How to make a healthier, chemical free lifestyle for your dog.
It is all too often that the first questions asked at the vets are 'is he/she vaccinated up to date' and 'is the flea / worming up to date' – but what does this actually mean? Yearly 'boosters' and monthly flea and worm spot on's and tablets are the routine things all dogs must have right? Well have you ever considered the side effects of these chemicals either short term or long term? Probably not as the vet says they are 'fine' and 'safe' ! And they probably are for most dogs to some degree and unless there was an immediate severe reaction to any of these treatments then you probably wouldn't suspect that they were doing any harm. However what about repeat exposure and years of over doing all these chemicals? Chemical build up is something that happens and can play havoc in your dogs system, from skin irritation to seizures, joint inflammation and even cancers. Plus many more.
So wouldn't it be nice to be able to protect your dog by using natural methods instead? Its probably cheaper as well! We would encourage you to do your own research and find out the true picture of using chemicals on a regular basis in dogs – petmd.com and dogsnaturallymagazine.com as well as others have a good source of information regarding the dangers of over vaccinating and too much chemical exposure.
So in simple terms....vaccinating.....once a dog is vaccinated against the core diseases as a puppy (this will include a 12 month booster) he may never need these again in his life, to be sure your dog is protected against parvovirus, hepatitis and distemper you can opt for a blood test known as a titre test 3 years after the 12 month booster was given to check for immunity – if the dog has immunity he will then need other blood tests between 1-3 years later and so on throughput his life. Of course if his immunity drops below a level of being protected then he will need to be re-vaccinated but it is unlikely this will happen as these vaccination can be for life for a lot of dogs.
Leptospirosis vaccine may be mentioned to you by your vet – however you must make a decision as to if your dog is at 'high risk' of the disease before giving the shot, it can have some serious side effects and bear in mind that it is 'not common' in the UK. (according to the government website 01/2020) This vaccine has to be given annually if you decide to do it. It is important to mention it is not a 'core' vaccine so it is your decision!
www.WSAVA.org has guidelines for vaccinating and dogsnaturallymagazine.com has some great articles which are in more understandable format!
Treating for worms naturally is very easy, use Verm-X crunchies which is a treat biscuit or liquid mixed in to food these are herbal methods so you should carry out a wormcount test 3-4 times a year.
Verm-x and wormcount both have information about this on their websites.
Treating for fleas/ticks can be a bit trickier especially in warmer weather when they are at their highest numbers but adding garlic and rosemary to the diet will repel parasites but may not stop them from jumping on your dog and biting it, there is a product called tickless which is a small device fitted to the dogs collar that givers off a sound that parasites can hear and should stop them from jumping or crawling on to your dog. See the tickless website for details.
Diatomaceous earth can also be brushed through the coat if you see them on the dog – this will kill the parasites without harming your dogs skin. Ditomaceous earth can also be used for worming – ask us about this as it is easy to add to raw food! The product must be food grade and fresh water sourced!
WAGS sell these alternative products from Verm-X, and Tickless and have had good results using them on their own dogs so please ask us if you have any questions about this.