Having an elderly dog with kidney and liver problems and recently invaded by cat fleas from an onslaught of feral cats in the neighborhood, I set out on a quest to find the safest and most natural flea treatments I could find. After extensive research, I was able to compile a veritable arsenal of flea treatments that I thought I would share with other dog owners, especially since most of us know how harmful chemicals and insecticides are. I, like many of you, strongly refuse to expose my dogs to carcinogens.
My dog has flea allergies so it was crucial for me to find effective yet safe solutions to this flea problem. A flea bite drives her crazy! Let me start by saying this, if you want to be natural in your quest to rid your house and pets of fleas, you have to understand that he will have to use various flea prevention methods, and you will have to arm yourself with a little bit of patience.
My interest was piqued in herbal necklaces and I decided to look into them some more. To my dismay, I discovered that most herbal necklaces include pennyroyal and rue. These herbs can cause liver and kidney damage (as well as many other health problems) when ingested, and while the chances of my old dog actually ingesting his collar were slim, I wasn’t prepared to take a chance.
The next natural flea prevention solution I read about was borax, or boric powder. People have been touting the miraculous effect of these flea-fighting products, and while I don’t doubt it, I soon realized that they were not safe products to use on my beloved pet. Borax is an abrasive substance, so imagine what can happen if your pet inhales it, plus borates tend to concentrate in the kidney and can cause kidney damage.
Well, to make a long story short, aside from my ever-trusty flea comb, this is what I’m using:
1. Flea Traps: The kind that works by attracting fleas to a sticky surface. They use small bulbs to attract fleas to a sticky surface. I caught several small bugs and fleas. What I do is leave them overnight when it’s dark for maximum effect. A good way to increase their effectiveness is to move them from time to time. I even put them on my dog’s beds (she has two, one in the living room and one in our bedroom, so at night I put the trap on her living room bed and during the day I darken the bedroom and put a trap on her bed at night ).
2. Dawn or Fairy Dishwashing Liquid: Dawn of Fairy Regular Dishwashing Liquid is excellent for bathing your flea infested dog, it’s less damaging than special flea shampoos as it’s free of chemicals and insecticides and you’ll get a distorted sense of pleasure watching the fleas nasty creatures to drown. bath water
3. Herbal Necklaces: There are some harmless herbal flea collars out there; the one i am using contains lavender buds and cedar wood chips. While I’m not a big fan of cedar wood shavings, it’s only a trace amount, just enough to keep those nasty pests off my dog. The same company also makes a flea dry shampoo/powder with all-natural (and safe) ingredients and the owner of the company is genuinely concerned about the safety of their products (I questioned her with all my concerns). Let’s just say it’s definitely “bon voyage” for fleas!
4. Diatomaceous Earth: be sure to buy HUMAN FOOD GRADE D/Earth, everything else is potentially toxic. Sprinkle D/earth under diapers, beds, and anywhere your dog doesn’t constantly hang out. Make sure the dog stays away while you do this, as inhaling the fine dust can cause problems, and wear a dust mask if possible. D/earth can be used indoors and outdoors, but I would advise against using it outdoors as you would also be killing a lot of “good” bugs. Ants, if they’re not a problem for you, eat flea larvae, so I consider them a valuable part of my flea-safe arsenal!
Human food grade ground or fossil meal as it is also called is also supposed to be good for fighting internal parasites, I intend to try this because I am afraid to use commercial parasite medications on my dog at this moment. I have tried to find out if it has any harmful side effects but have not been able to find any; in fact, people use fossil flour on a daily basis and claim that it has many benefits. If you know of any harmful side effects from using it orally on a pet, please let me know!
5. Biolabels: There are a couple of companies that claim that their tags provide your pet with a magnetic shield to keep fleas and ticks away. There are good and bad reviews on the subject, but I haven’t been able to find any literature on harmful side effects, so I’m going to buy one for my dog. Worst case scenario I’m a few bucks short, I love my dog. and I would do everything in my power to make her comfortable and healthy, so I don’t care. I figure it won’t harm her and if it works, that’s great!
6. Motion Sensing Sprinklers: These are a great and humane way to keep flea infested animals out of your yard.
That’s all; I think I’ve covered it all! This is the culmination of my extensive reading and research and I hope it helps you get rid of fleas too. Please let me know if you have any safer flea cures!