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HearthBeats: Notes from a Kitchen Witch

Pets and hot weather

For many of us this is our favorite time of year and a chance to have fun outdoors with our pets. The Humane Societies want Pet owners to enjoy this time while being mindful of the dangers that hot weather can pose for our Furbabies. Dogs primarily control their body heat thru panting and drinking cool water. In extreme heat, it can be difficult for pets to cool off and overheating is a serious danger.

On very hot days, pet owners should always be aware of their pet’s condition. Immediately stop strenuous exercise if pets start excessively panting, drooling or appear weak. You should take these simple precautions.

  1. When pets are outdoors they should ALWAYS have access to shade and cool fresh water.
  2. Avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day. If you run with your pet, do so in the early morning or very late afternoon, when the humidity and temperature are lower.
  3. Asphalt and concrete can become VERY HOT in the sun, these surfaces can burn your furbabies paws and reflect additional heat back up at them.. Minimize exposure to these buy walking them on the grass or dirt as often as possible.
  4. When Traveling bring water and a travel bowl for your pet.
  5. NEVER EVER leave your furbaby in the car… If you see a pet locked in a car and in distress call the local police and ask them to call animal control. The pets owner  will thank you for saving their furbabies life.
  6. If you plan on shaving your pet please leave at least 1 inch of fur as they will get sunburns too.

Heat stroke is a very serious and often fatal condition. Pets in this condition should be moved to the shade, cool water given to them and ice packs on their chests and bellies while transporting them to the Vet.

These furbabies are part of you hearth and home, they love you, keep you safe, warn you of dangers and love you unconditionally… Please return the favor and do not do to them what you would not do to your own child.. they are and defenseless and depend on us as much as our children.

Pets and flea— and the treatments.

Further on this would be flea season for many of us… when all the animals you have indoors or outdoors seem to be bringing in all sorts of nasty fleas… or being bothered by biting bugs of some sort. There are a few things that you can do year round to help this.
1. Diatomaceous Earth is Mother Nature’s product with no harm to the environment, pets or to people. Diatomaceous Earth is not actually an “earth” but it is the fossilized remains of microscopic shells created by one celled plants called DIATOMS. As you will see, there are many uses for Diatomaceous Earth. This food grade product( not pool grade) can be used internally as well as externally. When lightly rubbed into their coats or dusted on their premises, it is very effective against fleas, ticks, lice, and other pests on pet dogs, cats, and birds. It can also be used as an organic wormer and will kill any worms or parasites the pets may have. When using as a de-wormer, mix the Diatomaceous Earth into their food as follows:

  • Large Cats – 1 teaspoon
  • Kittens – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Dogs 100 lbs + – 1-2  tablespoons
  • Dogs 50 – 100lbs – 1 tablespoon
  • Dogs Under 50 lbs – 1 teaspoon
  • Mini dogs – 1/2 teaspoon

As pets get older, they also get sore joints. With Diatomaceous Earth in their diet they will feel better.  Apply to moist kennel areas to reduce odors, dry the area, and prevent pest breeding.  Deodorizing and absorption are natural functions of DE, so add to kitty litter to absorb odors and keep the litter box drier.

Household Pests:

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural, organic insect killer. Diatomaceous Earth kills by physical action and not by chemical so there is NO harm to pets or humans.  The tiny hard and sharp diatoms scratch off the insects waxy coating, causing it to dehydrate.
Use Diatomaceous Earth for control of roaches, silverfish, ants, fire ants, bedbugs, lice, mites, spiders, earwigs, flies, fleas, box elder bugs, scorpions, crickets, and many other insects. Diatomaceous Earth can be used in and around the home, yard, animal housing, etc.  Sprinkle a 2 inch wide border around the foundation of your house to prevent insects from entering.

This can be used on humans as well as pets.

2. Eucalyptus.

To foil the nasty little pests in your home, place eucalyptus in dog bedding, under carpeting, and in furniture. Sachets of eucalyptus can also be placed in linen closets, and in low-lying cabinets and drawers. An infusion of eucalyptus oil in the final rinse when you launder your dog’s bedding will kill fleas, their eggs, and any mites that have hopped

On for the ride. Make sure to always wash suspect linens in hot water.

Make your own flea dip.

Vacuum carpeting and furniture frequently, and bathe an infested dog with a quality flea dip. You can make your own from 1/3 cup of dried rosemary leaves steeped in 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and left to cool overnight. Strain and combine the liquid with warm water and 1/4 cup of lemon juice for your pet’s final rinse.

3. Essential Oil Repellants

Drops of eucalyptus, cedar, peppermint, citrus (dogs only), lemongrass, pennyroyal oil, will  work as repellants. You can mix 10 drops all oils but pennyroyal oil( only 5 drops) with hot water.. shake well and spray on carpets , floors, beds and furniture.  You can also place all or one of these on the collar of your pet as a repellant.. but be careful with this as pennyroyal oil is toxic in larger doses.

While not an insecticide, these blended oils repel fleas with their smell. Even better, the scents are often quite pleasing for people. Be careful with your cats.. they can be very sensitive to essential oils and they have a very hard time processing them. Do not place directly to their skin or sleep areas. More around them. or on the collars so the repellant works but the cat does not absorb into their skins as much.

Blessed be and Happy August

Until next time

Blessed Home and Hearth

The Hearthkeeper

PS. If there is anything you would like to see here.. please email me at  [email protected]