While many of us excitedly wait for the warm summer months, for our emotional support animals the increase in temperature could mean bug bites and plain irritation. Most humans are aware of the dangers of Chagas disease or Zika virus, so they know what precautionary steps to take. What you may not know is that some bugs can pose serious threat to the health of your pets. Let’s look at the top 6 ways you can keep your ESA safe against these dangerous bugs:
1. Consult your veterinarian regarding pet-friendly insect control. You should first consult with your vet before using any kind of insect repellents on your pet, especially when using repellents made specifically for humans. This is because products that are fit for humans are not necessarily safe for animals, and this is true even if you are using a 100% natural pest control product. Similarly, different emotional support animals will have different biological makeups, which mean you shouldn’t use mosquito control product for cats on a dog and so forth.
Products and dosages will differ depending on the animal’s weight, age, and breed. Your veterinarian should be able to suggest you products that will protect your ESA and prevent bugs from making them sick.
2.Avoid leaving still water around your house. Mosquitos, like humans, need water to survive. Limiting their access to water is the best way to prevent them from reproducing and, therefore, setting free more mosquitos in your house. To avoid this, remove all still water sources around your home. Also, make it a point to empty your dog’s bowl frequently when you know he won’t be drinking it.
3.Avoid walks in the part at peak bug times. Just as we have our rush hours, so do bugs like fleas and mosquitos. This is the time of the day when they are the most active, and those times include dusk and dawn. So, avoid walking your dog or taking your cat for some fresh air during those particular times to avoid the risk of them being bitten.
4. Fix any broken windows in your home. Most bugs enter a home through cracks, broken window screens or open windows. If you wake up with bug bites, you should know that your windows aren’t doing you and your pets any favors.
5.Let plenty of fresh air in. Perhaps the best way to protect your emotional support animals is by protecting your home. One of the easiest things you can do is open the curtains and windows (but not during bug-times, remember?). Bugs, especially bed bugs, hate sunlight and fresh air, so allow as much ventilation as you can. Making your bed in the morning will also help airflow through your sheets, as well as let you check for any signs of an infestation.
6. Turn to home remedies. If your emotional support animal is allergic to chemical insect repellants, try using natural remedies that help prevent bugs just as well as chemical bug killers. For instance, lemon eucalyptus oil is great at repelling mosquitos due to its pungent smell. Similarly, garlic oil is a strong antiparasitic that doesn’t harm your pets yet keeps the bugs from biting.
Apple cider vinegar is another effective natural ingredient that works great against fleas and can be given orally to your pet or applied topically. Just add two tablespoons of the vinegar to your ESA’s drinking water. Of course, your pet will not be entirely fond of the taste but it will sure help repel fleas. However, do keep an eye open for any unusual reactions.