Both flea ointments and flea collars are laden with chemicals -- they're designed to kill fleas, after all. When our dogs get fleas, we'll do just about anything to get rid of them, but placing a chemical collar around your dog's neck can have consequences of its own. Over the last five years, 1,600 pet deaths were attributed to flea treatments, according to The Humane Society. In addition, many of the ingredients in flea medications are known carcinogens in humans. If you have small children who come into contact with your pet, this could be of even more concern.

While pets dying from flea medication is a severe side effect, poisoning and allergic reactions are also possible. Some signs to watch for in your pets that may mean they have been poisoned include salivating, dilated pupils, tremors, vomiting, hiding, shivering and skin irritation. If you do decide to use such treatments, be sure to follow directions carefully and pay close attention to dosage requirements by weight.

LavendarMake your own spray

This method will not kill existing fleas or eggs but spraying it on your pet early in the year may help prevent fleas altogether. Fleas spend a lot of their time off their host, so this may help ensure they don't come back. Fleas are repelled by both lavender oil and citrus oil, both of which are natural and harmless to your dog. Lavender can be harmful for cats, however, so avoid using it on them. Lavender has a calming effect on dogs, so you may notice your dog is more relaxed.

Ingredients:

  • 6 lemons
  • 50 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 3 cups of water

Directions:

  1. Slice lemons into thin round slices with the skin intact. Add to a pot and fill with water. Bring water to a boil. Remove it from heat and let sit over night.
  2. Strain the liquid into a spray bottle and add lavender oil.
  3. Spray the mixture on your dog whenever he goes outside or after a bath. You can also spray or soak his collar in the mixture to make a flea collar of your own. The mixture can be sprayed on rugs, carpeting and furniture or even in your yard to prevent fleas from settling in from surrounding areas.

A healthy diet

Much like humans, if dogs are given a healthy and balanced diet they may be able to fight off diseases and pests naturally. Most commercial dog food is devoid of many of the nutrients your dog needs to properly combat all the toxins they are exposed to daily. Adding flaxseed oil, probiotics and digestive enzymes to your dog's diet may help boost her immune system and help her resist pests on her own. Other products to try include:

Garlic

Garlic can be toxic to dogs in large doses but small doses are safe. A small pinch in your dog's food can help fight fleas. The familiar smell of garlic is actually emanated through the skin, and fleas want nothing to do with it. (Don't worry, you won't even notice it.) It also helps support the liver and kidneys in your pet.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar offers a variety of health benefits for people and animals. It is packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients and is especially helpful with skin issues. It also makes the skin more acidic, making it naturally less appealing to fleas.

 

Other topical remedies

Essential oils

Other than lavender, essential oils like peppermint, lemongrass, cedar and pennyroyal can help fend off fleas. Mix a few drops of 100 percent essential oils into a teaspoon of carrier oil like olive oil and rub on the top of your dog's neck or base of the tail. Most essential oils can be dangerous to pets in large doses so they should always be diluted; also avoid putting them in areas dogs can easily lick.

Rosemary

Fleas also dislike rosemary. Make a bath by steeping rosemary in 2 cups of boiling water. Let cool and add up to a gallon more of warm water. Pour over your dog and let him dry naturally.

Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is basically ground-up algae, but it has an array of benefits and is specifically known for killing parasites internally. You should be sure that you purchase a food-grade version of DE or it could cause breathing problems and other serious side effects for both your dog and you. You can sprinkle a bit on her food or you can sprinkle it on her coat. DE has very sharp microscopic edges, which essentially lacerate any bugs that come in contact with it. You can also sprinkle this on your carpet, let it sit for at least 24 hours and then vacuum it up.

Wash with care

Avoid washing your dog regularly during flea season, as it can dry out his skin. Most fleas will generally survive a basic bath, so keeping bedding and surrounding areas flea-free is more effective. Vacuum carpeting, rugs and furniture often and dump bags or vacuum canisters immediately. Wash your dog's bedding in hot water regularly.

When you do wash your pet, try using lavender-scented soap. Let your pet get wet, add shampoo to his back and rub to cover his body, paying close attention to his "underarm" area and back end. Let the soap sit on him for at least 10 minutes. Again, fleas are very resilient and this likely won't kill eggs, but you may be able to kill adult fleas.

Talk with your veterinarian

Keep in mind that dogs can have allergies or reactions to both natural and chemical treatments. Begin treatments in small doses and pay close attention to any changes in your dog's behavior or appetite. Discuss any concerns you have with your veterinarian.

I feed garlic to my furbabies now, and I regret I used to listen to "expert vets" who promote the dangers of garlic. I think it's garlic and other natural remedies like lavender and apple cider vinegar sprays that my furbabies don't have flea problems any more. I mean, I see 1 flea once in a month or so, and when I do, I give them garlic more often.

Garlic For Dogs: Poison Or Medicine?

garlic dogWhen it comes to garlic, most dog owners are divided on their opinion.
A few years ago I wrote about garlic on my website and was pleased when several people thanked me for telling the truth. And then there was this guy who told me I was going to be responsible for the death of hundreds of dogs, if not thousands because I was an idiot. I thanked him for his opinion since we are all entitled to have one, but it bothered me a lot.

