Treating your pet’s fleas naturally
Fleas are difficult to eradicate, but it can be done successfully if you’re as persistent as they are!
There is no quick fix to the problem of fleas, and the secret of natural eradication depends upon breaking the life cycle of the parasite and strengthening your pet’s immunity and resistance to them. It’s useful to understand this life cycle.
The four life cycle stages are egg, larva, cocoon and adult. Whilst fleas live on the skin of our pet cats and dogs, their eggs fall off and lie dormant in, for example, carpets and other soft furnishings until the conditions are appropriate for them to hatch. Eggs hatch into larvae after two to five days if conditions are favorable. The larvae spin their cocoons after approximately two weeks. The flea will only emerge from its cocoon in response to a stimulus from the outside world. By understanding how fleas find and take advantage of your pet, we can find ways to treat pet fleas naturally.
So – there are three areas to deal with : the underlying health and immunity of your pet; the environment within which it lives; your pet’s actual fur and skin where the adult fleas reside.
So, we’ll start with the first one.
Underlying Health and Immunity of your pet
As with all animal ill health, successful treatment relies on strengthening the general immunity and wellbeing of the animal. We’ll deal with cats and dogs as these are the ones we see most often with fleas.
Those pets who are provided with a healthy diet, companionship and minimal stress will suffer less from fleas and other infestations and skin complaints. Ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise and interaction with humans and other dogs.
A fresh diet is important. Most tinned or dried foods (such as this, ((not sure why that one is so expensive either)) are endowed with far less nutritional content than freshly made pet food, and homemade food is also considerably less expensive.
We combine a good brand of dried dog food (such as James Wellbeloved and Arden Grange) with our homemade mixtures, supplemented with occasional fresh bones. In the absence of scientifically calculating the precise vitamin and mineral requirements of your dog, we feel this is a practical option. The dog gets the best of both worlds; a good brand of dried food boasts the provision of all dietary requirements, but additional home cooked and raw vegetables with some cooked meat and pulses will fortify and improve your dog’s diet enormously. (Suggestions for homemade mixtures are under the ‘Homemade Food’ area of the Pet section).
Dogs will also enjoy a fresh, raw bone from the butcher – most are very happy to give them away without charge. Dogs require relatively high levels of calcium, and a regular supply of fresh bones should negate the need for calcium supplementation.
Some people recommend using finely crushed, washed egg shells to cater for the calcium need. We do this occasionally with our free range egg shells, in combination with occasional fresh bones.
We cannot stress enough the important of fresh, nutriment rich food for dogs and cats; so many chronic complaints of itching and irritated skin can be resolved through diet alone.
- Brewers Yeast Twinlab, Inc 18 oz Powder
- McCormick Fine Garlic Powder, 21-Ounce
- Deva Nutrition Vegan Sublingual B-12 Tablets, 2500 mcg, 90 Count
Environment for pet fleas
Vacuuming is extremely important, and is an easy first step. The vibration of the vacuum cleaner will act as an external stimulus to the fleas so it’s an ideal opportunity to catch them before they get to your pet.
Always empty the container (if it’s a bag less machine) or seal the bag in order to prevent them escaping back into your home.
It’s a labor of love – you need to vacuum every single day to get ahead of the flea problem.
Clean your pet’s sleeping areas as often as possible, washing any bedding in 60 degrees.
Sprinkle your pet’s bedding with a few drops of lavender oil as this will help deter fleas.
Some fresh herbs and peels can be used as repellents around your pet’s bed. Try fennel, rosemary, pennyroyal or eucalyptus leaves or grated citrus peels. Alternatively, use the essential oils of the same strong smelling leaves and herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, citronella, eucalyptus etc.
The Pet’s Fur – the incubator for the fleas
For short haired cats and dogs, there is nothing quite as effective as combing through with a fine toothed comb – in just the same way as parents can deal with children with head lice! This is the the most natural flea treatment there is!
Combing through in this way mechanically removes the adult fleas and disrupts the egg laying cycle. Get rid of the fleas by immersing them in soapy water – don’t let them get purchase on the surface tension of the water! This must be done daily to ensure that the cycle is broken.
Shampooing your dog or cat is also effective in killing fleas, and it is not necessary to use harsh chemical products like this one – all shampoos will kill fleas if you lather well and leave for 10 – 15 minutes before rinsing. Remember to rinse well to avoid skin irritation.
You can rinse the shampoo off with a lemon rinse which is also effective as a repellent. Steep cut up fresh lemons in hot water. Allow to cool and squeeze out the juice from the lemons into the water. Use generously as a final rinse after shampooing.
If you commit to the process, you can successfully eradicate fleas without the use of harsh, toxic products which can undermine your pet’s immunity and vitality.
Author copyright: NaturalandHealthyliving.com
If you enjoyed this article on how to treat pet fleas naturally, please share it with friends!