By Sheila McGinnis
First of all, let’s start with the simplest way to keep dogs healthy during the summer time heat. Did you know that cat’s and dog’s body temperature is higher than humans? They run a few degrees higher than our normal 98.6. They can get heat strokes just like us if their temperature goes above 104 degrees.
How to prevent? Simple: do not let them stay outside on very hot days for long periods, make sure they have access to shade and of course water. Also, I know Fido may love to ride with you, but this is where the majority of dogs suffer heat-related sickness and sadly death. It only takes 10 minutes for the inside of a parked car to climb from 85 degrees to above 102 degrees. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees.
Another simple way to keep pets happy and healthy is to keep them clean. Simple I know, but
a clean dog and cat cuts down the risk of skin infections and those pesky fleas.
One question I get often is how to deal with fleas in a natural way. Let me give you some ways below and as always check with your veterinary before trying anything new.
Start at the source: yard, bedding, and carpet. The best method for this is called Diatomaceous earth (DE) which is made up of fossilized remains of shelled algae that’s been crumbled into a fine powder. It’s harmless to pets and humans but deadly to fleas. I sprinkle this in the yard where they generally like to go. I also sprinkle on their bedding and even on the carpet, allow to sit for about 30 min or so then vacuum it up. You can even put on both dog’s and cat’s fur; use food grade DE since they could lick it.
Another natural way is to spray your pet down with apple cider vinegar (ACV).
If bathing your dog, you can even do the ACV as a rinse. You can also add 1 tsp. ACV to
the water bowl.
Make a flea spray using essential oils (EO). Take a spray bottle and put in 1 cup of ACV,
a quart of distilled water or good filtered water, 2 drops lavender and 1 drop of cedarwood (if using on both cats and dogs, just use 2-3 drops of either oil). Spray down the bedding and the pet. You can also use this mixture (add a drop or two of citronella EO) to soak
a cloth collar and make your own flea collar.
Make a flea shampoo for dogs by adding 1-2 drops of citronella or lemongrass to their shampoo.