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Some Important Info

Sleeping Dogs

Flea Facts

Fleas are similar to cockroaches in that they adapt to their environment. They become stronger and more immune to the popular chemical products with each generation.

Most of the fleas are living in your pet's environment, rather than in its fur. (Every flea found on your pet may mean that there are approximately 30 more living in your home.)

A single flea can lay as many as 60 eggs per day. The lifespan of a flea is about 90 days. Controlling fleas does require some effort, but there are safer and effective ways to control fleas than several well-known commercial flea control products.

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"Buyer beware" - Toxic products masquerading as "natural"

Even if all the ingredients in a flea repellent product are natural, this doesn't ensure that they won't be toxic to your pet. For instance, d'Limonene, which is derived from citrus peels and found in many natural anti-flea products, can be highly toxic to cats. Herbal flea collars, though they don't contain the poisons that conventional flea collars do, come with the same warning: do not let children play with the collar. If it's not good for your child, why would it be good for your pet?

It is advisable to read product labels carefully. For example, one line of supposedly natural flea sprays and dips contains "all natural synthetic Pyrethrin." Pyrethrins are insecticides derived from the African chrysanthemum (Pyrethrum). Pyrethroids are synthetic derivatives of pyrethrins. Both are commonly used in conventional preparations which make the product sound innocent because it's derived from a flower. But pyrethrins alone can be toxic to the animal and pyrethroids expose your animal to more chemicals.

Other natural ingredients known to cause allergic reactions or have toxic effects in some animals include Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil and Pennyroyal oil.

Cute Cat

Cat owners take special note:

Cats should not be given any essential oils, period.

The use of essential oils with cats is a potentially volatile combination. Cats do not efficiently metabolize essential oils and their use can lead to symptoms of toxicity. In addition to essential oils, cats have known metabolic sensitivities to certain herbal preparations and allopathic medications. Because the cat's body does not efficiently excrete essential oils, they can build up to toxic levels. Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, dizziness, clumsiness, lack of appetite, lack of energy and shock. In addition, cats have very thin, delicate skin. Essential oils are absorbed rapidly into their skin and enter the bloodstream, overwhelming their systems. Cats dislike strong odors and generally keep away from strong scents -- even highly diluted essential oils.

Many people find that they can use essential oils on their cats with no obvious adverse effects. Although one or more applications of an essential oil product or blend may not cause immediate harm, the effects of essential oils can be cumulative and manifest themselves at a later date in the form of toxicity for which owners and vets often can find no attributable cause.

Chihuahua Bath

How to Handle a Flea Infestation Problem


The best flea control is prevention. Unfortunately, sometimes people and pets find that their environment is already infested with fleas. Rather than resorting to toxic chemicals and poisons to eliminate fleas, you should know there are safe and natural alternatives. First, washing is effective in eliminating fleas. Combing and shampooing your pet is a great way to immediately eliminate fleas from your pet. If fleas are found on the comb, dip the comb in a bowl of soapy water. When shampooing your pet, we recommend using a natural and gentle shampooing product instead of a flea dip or pesticide shampoo. Soap and warm water kills fleas without poison.

Be mindful that shampooing too frequently may cause your pet’s skin to become overly dry. There are gentle pet shampoo products on the market specially formulated for animals with dry or problem skin.

Shampooing Tip:

Use warm water and start lathering around pet’s neck and work back towards the tail. This way any fleas on your pet trying to crawl away from the shampoo will not congregate on your pet’s face.

To eliminate fleas from your pet’s bed, you should wash your pet’s bedding with detergent in HOT water and dry bedding thoroughly in the dryer. This will help prevent your pet from becoming re-infested when he or she sleeps. Frequent vacuuming of floors, rugs, furniture, and pillows is an effective way of removing fleas and their eggs from your pet’s environment. To prevent caught fleas from climbing out of your vacuum cleaner’s bag and re-infesting, be sure to properly dispose of the vacuum cleaner’s waste. Proper disposal of the vacuum cleaner waste also avoids the risk of having collected flea eggs from hatching inside the bag and re-infesting your pet’s environment.


Toxic Foods For Pets

Some common toxic foods

Onions and garlic: contain the toxic ingredient thiosulphate.
Onions are more of a danger. Dogs affected by onion toxicity
will develop hemolytic anemia, where the pet's red blood cells
burst while circulating in its body. Symptoms include Hemolytic
Anemia, labored breathing, liver damage, vomiting, diarrhea,
and discolored urine.

The poisoning in dogs occurs a few days after the pet has eaten the onion.
All forms of onion can be a problem including dehydrated onions, raw onions,
cooked onions and table scraps containing cooked onions and/or garlic. Left
over pizza, Chinese dishes and commercial baby food containing onion,
sometimes fed as a supplement to puppies, can cause illness.

