Dog Being Scratched

It’s summertime, and as pet owners we know that also means it’s flea time. Up until now, I’ve been lucky enough to avoid the pests. My last dog Tony, or Tony Bologna as he was known to friends, was an elderly fellow who wanted little to do with tall grass or shrubs. He was content with the concrete, thank you very much! But my two youngins have a propensity for getting into trouble… and adore rubbing on whatever greenery is nearby. Fleas, I fear, are in my future.

But I’ve decided to nip the problem in the bud by implementing some preventative measures! Here are some techniques you can try:

Make your own flea collar. Get out that old doggy bandana, and at the start of every week, rub on a few drops of cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, or thyme oil. Be aware that not all essential oils are safe! According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, severe reactions have been reported to cinnamon, eucalyptus, lavender, penny royal, and tea tree oils. Your dog may not feel any effect, but why risk it when there are other safer oils you can use?

Mow your lawn, and trim the shrubs. You can’t control the environment at the parks you visit or around your neighborhood, but you can manage your own yard. Tall grass and dense shrubs are excellent breeding grounds for fleas. By keeping things trimmed, your dog will be less likely to bring those unwelcome visitors indoors.

Re-consider the garlic. There is no proof that adding garlic to your dog’s diet does anything to fight fleas, but there is evidence to suggest that it may cause anemia, so you may be simply swapping one bad substance for another. Instead, try adding a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water.

Before undertaking any home remedies or supplements, talk to your veterinarian. Not all solutions are safe for all dogs. Also, if you have any felines in the house, be aware that most essential oils are toxic to cats.

Image Credit: wsilver