Flea and Tick Care

It’s that time of year when the fleas and ticks are back to bug us and our pets! Did you know that the problem is 90% outside and not the pet? If your pet is healthy, and the environment they are around is relatively free of fleas and ticks, you shouldn’t have a problem.

There has been a lot of news lately about the dangers of the chemicals used in collars, drops, and powders.  Recently, the FDA has warned about this. According to Dogs Naturally Magazine, “The FDA stated that flea and tick medications are causing neurologic issues in pets. The symptoms most often reported include muscle tremors, ataxia, and seizures.” The brands mentioned were: Bravecto, NexGard, Simparica, and Credelio. These contain a chemical called isoxazoline. Other reactions are vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, skin irritation and lethargy. The issue has finally gotten the FDA to at least require warning labels on these products. 

What to do? If your pet is not prone to get fleas or ticks, don’t even use any product. Don’t just automatically use a chemical when it may not even be an issue for your pet. Just because your vet wants you to purchase the flea or tick product does not mean you have to. You decide. Some pets are indoor pets that don’t even come in contact with fleas or ticks. Or maybe your dog barely goes outside, or your yard doesn’t have a flea or tick problem. I rarely use anything on my dogs, and we even walk through state-land on hikes. My husband gets more ticks than they do! He’s got furry legs too! Sometimes I use an essential oil blend diluted with water to spray on myself and pups whenever we go into the fields. I use the Away oil blend, but I don’t think it’s available anymore. To be honest, on occasion if we’re in a highly infested mosquito area, I may use something stronger.  But very minimally, especially with the pets.

Here are some ideas of natural preventatives from Mother Nature Network:

  • Make a spray bottle of ½ raw apple cider vinegar and ½ water.  Use the spray (or comb it on if they don’t like the spray) as needed before going outside.  
  • Put 2 TBS of raw apple cider vinegar in water and offer it daily to your pet.  But keep the fresh water available at all times.
  • Feed your pet brewer’s yeast at mealtime. ½ tsp for cats or small dogs, or 1 tsp per 30 pounds for larger dogs.
  • Make a lemon spray.  Cut a lemon in quarters, cover with boiling water and soak overnight. Next day put in a spray bottle and use as needed. Keep out of eyes.
  • Rub a little neem oil on their coat.
  • Rub coconut oil on their fur and skin.
  • Some suggest using nematodes, or beneficial parasites, in your yard to have them eat the fleas and ticks.  Studies are still being done on this, but there are places online to purchase nematodes for the type of insect you wish to curb.

Let’s say your pet has fleas, here a couple of natural ideas:

  • Rub a good amount of coconut oil on fur and skin and leave on for 8 hours, then bathe or rinse off
  • Make a fresh rosemary dip. Soak 2 cups of fresh rosemary in boiling water for 30 minutes.  Strain the liquid. Add up to a gallon of warm water. Wait for the brew to cool so it is comfortable for your pet and pour over your pet until soaked.  Air dry.

Hope these ideas help you keep your pet comfortable and free from fleas and ticks!


Feed Healthy. Feed Fresh. Feed Raw.
Becky


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