Come spring, most dog fanciers start to worry about fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and flies. Our dogs are exposed to many insects that can be annoying themselves but may also carry deadly diseases.
Mosquitoes are a factor in the spread of heartworm disease. Ticks can carry a number of diseases such as Ehrlichiosis and Lyme’s Disease. Fleas may spread tapeworms. Certainly it is prudent to use preventives to fend off those diseases but it may also be helpful to try and repel the external parasites involved to begin with.
I received a sample of Buzz Guard from Earth Heart Inc. Earth Heart is a company started by Vicki Rae Thorne, certified aromatherapist and master herbalist. Vicki has studied herbs and essential oils. As a serious student of these therapies, she is a member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and the American Herbalist Guild.
Vicki has worked on a number of formulas and Buzz Guard is her latest product. My goal (since my dogs are luckily flea and tick free at this time) was to see how well Buzz Guard would work on black flies and mosquitoes. Deer Flies aren’t really out yet but I will try this for them too.
There has been a great deal of rain in the Northeast over the last month and some warm temperatures so mosquitoes and black flies are flourishing. I set out to do two one mile walks this am – morning being prime mosquito and black fly feeding time. The walk would take the dogs and I along a pond and by a creek so plenty of good habitat for these pests.
The first walk was the two Belgian Tervurens. The smell of the Buzz Guard was pleasing to me, maybe less so to them. I spritzed each dog in the groin area (black fly bite territory), put a spritz on their backs and then put a dab on my hand and rubbed it over their heads and into their ears. Prick ears tend to attract bugs. Both dogs sneezed and made mild attempts to run their faces on their dog beds. I also put a quick spritz on my hat and used no bug spray on me.
The second walk, over the same area, was with the two Australian Shepherds. Neither of them sneezed or tried to rub the scent off at all. For both walks, there were plenty of mosquitoes and black flies buzzing around the dogs and me. However, no bites! None of the dogs showed any bites in the groin area or in the ears. I am impressed.
Ingredients are water, polysorbate 20; neem seed oil; pure essential oils of citronella, fir, geranium; rosewood, basil, myrrh; and potassium sorbate. This is not recommended for cats or birds – people either for that matter but I plan to use some on me. It has been used safely on horses. Recommendations suggest reapplying after five hours if needed.
I plan to try this spray right before we head into fields for tracking or when we travel to big tick areas. It won’t replace all of my other preventives but it appears to be an effective and safe addition to my “anti pest arsenal”. I plan to test the additional Earth Heart Inc products: Canine Calm, Guard Well and Travel Calm, in the weeks to come.
Buzz Guard costs $11.98 for two fluid ounces, which should cover about 6oo mists. Vicki feels that is about 2 cents per usage. The Earth Heart products should not be used on any dog who has had reactions to essential oils but should be very safe for all other dogs. You can order the products online directly from Earth Heart, Inc. or look for a store near you.
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