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TIRED OF FLEAS?

If you have pets, you probably know how difficult it can be to control fleas. They cause discomfort for both you and your pet. Since commercial flea killers are probably unsafe for you, your dog, cat, and your CHILDREN try natural approaches instead.

Problems with Commercial Flea Killers & Traditional Flea Bite Treatments

Chemicals that are strong enough to kill fleas are pure and simple poisons, but the long-term effects on pets are unknown, although they are probably not safe to use. Employees where these products are made must wear protective clothing and use respirators. And, their labels always warn against skin contact. So, if these chemicals are harmful to humans, they're certainly unhealthy for your pet.

Prednisone & other corticosteroid drugs used to give relief from flea bites help to stop itching & inflammation. But, they also suppress a your dog or cat's immune system and very likely have long-term health effects, such as: water retention, liver and thyroid damage, hypertension, obesity, and heart problems.

Healthy Alternatives

· Strengthen your pet's immune system:

· Eliminate known food allergens such as corn, wheat and soy from your dogs diet, and supplement their diet with well-balanced essential fatty acid (EFA), probiotics (bifidus & acidophilus) & digestive enzyme supplements. EFA's help to make your pet's blook less attractive to fleas, and these supplements carry nutrients throughout the body and help to break down & remove waste materials that may lead to food allergies.

Herbs

· Add a pinch of garlic powder to food.
· Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your pet's drinking water.
· Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon dried Nettle onto your pet's food (this helps to reduce allergic response).
· Add a low-alcohol liquid tincture of Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, or Red Clover to food or squirt into pet's mouth (this helps eliminate wastes & supports their immune system).

· For severe fleabite allergies (red, inflamed, itchy skin), licorice serves as an anti- inflammatory. Also, aloe juice can help heal & relieve itching. Simply add one part aloe juice to 4 parts water. Sponge or pour this cool liquid over the affected areas of your pet's coat.

Click here to check out our herbal and natural products for flea prevention.

Environment Treatment

Since fleas spend 80% of their time in the pet's environment, (not on the pet), apply herbal products to your pet's environmental areas (bedding, etc.). Look for products that contain extracts and/or oils of eucalyptus, citronella, juniper, cedar, citrus oil, or Canadian fleabane. (Citrus oil & Canadian fleabane contain d-Limonene, which can kill fleas.)

Bathing

· Bathe with a good, mild herbal pet shampoo formulated to bring relief and remove fleas and body wastes from the skin.
· Only use shampoos meant for dogs and cats, not humans, (Human shampoos are often too harsh and may contain allergens that worsen a pet's allergic condition.)
· Also don’t shampoo too often or irritation & dryness may occur.

These more natural approaches can bring relief to your pet and to you. So the next time you start to use one of those flea repellents containing chemicals, pick up some garlic and cider vinegar instead!

Important Disclaimer: The stories and information on this site are not meant to diagnose or prescribe for you. If you or your pet has a medical problem, you should consult your medical doctor or veterinarian. The ideas and information on this site have not been endorsed or approved by the FDA. In no event shall the owners of this website be liable for any damages whatsoever resulting from any action arising in connection with use of this information or its publication, including any action for infringement of copyright or defamation. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Opinions expressed here are those of individual contributors. This web site does not verify or endorse the claims of contributing writers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Flea Control: Safe Solutions

From collars to sprays to topical solutions, Americans spend half a billion dollars on flea control products every year and unwittingly poison themselves and their animal companions.(1) There are safer, more environmentally friendly ways to protect your furry friends and yourself from these pesky insects.

Why Most Flea Control Products Are Dangerous

The most popular kind of flea control product on the market is the “spot-on” variety, sold under brand names like Frontline® and Advantage™. The active ingredients in these solutions include chemicals such as imidacloprid, fipronil, permethrin, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen, all of which have caused serious health problems in animals in laboratories.(2) Even some of the inert ingredients can be hazardous to your animal companion’s health. Other forms of flea control—powders, collars, and sprays—are no less dangerous to you or your companion animals. Labels may warn not to get these substances on your skin, to wash your hands after applying it, and to keep it away from children, yet these chemicals are absorbed by your animal’s skin. Immediate effects of pesticide overdose include vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, seizures, and respiratory problems. If your dog or cat shows any of these symptoms after the application of a pesticide, immediately wash the product off and seek veterinary care.

