THE AROMATIC DOG - BUG CONTROL
Healthy dogs, fed fresh whole food, are more able to resist bugs. By contrast, poor diet, high stress levels, flea treatments and vaccines all lower immunity and make infestation and irritation more likely.
Regularly offering essential oils makes sure the immune system is in tip-top shape, ready to repel bugs and the diseases they often carry.
MAKE YOUR OWN NATURAL REPELLENT
But in some climates and seasons bugs can get the best of even the healthiest dogs. Then aromatics are your best ally in the fight against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, because you can make your own 100% natural repellents.
But repellents made specifically for your dog, with his help, are most effective than anything shop bought. What's more, they have no unpleasant side effects and boost the immune system instead of lowering it. Plus, they are really fun to make.
My most tried and true bug control method is to mix essential oils and Neem oil in a hydrosol gel. Neem oil is one o nature's strongest insecticides.
Since the smell can be unpleasant, or even offensive to some people, you definitely need to dilute well. But it really works and has been tested to be effective at 19% dilution (1 ml in 100 ml/ 1 tablespoon in a cup).
I use sweet smelling insect repellent oils to help mask the Neem smell, Geranium, lemongrass Pachouli are some of my favourites. But, again, each dog has his own preference and many essential oils repel bugs, so I offer a selection of essential oils and hydrosols and let him choose.
A downside to using essential oils as bug repellents is that they evaporate quickly, so don't last very long. Neem oil lingers, and hydrosols do a good job of coating the skin/hair for longer lasting effects.
HERE'S HOW TO DO IT
- 50 ml aloe vera gel
5 ml neem oil
3 drops cedarwood essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops lemongrass essential oil
- The final gel should be a consistency of hair conditioner, so slowly stir in up to 50 ml geranium hydrosol.
Rub a small amount through the coat every few days. Concentrate on the places bugs travel, the ruff, between the legs and around the ears. Reapply if you know you are going to a bug infested area or afte swimming.
MORE AROMATIC BUG REPELLENTS
A handkerchief soaked in bug repellent gel and tied around your dog's neck. This is good if you are going to a heavily infested area, such as a walk in the woods of Wisconsin.
A few drops of lemongrass hydrosol in a bowl of water for your dog to drink. This inhibits fleas.
You can add a few squirts of the bove lotion to a quarter bucket of water as a coat conditioning/flea repelling wash. Wet your dog down first then sponge on from the bucket, as much as possible leave to air dry.
Hydrosol spray, safer for daily applications if you feel it is needed , or around the face to protect from mosquitoes. Dilute hydrosol such as eucalyptus or lavender (or both) with distilled water 50/50.
Another very effective method is to mix half a cup diatomaceous earth (food grade) quarter cup neem leaf powder, and quarter cup kaolin clay, add a drop or two of cedarwood or lavender, and store in a plastic squeeze bottle. Dust underbelly and ruff lightly, once a week, or as required.
Reference: The Aromatic Dog Nayana Morag