Sorry it has been a bit since my last post. I had some catching up to do after Memorial Day Weekend (I’m sure many of you were in the same boat), but this entry about fleas and ticks is an important one. So read on…
Fleas and ticks cause an assortment of problems for pets. Fleas feed on blood and can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, anemia and in very rare cases, death. Ticks are dangerous because they can carry diseases such as Lyme’s disease (SCARY).
There are so many flea and tick and treatments on the market. I found it confusing to sift through them all. I know that I personally don’t like using pesticides in my home, especially around my pets. According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the majority of tick and flea products on the market today contain toxins. They are known as organophosphate insecticides, or Ops. They do kill insects, but can also damage the nervous systems of pets and people.
Many people think you have to rely on monthly chemical treatments or chemical shampoos, but there are other options. Here’s my list for alternative methods of keeping fleas and ticks at bay without the use of harsh chemicals. I really recommend speaking with your vet before making any changes to your pet’s medication.
Tips to prevent fleas & ticks without the use of chemicals:
1. Wash pet bedding regularly. This removes flea eggs and larvae. If you use a blanket fold up the corners first to prevent dispersing any insects/eggs when picking up the blanket.
2. Comb pets with a flea comb to search for adult fleas. When you do find a flea you should not crush it with your fingers, this could spread the disease. You can put it in a cup of water instead.
3. Vacuum carpets and furniture frequently.
4. If your dog or cat goes in and out of the house, keep your grass short and let it dry out before watering each time.
5. Give your pets B1. It is a natural flea repellent. Be sure to check with your vet and only give this vitamin in small doses. Use a ½ teaspoon for a small cat and 2 to 3 teaspoons for large dogs. If you give your pet too much it can cause cramping and gas.
6. Feed your pet chopped garlic cloves. If you feed your pet a homemade diet, you can add garlic to your normal food preparation routine. You can buy pet vitamins that contain a specific blend of brewer’s yeast, garlic, B vitamins and minerals formulated to keep fleas and ticks away.
7. In general, a healthy, well-nourished pet is much more able to endure and repel flea attacks. Feed your dog and cat’s a nutritional diet, made up primarily of protein.
8. If you do decide to use a mild chemical to keep insects at bay, ask your vet for dog and cat collars that contain fipronil. Fipronil is a chemical that blocks nerve transmission in insects but is supposed to have very little, if any effect, on people or pets.
9. I did find a commercial “bodysuit” that might be appropriate for those of you that take your dogs out in the wooded areas:
K9 Top Coat – A breathable 4-way Lycra bodysuit made for dogs. It covers the entire coat and only the head and paws are left exposed. According to the company ticks can not penetrate it and they also makes a waterproof version.
If you have any other natural flea or tick treatment options, please share by leaving a comment below.