Your first moves should be to keep your pet indoors and vacuum and comb to sweep up fleas and eggs. Flea collars and sprays may seem like an easy solution, but they often contain chemicals that can harm your pets, your children and you according to NRDC. |
If your pets are indoor-outdoor creatures during the warm months, your home may occasionally be host to fleas or ticks carried by your dog or cat. You cannot rid your companion of fleas by treating him or her alone, (unless you are willing to resort to pesticides). Most of the population lives and develops in your house and yard, not on your pet. Treating the environment is essential if you want to win this war. Chemical flea repellents, in the form of collars or topical treatments, contain pesticides and other toxic ingredients, and can cause severe reactions in many pets (and people). To avoid that risk, there are a number of options that incorporate natural ingredients that are safer for both you and your dog to be exposed to. A holistic vet can provide a wealth of advice about prevention and treatment, but a bit of basic knowledge will help you get ready for flea season.
Protecting your pet from infestations of these disease-carrying parasites can be a tricky business if you use conventional methods. However, taking a natural approach to flea control will help you and your pet rest easy and stay healthy.
One of the key things to remember is that fleas tend to prefer host animals that are weak or not optimally healthy. Because of that fact, it's important that you focus on your dog's overall health and well-being. In short, a healthy body is the centerpiece of a holistic approach to flea control, so maintaining a healthy lifestyle and feeding raw dog food with highly bio-available nutrients should be your priority.
Natural Steps to Take
Wash pet bedding (and your bedding, too, if your pet sleeps with you) in hot, soapy water. Be careful not to lose eggs or fleas when moving the bedding. Any soap works. Vacuum often to remove flea eggs, and replace the vacuum bag frequently. Severe infestations may require professional carpet cleaning with steam.
Comb your pet daily with a fine-toothed flea comb. Dispose of any fleas you find in soapy water. If needed, try products made with essential oils of lemongrass, cedarwood, peppermint, rosemary or thyme, Essential oils. Whether used in a spray (a few drops mixed with water and a carrier oil, then shaken before spraying) or dotted on your dog's collar, essential oils are a powerful way to repel fleas. Some good options are cedar, lemongrass, tea tree, geranium, citronella and lavender. Some companies even make oil blends specifically for flea concerns. If you're applying oils to your dog's collar, use a very light hand and keep in mind that dogs' senses are far more powerful than our own – what simply smells nice to us might be overwhelming to him.. If you are getting a new cat, keep it indoors so that fleas and ticks will not be a problem. Another tip from NRDC is to keep grass and shrubbery trimmed short in areas where your pet spends time. This will increase dryness and sunlight, which will help reduce a flea problem.While not every itch and scratch that your pet has means he has fleas, during the spring, summer and fall, it's wise to pay attention and be vigilant about infestations.
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