I have presented much on natural and wholesome diets for our companion animals, as a better alternative to processed commercial dried kibble. I have also written much on vegetables as a very important source of nutrition and even offered advice on vegan diets for dogs that would follow worldwide trends.

The skin, being the largest eliminatory organ of the body would be the first to suffer and show signs of poor nourishment. This is certainly the case with our modern dogs and cats and almost every one is struggling with some skin allergy and itchiness.

Nutrition is signally the most important component of health but also important is the chemicals and poisons that we commonly apply on our animals, with out due regard to the possible side effects and harm. In my last article we looked at skin disorders and I offered a holistic approach when treating such conditions. I touched on the dangers of flea and tick repellents that we regularly apply onto our pet’s neck and warned of their inherent dangers. I recommended some natural alternatives and treatment.

For those who were not convinced about the possible dangers of flea and tick chemical and poison based remedies, I have sourced and prepared some more information from abroad that is convincing and alarming.

NRDC is America’s most effective environmental action group, combining the grassroots power of 1.3 million members and online activists with the courtroom clout and expertise of more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals. The New York Times calls us “One of the nation’s most powerful environmental groups.” The National Journal says we’re “A credible and forceful advocate for stringent environmental protection.”

MANY people have seen adverse reactions in their dogs after using permethrin-based flea and tick products. These reactions include any of the following: skin disorders (itchiness, redness, hair discoloration, hair loss, bleeding sores), lethargy, difficulty walking, loss of appetite, changes in behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death.

The NRDC report highlights the potential health hazards to humans and pets from flea collars and other flea and tick control products. The report recommends that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) ban the use of an entire class of these products. It also offers recommendations for pet owners on combating fleas and ticks with a variety of simple non-chemical steps and/or by applying safer products

Each year, pet owners purchase and apply to their pets a vast array of toxic chemicals intended to kill fleas and ticks. These products are designed to poison insects, and they usually do just that. But they can also poison pets and the people who handle them. Moreover, when these products are combined in the home, as they often are, with other toxic chemical products in common use — pesticides, herbicides, and other products — they can pose a serious health risk,

The main active ingredient in these flea and tick products is known as permethrin.  It kills insects by paralyzing their nervous system (that is also how nerve gas works).  However, it cannot distinguish between an insect’s nervous system, a dog’s nervous system, or a human’s nervous system. That is why it is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling

I find it hard to believe that these products are not absorbed in to the tissues and organs of the animal, accumulating over time, with a consequent impact on the well-being of the pet.

–       Summary literature from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

–       For a full report see http://www.nrdc.org/health/effects/pets/pets.pdf