All Natural Flea and Tick Prevention For Dogs

As February winds down and we head into March, Spring and warmer temperatures are just around the corner. This means back to long walks outside and playing in the yard for our fur babies. Inevitably, this also means them being prone to pests like fleas and ticks.

Dog Scratching

Pests attached to your pup can easily be carried into your home, possibly causing an infestation. A flea infestation can be quite an unpleasant nuisance. However, pests such as ticks are more dangerous as they are capable of transmitting disease.

The most significant risk of ticks is not that they will take over your home, but their propensity for feeding on many different animals, from mice and deer to opossums. It takes only one bite from a tick to transmit multiple tick-borne diseases, including:

  • Lyme disease
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever
  • Anaplasmosis
  • Babesiosis
  • Cytauxzoonosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Hepatozoonosis
  • Tularemia

So what steps can we take to prevent pest like these from affecting our dogs?

Dog Rolling in GRass

Over the last decade or so, there has been an increasing trend of people using natural treatments for ailments. Whether using roots, herbs, essential oils or seeds, people are finding ways to avoid some of the chemicals that are in conventional medicines.

Although topical and oral flea and tick medications are safe for dogs, they can have side effects. Some of the side effects are as follows:

  • A wet patch of fur is a universal sign seen with a topical medicine. The patch or fur around the area of the application appears to be wet for several hours.
  • Hair loss is another common side effect that is observed in pets. There is a considerable hair loss or hair thinning around the area of application.
  • Skin irritation such as itchiness and redness of the skin at the site of application is often observed. However, some pets try to scratch at the area of application and spread the medication to other areas including face and eyes. This can be dangerous and requires medical attention.
  • Loss of appetite is common among animals that lick the irritated application spot. By doing so, the animal ingests some of the medication that leads to stomach upset and loss of appetite.
  • Animals experience excess salivation and uncontrollable drooling if they accidentally ingest the topical medication.
  • Other uncommon symptoms include neurological and psychological effects, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory problems, seizures and trembling, and allergic reactions.
  • If these signs persist, it is recommended to seek veterinary assistance.

So you may be asking yourself, “Are there any natural treatments to prevent my dog from getting fleas and ticks?” The answer is yes!

Citrus Juice

Citrus

Fleas dislike citrus, so try sprinkling some fresh-squeezed lemon, orange or grapefruit juice on your dog’s fur (being careful to avoid her eyes) — and remember lemon juice can lighten dark hair.

Add Natural Predators

Nematodes

Nematodes are a type of beneficial microscopic roundworm that eats flea larvae.

You can find them at garden centers and pet stores.

Add them to your backyard, and you’ll likely notice a reduction in flea populations within two days.

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

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

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

Along with natural methods of determent, there are also a few steps you can take to lessen the chance of a pest infestation.

Take a Bath

Dog Bath

Fleas can’t hold on to your pet’s hair, so a dip in a warm tub of water will cause many fleas to fall off into the water.

Bathing your dog regularly is also important, as fleas are less attracted to clean animals.

Consider peppermint or neem shampoo for an added anti-parasite kick.

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

Place your pet on a light-colored towel to catch any fleas that fall off and dip the comb into a bowl of soapy water after each swipe.

Clean Your Home Thoroughly and Regularly

Cleaning With the Dog

One of the key strategies for controlling fleas and ticks involves making your home less hospitable to such pests.

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

Wash bed linens, pet bedding and throw rugs frequently.

Consider Protective Clothing

Dogs In Shirts

If you are spending time in an area where ticks are likely, such as a wooded or grassy area, consider putting a doggy t-shirt on your dog to help keep off ticks.

You can even cut old socks and put them on your dog’s legs (leg-warmer style) for added protection.

Do be sure, however, that the clothing is comfortable for your pet and does not cause her to overheat.

Be ready for spring with these helpful tips and treatments…and make sure to share this article with all of the dog moms and dads in your life!

Thankful Thursday: Grateful Lost Pup’s Reaction to Finding Her Dad

Is there anything sweeter than the authentic, sincere love and gratitude of a dog?

When sweet Dora got scared during Fourth of July fireworks, she ran away from home in her fright. Her family searched for her, but had no idea where she had run off to. Lost, alone, and afraid, Dora was eventually picked up by the local Humane Society, who scanned her microchip. (P.S. if your dog doesn’t have a microchip, make an appointment RIGHT NOW to get one. They’re cheap and can be done at your vet’s office. They are the best way to get a lost dog home to their loving family!)

