Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on products designed to kill fleas and ticks on pets!
Are we winning the war? Probably not; fleas can be a real nuisance for dogs, but ticks seem almost impossible to conquer.
They are super resistant to insecticides and can live for long periods without food. Like a science fiction nightmare, ticks latch on to their host and bury their heads in the flesh, drinking the victim’s blood. Blood is their only meal, in fact.
Ticks are terrible for small dogs; tick control can be even worse
Ticks are extremely difficult to control and prevent, even with the most effective products.
But what’s better? Heavy chemicals to keep ticks away, or the risk of tick bites and disease? These chemical treatments can really tax your small dog’s liver and other organs. Some products are safer than others, but let’s face it – these are powerful insecticides, formulated to poison life.
The battle is on.
There are four main commercial options for fighting ticks and fleas:
- Spot-on products
- Flea and tick collars
- Powders and sprays
- Oral medications
And there’s the option to vaccinate your Morkie against Lyme Disease, one of the main infections that female ticks can carry.
Not one of these options is good for a dog like a Morkie. Why?
Morkies (and other small dogs) have the documented, WORST adverse reaction to spot-on products in particular. No surprise – these are basically killer insecticides.
The EPA’s findings
In 2010, after extensive study, the Environmental Protection Agency published its findings:
↓ the most commonly affected organ systems were skin, gastrointestinal (digestive), and nervous.
↓ small breed dogs were affected more than larger breeds for some products – one reason why – all dogs are given the same dosage of some of the treatments!
↓ most flea and tick products contain chemicals that are, in their words, “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” So what about small dogs?
The worst offender – spot-on products
These have been identified as the worst treatments for small dogs. We may think that the liquid dose we apply between the dog’s shoulders once a month is safe. The idea is that when he shakes, that dose of pesticide gets distributed throughout this coat. The problem is, it also makes its way throughout the dog’s entire system. And it’s poison.
So what can you do?
Read all you can about tick treatment. If you decide to go ahead, then:
- be sure your dog gets the lowest possible dose
- think twice before treating every year: you can get your dog tested for signs of tick infection instead. There is some research that shows treating annually is over-kill.
- consider the non-toxic way to go: keep your dog away from environments where ticks thrive; clear your home and yard of dangers; inspect your dog daily and spot & remove any ticks; and test annually.
To learn more about the potentially-deadly effects of flea and tick treatment on small dogs, you can check out my new book at Amazon. It’s on for a limited time for 99 cents and you can read it on your Kindle, ipad, computer, laptop or smartphone.