Fleas are the nemesis of dogs but also affect so many other animals, including chickens, hamsters and humans. Recently I have had several people asking what kind of flea treatments should they use on their dog. A few have mentioned that their dog had a bad reaction to the usual flea products.
After learning about GME and how our fur babies are being over medicated, I have been rethinking my flea prevention strategy. So far my Chihuahua hasn’t had any ill effects from flea meds I have used in the past but she’s getting older and has some health problems so why push it if I don’t have to?
There are several different things you can try to get the fleas off your dog:
- Bathe them using Dawn dish soap (the blue kind). This will get any existing fleas off your dog but will not prevent more from jumping on so be sure to do the things for your home and yard to get rid of them everywhere.
- Spray them with one part white vinegar and one part water. Be sure to not get any vinegar into your dog’s eyes and if your dog has any open sores where he has been scratching, you might want to skip this as it will be painful.
- Make a mixture of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar (raw and unfiltered vinegar if possible). Put it in a spray bottle and spray your dog before he goes outside. You can also pour this mixture over him (avoid his eyes) as a final rinse after a bath.
- Spray the vinegar mixture (listed above) on your dogs bedding.
- Mercola has a great line of natural flea products (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
- Many people have had luck using a spray of lemon grass and cedar essential oils with some distilled water. You can make this yourself or buy it pre-made here.
- Use a flea comb daily. When you comb your dog, if you see any fleas in the comb prongs, immediately dip the comb in a bowl of warm soapy water to kill the fleas. After you are sure the fleas are gone, you can switch to weekly combing with the flea comb just to make sure they haven’t come back.
- Another option is the Pet Protector (not sure if it’s safe for dogs diagnosed with GME though).
- Wondercide.com is a natural option developed by someone who’s dog had bad reactions to chemical flea meds. I have personally used Wondercide products with great results.
How to Get Fleas Out of Your House:
- Use table salt. It works best if you run it through your blender to make a powder. Spread it in a thick layer all over your floors, on baseboards, behind and under furniture, under the couch cushions, anywhere fleas can hide. Work it into your carpet and cracks in your floor and baseboards with a broom. Leave it on for 3 days, then vacuum and immediately throw the vacuum bag away outside in the trash or empty your bagless vacuum in the trash outside. Repeat this cycle 2 more times for a total of 9 days. The salt kills fleas and dries dries out the flea eggs and you are repeating this cycle to get any new eggs.
- Wash any bedding , throw blankets, pillows and anything else that is washable in the hottest water possible.
- Some people do a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and the salt but most people who tried just the salt said it worked well all by itself.
How to Get Fleas Out of Your Yard
- There are several plants and trees you can plant to discourage biting insects (including fleas) such as Citronella, Peppermint, Lemon Grass, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus trees (yes they will grow in the U.S.).
- Use Diatomaceous Earth in your yard. It’s natural, won’t hurt you or your pets but will dry up those pesky fleas. You can get it on Amazon here. (You can also use this in your house on your carpet but if you use it inside, be sure to use the food grade kind here).
- Keep your lawn mowed. Fleas love tall grass.
- Use cedar chips in your flower beds. You can even spread throughout your yard if you want. Fleas and cedar don’t get along.
- You can raise chickens or guinea hens. They will eat the fleas. An added benefit is fresh eggs and free fertilizer.
- You can also spread Nematodes. They are microscopic worms that feeds off of fleas, termites and other harmful insects but they are harmless to people and animals. You can get them on Amazon here.
You don’t need to do every single thing listed above, these are just options of things to try. You do need to make sure you treat your pet, yard and home though to get rid of fleas for good.
These steps may seem more labor intensive than simply slipping on a flea collar or squirting a insecticide on your dog. But they are much healthier alternatives for both you and your pets.
So do you use natural flea treatments or chemicals to get rid of fleas? If you use natural, have you tried any of the things I mentioned above? Or do you have any tried and true remedies not shown above? I’d love to hear about them so leave a comment!