The moment sweet Dora is reunited with her dad was caught on video and it’s so emotional! You can just see all the pain she endured as she relaxes into her dad’s comforting presence.

She may have a lot to overcome to get back to her old self, but it looks like she has the loving support of a human who loves her immensely.

 

Watching sweet Dora get her happy ending will make you hug your dog tighter and count your own blessings today.

Need to help your own dog overcome past trauma? Start here.

 

Show your dog some gratitude with healthy, wholesome, yummy Treat Me treats. They’re the treat you won’t feel guilty about giving in for ‘just one more’.

Thankful Thursday: Grateful Lost Pup’s Reaction to Finding Her Dad [VIDEO]

Is there anything sweeter than the authentic, sincere love and gratitude of a dog?

When sweet Dora got scared during Fourth of July fireworks, she ran away from home in her fright. Her family searched for her, but had no idea where she had run off to. Lost, alone, and afraid, Dora was eventually picked up by the local Humane Society, who scanned her microchip. (P.S. if your dog doesn’t have a microchip, make an appointment RIGHT NOW to get one. They’re cheap and can be done at your vet’s office. They are the best way to get a lost dog home to their loving family!)

The moment sweet Dora is reunited with her dad was caught on video and it’s so emotional! You can just see all the pain she endured as she relaxes into her dad’s comforting presence.

She may have a lot to overcome to get back to her old self, but it looks like she has the loving support of a human who loves her immensely.

 

Watching sweet Dora get her happy ending will make you hug your dog tighter and count your own blessings today.

Need to help your own dog overcome past trauma? Start here.

 

Show your dog some gratitude with healthy, wholesome, yummy Treat Me treats. They’re the treat you won’t feel guilty about giving in for ‘just one more’.

Puppy Visits Target for First Time, Can’t Stop Smiling

The best part of any fur baby’s day is time spent out of the house. With so many different sights, sounds and smells to take in, our pups just love getting out. But what happens when it’s not just the occasional walk or trip to the dog park. What happens when a dog gets to experience something she’s never seen before?

Looking for Valentine’s Day fun for your dog? Check out our Valentine’s Day post here!

It’s exciting for all dogs to explore a new environment, but even more-so for a puppy that’s just beginning to understand the world around her. A Corgi puppy named Zira couldn’t hold in her excitement as she got to experience shopping at Target for the first time. And we have to admit, it’s the same way a lot of us feel when we go out shopping.

Zira's Mom

A Twitter user named Jesse was happy to share the photos of her three-month-old Corgi pup, Zira. She was grinning from ear to ear as she made her way up and down the aisles in one of Target’s shopping carts. The caption in her Twitter post says it all. “My dog went to Target and look how happy she is”. The pictures have garnered over half a million likes since she posted them.

Zira at Target

“This was her second trip, although her first one she just slept the entire time”, Jesse said. “She reminded us so much of Rose from Titanic, the way she leaned against the front of the cart, looking out into the world of Target for the first time! We could tell she loved it so much.” Zira is still a puppy, so she’s always looking for something to chew. “She loves getting new toys, ones that squeak, crinkle, or bounce. And since she’s our first dog, she gets spoiled as much as possible!”

Zira at Target

But it wasn’t just Zira enjoying the trip to Target, some customers enjoyed her trip too! “While we were turning a corner, this woman shopping saw her and freaked out,” Jesse said. “She couldn’t stop going on and on about how cute Zira was. Zira just started licking her, and the woman loved it. She even picked Zira up and let her kiss her face!”

After the photos went viral, many other users began to post pics of their fur babies shopping at Target as well. As the post grew in popularity, Jesse said the response had been overwhelmingly positive, but that a lot of users also informed her that it’s illegal to bring non-service dogs into most retail stores as Zira’s presence might compromise a service dog’s ability to assist their owner.

Zira the CorgiAfter realizing her mistake, Jesse took to Zira’s Facebook page to apologize. And wouldn’t you know it, Zira looks just as happy to be at PetSmart!

There are a number of nation-wide chains that allow dogs, and that number grows each year. But many retailers adhere to a strict “service animal only” policy. If you have a fur baby you’d like to take on a shopping spree with you, it’s always advisable to call ahead to make sure it’s allowed.

Do you have a pup that loves to go shopping? Share your stories and pictures in the comments below!

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