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Natural Pet Remedies for Flea and Tick Control

The following is a post by PetMD, provided by DivineCaroline.

While we may not be able to roll back the global warming trend, there are easier, softer ways to treat parasites, and ways in which we can avoid some of the pests.

A lot of people are reluctant to use chemical flea treatments because of the possibility of a toxic reaction with the skin. “If it isn’t safe for my children, how can it be safe for my pet,” they ask. Unless it is a full blown flea infestation, you may have good results by using gentler and safer methods for flea eradication and control.

For dogs, a daily dose of brewer’s yeast mixed with a small amount of garlic in their kibble will help to repel fleas. You can also add brewer’s yeast to your cat’s food, but omit the garlic (onions and garlic are toxic for cats).

Fleas are also known to be repelled by citrus. A freshly squeezed orange or lemon can be rubbed onto your pet’s fur, with no harm to your pet if it is licked off, and fresh smelling fur to boot.

Remember the old cartoons where dogs would jump into water to relieve themselves of fleas? Water really does work. Since fleas do not grasp onto the hair shafts, they fall off in the water and drown. A good dip in a tub of water will wash away most, if not all of the fleas on your pet.

Using a gentle shampoo, or a little bit of dish liquid, perhaps one with a citrus base (fleas are repelled by lemon and orange), along with thorough and regular brushing, will go a long way toward ridding your pet’s body of fleas. Around the house, vacuuming, laundering, and disinfecting the floors and your pet’s living spaces will help to control the population of fleas (just make sure you do not use products with volatile organic compounds).

In the yard, you might consider adding a natural predator of fleas. Nematodes are small worms that feed off of flea larva, and are easy to find at garden stores or pet shops. Keep in mind that the type of nematode that is being recommended here is termed a “beneficial” nematode. It is not the type that is known for infecting animals as heartworm.

Ticks hang out in tall grass and use the opportunity to grab on to passersby when they feel body warmth. If you are going to be spending time in wooded or grassy areas with your dog, you might want to fashion some cover-up clothing for your dog to avoid ticks. An old t-shirt can be altered to fit your dog’s body, and old socks can be cut to make “leg warmers.” This may not entirely prevent ticks from making their way onto your dog, but it keep most of them off since they have nothing to latch onto, and will slow the rest down so they do not spend as much time on your dog’s skin. Because ticks carry dangerous bacteria, repelling them is a priority.

One of the natural repellents that a lot of people have success with is rose geranium oil, which can be applied to your dog’s collar. Don’t use this on your cat, though, they are notorious for bad reactions with essential oils. With ticks, the best thing you might do it to check your pet a few times a day when you are in an area that has ticks, and remove them promptly.

Proper technique is important for removing ticks and fleas, so make sure that you are acquainted before you do it yourself. Now that you have a few alternate means of combating fleas and ticks, you can feel confident that your pets will remain bug-free throughout the year.

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  • lillian loy says:

    I have 3 fairly large indoor cats. I really am not sure why but I have serious flea problem. I will not use chemicals because of the serious side effects I have read many articles and still not sure on what to use. Please help my babies and they say thank you.

  • Lauren says:

    NEVER FEED GARLIC TO PETS. it causes anemia.

  • Joe says:

    Where do idiots like this nicole come from?

  • Nicole says:

    Fleas and ticks have a right to live too, you know! Just because fleas and ticks aren’t as cute and cuddly as dog or cats does not mean they can not feel pain. Take the time and actually pick the “pests” off of your pet.
    Be a true animal activist!

  • marilyn says:

    Hello its me again.I have been using the brewers yeast an garlic, it dosent seem to be working.I read the post about the walnut tree leaves, putting them inside your house, does this really help.thank you marilyn

  • Allen Miller says:

    This post gives a perfect information about that for which reason pet remedies will useful and how much it will effective.Great post.

  • Pekmez says:

    Wow, holistic petstore, Im amazed. And Veronica what is that vinegar for?