In addition to causing hazards for our animal companions, these products and their ingredients often are tested on animals in laboratories. One example of a potentially toxic product that was tested on animals—yet appeared on store shelves—is Blockade. In 1987, Hartz Mountain acknowledged that 366 animal deaths and 2,700 animal injuries, as well as 56 human injuries, had been blamed on Blockade. Hartz pulled it from the market, tested it on cats and kittens, and then reintroduced it with the same ingredients. The company eventually paid the Environmental Protection Agency $45,000 to settle charges that it failed to report animal illnesses and deaths from Blockade.(3)


Put out an ‘Unwelcome’ Mat


The first step in flea prevention lies in maintaining your dog or cat’s health. Skin condition is an indicator of an animal’s overall health and an important factor in flea control. The key to healthy skin is a healthy diet. Check food labels carefully. Pet foods sold in supermarkets are often composed of ground-up parts of animals deemed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be unfit for human consumption. This is usually listed among the ingredients on the label as “byproducts.” The flesh of animals who fall into one of the categories of the “four Ds”—dead, dying, diseased, or disabled—is what often goes into pet food. Many of these animals have died from infections and other diseases. Most commercial pet food contains the same hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics that are found in meat products for humans.

Just as important as what should be left out of an animal’s diet is what should be put into it. Fresh, whole, raw foods are vital because they provide digestive enzymes and vitamins that can be destroyed by cooking. Flaxseed oil (available in health food stores) is excellent for the promotion of healthy skin. Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins are also essential for a healthy coat. See our factsheet “Meatless Meals for Dogs and Cats” for more information on healthy diets for companion animals.

  • If You Have a Flea Problem
    Effective flea control programs employ a multifaceted approach that treats the environment as well as the animal:

  • Black walnut is a very effective flea repellant when given orally several times a week. It can be purchased in capsules or in liquid form. Give only the minimum effective dose because it can be toxic in higher doses.

  • A fine-toothed flea comb is essential and should be used daily to catch fleas. Keep a bowl of soapy water on hand and dip the comb into it after each sweep, or catch the fleas, put them in a container, and then freeze it.

  • Vacuum rugs and furniture frequently and launder animals’ bed covers weekly, if necessary, during the flea season. Flea eggs can be collected by vacuuming but can still hatch in the bag, which should be sealed and thrown away or put in the freezer in a plastic bag after each vacuuming.

  • Diatomaceous earth, a powder composed of the fossilized remains of single-celled algae, can be sprinkled on lawns and carpets to eliminate fleas safely. Diatomaceous earth is harmless if ingested but should not be inhaled. When applying, remove animals from the area and wear a protective mask. Let the powder sit at least several hours before vacuuming. Look for diatomaceous earth at garden, animal supply, home improvement, and health food stores, but never use diatomaceous earth that has been chemically treated for use in swimming pools. Ordinary table salt or borax can also be used on carpets and should be vacuumed up the day after use.

  • A company called Rx for Fleas (1-800-666-3532) uses a patented nontoxic sodium borate compound that it guarantees for up to one year. Products containing beneficial nematodes (microorganisms that eat flea larvae) can be sprayed on lawns and, unlike many toxic treatments, are perfectly safe for animals, birds, and humans, as well as “friendly” garden dwellers, such as earthworms and ladybugs. Brand names such as Bio Flea Halt! and Interrupt can be found in pet stores and in the lawn and garden sections of hardware stores and supermarkets.

  • Gentle herbal shampoos are effective and can be used as often as once a week, although too-frequent bathing can dry out animals’ skin. When shampooing, use warm water and begin with a ring of lather around the animal’s neck so that fleas cannot climb onto the animal’s face. Flea-pesticide shampoos and dips are dangerous and are not necessary because soap and water kills fleas.

  • Animals can be given extra flea-repelling muscle with herbal dips. Avon’s Skin-So-Soft lotion is helpful when diluted with water (in a 1.5-to-1 ratio) and used as a rinse. It also helps to soothe inflamed hot spots. Veterinarian’s Best hotspot spray for dogs, containing tea tree oil, aloe vera, and chamomile, is also soothing and healing on hotspots.

  • To make an effective natural insect repellent that can be applied to dogs daily, add five drops each of tea tree oil, citronella oil, rosemary oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil to one cup of water, shake it, and put it in a spray bottle. (This smells great too.) Do not use on cats.

The Heavy Artillery
Insect growth regulators (IGRs), although unfortunately required by law to be tested on animals, are a safe alternative to pesticides. Sold under the brand names Ovitrol, Fleatrol, Precor, and Archer, IGRs contain insect hormones that disrupt the life cycle of the flea by preventing eggs and larvae from developing into adults. IGRs are available from “pest-” control supply companies, as well as companion-animal supply stores and catalogs. They should be applied to carpets and wooden floors—but not to animals. Another IGR, Program® (lufenuron), is administered to animals orally once a month. However, some animals have suffered adverse reactions to this and other long-term flea control products, including those applied externally, so they should be considered for use only in extreme cases.

 

 
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How to protect your
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How to protect your
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