Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes ... don't you just hate all these little blood suckers? And not only they are such pests, but they can also spread disease.
So far, all that science has to offer is lacing our dogs with pesticides. Is that the lesser of the evil? With the exception of heartworm, I am not fully convinced that it is. The question being, then, are there any natural options that are both safe and effective?
What is the worst of the evils depends on how vulnerable your dog might be to infestation, as well as what their reaction to preventives might be. Such as with dogs with the MDR-1 mutation, where the risk of adverse reaction is high.
One of the interesting points Dr. Dodds is making is confirming the correlation between metabolic and immune health and attraction for fleas.
"Over my almost four-decade veterinary career, I’ve seen hundreds of small dogs who made a sound like they were going to choke to death." ~Dr. Marty Becker
What condition is Dr. Becker talking about?
I'd like to point out that there is a problem that sounds horrible and scary and has nothing to do with choking to death, and that is reverse sneezing. To somebody not familiar with this it can sound like the dog is unable to breathe too. I know I was pretty freaked out the first time it happened to Jasmine.
What Dr. Becker is referring to in his article is collapsing trachea. The main difference being that with collapsing trachea, the dog is actually having difficulty breathing. They can, in fact, pass out from lack of oxygen.
I would stress that unless you know for sure what is happening, and your dog sounds like they're having difficulty breathing, act as if they are having difficulty breathing and see a vet asap.
That is quite a loaded question to which there is not a generic answer. It depends on where the water in your tap comes from, what has been done to it along the way, and even the state of your plumbing. The best way, of course, is having your water tested to find out how good it is. Good filtration can help a great deal too. I don't think I would ever use tap water without some kind of a filter, anywhere, ever.
When traveling, or when in doubt, we used bottled water. Our dogs, however, have a different idea and their favorite is fresh rain water from tarps, tires, rocks, and any other surfaces where it might collect.