Are you doing everything you can to protect your dog from fleas and ticks? If you’re using the medicine your vet gave you, unfortunately, that’s not enough.
In fact, the chemical flea repellent from the vet could be hurting your dog more than helping him.
The best way to protect your pets, children, and home from fleas and ticks is to go natural. The natural route is safer for your pet’s health as well as your own. And, it’s way easier than you think.
From essential oils to routine checkups, there many natural flea repellent methods. Keep reading to find out why you should go natural, and tips for natural flea and tick prevention.
Are Chemical Flea Repellents That Bad?
Flea prevention medications from the vet are full of synthetic chemicals. Essentially, they’re pesticides that soak into your dog’s skin. This can be problematic for your pup’s health.
The chemicals used in vet-prescribed flea repellents include fipronil, pyrethroids, and imidacloprid.
Fipronil can cause nerve damage and thyroid toxicity. Pyrethroids have caused pet seizures and heart attacks. Imidacloprid causes muscle weakness and increased cholesterol levels.
Instead of exposing your dog to these risks, keep reading for natural methods.
1. Avoid Dense Nature
The first step of prevention is to avoid taking your dog to flea and tick breeding grounds. Dense forests with non-maintained bush areas are home to fleas and ticks.
Although taking your dog on a hike through nature is fun, try to avoid areas that aren’t well maintained. Don’t walk through areas that don’t have a clear and wide path. And, don’t let your pup run off into the wilderness.
2. Feed Them Garlic
Garlic prevents and treats hundreds of ailments, from infections to cancer. Its medical use originates from ancient Chinese and Sanskrit texts. Today, it’s still used as a holistic alternative to Western medicine.
Luckily, garlic has just as many benefits for dogs as it does humans. And, it’s an excellent flea and tick repellent.
When feeding your dog garlic, it’s important you don’t feed them too much. Small dogs shouldn’t have more than one clove; large dogs can have two. Finely dice the garlic, allow it to sit for 10 minutes, then add it to their food.
Make sure you bathe your dog with castile soap. Harsher soaps will strip the garlic from the fur.
3. Use Essential Oils
You’ve probably used essential oils for aromatherapy or to cure a headache. Did you know that many oils are effective at preventing fleas and ticks?
Here are some of the oils you can safely use on your dog:
This essential oil is often used to repel mosquitoes at campsites and in backyards. It’s also excellent for repelling ticks and fleas. Plus, it’s natural and 100 percent safe for dogs.
A 2010 study researched the effectiveness of essential oils on repelling insects. Of all the oils tested, eucalyptus was the most effective.
Some other essential oils used to repel insects are clary sage, basil, and cedarwood. To use these and other essential oils as flea and tick repellents, check out the natural recipe below.
4. Homemade Prevention Recipe
It’s easy to make a homemade flea repellent once you understand the ingredients. Besides essential oils, you will need diatomaceous earth, neem powder, and arrowroot powder.
Diatomaceous earth is a type of soil made from the fossils of the aquatic diatom. These organisms’ bones contain a substance called silica. Silica prevents fleas and kills them within four hours of application.
Need powder derives from the neem tree. It repels fleas, ticks, flies, and other biting insects.
Arrowroot powder is a plant-based substance. Not only does it thicken the flea preventing recipe, but it also helps heal existing bug bites.
Natural Flea Prevention Powder Recipe
In a mason jar, combine half a cup of diatomaceous earth and a quarter cup of neem powder. Stir in a quarter cup of arrowroot powder.
Then, choose an essential oil from point three. Stir in 30 drops of flea-repelling essential oils.
Pour the mixture into a salt shaker bottle. Bring your pup outside and shake the mixture into your hand. Rub the powder against your dog’s skin.
Make sure you rub the mixture along your dog’s back, tail, legs, and torso. You can apply this preventative mixture once a week.
5. Check Them Often
The biggest key to preventing fleas and ticks is checking your dog’s fur often. You should also pay attention to their behavior. Excessive itching, licking, and biting their skin is a sign of fleas and ticks.
Check your pup’s fur by pushing the hairs in the opposite direction of their growth. This gives you a direct view of their skin. Look for red patches, hair loss, or bite wounds.
Also, check your dog’s gums. When dogs have ticks, they can develop anemia from the blood loss. Pale gums are a sign of anemia.
What to Do if You Find a Bug
When checking your pup’s fur, it can be scary to find live ticks or fleas. Removing them isn’t hard, but it is crucial. To learn how to remove ticks, click here.
The next thing to do is wash their bedding. You need to wash anything your dog comes in contact with. Fleas can live in fabric like carpets, bedding, and couches.
In the case of ticks, the process is similar. You need to clean the entire house from floor to ceiling. In extreme cases, you may need to call an exterminator.
Ready to Try Natural Flea and Tick Prevention?
When it comes to repelling fleas and ticks, natural methods are the way to go. Chemical medications from the vet can do more harm than good.
Try using the essential oils and natural powder recipe above. Natural flea and tick prevention is the strongest weapon against infestations on your pup.
For more tips on taking care of your dog, check out this post on the benefits of getting pet insurance.