
Our desire is to give our sweet babies the best chance they have at a long and flourishing life. It is so sad to see how the lifespans of pets are declining, all while the rates of disease are increasing dramatically. Conventional vet care is similar in many aspects to conventional human health care. It is good for emergencies and sometimes diagnostics, but as far as nutrition and prevention goes, it is not at all health care, but rather sick care. While there are indeed no guarantees in this life, we can learn and apply wisdom to the best of our abilities, in order to achieve a positive result.
Fleas, ticks, and the like:
Ticks. Ticks are up there on my top 5 list of get away from me crawlies, along with fuzzy spiders and mosquitos. We know that some of these outdoor suckers can breed serious disease, and so we want to do our best to lower our chances of bringing these guys into the house, or letting them get hold of our beloved fur angels.
I have very strong feelings about poisonous flea and tick collars and gels for animals. Our poor animals are exposed to so many toxins put in place by humans, and then we wonder why the cancer and disease rates are spiking. The food is laced with toxins, we spray our yards with chemicals, city water has toxins, and then we inject or attach poison right on and into their skin. Dogs are resilient, but there's only so much a little body can take. These medicines are not only harmful for them, but the toxic chemical residue stays for weeks even after you remove the collar, getting all over your home and your family. Young children, who still have developing brains, are the most vulnerable to these chemicals. There are multiple alternatives that you can use to protect your pets from creepy crawlers without poisoning everyone in the house. Over the years, we have tried an array of products, and have landed on our favorites, which I will be sharing in a moment. Understanding essential oils and pets is important when choosing or making an alternative flea and tick solution. Some essential oils in certain concentrations can be harmful to your pets. Most of these alternative companies have done the proper research to ensure that they have safe level concentrations of essential oils in their products. However, it never hurts to ask questions before deciding on a product. For example, lavender is safe for dogs in proper concentrations, but it should be avoided if cats are present in the home. So, if I had a cat, I would not choose the lavender for my dog, but rather a lemongrass, which is okay for kitties. Cedar wood oil and lemongrass in certain concentrations is safe and very effective against ticks and fleas, but in the wrong concentrations, it can be toxic. All this to say, it's still safer than wrapping poison around a pets neck. After years of searching, researching, and trying different products out, these are our top picks.
Side Note: Here is a great article on garlic for dogs, what is safe and what is not, as garlic can be very helpful in preventing ticks and fleas internally, when fed in a safe manner. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/garlic-for-dogs-poison-or-medicine/
Mighty Mint Peppermint Yard Spray for Bugs (Non-toxic yard bug control - smells SO good!)
You can browse all my fur baby favorites at my amazon storefront here: https://www.amazon.com/shop/littlehouseonthemountain
Springtime Diet and Supplements:
Just like our human bodies, animal bodies have slightly varying needs within the different seasons. From my research, it is very wise in the spring, to nourish and gently detox the liver and kidney systems. This sets our bodies up for having proper detoxification pathways. Some things that are safe and helpful for nourishing a dogs liver and kidney systems are broccoli sprouts, beef organs, medicinal mushrooms, dandelion root, and milk thistle. This is of course supplemental to a species appropriate carnivore based daily diet.
It is also wise to set their digestive systems up for success during allergy season and the hotter months. Things that are wonderful for the digestive system include but are not limited to, colostrum, coconut oil, soil based probiotics, apple cider vinegar, marshmallow root, L- glutamine, and aloe vera in small doses. Eliminating known allergens and inflammatory foods from their diet will also help repair digestion and potentially aid in reducing allergies and susceptibility to illnesses. Our shelter pup Obie, had horrible allergies and leaky gut from the moment we got him. It is amazing to see how the allergies are dramatically reducing as his gut heals!
Some of our favorite springtime supplements:
Some inexpensive things we do to boost daily resilience and health is apple cider vinegar in the water, homemade bone broth in the meals, access to sunshine, and of course a lot of praise and snuggles!
I hope you and your fur babies have a safe and healthy season. See you in the fall!
Love, Lea, Zion, and Obie
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