Natural Fly Spray for Your Pets

Natural remedies for fleas, ticks and mosquitos are rapidly entering the market. How do you choose between the many products and home remedies available online and in stores? By doing your own research, with a critical mind, about that remedy you are considering bringing home and apply to your pet.

It is important to protect yourself, your home and your pet from these three tiny insects. These little pests can cause you and your pet a great deal of discomfort. For example, a flea bite can cause flea-allergy dermatitis (FAD), making your pet very itchy. In response to this itch your pet may scratch his skin raw, making it more vulnerable to bacterial infections, and possibly causing a hotspot. Ticks can spread the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii which causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. They can also spread the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi , which causes Lyme Disease. The bite from a mosquito has the potential to give your pet the West Nile Virus.

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Many people search for that all-natural remedy to use on their pet so they can can protect them from these insects and also avoid the prescription medication currently being offered. Over the years,my clients have called to ask if I make an all-natural fly spray for pets — one that will repel ticks, fleas and mosquitos. My answer has always been no. Creating an all-natural fly remedy is very challenging and I cannot ensure that people will use the product as directed. My closing comment to these inquiries has always been, “If I find something out there that I like, I will let you know.”

So far, I haven’t found a product I can fully endorse and some of the “natural” products I discovered on the market really raised my concern. One product promised to kill fleas on contact and listed its ingredients as “Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate…2.1%, Undecylenic Acid…0.5% Other Ingredients…97.4%.” What are those 97.4% other ingredients? How can we know if they are potentially damaging or toxic? Another product contained cinnamon oil. It did not say if it was cinnamon leaf or cinnamon bark oil. It is important to specify which of these it is, because cinnamon bark oil is a known dermal toxin and should never be used on the skin. Cinnamon leaf oil contains the chemical constituent eugenol, which can cause irritation to the mucus membranes; you would not want your pet to lick this remedy off his skin or coat.

While browsing our local health food store’s pet section, I noticed some all-natural flea collars. One of the ingredients listed was pennyroyal essential oil. I was shocked; one of its main chemical constituents in pennyroyal, pulegone, is a known abortifacent and pennyroyal essential oil is also an oral toxin. I would never put this on my pet for these two reasons.

Two summers ago we had an unusual number of mosquitos in Colorado. Our pets were miserable and we were too, so I decided it was time to attempt to make a remedy. After much research and thought, I decided to put the following essential oils together: geranium, lavender, lemongrass and lemon eucalyptus.

The reason for choosing these essential oils are:

Geranium (<i>Pelargonium graveolens</i>): The chemical constituent citronellol helps makes this essential oil an insecticide. It is also helps with skin issues such as skin congestion and dermatitis.

Lavender (<i>Lavendula angustifolia</i>): One of its chemical constituents is cineol, which may be why it is considered an insecticide. Lavender is also very soothing to the skin so if there were any skin flare-ups, this essential oil would help.

Lemongrass (<i>Cymbopogon citratus</i>): Lemongrass has a high concentration of the chemical constituent citral and contains the chemical constituent citronellol which makes this essential oil a very nice insecticide.

Lemon Eucalyptus (<i>Eucalyptus citriodora</i>): Its main insecticidal chemical components are citronellal (70-75%) and citronellol. There are a few species of eucalyptus oils that are considered toxic, and if taken orally the dose would have to be 3.5 mls or more. According to Robert Tisserand’s book Essential Oil Safety he considers Eucalyptus citriodora to be non-toxic.

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When I am creating a product for my pets, I want to be very safe. The proportions of the essential oils are low and diluted in a spray bottle containing eight ounces of water. If a pet starts to show any adverse reaction to the ingredients, I stop using the product immediately. Some pets dislike the smell of these essential oils and that is a valid indication to stop using them.

After receiving more phone calls from clients about an all-natural pet fly spray, I decided to make two products from the oils listed above. These product are now called Oscar’s Critter Repellant, after our dog Oscar and Ruby’s Equine Fly Spray, after our horse Ruby. These product are effective, but its effects are not long-lasting and you will need to re-apply it throughout the day. <b>These products are not for cats – do not use these products or these essential oils on your cats.</b>

With so many products and home remedies to choose from, you need to read the ingredients carefully, and research the ingredients before applying to your pet, whether it is an all-natural product or a chemical-based product from a pharmaceutical company. Unfortunately, pet products are not consistently regulated, so we cannot assume that all remedies on the market are safe for our pets.

While all-natural remedies can be helpful, you may wish to take some other preventive measures to combat these pests. Have a flea and tick comb on hand for your dog or cat and use it after a walk or after he has been playing outside. Keep all the pet beds and your bedding clean, and keep your floors and carpeting clean during the infestation season. You may want to use fly sheets on your horses.

Our pets are very sensitive beings, so be safe and think about what remedies you choose!

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Rose

With spring comes the rebirth of our plant friends and one plant I anticipate the most is the rose. I always discover the plant of the year by noticing what people and animals are drawn towards. This year it appears to be rose. It is the symbol of love in many cultures and I feel this is appropriate for 2012.

<b>Read more and discover the beauty of:

Rose – Rosa centifolia</b>

Rose is one of our most familiar symbols of love. The birthplace of the cultivated rose is believed to have been in ancient Persia. Today roses are cultivated in Morocco, Tunisia, Italy, France, Yugoslavia and China. There are over 10,000 types of cultivated roses and only 100 wild roses or so-called species roses. Rose essential oilcomes from a hybrid between rosa centifolia and rosa gallica, known as “the Apothecary’s Rose.” Another rose cultivated for its oil is the Turkish or Bulgarian Rose, rosa damascena.

Rose essential oil is helpful for dry skin, rashes, broken capillaries and mature and sensitive skin. This fragrant oil helps with poor circulation, feelings of depression, nervous tension and headaches. The rose petals also offer medicinal properties; roses that yield a deep red petal color are said to be the most effective. Rose petals in tea can help strengthen properties the stomach, heart and liver, but aside from any therapeutic affects, I just enjoy their delicate fragrance and flavor. Another gift the rose gives is its fruit (hips), which are collected in autumn after a hard frost. The hips are rich in Vitamin C, and function as a mild laxative and mild diuretic.

Our Welsh-Cob pony Maynard really responds to rose essential oil when he is feeling stress or has some minor body ache. Our dog Merlin, whom we rescued from a ve

ry abusive situation, loved the smell of rose essential oil and having it massaged on him. Rose had such a soothing effect on him during his transitioning into his new life at our home. It is a beautiful plant for both humans and animals.

As Marguerite Maury, author of “A Guide to Aromatherapy,” so elegantly states, “But the Rose procures us one thing above all: a feeling of well being, even of happiness, and the individual under its influence will develop an amiable tolerance.”

<i>This is general information regarding rose, and rose essential oil. We encourage you to learn more about rose through research and see how it can benefit your life. Thanks!</i>

If you are interested in learning more about working with essential oils for you and your animals, our FrogWorks home course <i>Working with Essential Oils for You and Your Animals</i> is now available. Go to: <a href=”index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=4&products_id=63″>Home Course</a> for more information.