Blog : Are your Pets Tired of Ticks? Looking for Natural Alternatives?

By Rich | Jul 30, 2015 | in

By Rich Collins

New England is graced with somewhat unusual climate conditions – harsh winters often followed by beautiful, somewhat dry spring. But with these weather patterns come an onslaught of biting insects – ticks in particular – that target pets and their owners across the East. It’s well known that ticks carry Lyme and other types of debilitating diseases, as they lie in wait on tall grasses readying themselves to hitch a ride on cats and dogs. Pet owners often have their dogs and cats vaccinated against ticks; however, the nightmarish insects can still travel into our homes via pets and feed on humans.

So what can homeowners do to protect their dogs and cats, as well as themselves? The first solution is to avoid grassy or wooded areas entirely. But during the summer months, it’s not feasible to avoid the outdoors throughout the seacoast and the Great Bay (a known tick hotbed) area.

To determine what options are available, it’s best to turn to professionals. Locally, The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat offer choices on a variety of natural products, from holistic pet foods to natural flea and tick remedies. Co-owned by husband and wife team Dawn and Jeff Price, The Natural Dog is a holistic and organic pet supply store specializing in direct, personal customer service, advice, and a host of natural product alternatives. Located at 801 Islington Street in Portsmouth’s revitalized “West End” neighborhood in Gallagher Plaza, the store is a local resource for pet owners who prefer a more holistic approach or have dogs and cats with special diets or needs.

 

Homeowners often have their yards commercially treated, but it’s hard to know how safe broadcasted pesticides really are, if not using a company focused on organic or all-natural treatments.

Most pet owners, however, address the issue by purchasing expensive pesticide-based repellants from the veterinarian, referred to called ‘spot-on’ treatments. While EPA approved and proven to be effective, these treatments contain harsh pesticides that can have a host of noxious side effects. For example, The EPA received over 44,000 reports of adverse reactions during 2008, including 600 pet deaths, and subsequently issued changes in labeling and prompting a yearlong study of the effects of these pesticides, particularly on small dogs and cats. Certain ingredients in these products have been losing efficacy over time as ticks build up immunities. For those seeking all-natural treatments, the question is where can they find them, and do they work?

Jeff Price is a familiar face at the Portsmouth store, and turned customers concerned about infestation on to a product line called Wondercide Natural Products, with a flea and tick spray designed to repel mosquitoes, fleas and ticks, mites and mange. Packaged in pump spray bottles (not propellant based) the product is sprayed on pets directly, their bedding areas, or carpeting in the home. Wondercide can repel new pest attacks or knock down an existing infestation. Made of 10 percent cedar oil and 90 percent silica gel, it is safe for pregnant and nursing mothers, senior dogs, and children, but toxic to insects. Working as a repellant, it can also be used along with the traditional ‘spot on’ treatments effectively to instantly repel the ticks, as some of the pesticides take time to work.

Dawn Price, a registered dietitian and co owner of the The Natural Dog, typically works behind the scenes or at their Newburyport, Mass. store. For her, the choice to carry a product like Wondercide coincides with her belief in offering all natural and organics foods and products.

“We chose to carry Wondercide for many reasons: It is a safe alternative to chemicals, it can be used safely in combination with other treatments, it is safe and effective in protecting dogs and cats from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. In addition to Wondercide products being safe and effective, the company is also dedicated to ecological, ethical and social standards that make the world a healthier place,” she said.

The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat also carries a Wondercide Yard and Garden spray designed to keep the outdoor areas of a home pest free and offers a three step, natural system for total control over biting bug infestations.

“We have carried Wondercide products for four years and our customers are very pleased at how effective it is in preventing and treating fleas, ticks and mosquitoes,” said Dawn Price. “Our customers frequently comment how happy they are to have a product that is not only effective but safe to use on both dogs and cats.”

Kittery resident, Gavin Barbour, uses the product at home, treating both his family’s dog and cat. For Barbour, the father of three girls, Wondercide’s natural ingredients give him peace of mind.

“Our girls cuddle the dog, hug him, and rest their head on his back,” Barbour said. “And our cat, who is an outdoor cat, sleeps on the beds and couches. It’s good knowing we can keep our pets healthy with a product that won’t have adverse effects on my girls, or us.”

Jeff and Dawn stand behind the products they stock, having done significant research into the origins of their natural product supply chain with all of their products being entirely of USA origins or with rare exceptions, produced in USDA approved facilities. They choose to focus on local products and smaller producers as well as promoting ethical business practices in the pet supply market. They are also active members of the Green Alliance, a union of local sustainable businesses and members working to unite the green community.

Ticks aren’t going away anytime soon. However, the good news is that pet owners now have access to time proven, natural repellants that are effective and readily available from local purveyors, like the Prices, willing to work with consumers to educate with them on proper use.

To learn more about The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat, visit www.thenaturaldog.us.

For more information about the Green Alliance, visit www.greenalliance.biz.