Chemical flea and tick treatments can be highly toxic for your dog; long term use can cause immune, liver, and digestive dysfunction, skin problems and sensitivities. Natural alternatives are a much healthier option.
So, let’s take a look at the key ingredients in a little more detail so you know exactly what investment you are making in your dog’s health.
First up, Neem
Neem Tree, also known as 'Azadirachta indica' is a tree native to India. In Sanskrit, neem is arista, which means something that is perfect, imperishable, and complete. Its leaves, seeds, roots and bark contain compounds that have a range of properties. The tree is thought to denote 'good health' in Ayurveda.
Neem is thought to have the following benefits:
- Antioxidant – free radicals are produced as the normal exhaust fumes of work, but many toxic compounds can also produce a higher burden. As one electron gets donated to stabilise the cell, the donator becomes unstable, and so the cycle continues. Oxidative stress is when there are more free radicals than the body can handle. Antioxidant compounds donate electrons without becoming unstable, so they help to stifle that domino effect. Neem is seen to have significant antioxidant properties.
- Anti-cancer activity – Neem contains flavonoids that have been seen to diminish malignancy in cancer cells.
- Anti-inflammatory – many studies are highlighting the role of Neem as an anti-inflammatory and immune response modulator. It is thought to act directly on macrophages and neutrophils, which as we know are key cells in immune response.
- Hepatoprotective – in rat studies, after forced hepatoxicity, neem was seen to restore the liver to normal function.
- Wound-healing – in application of neem directly to wounds, damaging mending activity was increased!
- Antibacterial activity – neem extract has been seen to control food borne pathogens, and at a more remarkable level than sodium hypochlorite, for example, even at 3%!
- Antiviral activity – neem is regularly noted as a virucidal, largely because it interferes in early stages of virus replication.
- Mouth health – chewing of neem has been seen to reduces incidence of gingivitis and has a demonstrable antibacterial action against streptococcus.
- Neuroprotective – neem has been seen to save brain tissue in induced neurotoxicity.
- Stress reducing – low doses of neem have been seen to reduce tension and stress.
- Relieves arthritis – in cases of arthritis, neem has been seen to relieve inflamed joints.
Lastly neem is often used as an effective insect repellent. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333683177_Neem_the_Wonder_Herb_A_Short_Review
People are cautious about feeding garlic to their dogs because of the link to Heinz body haemolysis. It has been reported that garlic is unsafe and not to be fed to dogs. However, when garlic is fed in safe amounts and correctly, it provides umpteen health benefits for your dog. For information, the toxic level of garlic is far in excess of the daily feeding amounts found in Keep off Me!. In dogs, toxic effects have been reported after administration of garlic extract for 7 days equivalent to 5g per kg of body weight per day of fresh garlic (100g of garlic for a 20kg dog!). A 5g dose of Keep Off Me! (the amount to give to dogs up to 20kg) will supply just 0.50g garlic powder (equivalent to 1.7g fresh garlic) per day. This daily amount is perfectly safe for your dog.
More about the benefits of garlic;
Garlic is a member of the onion family and is one of nature's most multipurpose medicinal plants. Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used as a medicine throughout ancient and modern times. It is a perennial bulb, thought to be indigenous to Central Asia, Siberia and West of the Himalayas and has been grown in England from before 1540. It is now widely cultivated all over the world.
Its chemical constituent is made up of the following, alliin is an odourless sulphur, containing chemicals derived from the amino acid cysteine. When garlic bulbs are crushed, Alliin is converted into another compound called Allicin. Allicin is further broken down to a compound called Ajoene.
Allicin (released when crushed) is an amino acid which gives Garlic its strong odour and is responsible for the powerful pharmacological properties of the plant. It also contains magnesium, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, volatile oil of which about 0.5% is composed of sulphur-containing compounds and zinc.
Garlic has been found to have the following benefits:
- Anti-bacterial - destroys bacteria, bactericide
- Antibiotic - destroys or stops the growth of micro-organisms. Garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic which does not destroy the body's natural flora
- Anthelmintic - destroys or expels intestinal worms and/or parasites
- Antispasmodic – relieves or eases muscular spasms, cramps, or convulsions
- Blood thinner
- Carminative - easing griping pains, colic and expelling gas from the intestines
- Anti-cancerous activities
- Anticoagulant - prevents the formation of clots in blood.
- Antiseptic - inhibiting the growth of microorganism on living tissue or destroying pathogenic bacteria
- Anti-viral - destroys viruses
- Cholagogue – increases the flow of bile into the intestines
- Digestive - aids the digestive system
- Diuretic - increases the volume and flow of urine which cleanses the urinary system
- Expectorant - promotes the discharge of mucous and secretions from the respiratory passages
- Stimulant- excites or quickens the functional activity of the tissues giving more energy
Garlic is also successful at treating internal parasite burdens. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S209050681100128X#:~:text=Lately%2C%20garlic%20has%20widely%20been%20used%20to%20treat%20intestinal%20parasites.&text=Their%20results%20showed%20that%20treatment,AIDS%20patients%20to%20treat%20Cryptosporidium.
