6 Natural Ways to Repel Fleas and Ticks

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By Dr. Becker

As temperatures rise and your pet spends his days happily sniffing out a new trail on your morning walk or rolling around in the grass in your yard, he becomes a prime target for the hungry. fleas and ticks.

This is a topic that many pet owners prefer not think about it, but it is far better to be proactive in preventing such parasite exposures than to end up with a flea infestation or a pet with a tick-borne disease.

This makes not means you need to spray your pet with flea and tick preventative chemicals. In fact, I generally advise pet owners against applying harsh chemicals to their pets for this purpose.

Spot and similar pest control products can cause problems ranging from skin irritation to seizures and paralysis.

If you apply too much to a small dog – or if you apply a product intended for dogs to cats – the result can even be fatal. The other problem is that many pests become resistant to these widely used chemicals, meaning their application is not a guarantee of safety.

A happy medium is to use natural methods to repel fleas and ticks from your dog, including the options compiled by PetMD below.1

Natural Ways to Repel Fleas and Ticks

Citrus juice:
fleas don’t like citrus fruits, so try sprinkling some freshly squeezed lemon, orange or grapefruit juice on your dog’s fur (being careful to avoid his eyes) – and remember that lemon juice can lighten dark hair.

Take a bath: Fleas don’t cling to your pet’s hair, so a dip in a hot water bath will cause many fleas to fall into the water.

Bathe your dog regularly is also important because fleas are less attracted to clean animals.

Consider peppermint or neem shampoo for an added antiparasitic effect.

After bathing, use a flea comb to remove any remaining fleas.

Place your pet on a light-colored towel to catch any falling fleas, and dip the comb in a bowl of soapy water after each pass.

Clean your house carefully and regularly: One of the key strategies for combating fleas and ticks is to make your home less hospitable to these pests.

To do this, vacuum your home often (carpets, floors, furniture, etc.) and empty the vacuum immediately if fleas are present.

Wash bed linens, pet bedding, and rugs frequently.

Add natural predators: Nematodes are a type of beneficial microscopic roundworm that feed on flea larvae.

You can find them at garden centers and pet stores.

Add them to your garden and you will likely notice a reduction in flea populations within two days.

Ladybugs are another natural predator of fleas and can also be found in garden stores.

Essential oils: Geranium, lemongrass, and other essential oils (neem and catnip oil) can help deter mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, and other pests from attacking your dog or cat.

Consider protective clothing: If you spend time in an area where ticks are likely, such as a wooded or grassy area, consider putting a dog t-shirt on your dog to help keep ticks away.

You can even cut up old socks and put them on your dog’s paws (leg warmer style) for extra protection.

However, make sure that the clothing is comfortable for your pet and does not cause it to overheat.

It’s More Than Just the “Ick” Factor

If parasites attach themselves to your dog or cat, they can easily be carried indoors and infiltrate your home. However, a flea or tick infestation on your wall is more than just unpleasant, as these pests are capable of transmitting disease.

The biggest risk from ticks is not that they invade your home, but rather their propensity to feed on many different animals, from mice to deer to opossums.

They also like to take their time when eating, feeding for long periods of time, making them ideally suited to the risk of contracting and transmitting diseases. It only takes one tick bite to transmit several tick-borne diseases, including:

Lyme disease

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Anaplasmosis

Babesiosis

Cytauxzoonosis

Ehrlichiosis

Hepatozoonosis

Tularemia

Fleas, on the other hand, reproduce quickly and can be difficult to control once they enter your home. However, even one or two fleas can cause uncomfortable itching if your dog suffers from flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), which is a sensitivity (allergy) to flea saliva (and is very common in dogs).

Besides FAD, fleas can also transmit tapeworms, cat scratch disease and can even cause serious cases of anemia, especially in young animals. So, taking steps to prevent flea and tick bites isn’t just about eliminating the “ick” factor; it’s a health problem.

Do not give your pet antibiotics after a tick bite before doing so. This

If you find a tick on your pet, it may have been exposed to tick-borne pathogens, but exposure is not the same as infection. This is an important distinction because many veterinarians unnecessarily prescribe antibiotics when a dog’s blood shows exposure.

Up to 90% of dogs can be exposed to these tick-borne pathogens, but most dogs’ immune systems fight off these infections on their own. If your pet tests positive for exposure, it is important to follow up with the Quantitative C6 (QC6) test, which differentiates exposure from infection.

Every year I see dozens of dogs treated unnecessarily with intensive antibiotic therapy because their veterinarian panicked after seeing a positive exposure. Please don’t let your vet do this!

Another important point is that most tick-borne diseases take several hours to transmit to your pets. Therefore, removing ticks soon after they attach can help prevent disease. This is why it is so important to regularly inspect your dog for ticks, especially after visiting a high-risk area like a forest reserve.

If you live in an area where there are ticks, test your pet for tick-borne pathogens every 6 months

In the case of tick-borne diseases, early treatment is essential to prevent chronic disease. If you live in an area where ticks are endemic or know that your pet tends to be bitten by several ticks each year, I recommend testing for infection every six months. The easiest way to do this is to ask your veterinarian to replace the standard heartworm test with a more comprehensive annual blood test that identifies several potential tick-borne pathogens well before dogs show symptoms.

I recommend it SNAP4DxPlus and the Accuplex4 tests that detect heartworm, Lyme disease and two strains of Ehrlichia and anaplasma, for dogs living in tick endemic areas.

Performing this simple blood test every six to 12 months is the best way to avoid unnecessary application of chemicals, identify infections before chronic disease develops, and avoid neglecting dog cases. infected due to pesticide resistance (a growing problem in veterinary medicine).

I also recommend that pets living in tick-infested areas who test positive for SNAP 4Dx Plus or Accuplex4 also be tested for Babesia exposure. The best way to detect exposure to this parasite is to perform a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test which checks for the presence of Babesia DNA.

A healthy pet is the best parasite prevention there is

It is extremely important to give your pet a fresh, balanced diet appropriate for its species this will help keep their immune system functioning optimally. Fleas are unlikely to be attracted to a healthy pet, and in the case of ticks, a robust immune response will help fight off the tick-borne pathogens your pet is exposed to.

You can further strengthen your pet’s immune system by providing pure drinking water and limiting exposure to unnecessary vaccines and medications, environmental chemicals (including lawn chemicals), and electromagnetic fields (EMFs). . Finally, the following tips will help you naturally protect your pet from parasites:

  • Small amounts of fresh garlic can be given to dogs and cats to help prevent internal and external parasites.
  • Apply a light coating of food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) to your carpets, bare floors, and pet bedding, as well as to your pet’s spine (avoid its head), to kill fleas.
  • Keep your lawn mowed and get rid of brush, leaves, tall grass and weeds from your yard and areas your pet frequents.
  • Keep stacked wood off the ground and away from your house
  • After the growing season, get rid of perennials and other brush in your garden.
Sources:

Related Articles:

  How to protect your pet from toxic pesticides

  Tips for Preventing Tick-Borne Infections for Your Pets

  Why Use a Natural Flea and Tick Defense on Pets

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