Fleas? Again?!

Indeed, people and pets of Leslieville, consider this your official warning that flea season is fast approaching. The mild winter we just experienced - though it was nothing short of amazing for those of us who do not care for the reaction our hair has to tuques - made it quite pleasant for those pesky buggers and many of them decided that rather than migrating south for the winter they would stay here and expand their families. Wonderful.  Like your gym teacher in the seventh grade always said, the best defence against fleas is a good defence against fleas, though he was probably talking about touch football, not fleas. Here are our 10 commandments regarding protecting your pup from these guys:

1. Thou shalt spray Fido with a natural bug repellent. Always. Every time he goes outside henceforth.

2. Thou shalt sprinkle brewers yeast onto the dogs dinner for this will create an environment in which fleas will not wish to set up camp.

3. Use not a chemical flea collar but a plain bandanna soaked in natural oils such as rosemary and eucalyptus.

4. Use also rosemary and eucalyptus leaves in hims bedding. Thy dog shall not only smell like a dream but be free of the afflictions of itch and scratch.

5. If thou doest protest the smell of eucalyptus, thou can use citronella, for not only do mosquitoes dread this scent, so does the flea.

6. Sprinkle ye regular house-hold table salt around your home - probably just outside unless thou  can deal with the feeling of salty soles (of your feet that is).

7. Wash thee your dog regularly with a natural shampoo that will repel the insect. This ye will find useful for not only the flea but also the tick, the mosquito and the black-fly. This ye will find at     The Bone House (we keep it next to the bug spray. Huzzah!).

8. Be thou especially diligent about prevention when frequenting the beach for as much as your pup loves the sand and water, more still does the flea love the sand and your dog.

Right, so we ended up with 8 rules to live by this summer. Arguably they are written in a confusing mix of old English, old testament and bizarre quirk so if you have any question please do pop into the shop and we will help you out with both prevention as well as eradication. Because sometimes, even when you have taken all the preventative measures you can google, you may find yourself and your pets living not-so-harmoniously with fleas. Remember, it's not your fault - while you are busy at work and making dinner and running a household and keeping up a semi-regular social life, the only responsibility of a flea is to land on your best buddy and breed like it's going out of style. They may be persistent but they will not win. We've got your back in this battle.

Flea season is upon us, we are here to help

Over the last week or so, we have had a number of people rush into the store, looks of panic and exasperation upon their faces, desperately seeking a flea remedy.

Welcome to Leslieville aka, Fleaville, Toronto.

Yes, the price we pay for our beloved off-leash parks and leash-less beaches is amounted not only in dog love, but this time of year, in fleas as well. However, you need not fret too hard, we are here to help.

Here is a list of things fleas do not like:

1. Salt. Plain-old table salt. Sprinkle some around the outdoor spaces your dog frequents around your home. You can sprinkle some in his bed too if you don't mind the salt being tracked throughout the house a bit.

2. Citronella. Much like our other good friend the mosquito, fleas also turn their noses up at the smell of citronella.

3. Brewers Yeast. You can sprinkle this directly onto his coat or you can add it to his food. The yeast will seep through your dogs skin making the once favourable environment for the pest, less cozy.

4. Rosmary and Eucalyptus. Hide a few leaves of these under their bed or in the pillow of their bed (hey, is that a Bowsers bed? Where'd you get that?...). It will not only smell wonderful but also deter fleas from camping out with your pet.

The best course of action is to bathe your dog with a natural flea repelling shampoo - we have a GREAT one by Cain and Able, smells like citronella and lime and deliciousness - and then wash EVERYTHING you can that your dog sleeps, plays, eats, thinks on in the hottest water possible. Here you can add salt to the water which will help kill off the suckers. Then vacuum your ENTIRE house as best you can (here is that salt trick again) with salt in the vacuum bag. That should kill the live fleas you vacuum up.

It is best to do all the cleaning and washing and bubble bathing in one day so as to avoid the fleas jumping back on the ride of their life once the tirade against them has stopped. You may need to repeat the procedures but the second time around you and your dog will be pros at dealing with the situation. Keep in mind that having fleas is not as devastating as you imagine, and make sure you pet not only your dogs head but also his ego as he may be thinking this is somehow his fault or that he's a bad dog or that he could have done something differently in his life.

Once everything is cleaned and you are satisfied that you have no uninvited guest spending their time on your dog, you can spray often with a natural flea repellant such as Happy Tails spray and play, or Cain and Able Dog Calogne, both of which are very effective at warding off Fleasy McFlea.

Good luck!