Don't let your dog be left behind
When I fly to Vancouver from Maui the flight always gives me time to contemplate and think. On one such occasion, it was on the topic of how we treat nature and the creatures in it.
Maui is a beautiful island, but now that I’ve spent a significant portion of time there, I’ve learned about the other side of paradise. The island faces some serious problems:
- The balance of the ocean has been deeply affected by over-fishing. Sometimes, I am surprised how oblivious many people are. They love their spiced raw tuna fish called poke, but I wonder if they know that the levels of mercury in fish can cause serious problems. People and dogs that eat significant amounts of fish can get seriously ill and that still does not seem to be common knowledge.
- The plants in Maui grow super well, but they face a different nemesis than the fish - an herbicide called RoundUp made by Monsanto. Many of the local non-organic landscapers and gardeners use RoundUp instead of grass cutting and weeding. No one really knows how serious the environmental damage of using this chemical is, but it is becoming apparent that besides its potential toxicity and carcinogenicity for humans and animals it too may be affecting the ocean's plants, reef and fish when the polluted water runs into the ocean. Some people even believe that the increased rate of shark attacks in Maui is closely related to these chemicals making their way into the ocean.
- Maui also faces another man-made problem - invasive species. One of them is coqui frogs, which were brought to the islands on cargo ships, first to the Big Island and then Maui. These frogs are really tiny, but really noisy, generating a whistle that can exceed 100dB. Personally, I don’t mind coquis, but as an invasive species with no natural predator, these little creatures have been upsetting the very sensitive balance of the environment and also the sleep of many light sleepers. The only way to control these frogs is to spray citric acid or baking soda on them, and while these substances are not really toxic, it puts these tiny frogs through a very horrible death. The other problem is that no one really knows how many other insects and creatures get killed by the same means and how it affects the environment. The situation is a little bit of a mess.
So, as I was flying and thinking about the consequences of our human behaviour and inventions, I also thought about fleas, our FleaHex® mission and how frustrating it is that most people still use toxic chemicals on their dogs.
Don't get me wrong, I know fleas can be a serious nuisance and no one wants them in the house or on our dogs! We just need to help others understand the serious consequences of our choices. Using the most natural forms of control causes the least harm to us, our dogs and the environment.
Chemicals may destroy fleas, but they also affect other insects. Naturally, plant-based substances make fleas stay off your dog, but they don't have the same serious consequences that chemicals do because they are produced by nature and do not build up in the environment.
If we can get rid of fleas efficiently with essential oils, coconut oil and all-natural ingredients, why would we use flea products that are harmful to our dogs?
When it comes to flea control, no dog should be left behind. Let's get our dogs off Flea Street so they can enjoy life and have fun.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM