Fleas, Ticks, and Worms
Fleas are an extremely common parasite in dogs and cats. Fleas bite their host and suck the blood for nutrition, leaving saliva behind on your pet’s skin. Scientific studies show that flea saliva contains at least 15 different allergens. Some hypersensitive cats and dogs can be sensitive to minimal exposure to fleas.
Fleas flourish in moist, warm conditions, so summer is great for them. They thrive in winter in centrally heated houses, too. Each female flea can lay many thousands of eggs at a time. Larval stages may survive for many months in carpet or between floorboards. The adult flea can go without a blood meal for months; no wonder these tough little critters are difficult to get rid of.
Ticks are small blood sucking insects that latch onto the skin and draw blood into their expandable stomach. They can take on blood volume many times their own size. They can pass viral infections from host to host.
Worms are parasites that colonise the gut. They can be the size of a hair or the size of spaghetti! Tapeworms can be metres long. Worms can infect human beings, so they must be controlled. Lungworm is a parasite that inhabits the respiratory system and can cause fatal disease.
Immune support is one of the best things you can do naturally for your cat or dog. A weakened immune system reduces defenses leaving the body as a great host for parasites.
Recommended Din Dins supplements
Wickedly Raw Superfoods for cats
Wickedly Raw Superfoods for dogs
What the nutritionist says
“A natural raw diet (BARF) full of superfoods is a great way to support the immune system so your pet is less likely to become a host for parasites. Culinary herbs of oregano, thyme, rosemary, clove and foods of carrot and pumpkin seeds are believed to help ward off parasites such as fleas.”
What the vet says
“Fleas are almost everywhere. They tend not to bother healthy, well-fed animals and those on a raw diet (BARF) as opposed to those on processed food.
Worms are also very common. A dog scooting on his/her bottom is usually a sign of anal irritation (e.g. anal gland problems), not worms. Your vet will be able to guide you regarding worms, fleas and ticks and look out for herbal parasite control products where possible.”
• Clean filtered water should be available at all times.
• Daily grooming and combing with flea combs should be a priority.
• Natural creams and oils containing ingredients such as neem, citronella, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, and herbs of calendula, hypericum, rosemary, grapefruit seed extract, goldenseal, lavender and chamomile can help soothe rashes, flea-bites, and repel little parasites. (Seek professional help if using aromatherapy oils with cats).