Natural Flea and Tick Control for Your Dog

Are fleas and ticks the bane of you and your dog’s existence? Are you looking for a chemical free approach to the problem? Here’s some information to help stop Fido’s scratching.

The best approach to controlling fleas and ticks is to start with non-toxic, natural methods and resort to stronger methods only when the natural approach fails. The first step in this approach is prevention.

It’s easier to prevent an infestation of these little buggers than to treat an existing infestation. An animal in good health does not attract as many parasites as one in poor health. A wholesome, balanced diet and healthy lifestyle goes a long way in increasing your dog’s health and resistance.

Groom your dog regularly. This provides you with an opportunity to monitor for signs of trouble before things get out of hand. Use a flea comb. Dipping the comb in soapy water will kill the fleas. Remove ticks by hand or with tweezers. Transmission of Lyme Disease usually does not occur unless the tick is attached for 24 to 48 hours.

Treating your home environment is very important. Wall to wall carpets provide the perfect environment for fleas. One female can lay up to 30 eggs daily. It is important to thoroughly vacuum and clean floors and furniture weekly to pick up eggs, larvae and pupae. Consider a professional carpet treatment when you begin your control program. Steam cleaning is effective at killing the eggs. Wash your dog’s bedding in hot soapy water weekly and dry in the dryer on maximum heat. Cedar beds are effective repellants provided the cover is laundered weekly.

Herbal flea collars and powders may help during seasons when these parasites are most abundant. Check out the natural collars available from Holistic Family and Pets. Some studies show adding brewer’s yeast or garlic to your dog’s diet may also deter the little pests. Springtime, Inc. offers natural supplements that protect against fleas and ticks.

When natural remedies have been ineffective at alleviating the problem, and your dog is miserable a more aggressive approach is necessary. Over the counter spot treatments, sprays and dips can be more toxic and less effective than a monthly prescription treatment such as Frontline. Talk with your vet before treating your dog. If you must rely on chemical treatments try limiting their use. Two to three months may be enough to break the cycle and allow the more natural approach to be effective.

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