• Jennifer Giesbrecht

Fleas, Ticks & Lice: To treat or not to treat

Fleas and lice can be picked up anywhere there is nature and can be spread through dog-to-dog close contact or shared spaces. While ticks aren’t as easily spread among friends as fleas or lice, no one really wants to play host to them.

Conventional standard at many boarding and daycare facilities is to require a topical or internal pesticide application or a wearable collar.

As a wellbeing facility, we don’t follow the common trends, but instead make choices based on research and for the ultimate wellbeing of each dog. So for 2021 and on, we are leaving the choice on whether to treat up to you.

As part of intentional decision-making in the best interest of your dog and in-keeping with your level of comfort, it's important you understands the risks for both treating AND not treating. Through sharing those risks, we want you to make an informed decision you are comfortable with.

Risk of not treating

The risk of not treating for ticks, fleas and lice is obvious—your dog may pick up lice or flea eggs from the environment, bring them to your home or spread them to friends, or that they may share their creepy crawly with another dog. Ticks can potentially carry Lyme disease, and while dog lice aren’t interested in humans and don’t live long off their host, fleas are more stubborn and spread more readily among hosts.

Risk of treating

The risk of treating for ticks, fleas and lice comes with known potential side effects that are possible regardless of the pesticide or treatment of choice (topical, internal or wearable). As with any vaccination or substance being applied to a dog or given for ingestion, there exists the potential for mild to serious adverse reactions.

While many dogs have no reaction whatsoever, a quick online search will show proven potential adverse reactions including mild neurological impacts, stroke, or even death. It’s also important to note that even with a treatment, there is still always a chance a creepy crawly could still latch on.

If you do choose to treat, we accept all-natural treatments like geranium spray or you can use any pesticide-based preventative of your choice.

The choice is yours

The choice is yours for what you are comfortable with. Both have risks and rewards, and we believe in supporting informed decisions based in education and in the best interests of the wellbeing of each dog.

For 2021 and on, we are making the choice yours: choose to treat or not. Behind that choice, know and understand the risks of all options and the impact of those choices on the wellbeing of your furever friend

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