External Parasites - How to stop them?

Spring is here and with spring all the bugs start to show up. You know that we are really fan of natural and integrative medicine but, as in everything, we believe that the balance is the right approach!

We live in Portugal, a mediterranean country, we are a country that is endemic to leishmaniasis and heartworm and also has different kinds of ticks and fleas. So nice, isn't it? Don't get me wrong we love our sunny days and warm temperatures but unfortunately so do they.

Our city is Gafanha da Nazaré, one small area that are 5 minutes away from the sea and 5 minutes away from a river, witch is a very pleasant place for some flying parasites.

So, how can we protect them?

In the Winter we practically don't use anything, we only use natural repellent when there are sunny days and we go to fields. In the Spring and Summer (March/April until September) we use a spot-on every month (from Frontline Tri Act, Vectra 3D, Effitix, Pulvex) and additionally the natural repellent for the days that we go out to the fields. We also give them some foods that helps to prevent the parasites.

Until now our protocol has been working fine. They haven't catch any bug and the blood tests for leishmaniasis and heartworm come always negative.

Our duty is to protect them, and some of these parasites are really dangerous. Our dogs are active and travel with us to different cities so it's very very important to fully protect them.

In our opinion, you should protect them with something that has been fully studied (we use spot on because is less aggressive than pills (like Bravecto, and BE CAREFUL because the pills don't protect against leishmaniasis and some of them neither against heartworm) or colar (like Scalibor)).

And instead of using two associated chemicals, like pills and colar or colar and spot on, our advise is to use the natural repellent.

About the natural repellent, we recommend to buy one because they already combined the most powerful ingredients. You can buy in powder or in spray (we prefer spray). We use regurlaly this one from AniForte. It contains: emineralised water, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, lemon oil and geraniol.

If you prefer powder, we recommend this one, that is made of 100% of Diatomaceous earth, a natural form of amorphous kieselgur found in fossilised diatom sediments:

Last but not least, you can also use some natural foods to help preventing:

- Garlic (see the right doses here), it's thought that the garlic's smell is excreted through the skin and repels both ticks and fleas (you don't smell it don't worry).

- Apple Cider Vinegar, that you can use as spray and apply on their skin or in the food, witch it's thought that will add acidity to your dog’s blood, making it less appealing to ticks and fleas. Add 2 teaspoons of the apple cider vinegar to the dog’s food or water bowl as a preventative.

Summing up our method:

- One natural repellent always before going to fields.

- One fully studied chemical spot-on that protect against all kinds of parasites, every month (spring and summer).

- Some supplement foods to help (spring and summer).

As ALWAYS, it's important to discuss with your veterinarian the right option for your dog, each country is different and each dog has different life styles. We hope that this post was helpful to you! If you have any questions let us know!