May 10, 2006

Natural Flea Remedies for Dogs

While companies boast the effectiveness of traditional fleacontrol methods for dogs, some reports indicate that they can betoxic, and in some cases cause hot spots, allergies, andcompromised immune function. In rarer cases, these methods havebeen fatal. As a result, more and more owners are looking tofind safe and effective alternatives to flea shampoos, powders,collars, and the like. The following may help reduce theincidence of fleas for your dog.

1. General Diet. There’s a nutritional reason why your dog hasfleas, and it could be in large part that your dog’s immunesystem may be compromised. A strong immune system and highnutrient levels naturally deter fleas and other insects. Inparticular, the levels of B complex, zinc, selenium andantioxidants in the body and bloodstream play a large role inimmune function. By feeding your animals a high-quality, naturaldiet, free of additives and preservatives, you improve theirhealth and dramatically increase their protection from fleas. Ahealthy animal does not taste or smell as good to fleas.

2. Dietary Supplements. Garlic. 1-3 fresh garliccloves-pulverized and mixed with food–may be administereddaily.

Brewer’s Yeast/Thiamin. The potent nutrient found in brewer’syeast is thiamin. One milligram (1 mg) of thiamine daily foreach five pounds of your pet’s body weight is ideal. For a largedog, you might administer one tablespoon of brewer’s yeastsupplemented with a B-complex vitamin pill. Brewer’s yeast canalso be dusted on externally as a flea powder. If your pet lickssome off, there’s no harm done.

Zinc. This mineral is essential for healthy skin, but is lackingin many pets’ diets. Use chelated (pronounced key-lated) zinc:10 mg daily for small dogs; 20 mg for larger canines.

These dietary supplements will require close to a month to buildup to flea-fighting levels in a pet’s skin. So start them in thespring before you find yourself in the midst of a severe fleainvasion.

3. Vinegar–internal use. Take a gallon of water, add four tosix teaspoons of organic white vinegar, and give it to your petsas their only drinking water. If they have a water dish outside,use this water for that as well. During the winter, you can usea smaller amount (~4 teaspoons), but you’ll want to use a morepotent mixture (~6 teaspoons) during flea season.

4. Grooming. Combing your dog daily with a flea comb is animportant part of flea control. Bathing animals regularly isalso advised.

5. Bathing and Shampooing. There is no need to use chemical fleashampoos. A water bath with a gentle soap that won’t irritatetheir skin is sufficient to eliminate existing fleas. You canalso use bentonite or terramin clay mixed with water into a thinpaste. Wet your dog thoroughly, then in brush the clay into thefur and massage it in the skin for a few minutes. Then rinse offlightly.

6. Organic red or white vinegar as skin remedy. Vinegar is anaturally occurring germ killer and is one of the very firstmedicines known to man. It kills germs on contact and itcontains bacteria which is unfriendly to infectiousmicro-organisms. It is a natural remedy and most of all, it issafe. For a full body treatment, add four cups of vinegar to thebath water. Be careful not to get the vinegar/water mixture inthe ears and eyes. The vinegar/water rinses are a quick remedyto relieve minor skin irritations such as hives, chigger bites,other insect bites and rashes.

7. Neem Oil as skin remedy. The seeds, bark and leaves of theneem plant contain compounds with proven antiseptic, antiviral,antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, and antifungal uses.For thousands of years, the Indian people have appreciated themedicinal and insect-repellent properties of neem leaves andseeds. Mix one ounce of pure neem oil with 2 or 3 ounces oforganic white vinegar and 4 to 6 ounces of water. Beforeapplying, hose your dog thoroughly with water. Shake the bottlewell several times while applying the oil mixture on the entirebody, including legs, feet, tail, etc. Then brush your dog tohelp disperse the neem oil futher on fur and skin. Do not rinseoff. Neem oil repels flea immediately and help heal hotspots andpromote a healthy skin.

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Chris Byrne maintains the site

Chris Byrne

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