It’s that time of year when those unwanted houseguests appear and we are at our wit’s end trying to get them to leave…….. or die! No, not Aunt Betty or Uncle Jim, those pesky fleas and ticks!
Whether using the topical treatments or natural remedies, there are a few things you should know and solutions you may want to try.
There are many topical remedies on the market, Advantage, Frontline and Revolution to name a few. And, don’t forget the newest one, Promeris. From the research that I have done, Promeris is one to avoid. If you read the fine print, it will tell you that it causes shaking (uncontrolled) in small dogs. Also, if vaccinations are due, try not to apply any of the chemical preventatives close to when your Cavalier receives a vaccination. This too, could cause tremors.
Revolution has become popular because it provides all-in-one flea, tick, mites, and heartworm protection. I just recently discovered (from my Vet) that Revolution does not provide protection for our type of California ticks.
Because of the time of year, the fleas can almost be overpowering and it seems like the usual dosage is not lasting the full 30 days as it is supposed to. Some of the treatments listed below may be used alone or in conjunction with the topical treatments to help them last as long as possible. Most of this information was obtained from various sources on the internet.
Just remember, all of the products mentioned above are toxic poison. Think hard about whether this is the healthiest solution for your dog...
Natural Prevention and Treatment:
Above all, keep your pets healthy. Fleas and other parasites have less effect on healthy animals...and they tend to live on pets that are unhealthy and/or have weak immune systems. And, as with healthy humans, healthy animals recover from illness faster and in the case of contracting parasites, are not likely to get sick. It’s a matter of immunity.
Chemical-free, drug-free ways to keep your pet from getting bugged, include inspecting your pet each day, and better yet, after each outing outdoors. A growing number of pet owners use natural ingredient-based flea repellents, immunity-boosting dietary measures and other techniques, instead of chemicals and commercial medications. Following are some natural/holistic approaches that many people find effective.
Dietary additions for boosting immunity and repelling bugs:
** A half teaspoon of nutritional brewers yeast daily can provide the B complex vitamins a dog needs. Dr. Michael Fox has recommended brewer's yeast or nutritional yeast (but not baker's yeast), giving 1 teaspoon per 30 pounds of body weight mixed with the animal's food.
** B complex vitamins - 50 mg once a day for cats and smaller dogs and twice daily for larger dogs.
** Use Omega 3 and 6 fatty acid supplements.
** Add a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar to the dog's water bowl.
** Add a teaspoon each of safflower oil and powdered kelp or seaweed to the food bowl.
** Fresh garlic in small quantities can help repel fleas by making the animal taste unpleasant to fleas. Grate a small amount of fresh, raw garlic into your pet’s food at mealtime, about one-half to 3 chambers of the clove (chamber, not a whole clove) depending on the animal’s size. One vet recommends one crushed clove of garlic (not a whole bulb; a clove is just one chamber) per every 30 pounds. Some holistic health practitioners recommend heating the garlic for easier digestion, and to not to give them garlic every day.
Natural ingredient-based sprays, lotions, shampoos:
* Several useful, relatively gentle flea shampoos to help rid fleas. Avoid shampoos with insecticides, since the chemicals can be harsh. If your dog has fleas, use a gentle shampoo containing pyrethrin, pyrethrum or citrus oil. When bathing your pet, you can use apple cider vinegar to rinse his or her fur. Fleas don't like the smell or taste.
* Lavender, peppermint and geranium essential oils repel mosquitoes. Lavender, lemongrass and geranium repel ticks. And lavender, lemongrass, peppermint and citronella repel fleas. Dab oils between the dog’s shoulder blades. As you can see, lavender (which also repels flies) is particularly versatile. Other effective natural repellents include lemon, cedar, eucalyptus, myrrh, neem and rosewood
* Put a drop of lemon oil or rosemary oil on the dog's collar.
* A safe, easy homemade flea repellent:
cut 6 lemons in half, boil in a quart of water, steep a few hours,
then strain the solution into a spray bottle. Spritz your pet's fur,
taking care not to spray near the eyes.
* Another gentle homemade flea spray: dilute a flower-scented shampoo, such as the type available from www.ihelppets.com, in water and spray liberally, or rub into the coat and let air-dry.
* One inexpensive over-the-counter choice for dogs and cats is Gentle Touch drops. Gentle Touch is a spot on that is all natural and free of chemicals and petroleum solvents. Gentle Touch
* Bothered by flies? Pyrethrin-based sprays and ointments are relatively safe and effective.
* Animal Essentials, Green Hope Essences and Vetriscience are among many companies that make products designed to boost the immune system and help heal the skin.
* Quantum's 100% Natural Herbal Skin Conditioning Spray repels ticks and fleas. This can be found at local health food stores. Ingredients include essential oils such as rose geranium, eucalyptus and tree tea, extracts of St. John's Wort, Rue, neem, wormwood, basil and black walnut hulls. www.quantumherbalproducts.com/Catalog/herbs.cgi/1045
* Fleabusters Rx for Fleas powder is a unique alternative to liquid pesticides and foggers. Their flea powder cannot fail as it kills fleas physically rather than chemically, thus fleas cannot build up an immunity to the product.
Flea Control Products Are you a do-it-yourself person? These flea treatment products are available for purchase online.
* Flea Treats. They are manufactured right here in San Diego County. See Flea Treats. Many of the ingredients listed above as supplements are already in the easy to give flea treat. While insecticidal and hormonal products affect the fleas (or their reproductive ability) after the flea contacts your pet, Flea Treats prevent the fleas from contacting your pet in the first place. That's a difference worth thinking about. Safety? Flea Treats are available without a prescription, because they're safe. Flea Treats protect your pet without exposure to insecticides or hormones. Puppies, kittens, pregnant and nursing pets--Flea Treats are actually good for them. Think about that. Available at Dexter's Deli.