Garlic? To Eat, or Not to Eat?

Summer is here and with all the warm temperatures, we increase our vigilance on preventing fleas and ticks.  After taking time in researching different methods of preventing and controlling those annoying pests, I’ve grown ever so weary of using insecticides which are either applied behind the shoulder blades of dogs and absorbed through their skin and circulated throughout their bloodstream or our pets are dipped into a bath of them.  The idea of regularly applying these toxic chemicals directly on to our pets makes me cringe with how this adversely affects their health.  I know I wouldn’t want a monthly dose of insecticides!

After some enlightening conversations with friends and colleagues and reading Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health For Dogs and Cats, my mind was opened. Dr. Pitcairn discusses and focuses an entire chapter on the benefits of exercise and holistic ways of caring for our pets.  The holistic ways in caring for our pets is one which stood out for me.  For the longest time and maybe with being inundated with marketing on flea and tick control brands, it honestly, never crossed my mind in finding insect repellent naturally in our foods.  I’m grateful for being exposed to the sea change in how we feed our pets.

Garlic is touted as a great antimicrobial, dewormer and preventer of fleas and ticks.  I decided to try it out.  Well, actually, I decided something bigger than just supplementing with garlic.  I decided in feeding my Bears real food like a variety of vegetables, fruits, meats and bones.  Along with their evening meals, I include a clove or two of garlic.  Eddie and I changed them over to more of a BARF and raw food diet a few months ago and I have to say, I’ve not seen a tick or flea on them.  I live in OK, and we’ve had a tremendous amount of rain and sometimes we haven’t cut the grass in a timely fashion, so the environment was ripe for these issues.  I check them often and I’ve not see any signs contrary to this.  The ABC Pet Nutrition and Diet program I successfully completed along with Dr. Pitcairn’s expertise touches on the idea that the problem isn’t with eradicating fleas and ticks all together, but rather seeing pets riddled with fleas is more indicative of a pet suffering from suppressed immune system, therefore a pet not living with optimal health. Diets can affect how we behave, our ability to focus, work and relax.  The same, I believe, is true for our pets.

Even though I believe in the power of real food not only for ourselves, but also our furry friends, I also believe in being knowledgeable about issues before a decision is made.  If you’re curious about finding out for yourself, check out Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.

Dog Food Advisor (a website I often site to clients when we discuss pet foods) came out with pros and cons for feeding garlic: Dog Food Advisor-Garlic.  This website may focus more on the negatives, but its also good to consider.

Finally, Dogs Naturally Magazine discusses the pros of garlic in our pets diet: Dogs Naturally Magazine

I would like to hear from you all about your experiences!

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