Chocolate: contains theobromine and theophylline,
a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and a diuretic.
After their dog has eaten a large quantity of chocolate,
many dog owners assume their pet is unaffected. However,
the signs of sickness may not be seen for several hours, with
death following within twenty-four hours. A dog that has
ingested a large quantity of chocolate will exhibit symptoms
that include staggering, labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea,
abdominal pain, tremors, fever, heart rate increase, arrhythmia,
seizures, coma or death.

Coffee: Similar to chocolate, a couple of sips of coffee might not harm your pooch,
but ingesting coffee grounds, tea bags or energy drinks with high caffeine content
can be deadly for them.

Grapes: As few as a handful of raisins or grapes can make a dog ill; however,
of the 10 cases reported to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
(APCC), each dog ingested between 9 ounces and 2 pounds of grapes
or raisins. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain,
and lethargy. If ingested, it can cause liver damage or kidney
failure in dogs.

Macadamia nuts: are another concern, along with most other kinds of nuts.
Their high phosphorus content is said to possibly lead to bladder stones.
Dogs develop a tremor of the skeletal muscles, and weakness or paralysis
of the hindquarters. Affected dogs are often unable to rise and are distressed,
usually panting. Some affected dogs have swollen limbs and show pain when
the limbs are manipulated.

Mushrooms: ingested by a dog can be toxic and may cause liver failure,
says the APCC. The problem is that many poisonous mushrooms often
grow together with non-poisonous mushrooms

Toxic Plants For Pets

Poinsettia (disambiguation): One of the most popular holiday plants,
it is easily recognizable by their large red, white, pink or mottled leaves.
These plants also contain a thick, milky irritant sap. In general, it would
take ingestion of a large amount of this plant to see possible clinical signs
in your pet. Signs can include vomiting, anorexia and depression.
The symptoms are generally self-limiting and treatment is rarely needed.
Your Vet may recommend limiting food and water intake for 1 or 2 hours
if you pet is suspected of ingesting poinsettias.
Hyacinth (Hyacinth): This popular plant can cause severe vomiting,
bloody diarrhea, depression, and tremors.
lily of the valley (Convalaria): This plant can cause heart failure,
coordination problems, and vomiting.

Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium): is not only toxic to dogs,
but at some level toxic to humans as well. Ingesting any part of
the plant can cause rapid breathing, pulse, dilated pupils,
twitching and diarrhea among dogs. It can also lead to convulsions,
coma or death.

Lantana (disambiguation): lantana is a common perennial flowering plant
found in most gardens. The leaves are berries of this plant are poisonous
to most dogs. It can cause sluggishness, weakness, bloody diarrhea and in
some severe cases even death within 2-4 days if not treated properly.
Other poisonous plants include: English Ivy, Foxglove, Hemlock, Johnsongrass,
Nightshade, Pigweed, Pokeweed or Inkberry, Rhubarb and even leaves
and stems of tomato plant.

Autumn crocus (Colchicum): Its active ingredient, colchicines,
triggers an anti-metabolic effect that can cause rapidly dividing cells,
shedding of the gastrointestinal tract, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting.

Azalea (Rhododendron): This popular plant can harm a dog's cardiovascular
system and trigger vomiting or gastrointestinal upset.

Daffodil (Narcissus): Toxic ingredients in the bulbs cause convulsions,
tremors, lethargy, weakness, and upset stomachs.

Hyacinth (Hyacinth): This popular plant can cause severe vomiting,
bloody diarrhea, depression, and tremors.

Japanese yew (Taxis): Extremely toxic to dogs, this group of ornamental
plants can cause seizures or cardiac failure. The plant and red berries are toxic.

Lily of the valley (Convalaria): This plant can cause heart failure,
coordination problems, and vomiting.

Oleander (Nerium): Extremely toxic, this popular outdoor plant contains
cardiac glycosides that harm the heart, decrease body temperature,
cause abnormal pulse rate, and can cause death.
Beware: Even people have died from eating hot dogs roasted on an oleander twig.

Rhubarb (Rheum): Although the stalks are used to make pies,
the leaves pack the potential to cause kidney damage.

Sago palm (Cycads): Resembling an upside down pineapple,
this plant thrives in sandy soils, especially in warmer states such as California,
Texas, and Florida. A few seeds can kill a dog.

Tomato (Lycopersicion): Surprisingly, the greenery of this common plant,
not the tomato itself, contains solanine, a toxic ingredient that can prompt gastric upset,
depression, weakness, and a decrease in heart rate.

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