Frontline, Advantage, Bravecto, NexGard, Simparica …
… we’ve all heard the names (and maybe you’ve used one of these products in the past). Your veterinarian may recommend these pesticides to keep fleas and ticks off your dog. But if you’re concerned about the risks that come with these drugs, it’s time to think outside the box.
And, if you’re not concerned, you should be. Keep reading to find out why you shouldn’t use these products on your dog.
Instead, keep your dog safe and get rid of fleas with natural methods. We’ve got all the tips you need to get the job done.
A Major Infestation?
Itching is usually a sure sign of a flea infestation. So is finding a flea on your dog (or yourself).
On average, adult fleas can live from several weeks to several months.
If you’ve found fleas on your dog or around your house, you could be dealing with a major infestation. And you may not even know it yet.
For every adult flea you see, there are way more in the 3 other stages of development (pupae, larvae and eggs) that you don’t spot. Up to 95% of fleas exist in these 3 stages.
To clear out the problem you need to get rid of the fleas at every stage.
Pharmaceutical Flea Control
Earlier I mentioned some of the well-known flea repellent chemicals available on the market. You’ve probably heard of them …
… but I want you to forget their names. And never, ever use them for your dog.
Spot-on flea products are pesticides. They contain ingredients such as fipronil, imidacloprid, pyrethrins and pyrethroids. All of these have been shown to cause major damage to your dog’s health.
But don’t just take my word for it.
In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched an investigation into spot-on pesticides. This came after they noticed an increase in reported adverse effects. They studied thousands of incident reports and released their findings. Those findings showed that adverse reactions were becoming more common and varied widely.
These were some of the most common side effects they found:
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Hair loss
- Skin ulceration
- Loss Of Muscle Control (ataxia)
After the analysis, the EPA made recommendations and established requirements for labeling changes. They also suggested proper reporting guidelines … but is this really enough?
Then you have the oral flea and tick preventives: NexGard, Bravecto and Simparica. These drugs work by destroying the insects’ nervous systems. They interfere with neurons in the brain and eventually kill the insects. The fact that they’re oral is part of what makes them so dangerous. Once they’re in your dog, if he has a reaction, you can’t get it out of his system!
And reactions have been reported. Hundreds of them.
Here are some of the adverse reactions reported for NexGard (afoxolaner) and Bravecto (fluralaner):
Do you really want to be putting pesticides on your dog? Should something that you’re warned to keep away from your kids really be soaking into your dog’s skin — something that research shows isn’t safe for you or your dog? Or what about feeding it directly into his system?
I can probably guess your answer. So what’s the alternative? There are several natural solutions.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas Naturally
Here’s how to get rid of fleas naturally, both on your dog and in your home.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Your Dog
- Start with a good old-fashioned bath. A bath with anything that makes a lather will kill fleas. Get her fur wet, lather her up well and leave the lather for a few minutes. Then rinse. Choose an organic shampoo that doesn’t contain any chemical ingredients or harsh sulfates.
- Follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) helps to balance your dog’s pH, and fleas don’t like that. It creates an acidic environment outside her body but balances the alkalinity inside.To make the rinse:
- Mix 4 ounces of warm water with 6 ounces of apple cider vinegar in a small spray bottle.
- Add 1/4 tsp of sea salt and shake well.Spray this all over your dog. Pay special attention to her underbelly. avoid the eyes. As a further preventative, add some apple cider vinegar to your dog’s food every day. Feed ½ teaspoon per 25 lbs.
- After the bath (and once her coat has dried), go over her with a flea comb. This will help catch any stragglers and get the dead fleas off your dog’s body. Do this at least once a week.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Your House
- Machine wash everything you can. Make sure you do all the stuff your dog spends time on: dog beds, blankets, pillows, towels, etc. If these things can go in the dryer, do it. 15 or 20 minutes in a hot dryer will kill adults, larvae and eggs, which can be a huge help.
- Vacuum every other day. Make sure to get every inch of carpet. Fleas thrive in the dark so pay attention to the shadows. Once you’re finished vacuuming, empty the bag or canister right away. If you leave it, all those fleas you picked up may crawl back out again.
- For an extra punch, spread diatomaceous earth (DE) all over your carpets and leave it for 48 hours. Vacuum well. When you do this, keep your dog off the carpet. Make sure you use human grade DE and not pool grade. You can also use baking soda or even coarse salt. These will dry out the flea eggs and kill them.
- Use a steam cleaner once a month to drown fleas and clear out the carpets. You can also use the steam cleaner on your furniture.
Repeat your cleaning routine as often as possible. The more you clean, the less likely the fleas are to multiply.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Your Yard
If your dog has fleas, and you’ve found fleas in the house, chances are, there are also fleas in your yard.
And there are many natural options that work just as well without putting your dog at risk.
- Mow the lawn and trim down any overgrown hedges and bushes. The fewer places the fleas have to hunker down, the better.
- Remove dead leaves and twigs from flower beds and from under bushes. Remember, fleas like dark, damp places, so clear those out as much as possible. Expose those shady areas to sunlight.
- Use nematodes. Nematodes are tiny worms that feed on organic matter. There are several different kinds of nematodes. Some are good, some are bad, but Steinerma carpocapsea are great! They target (and eat) bugs – including fleas.You can spray nematodes on your lawn and in your garden. They can kill up to 90% of flea larvae in as little as 24 hours. And they’re totally safe for your dog. Better yet, they’re safe for the environment so they don’t damage crops or gardens.
- Plant some flea repelling plants. Rosemary, lemongrass, peppermint and sage have natural oils that repel fleas. Use them to keep the fleas from your yard and away from your dog.
Fleas can be a nightmare, but you don’t need to resort to chemical sprays, spot-ons or chemical-based oral treatments to get rid of them. Use these tips to get rid of fleas on your dog, in your house and in the yard. Not only do they work, they’ll also keep the chemicals out of your dog’s system!
Author: Emily Vey