Fleas, Ticks and Mites - Oh my!
’Tis the season for these pesky little creatures on your pet and we are here to offer you some information and solutions on what we have found to work best.
Fleas (and especially ticks) can be very dangerous for your pet and cause major health issues if left untreated. Heavy infestations of fleas can cause anemia and can even kill a young puppy. Our area is seeing an increase in diagnosis of Lyme’s Disease and other tick borne illnesses that can be very tough to treat.
Chemical flea and tick preventions that we carry in our store like Frontline Plus and Advantage do have their place when other methods fail or in cases of extreme infestations. It is always a good idea to review the usage instructions as these are chemical products that have various side effects from burning and reactions on the skin to causing seizures in pets. Many of the cons to chemical flea preventions happen to be the pros to using natural methods, and vice-versa. For instance, fleas and ticks can become immune to the chemicals in these preventions which lessens their chances of working for your pet the more they are used. Fleas and ticks do not become immune to natural repellents and preventions but they do require more frequent applications.
Natural flea preventions generally work more as repellents and thus the reason they should be applied more frequently. Chemical preventions often work by poisoning the flea or tick with neurotoxins that do not kill the immediately but paralyze the nervous system so that they will in theory poison more of their little pesky friends before they die.
Here is a great article we were asked to participate in for Pet Product News regarding the many products available for flea and tick prevention. We often get asked about our favorite natural products for fleas and ticks — and all of our employees have their favorites!
We do highly recommend that you bathe your pet first in a natural flea and tick shampoo being sure to leave the soapy mixture on the skin for at least 5-10 minutes to kill the active fleas. After drying the pet, spray with an all-natural repellent and repeat the application at least weekly (or as needed during heavier flea and tick season). If applying chemical treatments, we still encourage bathing if possible however you will need to wait 3 days after the bath to apply the top spot.
A list of our favorite natural flea and tick preventatives:
Natural Chemistry Flea and Tick (comes in shampoo, repellent spray, bed & carpet spray, and outdoor yard spray)
Richard’s Organics (comes in shampoo and repellent spray)
Vet’s Best Flea and Tick (comes in shampoo, repellent spray, bed& carpet spray, and outdoor yard spray)
Alzoo (comes in top-spot application and natural repellent collars)
Diatomaceous Earth (a natural fossil material that can be sprinkled on your pet, carpet or furniture to help kill fleas naturally)
PetzLife Tickz (this is a supplement added to the pet’s diet to help repel fleas and ticks)
Other sources regarding natural flea and tick products for additional reading: