Frickin Fleas. The struggle is real.

Y’all. The fleas are winning. And it’s not even flea season yet.

“Flea season” in Alabama is August – October, technically.

Somebody needs to tell that to the fleas.

They are already everywhere, and it’s totally pissing me off. I’ve tried many, many approaches to avoid putting chemicals on my dogs, and I am having no measurable success.

Back in the Fall, I told y’all about this product that you add to food to control fleas, ticks & mosquitos from the inside out. I hung a great deal of hope on it. But Pearl couldn’t tolerate it in the recommended amount, and lesser doses failed to achieve the goal.

Awesome.

Remember when I boasted about making my own flea powder? 10-year supply & whatnot?

It worked! but it was such a fine powder, it dried their skin out and all they did was scratch, which kept all of us up at night (which is just so. much. fun.). Paranoid the scratching was from fleas, I harassed them with the flea comb, which ultimately produced narry a one.

So, it is definitely effective against fleas, yes. But the incessant scratching drove us MAD.

Mad, I say!

So I quit using it. (Still have like a 10 year supply, so if you want to give it a try, holla back. It may work for you.).

Weekly baths and nightly combing had become our new routine.

But then, every morning at 4 am, the scratching begins, and the flea comb has been terribly productive, even in my pre-dawn fumbling, pissed off, bleary-eyed state, 2-3 fleas on each dog every damn day.

Curses!

So then I bought Vet’s Best all natural flea & tick spray, which smells absolutely delightful, and has ingredients that make me feel all warm & fuzzy, but I couldn’t get enough of it on them to work.

Hopes dashed. #sads

What to do? I feel like I’ve tried everything.

Everybody’s like,

“Just spray your yard.”

“Use a topical.”

“Quit being such a hippie.”

(Ppl are so helpful).

I walk my dogs down the street and in a park. Spraying my yard won’t get us where we need to be. But, hey. Thanks for the thought.

Resorting to a topical makes me feel defeated. I don’t want to shorten my dogs’ lives by toxifying (made-up word. Just go with it) their little bodies because of frickin fleas.

I kept getting warned about an infestation, which legit freaked me out. The specter of a bed full of fleas and the resulting destruction of my chem-free purpose by having to fog the house gave me night terrors.

I really really didn’t want to resort to that…

These F’ers already too tough tho, and it’s not even close to peak flea time. So with tears in my eyes (from frustration, fatigue, and failure at 4am), I reached for the topical.

I caved.

CAVED!

Like the Clairmont Sinkhole.

To mitigate the damage, I divided the dose for a single dog and applied a half dose to each dog.

I’ve continued with the weekly baths, and the flea comb is never out of reach. I’ve used my homemade flea powder on rugs and at doorways to avoid spraying chemicals inside.

I also added a clove of garlic to their breakfast smoothies.

Hold up. Garlic is on the WNTF list!

Excessive amounts can result in Heinz body syndrome (red blood cell destruction). But, in small doses, garlic is actually quite good for your dog. But like avocados, some dogs are hyper-sensitive and cannot tolerate it. The Raw Roundup folks swear by its efficacy on fleas, as well as overall benefits to immune health. Dr. Pitcairn (The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats) recommends 1 clove of fresh garlic for a dog weighing 20-40 lbs.

So I began adding a single clove per 8oz smoothie (which I divide between the 2 25-lb dogs), and that amount is well-tolerated. My hope is that over time, it will make Pearl and Truman unpalatable to fleas in the hood. I’m also hopeful that as their immune systems continue to grow stronger through their proper non-kibble, raw diet, fleas will ultimately not be a concern.

In the meantime, it’s half a dose of topical and extra attention on the liver support with things like milk thistle seed, basil, broccoli & fermented raw goats milk.

Fingers crossed! I’ll keep you posted.

pugs & kisses,

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