“Fleas and ticks carry a multitude of diseases that can be transmitted to both pets and human – Lyme Disease, Tapeworms, and Cat Scratch Fever, just to name a few. Needless to say, these nasty pests can cause much discomfort in both humans and their pets. The first step to flea and tick prevention is to ensure that you and your pet build up your immune systems with a natural diet.”
Many dogs frequently suffer from insect bites, especially the more active breeds that spend a lot of time outdoors. Although flea and tick bites can be uncomfortable, it gets much worse if your dog develops an allergic reaction to the bite. Of course, when this happens, we want to help our pet get relief as quickly as possible. Rather than resorting to the harsh chemicals often found in commercial flea preventatives, here are a few simple and natural methods of pest control that you might like to try.
After taking your dog for a walk or run, carefully go over his entire coat with a brush or comb to remove any fleas or ticks that he may have picked up outside. Another way of controlling the flea population in the immediate area around your home is by treating your yard with nematodes – microscopic worms that naturally feed on flea larvae.
Simple Solutions Using Handy Household Products
Because it can be difficult to eradicate fleas and ticks entirely you may also want to consider an all-natural insecticide and bathing with a flea shampoo. Although you can purchase such commercial products online or from your local pet store, why not consider making them yourself from common household ingredients! Natural homemade remedies have been around for years and are gaining more and more popularity now as people choose to stay away from products containing harsh chemicals and dyes. Your pet will love you for it!
a) Mix one teaspoon of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar (be sure it has the “mother”) with your pet’s water. This will help make his skin less palatable to fleas and ticks.
b) Create your own natural flea spray. Steep sliced lemon and sprigs of fresh rosemary in hot water – feel free to add a few drops of essential oil to scent the spray and improve its efficacy. Note that this spray is safe to use on household surfaces including your dog’s bed and of course on the dog himself!
c) Homemade Allergy Relief Shampoo (no chemicals, dyes and perfumes here!)
Combine 1 cup of prepared oatmeal with a quart of warm water in a blender.
Stir in 1 cup of baking soda or apple cider vinegar (we like apple cider vinegar the best) and then add 1-2 teaspoons of all natural liquid dish soap. The baking soda or apple cider vinegar will help to combat odor and the dish soap will clean your dog’s fur. You can add 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil which will sooth and repair your dog’s damaged skin while the oatmeal acts as a moisturizer. Note: If you don’t have jojoba oil handy you can use another essential oil or even olive oil will work.
As always, we recommend you consult your veterinarian as your particular situation may not be exactly suited to the recommendations given here, and may conflict with advice given by your vet. There is no implied endorsement of any products mentioned in this article.
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”.