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Pet Age
 

March 1, 2016

Flea” and “tick” are the four-letter words in the pet industry. No one likes to talk about them, but nearly everyone has some type of experience with them.

While chemical-based flea repellents may seem like the most effective method of eliminating these pests, it’s really not necessary for pet owners to wage chemical warfare on their pets and families. Natural remedies have come a long way over the past few years, and most are just as effective as chemicals. There are even ultrasonic methods to protect your pets from pests.

First in the lineup is Wondercide. This innovative company offers a full lineup of indoor and outdoor products formulated with organic, food-grade ingredients. Each of the products is safe, effective and easy-to-use.

“The pest repelling qualities of essential oils are exceptional, but cats don’t have the liver enzyme needed to break down phenols, which are commonly found in many essential oils,” said Stephanie Boone, Wondercide CEO. ”When formulating Wondercide Natural Flea & Tick Control for Pets + Home, we knew it needed to be safe and effective for cats. To do this, our cedar oil is steam-distilled and tested to ensure all phenolic compounds have been removed, providing a safe, pesticide-free and non-toxic solution for unwanted fleas and ticks for our cats and other pets.”

Natural Chemistry, recently acquired by Muntech, also has an extensive line of natural flea and tick products.

“While fleas themselves are irritating, some cats may even be allergic to the saliva they contain, which can result in a hypersensitivity reaction and more discomfort for your pet,” reports their website.

“Natural Chemistry Pet provides a full line of flea products to help provide relief and treatment for your furry friend!”

Ticked Off

While ticks don’t form infestations like fleas do, they can carry serious diseases, including Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. In the event a pet does fall victim to ticks, it is important for owners to know what the ticks could be carrying. That’s where the Earth’s Balance Tick Releaser Spray and Test Kit from Marshall Pet Products comes in handy. The kit includes all-natural releaser spray, tweezers, a collection tube, an alcohol prep pad and a mail-in testing form.

“The number of people who have contracted Lyme disease has increased twofold, leading consumers to seek out solutions to help protect them against this disease,” said Linda Cope, global marketing manager for Marshall Pet Products. “Our Tick Release Spray uses all-natural essential oils to encourage the tick to quickly release itself from you or your pet. Once it has disengaged, simply drop it into a vial that is included in the Tick Release Packet and mail it in. Our laboratories will test for up to seven tick-borne diseases, including Anaplasma, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Lyme Disease, Bartonella, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Tularemia.”

Supplements, Sounds and Soap

For those who are sensitive to odors or prefer nothing on their pet’s coat, TickZ is an herbal product created by Petzlife that helps to repel ticks and other biting insects. Since it does not contain any chemical insecticides, it is ideal for dogs or owners who are allergic to chemical sprays. Owners sprinkle TickZ on their pet’s moist food twice a day for five days, and it provides two to three months of protection. It’s made of all-natural ingredients, such as quassia bark, anise and brewer’s yeast.

Earth Animal offers an all-natural and safe Flea and Tick Program that includes a water additive and a topical spray.

“At Earth Animal, we encourage pet parents to consider a safe organic approach, such as herbs and specific nutrients, for flea and tick prevention, as opposed to the use of insecticides, which have known side effects,” said Susan Goldstein, founder of Earth Animal.

Ultrasonic devices are making a strong showing in this category. These types of products emit a series of ultrasound pulses that are both imperceptible and harmless to pets and people. One need only attach it a pet’s collar. Continuous wear provides several months of safe protection against parasites. Options include the TickLess Pet Ultrasonic Repellent and Love2Pet Ultrasonic Flea and Tick Shield.

To help prevent fleas completely, natural solutions are the way to go. DERMagic Skin Care for Animals released the first Diatomaceous Bar that provides all-natural protection from pests. Formulated with food-grade diatomaceous earth, this bar is safe for use on both dogs and cats and can help keep insects away between baths.

Pyrethrins, from the chrysanthemum flower, help give Bioderm Laboratories’ Bio-Groom Flea and Tick Shampoo its pest repelling power. Bio-Groom rinses out quickly and provides maximum effectiveness in killing fleas, lice and ticks.

Outdoor Safety

For extra hiking or camping protection, there are several great topical sprays available. UltraShield Green Natural Fly Repellent from Absorbine has been proven to repel fleas and ticks with their unique combination of ingredients that includes citronella, lemongrass, rosemary and cedar oils. According to the website, it provides up to eight hours of protection against biting flies, mosquitoes and gnats. It has also been proven effective in repelling dog and deer ticks.

When selecting a natural remedy that contains essential oils, be certain you’re choosing companies that use the purest oils. BuzzGuard, Mad About Organics, NatuRepel, and JSE Enterprises’ Flixx All Natural Insect Repellent are a few fan favorites. Each is highly effective and safe for nearly all species. Remember to read the label—certain species, such as cats, reptiles, fish and more are sensitive even to many natural products.

While chemical flea and tick topical treatments will always be an important part of the pet industry, natural solutions to pest control are gaining momentum as consumers seek safer ways to treat pets.

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