  • joe williams says:

    DE and ceadercide products(natural nontoxic ceaderoil) will work wonders with no damage.DE in a sock works on even the tinest kitten with no harm.

  • marilyn says:

    somehow i came on this web sure glad i did.people have been droping animals off close to my home.i now have 6 dogs/4 cats.i have grown to love them all.i think they have decided to keep me.i just wanted to thank you for the flea an tick remities.iam going to try iam on ssi i cant afford the vets.thank you.sincerly marilyn

  • Veronica Thorne says:

    Try 1 tsp. of Vinegar (I use Apple Cider Vinegar) to 4 cups of water for your pet’s drinking water. I do it everyday & I also put ice in their drinking water to cool their mouth, since dogs sweat through their mouth.
    I also put Brewer’s Yeast on their food – 1/2 to 1 tsp. on their food & mix it throughly depending on how much food you give your dogs.
    Flea Pet Spray –
    1/4 tsp. of Eucalyptus or Wintergreen Essential Oil
    1 cup of water
    Pour both in a spray bottle & shake & spray your pet & your house (pet’s beds, your bed if your pet sleeps on your bed & furniture). Spray 3x a week all year around, especially during the summer which is Flea & Tick season.

  • Jen says:

    And, for fleas and ticks, Buck Mountain Parasite Powder works really well. IT is a combo of Neem, Yarrow and Diatom Flour (fossilized diatoms, not live ones). You only use a teaspoon a month, and it really has no smell.

  • Jen says:

    Ear mites can be reduced/removed by rinsing your dogs ear canal with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and warm water. Gently pour a small amount in, and try to let it sit for a few seconds, then let fido shake to get it out. Also is a good wash to get rid of debris.

  • Leslie says:

    PetMD is for the most part written by medical journalists. Any health information you get from PetMD is at best second-hand. What exactly is a “Pet MD” anyway? There’s no such thing – it is a TRADEMARK to make you think you’re getting professional opinions.

    Just because you read it on the web doesn’t make it true.

  • samantha says:

    I used the Frontline on my dog a week ago and she had a TERRIBLE reaction. I thought she was going to die. My local holistic petstore has since recommended Sentry Natural Defense which is a flea and tick squeeze on repellent that also works on mosquitos. It has peppermint and bunch of other oils.

    He also suggested a lavender fresh spray by Cain and Able, which he says also repells bugs. He uses it on his dogs and on himself.

  • Pekmez says:

    well it says small amount of garlic, and this article is aproved by veterenians as said on the web page

  • Carol Anderson says:

    What about heartworm alternatives?

  • Michelle says:

    Thanks for the info! I’ve also heard that garlic is bad for dogs though…

  • Marg Durrance says:

    I feed 2 feral cats who arrive for breakfast every morning, They have been spayed & neutered after being trapped thanks to our local cat rescue. I have also been able to de-worm them but not being able to touch them worry about fleas. My other cats are protected thanks to “Advantage” Suggestions?

  • stephanie says:

    I have been using nematodes in my yard for several years now. It worked so well i use it on my neighbors yards and the family members where my dogs visit. The only time that I have to put anything on my dogs is when they have a grooming appt. Also, to get rid of the fleas we had in our home several years ago, we placed walnut tree leaves all over the house behind furniture this seemed to kill them within the week.

  • Lynn Ferguson says:

    Great tips! Thanks. Any suggestions on how to avoid or get rid of ear mites?

  • Kairen Brooke-Anderson says:

    Hi, re garlic, my homeopathic vets says garlic, like onion, is really bad for dogs. I googled this and garlic can kill dogs

  • Wishaven says:

    Is brewer’s yeast ok for ALL dogs? Is use of it contraindicated for use with any particular health conditions (like yeast infections in ears? – I think they are different, but not sure)?


  • Kris says:

    These are some awesome methods! My parents pets have fleas & my mom just came to stay for a few days, so I worried about my kitten getting fleas. These are some great ways to treat her while my mom is staying with us without dosing her with some harmful chemicals. Thanks : )

  • Sarah says:

    Great article but do you have any remedies for mosquitoes?