A lot of people avoid the use of chemical means to eradicate fleas because they fear its toxic reactions towards skin. Like human medications (both topical and oral), medications for your pets also contain a ton of chemical toxins which might not suit your four legged friend. Although, these chemical-based flea treatments are effective, they can be hazardous to the occupants as well as the animals on which they are being used. But, unless it’s a full blown infestation in your house or on your pet, gentler and natural ways can be used to eradicate and prevent fleas.
Let’s jump right into it, like your dog would.
7. A flea (away) scarf
Your dog must have that one favorite collar belt or just a scarf. You can easily convert this collar into something that will keep your pet safe from fleas and also help in getting rid of them.
Cedarwood oil is an essential oil derived from various type of conifers, roots and, foliage. It has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties and hence, works really well in tackling fleas and ticks and can help relieve itching and scratching from fleas.
All you need is-
- 2-5 drops of Cedar oil.
- Some water and your dog’s favorite scarf.
Take about 3-4 tablespoons of water and mix 5 drops of cedar oil. If your dog doesn’t like the smell of cedar oil, you can use lavender oil too. Put a few drops of this mixture on to the scarf and that’s it. Re-apply this mixture on the scarf every week.
6. DIY flea spray
If you need something that can repel fleas on your dog, lemon juice can work for you. Fleas are fouled by the smell of lemon, also, lemon contains lemonene which is a chemical that kills and repels fleas but is harmless to your friend. Great, isn’t it?
All you need is-
- 2 sliced lemons
- A jug of water
Take the lemon slices and soak them overnight in the jug of water. Boil this water in the morning and let it cool. Or you can boil the water, add the slices and leave it overnight to cool. Filter this solution into a clean spray bottle. After a bath, spray it on your dog- behind the ears, the armpits, end of its tail and around the head. Make sure to protect the eyes. You can use this spray every once in a while if your dog doesn’t seem to mind the smell of the lemon. If your pet hates this smell, well, we have other ways for you to have it.
5. Drinks for protection from the inside
Since these pests hate the smell of citrous things so much, why not incorporate some of it in your dog’s intake. Not only does it deter fleas, it improves the skin and coat condition inside-out. All you need is distilled apple cider vinegar. Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and add it in a quarter litre of your dog’s drinking water. The quantities may vary depending upon the size of your dog. The above measurement is estimated for a 40 pound dog.
Note: If the dog behaves differently after changes in the diet, don’t continue it. Even though natural approaches don’t have side effects but allergies can happen to anyone.
4. Flea bag
You can place this little sachet near or under your pet’s bedding to keep the pests away. This small bag will contain everything that fleas are repelled by. You will be needing-
- Dry lemon peels
- A tablespoon cedar seeds
- Dried lavender seeds (1 teaspoon)
Take a small sachet, or you can you make one using some muslin cloth. Mix the peels of one lemon, the cedar seeds and the lavender seeds. Simply put this bag under your dog’s bedding or inside the pillow case. Change the contents of the bag every month.
3. Flea comb
This one is an easy and neat option that will leave your pet’s fur glossy as a bonus. You’ll just need-
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 quart fresh water
- 2-3 drops of lavender or cedar oil
Take a comb, spray the mixture of ACV and water and comb through your pet’s fur.
Apple cider vinegar will help relieve itchy skin and rashes caused by yeast and poison ivy. It can be useful to restore skin pH, soothe itchy skin, calm rashes and welts, and has some added benefits for keeping biting flies, fleas and gnats at bay. The acidity in ACV that repels yeast, also repels ticks and fleas.
Caution: Monitor your dog for any adverse reactions. Some dogs may need a lesser dose and some dogs may be too acidic already.
Tip: If you can’t apply topically and yeast is the main concern, you can feed ACV in your pet’s food or water.
2. Dry D.E. Shampoo
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is made up of the fossilized remains of hard shelled algae. Even when powdered really fine, the particles of DE have very sharp edges that can penetrate through the exoskeleton of the fleas, eventually killing them of dehydration.
Just dust little amounts of it on to your dog, remember to protect the nose and eyes. Also, wear a mask yourself, because you definitely don’t want these sharp, edgy particles in your throat. You can also use it to dust your dog’s bedding and pillows to keep its environment clean.
Note: It is important that you only use food grade diatomaceous earth-any other kind is not approved for use on animals or humans.
1. Just a dip
As easy as it might sound, simply encouraging your dog for a bath can help relieve the itching and get rid of the ticks and fleas. Fleas cannot grip onto to the fur in water, hence, they drown and die. Regular baths can not only prevent flea attacks but will also help you in getting rid of most of the insects as they will get scrubbed off in water. Additionally you can add some amount of fresh lemon juice (one cup) in four cups of water, depending on how much you need. Since fleas and ticks are repelled by citrus smells, a bath a week will greatly help in prevention of the infestation.
Natural remedies to prevent and control fleas are not permanent. You need to repeat these measures timely to maintain a clean environment. Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior, sometimes dogs don’t like the smell of certain essential oils and, since the smell through your dog’s nose is exaggerated, it might be troubling and uneasy. Other than that, keep a healthy diet and proper routine for cleanliness, it will you help you avoid a lot of these problems in the long run.