Ginger has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of numerous ailments, such as nausea, arthritis and hypertension. At least 115 constituents in fresh and dried ginger varieties have been identified by a variety of analytical processes. Gingerols are the major constituents of fresh ginger and are found slightly reduced in dry ginger.
Ginger was reported to decrease age-related oxidative stress markers. This is largely due to it’s antioxidant functions. Ginger root contains a very high level (3.85 mmol/100 g) of total antioxidants, surpassed only by pomegranate and some types of berries. Ginger extract has also been reported to exert radioprotective effects in mice exposed to gamma radiation, due to this function.
Ginger is thought to decrease inflammation, swelling, and pain. An early study showed that ginger oil (33 mg/kg), administered orally to rats for 26 days, caused a significant repression of paw and joint swelling associated with severe chronic adjuvant arthritis. Researchers have hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory effects of ginger might be related to its ability to inhibit prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis.
The most common and well-established use of ginger throughout history is probably its use in alleviating symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
Ginger is also thought to have anti-cancer properties, largely due to its antioxidant capacity. In addition to its effects in relation to cancer, some evidence supports a protective role for ginger in cardiovascular function. In rabbits that were fed a high-cholesterol diet, administration of ginger extract resulted in a significant antihyperlipidemic effect and a lower degree of atherosclerosis compared to the group that was fed cholesterol alone. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
Lemon balm, or Melissa officinalis L., grows natively in West Asia, North Africa, and parts of Europe. As the name suggests, lemon balm has a lemony scent and flavour.
It is used in traditional medicine for a variety of purposes that range from digestive health and healing wounds to reducing heart rate.
Lemon Balm is thought to have the following functions:
- Improve cognitive function
- Promote digestion and mitigate griping pains
Of particular interest is its influence on mood. There is increasing data suggesting that lemon balm behaves as an anti-stress tonic, due to its effects on the central nervous system. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/11/4805/htm
And of course, the lemon scent repels unwanted visitors!
Not just a breath freshener, peppermint has been seen to possess the following benefits:
* Antibacterial - has a antimicrobial effects against a range of nasties, including: e.coli, salmonella, streptococcus, staphylococcus, enterobacter and more! Attention is being paid to its role against multi-drug resistance bacteria.
* Antifungal - has good fungicidal action against candida, and dermatophytic fungi.
It is also used regularly as an antispasmodic and often in IBS treatment plans.
Peppermint if often deemed protective against internal parasites like worms. One study in humans found that it was more effective than a commonly prescribed medication. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/tmi.12399
There are a range of nutritional benefits associated with brewer’s yeast.
In gut health, brewer’s yeast is thought to clear away harmful bacteria, prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the intestinal wall, preserve gut barrier integrity and decrease inflammation.
In metabolic health, brewer’s yeast is naturally high in glucose tolerance factor. It can, in effect mimic insulin, which can help modulate blood sugar levels.
It also contains a range of other nutrients including:
- B Vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, Folate)
- Minerals (Potassium, Chromium, Zinc, Selenium, Lithium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Copper
- Prebiotics (Mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS), (beta-glucans)
- Anti-inflammatories and immune stimulants (beta-glucans)
- Nicotinamide riboside
- Nucleotides: DNA and RNA
Research has demonstrated that in combination with panax ginseng, brewer’s yeast has been seen to stimulate physical and cognitive performance in older dogs. What is interesting is that this only occurred with the addition of brewer’s yeast, not ginseng alone, showing that brewers yeast acts as a catalyst to intensify the power of ingredients it is added to https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6228160_Panax_Ginseng_in_combination_with_brewers'_yeast_GerivetR_as_a_stimulant_for_geriatric_dogs_A_controlled-randomized_blinded_study
Brewers yeast includes beta-glucans, and in supplemental form in a dog’s diet, it has been seen to modulate immune response and positively modulate vaccine response. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6067736/#:~:text=It%20is%20concluded%20that%20oat,the%20feeding%20of%20obese%20animals.
As research suggests, brewers yeast helps to intensify the effect of the other herbs in this blend, being Neem, Ginger, Garlic, Peppermint & Lemon Balm, and as such does the job of repelling fleas, ticks and other unwanted guests - much better!
Key Benefits of Keep Off Me!
- Effectively repels fleas, ticks and other external parasites
- Provides nutritional benefits, Vitamin B complex and essential trace minerals
- Aids digestion & respiration
- Supports a healthy immune system
- Regulates metabolism
- Modulates Blood sugar levels
- Reduces anxiety
- Supports healthy skin
- Aids intestinal hygiene
More information about feeding and storage of Keep Off Me! please click here