What DOES work to keep fleas and ticks off our dogs? I don't know the answer to that question but I keep trying different things. Here's what I've been trying in different combinations every year:
Garlic and Yeast tablets
Flea traps (dishes of soapy water with a light on it so fleas are attracted to it)
Every flea products labeled "Natural"
I used Frontline only in extreme cases where ticks were a major, major problem like when my dogs were running around in the woods in Louisiana but now it's off the list of options forever. I knew that it was a mixture of horrible chemicals, but the EPA is now warning dog-owners not to use it and you know that when the EPA finally does get around to investigating if something's toxic or not, there's a pretty good chance that many animals have died already and they can't ignore it anymore. This is from the EPA's website:
Increased Scrutiny of Flea and Tick Control Products for Pets
Due to a recent sharp increase in the number of incidents being reported from the use of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control for pets, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is intensifying its evaluation of whether further restrictions on the use of these products are necessary to better protect pets.
Incidents with flea and tick products can involve the use of spot-on treatments, sprays, collars and shampoos. However, the majority of the potential incidents reported to EPA are related to flea and tick treatments with EPA-registered spot-on products. Spot-on products are generally sold in tubes or vials and are applied to one or more localized areas on the body of the pet, such as in between the shoulders or in a stripe along the back.
EPA-registered spot-on, topically applied flea and tick products have an EPA Registration Number on the label (look for EPA Reg. No. XXX-XX).
For more information, go to the EPA's website.
To find out how toxic the chemicals are in the products you use, go to the Pesticide Action Network of North America
If you have a safe, natural, non-toxic way to keep fleas and ticks off your dog, please add a comment to this post. Thank you.
NUTRO Products Inc. denies it’s under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — even though an official of that agency told ConsumerAffairs.com on Monday that the pet food maker is the focus of a probe.
An FDA official who spoke on the condition of anonymity confirmed that ongoing investigation is the reason the FDA’s Division of Freedom of Information denied a ConsumerAffairs.com request for a list of complaints and lab results the agency has collected about NUTRO pet food. The FDA did not elaborate on the focus of its investigation, saying only that it could be criminal or civil in nature.
Hundreds of pet owners nationwide have told ConsumerAffairs.com their dogs and cats have experienced sudden and recurring bouts of vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal problems after eating various flavors of NUTRO. In many cases, the animals recovered after their owners switched them to another brand of pet food. Others died.
NUTRO has repeatedly defended its products, saying they are 100 percent safe, and also denies that it is being investigated.
To read more, go to ConsumersAffairs.com.
I have been taking pictures of various gift baskets out in my yard and the other day, I realized that I had a little helper. This is just one of those moments that we share with our dogs that make us love them even more (if that's possible).
I am so excited to report that I had a new person in my life today. Usually, my daily human contact consists of talking with my sister about her day at the preschool where she works, going to the grocery store and chatting at the checkout if they're not too busy or going to the UPS Store where I have my happydogsplay.com mailbox and saying something inane about the weather or how heavy the package I'm picking up is. Anyway, the new person in my life today was a Census Taker. She had an official looking badge and unfortunately, we only got to chat for a few minutes even though I really feel like we connected. She fell down a couple of days ago and her ankle still hurts but she's working anyway. I said I knew how that was but it's not really true. When my foot was hurt, I stayed in bed or on the couch.
But back to the issue at hand, I have this problem. I am somewhat isolated here in Atlanta since most of my friends live in New Orleans and because I get lonely, I have inappropriately intimate conversation with people who I barely know. I tend to over-share. There might be some secret symbol on my house that some delivery person put there to warn other delivery people that I like to chat. I sometimes see the UPS driver sneak and put a package on my porch and run back to the truck before I can even open the door. The delivery people used to at least ring the doorbell but not anymore. I guess they don't care what I had for breakfast or what kind of mood I'm in today.
I'm going to confess something else that is even more embarrassing: The Jehovah Witnesses know my name and the last time they came, they asked me how my foot was because I told them the time before that I was having surgery. They really care about me, I know they do.
So between all these visitors, I'm working on my "Grand Opening" email for happydogsplay.com and I'm afraid that what I've written so far (well, what I would write if I were actually writing it) is going to be too personal once again. I want to have a picture of the big fancy door at Tribune Tower and then right next to it, a picture of a bigger door with 1,000 happy dogs and me looking out. When my job was eliminated at Tribune, about 27 people told me that when one door closes, another one opens. So even if I don't put this in my email announcing my business, I do want everyone to know that this other door is now open. And you'll get an email announcement from me very soon. I just wish I had gotten my Census Takers email address because I could tell she loves dogs too.
I usually keep all the dog brushes and combs in the house but for one reason or another, I left this one comb out on my screened back porch. When I went to use it on Gracie today, I picked the comb up and saw the perfect copy of it that the wonderful Atlanta pollen had created. I just had to take this picture. Anyone who has ever lived in Atlanta knows about this green pollen that gets on everything for about three weeks each spring. This is the first time I really appreciated all the possibilities of allergy artwork.
SYDNEY (AFP) – A pet dog that fell overboard in rough seas off Australia has been reunited with her owners after surviving alone on an island for four months, reports said. Sophie Tucker, apparently named after a late US entertainer, fell overboard as Jan Griffith and her family sailed through choppy waters off the northeast Queensland coast in November. The dog was believed to have drowned and Griffith said the family was devastated. But out of sight of the family, Sophie Tucker was swimming doggedly and finally made it to St Bees Island, five nautical miles away, and began the sort of life popularized by the TV reality show "Survivor."
She was returned to her family last week when Griffith contacted rangers who had captured a dog that had been living off feral goats on the largely uninhabited island, in the faint hope it might be their long-lost pet.
When the Griffiths met the rangers' boat bringing the dog to the mainland they found that it was indeed Sophie Tucker on board. "We called the dog and she started whimpering and banging the cage and they let her out and she just about flattened us," Griffith told the national AAP news agency. "She wriggled around like a mad thing. She surprised us all. She was a house dog and look what she's done, she's swum over five nautical miles, she's managed to live off the land all on her own," Griffiths said. "We wish she could talk, we truly do."