Yes, I promote the use of garlic. Fresh, aromatic, organic garlic with a smell that lingers in the kitchen promising either a good meal or a good heal.So why do I go against AVMA warnings and give garlic to my dogs? I do it because common sense and an objective look at both the risks and benefits of garlic tell me it can provide great benefits to dogs with minimal risk. Remember, AMVA (American Medical Veterinary Association) members also think that raw food is unhealthy and would rather dogs eat a processed, chemical laden diet than fresh, raw free-range chicken or vitamin packed green tripe.

Why the controversy over garlic?

The primary reason AVMA is against feeding garlic is that it contains thiosulphate, which can cause hemolytic anemia, liver damage and death. However garlic only contains very small traces of thiosulphate and a dog would have to consume a huge quantity for any negative effects. Using Tylenol (acetaminophen) or benzocaine topical ointments to stop itching are far more likely to cause anemia in dogs.

Garlic’s medicinal properties

There are many health benefits to feeding garlic. Here are some things you might not know about this healthy herb:

  • Garlic is a natural antibiotic and won’t affect the good bacteria in the gut which are needed for digestion and immune health
  • Garlic is antifungal
  • Garlic is antiviral
  • Garlic boosts the immune system
  • Garlic makes dogs less desirable to fleas
  • Garlic is antiparasitic

What kind of garlic?

I stick with fresh, raw organic garlic and keep it on hand as a staple for both cooking and healing. If it’s fresh, I know the medicinal qualities are still there, unlike minced garlic which may originate in China and sit for months in a jar. Powdered garlic doesn’t cut it either. Kyolic Aged Liquid Garlic is a good choice if you don’t want to smash and cut every day.

How much garlic to feed

You can safely give a 1/2 clove per ten pounds of body weight each day, chopped or grated. Two cloves maximum per day for a large dog is a good guideline.

  • ½ clove for a 10 + pounds
  • 1 clove for a 20 + pounds
  • 1 ½ cloves for 30 + pounds
  • 2 cloves for 40 + pounds

My dogs are over 70 pounds but I stick with the 2 cloves.

Garlic tips

For optimum health benefits, let garlic sit for 5 to 10 minutes after cutting and before serving (or cooking). This allows the health-promoting allicin to form, so it’s worth the wait.

A great home remedy recipe

An ear medicine I’ve kept on hand for years started out when my kids got ‘swimmers ear’ one summer. It’s simple to make and since garlic is an antibiotic, antibacterial, and antifungal it covers several possibilities.

Crush 2 cloves fresh garlic; wait ten minutes and add them to 1/3 cup olive oil. Heat in a pan (do NOT boil) for several minutes. Let cool. Strain and store in a glass bottle with a dropper and apply it directly in the ears.

🐾Deworming puppies is very essential as puppies are highly prone to worm infestations. Most puppies are born with roundworms particularly when their mothers are infested. Puppies can also be infested while nursing. They contract worm infections when they eat contaminated food and feces.

Worms in Dogs are a common problem and although there are many commercial deworming medications available, natural remedies are often safer and cheaper. They have also been found to be effective in deworming puppies. Although healthy dogs can tolerate mild infections, a more serious infestation can rob them of vital nutrients and adversely affect their health.

Symptoms of Worm Infestations:

  • Loss of weight
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bad breath
  • Scratching near the base of the tail

Natural Treatments

It’s best to confirm that your dog’s ailment is due to a worm infection as the symptoms similar to those of other illnesses. You should, therefore, have your dog’s feces pathologically tested every 3 months before treating him. If the ailment is a worm infection and is severe, you should consult your veterinarian and use a conventional dewormer as prescribed. However, herbal remedies such as the addition of garlic, pumpkin seeds, walnuts or diatomaceous earth to your pet’s diet, can effectively rid your pet of worms if the infection is a mild one.

Garlic

Feeding 7 to 10 gm of raw garlic to a dog weighing 22 pounds for 5 days can reduce hookworm infestation to normal levels normal readings are obtained within 2 days after the treatment is stopped. In general, you can feed 1 clove of garlic for every 20 to 30 pounds of weight. Dogs don’t like the taste of garlic and it’s best to add it to his food to camouflage the taste. Garlic should be administered carefully as very large amounts of garlic can cause anemia.

Pumpkin Seeds and Wheat Germ Oil

You should add fresh, unsalted raw pumpkin seeds to your pet’s diet if he’s infested with worms. Not only are these seeds anti-parasitic, but they are also non-toxic and full of valuable nutrients. It’s recommended that you grind the seeds finely and give a quarter teaspoon for every 10 to 20 pounds of dog weight. The same amount of wheat germ oil should also be given to your pet in conjunction with pumpkin seeds and for best results this treatment should be continued for several weeks.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth that’s edible is anti-parasitic, non-toxic and very effective in your battle agains dog worms. should feed 1 teaspoon for every 25 pounds of dog weight every day for several days.

Black Walnut

Although black walnut is very effective against intestinal worms, it is toxic if taken in large amounts, too often. You should thus carefully measure the dose that’s safe for your pet.

Wormwood

Wormwood should also be used carefully and not too often as it can prove toxic due to high levels of tannins.

Worms can seriously damage your pet’s health and you should confirm that the remedy you are using is effective by having your pet’s feces checked regularly.