For decades, I was a diligent client at my veterinary practice, purchasing the annual flea/tick/heartworm meds. This was the ‘right’ thing to do, in according to my vet, in order to protect my fur babies from the deadly outcomes I was warned about. I had never known of anyone’s pet having succumbed to such, but I needed keep mine ‘safe’ because of what the vet said.

If I missed my start date in the Spring, they’d be calling me, reminding me to bring my animals in for the yearly blood heart worm test also, and then send me out the door with hundreds of dollars worth of medications, which I believed to be life saving/preventative.

It wasn’t until 2013, after seeing an article about what was in heart worm medications, that I began to question whether what I had been doing, was or had been the ‘right’ thing to do? I was stunned to say the least, to find out the ingredients were dangerous!!! They were poisons. How could this be?! Why had my vet been encouraging me to have my pets, ingest these monthly slow dose poisons for years on end??? It all began to make sense the deeper down I dug, and it explained many unanswered questions.

Why do the ticks (for example) die after sucking on my pets blood? Now, I knew, it was because the blood had a form of poison in it, which then in turn caused the tick to die. This wasn’t ‘preventative’ by any means!!! Those meds never stopped my dogs from ‘getting’ ticks, not one bit, they only caused the ticks to die. Which meant, that if one of those ticks on them happened to have Lyme or some other tick borne illness, the dog would STILL pick that up. It was only the ticks lifespan that was going to be shortened hosting on my dogs body. What? Then what was the purpose of doing these if in the end, my dog could still end up with the illnesses the meds were supposedly geared to prevent? It wasn’t the illnesses at all they were preventing, it was simply the lifespan of a hosting tick!!! The damage by that tick could still be done, regardless.

That left me with a question, if someone gave me a glass of insect repellent, would I drink it??? Absolutely NOT. So if I won’t drink the poison, how can I expect my pets to eat it in a tasty chewy treat? How could I be ok with having that flowing through their bloodstream? I wasn’t. I wasn’t ok with it one bit.

And then, it made me wonder what other options there might be for actual ‘prevention’. My answer came from a sign on the vet office wall. Garlic.

They had an elaborate sign stating about how toxic garlic was for animals. It had paragraphs and paragraphs of all these apparent ‘toxic’ effects of garlic. Yet, I noticed in the wording, that they used words such as ‘may cause’ or ‘likely to cause’ these detrimental outcomes. Hmmmm. So, they do, or they don’t?

And why wasn’t there written anywhere about the amount of garlic? Could garlic be fatal? Sure, maybe it could. But you would have to give a LOT of it to be so. Why was that not mentioned?

It began my journey of wanting to find out about garlic in the use of a natural preventative. I wanted to know as much as I could. And the more that I found, it became apparent that the ‘warnings’ on that vet wall poster, were unfounded. I could not find anything which backed up those statements. The only thing I could find, was that extremely excessive amounts, could be problematic, but that ‘garlic poisoning’ was very rare, especially in dogs. Clinical evidence of such was also unable to be found that states garlic IS bad.

I then found a company selling a product called Bug Off Garlic. Their website was very informative, and put any lasting doubts or uncertainties to rest. I learned that the air-dried garlic that the Springtime company uses, contained very little of the oxidative component which could cause issues if used in excess. Finding it gentle and absolutely safe for everyday and even year round use!!

I decided that 2014 was going to be the first year that I put all 6 of my dogs on the Bug Off garlic. We spend our summers at the lake, and our dogs are always outside, and in years past, it was almost traumatic for me to have to pull off all their ticks. We also, that year acquired a race horse, and we decided to put him on the Bug Off garlic available for the horses.

It turned out to be a tick less year for me!!! I didn’t have ONE tick on any of our dogs! Whilst our friends at the lake seemed to have competitions as to who had found the most ticks at the end of each day, I had zero. The flies, the mosquitoes, everything, left my dogs alone. I couldn’t believe it!!! And our horse? It was incredible to see him standing in the paddock on race days, completely still. All the other horses were stomping and swishing their tails and constantly moving because of the flies, our boy just stood there completely unbothered. The man who ran the stable, was amazed by this, and told us that he had completely forgotten that back in the day, his grandpa used to give his work horses something too to repel the bugs, and it had been garlic!!

Now, over 7 years later, I’m still only using the Bug Off garlic for my animals as their prevention. In all of those years, with an average of 8 dogs per season, I have found 4 ticks on my dogs. But not attached, just crawling on the dogs. That was in a year also that we had a terrible tick infestation here in Manitoba. All I did, was double their daily dosage, and all was good.

Certainly, if garlic was in any way detrimental to animals, I wouldn’t have all the dogs that I do. I would have had something happen during these past years that would have shown me that what the vet office poster stated. Yet, nothing. It has all been a very positive experience, and I’m glad that I decided to see why the vets said garlic was taboo all those years ago. I feel good knowing I’ve been doing this for my fur babies, instead of making them ingest a monthly slow dose poisoning ‘med’ treat. The Bug Off garlic will always be a staple in my world. And? It costs a fraction of what the vet meds do.

I would like to add that for my pets entire ‘summer regimen’, I also use Nzymes Blackleaf tincture for a natural heartworm prevention, and colloidal silver. The colloidal silver has fantastic benefits also towards parasites and one celled organisms. I use it as a ‘backup’ for my animals just in case, one of them were to get bitten by a tick carrying Lyme, the colloidal silver will suffocate those one celled organisms before they even have a chance to take hold. To read my colloidal silver article LINK HERE.

Brenda J

Degenerative Myelopathy in Dogs, and Lyme