Winning the War on Fleas

You may recall the early terror attacks by pre-season fleas that I battled in the Spring.

Like a dog with a bone, I have been determined to find a healthy, effective solution.

The first layer of my counter-attack was to hire a mosquito service for my yard. Now, I understand that sounds like an extravagance, and I was very hesitant to try it. But on balance, better to dose the yard than to dose the dogs.

Mosquito Squad comes while I’m at work and the dogs are safely inside. After just a few minutes, everyone can go outside, but that’s never an issue because of the timing.

IT WORKS.

Not only has it eliminated mosquitos, but it works on fleas & ticks as well. And the cost is actually about $80 less than a year’s worth of flea, tick & heartworm prevention for 2 dogs. Highly recommend.

Second layer of counter-attack was flea collars. Yep. Good, old fashioned flea collars.

The first one I tried was the Seresto collar. They run about $40 each and last 8 months. The collar contains similar chemicals to many of the topical treatments, but at least it’s not touching the skin in a concentrated form that seeps into the bloodstream. Collars only go on when we go outside, or board at the kennel. Otherwise, they’re on the hook with the leashes. You can’t do that with a topical.

The Seresto worked very well, but Chester (cat) was extremely sensitive to it. He lost the hair on his neck and broke out in a rash.

#garbage.

After that happened, I started to worry about the dogs. They didn’t break out like Chester, but still. Although a better alternative than topical or pills, the collar is permeated with pesticide, and the toxicity concerned me.

THEN, my hero, Dr. Karen Becker, posted an article about the herbal flea collars, spray, and topical that she developed for Dr. Mercola. SOLD!

herbal flea tick remedy
The small collar fits dogs with necks up to 21′.

Each collar contains Geraniol, which is a primary component of citronella oil, and a very effective flea, tick and mosquito repellent. The collars also contain wintergreen oil, which makes them smell like Pepto-Bismal. At $12 each, an extremely reasonable price point. Extremely safe ingredients. And, so far, extremely effective.

Buy it here.

If you live in a highly infested area, like near the woods, you might consider the three-pronged approach of spray, topical and collar. I bought the collars, and have the spray on hand just in case.

I feel much better about NOT forcing my dogs to ingest pesticides (have you smelled a Trifexis?) or to directly apply pesticides on their skin. I know that what I’m doing is much safer, easier on the pocketbook, and it works.

In Alabama, flea season is August – October. Give Dr. Becker’s collar a try.

pugs & kisses,

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Flea Flicker

herbal supplement for all natural dog health

I watch college football in the Fall. I enjoy it. Roll Tide.

It is not my life. I know the rules, more or less. I know who some of the players are, I know the rankings (generally), and I can recognize a few formations.

I wouldn’t know a “flea flicker” if the ball hit me in the face.

But I have a couple in my house — (you knew that joke was coming).

When I was at the court house last week filing my paperwork to form my company, the clerk who was helping me asked what I did about fleas, ticks & heart worm prevention. She didn’t like giving her dogs chemicals, and neither do I.

Excellent question, madam clerk! Let me see what I can learn!

My book suggests that a healthier dog that regularly receives the proper nutrients will be naturally more resistant to pests. But at this early stage in the game, I’m not willing to risk an infestation and end up spewing a chemical fog into my house just based on dietary hopes.

At least not yet.

Citronella, lemongrass, and catnip are all known for their mosquito repellent qualities. I’ve read of herbal shampoos that contain lemongrass. I might give that a whirl and let you know how it goes.

But for day-to-day avoidance, I need a better defense against an unrelenting O-line of hungry bugs. I searched the shelves of a new, all natural pet supply store that just opened in Homewood. The Whole Dog Market (also in Atlanta) offers a variety of natural supplements (among other wonderful things).

They recommended Earth Animal’s “All Natural Flea & Tick Program,” which is a daily herbal powder supplement.

Contents: Alfalfa, Garlic, Spirulina, Kelp, Papaya, Neem, Nettles, and Hawthorne.

Wait. Garlic? Aren’t we supposed to NOT give garlic to dogs?

Excessive and prolonged ingestion of garlic and onions can cause Heinz-body anemia in dogs, which is potentially life-threatening, and which is why they’re on the WNTF (what not to feed) list. But garlic is also good for the heart. And the small amount in this powder doesn’t concern me.

Kelp and other seaweeds sooth and cleanse the digestive tract, and improve glandular function.

Neem is a natural pesticide.

Nettle contains protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, potassium, beta carotene, and vitamins A, B-complex, C & D. (Damn! Get ME some!)

But all of this together, according to the claims on the container, make your dog unattractive to fleas, ticks & mosquitos. I’m much more comfortable with an ingredient list I can pronounce and am familiar with.

They each get half a teaspoon a day, mixed with their morning yogurt, and do not seem to mind.

I’ve not seen any fleas. I’ll let you know if I do.

pugs & kisses,