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Dog Flea Treatments - Natural Part 2

Introduction

In Part 1 of this natural flea control series we discussed the life cycle of the flea, including the 4 stages, and how commercial flea prevention methods tended to only concentrate on the adult flea, which represents only 1% of the flea population. We also discussed how improving your dog’s health would go a long way to minimizing her susceptibility to flea infestation. Part 2 will discuss more of what you can do for your dog to keep those fleas away.

These Natural Supplements May Help

No more fleas

There are several natural supplements that may help repel any fleas from using your dog as their home. Unfortunately, they do not work on every dog. We recommend you try the following supplements out for at least a month. If, after that time, no improvement in the flea population is seen, move on to the next supplement, or contact your holistic veterinarian for additional suggestions.

  • Garlic: Feeding your dog garlic has proven to be very effective in battling fleas. If you have a large dog, feed her one clove a day. Medium dogs can be fed half a clove a day, and small dogs should be limited to one quarter of a clove.

    You may have heard that garlic could be poisonous to dogs, and were advised to avoid feeding garlic. It is true that garlic is in the onion family, and that it contains allyl propyl disulfide, which can be harmful to dogs. However, the amount of allyl propyl disulfide in garlic is significantly less than other members of the onion family, and use of garlic is safe in moderation, such as the recommended doses above.
  • Vitamin B complex: Vitamin B Complex, particularly Vitamin B1, has proven to be a deterrent to fleas for some dogs. Proper dosage may require a little math, though. To help determine the proper amount for your dog, compare your dogs weight to the adult dosage being related to 150 pounds.
  • Natural topical preparations: Homemade preparations applied to your dog’s body may also be a successful deterrent to fleas. Note that topicals will only target that 1% adult flea population. Here are a couple examples:

    • Lemon: To make this, steep 2 cut up lemons in one quart of boiling water. Allow to cool, then either apply as a rinse or using a sponge.
    • Essential oils: There are several oils that have been affective in repelling fleas, including pennyroyal, eucalyptus, citronella, and lavender. Pennyroyal and eucalyptus should be avoided if you have cats, since they can be harmful. Mix one of these organic oils with olive oil using a ratio of 12 drops essential oil to one tablespoon olive oil. The mixture can be put into a spray bottle to apply to your dog.

Monitor the Effectiveness of Treatment With a Flea Comb

Flea Combs are a great way to not only monitor the effectiveness of your treatments, but also aid in eliminating those fleas that remain. Comb daily, concentrating on her tail, belly, and face, since these areas are the most likely to find fleas. Anything that is found (fleas, eggs, or feces) should be dropped into a glass of water, which will drown the adults and the eggs. It will also turn the water reddish brown if feces is present, which also confirms the presence of fleas, even if they were not found.

Confine Your Dog to Areas You Can Control

The fewer places you allow your dog in, the less areas you will need to control as discussed in Part 3 of this series. Keep the doors to the basement or unused bedrooms closed. Consider the use of child guard doors for those areas which must remain open. These methods will become much less needed once you get your flea problem under control.

Bathe Your Dog Frequently

Start with weekly baths, using a non-insecticidal shampoo. We are trying to drown the existing fleas and any eggs that may be present at this time. As you begin to get control over the fleas, the frequency can and should become less. Frequent bathing will dry out your dog’s skin. To minimize this risk, you can do the following:

  • Rinse your dog thoroughly after the bath, making sure you have removed all the soap and shampoo.
  • Make sure you are using a non-scented hypo-allergenic shampoo, which will cause much less drying skin.
  • Increase the amount of essential fatty acids in your dog’s diet.

Ready to Address the Other 99% of the Problem? Read on!

So far, we have concentrating in controlling fleas starting with the dog, but these remedies only work on the adult fleas, not the remaining life cycles. So we have done the same as commercial flea treatment, though of course we have done it much safer for your dog. In Part 3 of this series, we will explore ways you can treat your house and important outside areas, and minimize the flea problem at all stages of their life.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have more questions about what we have discussed so far about natural flea control? Is there anything you would like to add on the subject? Please feel free to add your comment or question below.


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