This little guy may be a “cute” cartoon, but there is nothing cute about fleas or ticks.

I know fleas and ticks must have some weird reason for existing in the circle of life, but I also know that reason is not exist in my home or on my pet.  While there are plenty of flea and tick preventatives to choose from, there are some natural alternatives you may not have considered.

Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms (microscopic algae).  What is a fine powder to us is like razor blades to fleas (and other creatures with exoskeletans).  When added to your dog’s diet, it can also help with the treatment of internal parasites, but that’s another topic for another day.  This  almost magical powder can be spread around living quarters of your pet, or even lightly dusted & rubbed into their fur.  Two notes of caution here:  ensure you are using food grade DE and not pool grade, and it is a very fine powder (kind of like flour).  At Fido’s Market, you’ll find only USDA certified food grade DE made by Wholistic Pet (5 oz and 8 oz sizes).

Tea Tree Oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree in Australia.

For fleas – Mix a few drops with warm water and pour into a spray bottle.  Spray on your dog’s coat as you rub it in (be careful not to get it into your dog’s eyes).  You can also add a few drops to your dog’s regular shampoo, and wash as usual making sure you get the shampoo through the fur and down to the skin.  You can also add a few drops to their collar to create a natural “flea collar."

For Ticks – Apply Tea Tree Oil to the live tick and surrounding skin and leave for 20 minutes.  The tick may fall off, but if not, remove it carefully (make certain no part of the tick is left in the skin).  Continue applying the oil to the bite three times per day for up to seven days.

Note:  Tea Tree Oil should not be taken internally, and should not be used on cats.  At Fido’s Market, we carry only USDA certified organic Australian tea tree oil from Wholistic Pet.

Essential Oils such as neem, lavender, citronella, lemongrass have all proven to be effective against fleas.  Mix a few drops in a bottle of water and spray your pet, or mix it in with their regular shampoo (be careful to not get it in your dog’s eyes).  You can also add a few drops to their collar to create a natural “flea collar.”  We carry several products that are pre-mixed for you.  Just spray and go.

Adding a spoonful of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to your dog’s drinking water will make their skin acidic and less appealing to fleas.  If your dog won’t drink this, try mixing it in a spray bottle and wet your dog’s fur (avoid the eyes).

A Healthy Pet is the best way to prevent fleas.  Fleas are attracted to animals with weak immune systems.  Feed a high quality food without chemical preservatives.  Adding probiotics will help keep your pet healthy as well.

Wishing you and your furmily a flea-free and tick-less summer!