Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Natural flea treatment for dogs

To start with, give your dog a nice bath in a delicate shampoo. Hygiene at this stage is vital, so make sure your dog is washed once a week. You should equip yourself with a special flea comb (a fine toothed one) and comb your pet regularly. It is advisable that you apply petroleum jelly to it so that fleas will stick to the substance on the comb. To see how many fleas are pestering your dog, place the animal on a light-coloured piece of cloth and you will have the dubious pleasure of seeing the fleas falling out of the animal's fur. Sometimes, it is also advisable to use a cotton ball dipped in alcohol and dab it on your pet's body before combing. Fleas and bugs are repelled by several smells and tastes, such as: cider vinegar, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint or citronella, so we advise you to use these oils regularly.
As for natural agents, there are three organic flea killers on the market today. The first group consists mainly of pyrethrin, whose pesticidal properties have been made use of for centuries. Another type is called d-Limonene and is described as a “by-product of the citrus industry” and has a characteristic, grapefruitlike smell, which repells bugs and fleas. The safest of the natural pesticides, however, is Diatomaceousearth, a type of fossilized algae that resembles chalk dust. It penetrates the coating on a flea and causes this nasty parasite to dehydrate and die. It, unlike the first two of the natural agents, is absolutely safe for humans and you don't need so much caution as with the former two.

A different natural approach to removing fleas is through dietary changes. Fleas loathe the smell of garlic, so you can add it to your dog's food (one to three fresh garlic cloves a day mixed with food. You will have to put up with the characteristic smell from your pet's muzzle, though; garlic works there the same way as it does for humans).

Other dietary changes may include giving your pet omega 3 and 6 fatty acid supplements and vitamin B complex capsules. Chelated zinc, which often dogs' diets lack, is essential for healthy skin. Small dogs and cats should get 10 mg of it daily; larger canines - 20 mg. However, you are advised not to make any drastic changes to your pet's diet until you have done careful research and/or consulted a vet.

Bear in mind, too, that these natural methods usually take longer than aggressive pesticides. On average, for these methods to be effective they need to be applied for about a month. By using them, however, you can be sure you are not doing any harm to either your pet or your family.

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