and with a vengeance. Fighting them chemically can make them stronger. Like many species, they adapt to the chemicals and become stronger each generation. And boy, do they breed. In its 90 day lifespan, a single flea can lay over 5,000 eggs! Instead of going right for the chemical solutions, consider natural alternatives for fighting back. From food additives to oils and plants, there are solutions for every household.
Keeping on top of fleas is the key. Regular baths with a pest-repelling soap or shampoo like our Asta Goat’s Milk Dog Soap will remove fleas from your dog without drying their skin. If you wash them in a tub or kiddie pool, add some salt to the water for the pre-rinse. Salt stops fleas in their tracks. Between baths, use a flea comb to remove fleas from your furkid. Dip the comb in soapy water after each pass through its coat to dispose of stragglers.
After the bath, there are a variety of options for repelling pests. Forums at Garden Web and articles on Care 2, The Whole Dog, and Mother Earth News provide a wealth of information about natural alternatives. On Garden Web, members share what worked and failed for them. One thing the information has in common from these sources is the use of herbs and essential oils as topical solutions. Herbal flea dips and homemade flea collars have good results in many areas. For those seeking topical solutions, pet owners report good results from direct essential oil application as a spray used as or directly between the shoulder blades and above the tail.
Food additives repel pests by making your dogs’ blood and skin less attractive to them. If they don’t smell delicious, the pests are less likely to give a taste. Commercially-prepared supplements with Brewer’s Yeast and garlic are readily available and generally safe. Large quantities of raw garlic, however, can lead to tummy problems and should be avoided.
For many dogs, a mix of solutions tend to do the trick. Before making the final decision on which option to choose, research the alternatives before making the purchase. The Humane Society of the United States provides an excellent overview of pest control product ingredients and the ASPCA provides a list of foods that are poisonous to dogs.
Here’s to fighting the good fight without the use of toxic chemicals!