We love our dogs but dogs often come with their own pets that we want to see much much less of – fleas!
There are many brand-name pesticides to keep those annoying fleas and ticks at bay.
But these days, as it’s 2019, there are natural ways to keep those little critters off your fur babies.
And not many dog owners know that a flea can live anything from several weeks to several months.
For every single flea spotted on a doggy, there are usually three others in various stages of development such as pupae, larvae and eggs.
So to get rid of them, the pupae, larvae and eggs all need to be attacked at their respective stages.
While brand-name flea control products will work, some of the ingredients that go to make them are believed to be a health risk to a dog.
Those chemicals are known as pyrethroids, pyrethrins and imidacloprid and they’re used in the drops that go onto a patch of the dog’s skin.
Side Effects from Flea Treatments
The Environmental Protection Agency, which has reportedly researched them, picked up side effects including vomiting, itching, hair loss, ulcers, lethargy, nervousness, ataxia (loss of muscle control) tremors, seizures and in the most extreme cases, death.
Oral treatments are also a concern. Mainly because once they’ve been taken, they can’t be un-taken so if your doggy has a bad reaction it’s just bad news.
And the reactions, according to the EPA can be just as severe as the drops version.
So generally speaking, pesticides are not what anyone wants to be putting onto or into their best friend.
And of course let’s think about how to solve the problem NATURALLY!
Here are some top tips…
Bath Your Pooch
So naturally enough, the first thing to do is to give the furry one a bath.
A good soapy bath will kill the fleas, and the doggy will need to be lathered up for a few minutes to make it effective so don’t just quickly wash and go. Take your time, people.
After the bath give that doggy and apple code vinegar rinse.
All natures all but not flea friendly as the acidic effect will make life a little bit too hot for any flew that’s stuck around after the lathering.
The general rule of thumb for the right apple code water mix for this is four ounces of warm water with six ounces of apple code vinegar.
Add a quarter tablespoon of sea salt and then shake that mix like it was a happy hour cocktail.
It has to be sprayed evenly around the dog (those plastic spray bottles are available from all hardware stores) but especially on the underbelly and of course avoid the eyes.
In the days afterwards, make a note, able cider can also be added to the dog’s food to give extra extra protection.
Then after the bath and spray, once the dog’s coat has completely dried, it should be gone over carefully and patiently with a flea comb.
That essential bit of kit will dredge up any of those hardy “special forces” fleas that have somehow managed to stick around. And you just know there will be some.
It’s good to use these methods at least once a week. That way, no flea is going to make your doggy it’s home.
How Do Dogs Get Fleas?
Fleas can be picked up just about anywhere, ultimately, and the last place you want to pass them onto your dog is from your home. So, machine washing as much material things (as in cloth material!) as possible and regular vacuuming will all help.
Out in the yard, mowing the lawn regularly will also help create that “anti-flea” environment. Fleas love long grass which they can use to jump from onto a passing animal when they feel their warmth.
Pretty incredible but let’s not give them the opportunity.
Dead leaves should be removed and let’s get friendly with what the scientists called nematodes.
No, they’re not anything frog like.
What they are is a kind of small worm that devours organic matter. The kind that win our medal is the Steinerma carpocapsea which eat fleas.
So these little soldiers are worth seeking out. They can easily be bought online.
Flea Repellent Plants
Even so-called flea repellant plants help such as rosemary and lemongrass. They don’t just smell nice or are useful when cooking. It turns out they can help our little doggies, too.
Flea collars, we’ve all seen them and it’s actually easy to create one at home.
Any kind of cotton or nylon pet collar – cheap and easy to find – is the start.
Add to it a mix of vodka (straight, like the Russians like it), one teaspoon, and one drop of rosemary essential oil.
Then get more Hogwarts and mix in one drop of thyme essential oil and one capsule of garlic oil.
Add that mix to the collar once a week and your war against fleas is going to get a major, major boost.
Diet Your Dogs Fleas Away
One surprising addition to the doggie’s diet that can also help in brewer’s yeast. A teaspoon or a little more for larger dogs added to their meal reportedly helps.
Neem oil, a natural insect repellant, also helps.
This is a product from a tree native to India, Sri Lanka and Burma.
A few drops of this can be added to the dog’s shampoo just to give you that extra edge when carrying out the anti-flea battles.
Fleas can also be repelled by citrus. It’s probably not likely any doggy is going to peel an orange and enjoy that feast but oil extract products from lemons and oranges, again added to a doggy’s feed, is going to help.
In The Summertime
Summertime is the main time to go into battle against fleas and ticks as that is when they will be at their most prolific because of the climate.
But the battles have to be carried out all-year round of course.
We want our doggies to be happy all year round and these techniques will benefit us, the environment and most important, our four-legged very best friends.
At Malibu Dog Hotel we are vigilant about making sure your guests don’t have to worry about taking home any unwanted friends after their stay!
If you liked this blog post, please check out our top tips on doggie exercises.
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