If you have pets, you probably know all too well how difficult it is to control a flea problem. Those pesky fleas cause discomfort for your pet and ‘camp out’ in different areas of your home. How do you get rid of these pests? Since commercial flea killers are probably unsafe for your dog or cat, try natural approaches instead.
Problems with Commercial Flea Killers & Traditional Flea Treatments
Chemicals that act as poisons are strong enough to kill fleas, but the long-term effects on pets are unknown, although they are probably not safe to use. (Employees manufacturing these products must wear protective clothing and use respirators. Plus, the product labels warn against skin contact. So, if chemicals are potentially harmful to humans, they are probably unhealthy for pets as well. )
Prednisone & other corticosteroid drugs used to give relief from flea bites help to stop itching & inflammation. But, they also suppress a an animal’s immune system and have possible long-term side effects: water retention, liver or thyroid damage, hypertension, obesity, & heart attack.
Healthy Alternatives to Chemical Commercial Flea Products
· Strengthen your pet’s immune system:
· Eliminate food allergens from the diet, and supplement the diet with a well-balanced essential fatty acid (EFA), probiotics (bifidus & acidophilus) & digestive enzyme supplements. EFA’s help to make your pet less attractive to fleas, and digestive supplements carry nutrients throughout the body & help to break down & remove waste materials that may lead to food allergies.
Herbs to Get Rid of Pesky Fleas
· Add a pinch of garlic powder to food.
· Add apple cider vinegar to your pet’s water.
· Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon dried Nettle onto your pet’s food (helps to reduce allergic response).
· Add to food or squirt into pet’s mouth a low-alcohol liquid tincture of Dandelion Root, Burdock Root, or Red Clover (helps eliminate wastes & supports immune system).
· For severe fleabite allergies (red, inflamed, itchy skin), licorice serves as an anti- inflammatory. Also, an aloe juice can help to heal & to relieve itching.
Directions: Add one-cup aloe juice to 4 parts water. Pour the cool liquid onto affected areas of your pet’s coat.
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Environment Treatment for Flea Control
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.)
· Bathe with a good, mild herbal pet shampoo formulated to bring relief and remove pesky fleas and body wastes from the skin.
· Only use shampoos meant for dogs and cats, not humans, (Human shampoos may be too harsh and may contain allergens that worsen an allergic condition.)
· Also, don’t shampoo too often or it may result in irritation & dryness.
These more natural approaches can bring relief to your pet. And when your pet feels better, so will you!
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