July 16, 2010

my dog has fleas.

and I cannot bear the thought of a chemical treatment. At least until I've exhausted other options.

What should I do? Well of course turn to you for advice!

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I am thinking she must have picked them up at the beach. Or from a walk in the neighbourhood. Temperatures here have hit the triple digits so I am thinking that may contribute to it. (Though I may be wrong.) In any case - how do I get rid of them (short of picking them off by hand and drowning them...) and how do I prevent them from coming back?

Thank you!

15 comments:

Maggie said...

neem soap works pretty well I think, apparently diatomaceous earth is good too for stopping reinfection. I just came back from camping along the coast with mites, and used straight tea tree oil. Good luck.

Drea said...

I've heard baking soda or Dawn dish soap works.

Bill Coughlin said...

1. Your first duty is to give your dog a bath. You may use a non medicated shampoo and this should wash away most of the fleas that are inhabiting your dog

2. Keep up with your dog by zapping his coat with a flea spray.

3. If the flea infestation is really bad then you may want to consider a house spray, or fogger.

4. Get out your vacuum cleaner! When you vacuum, spend a little extra time vacuuming where your dog hangs out most often. When you are finished vacuuming up your house and the fleas, it is important to throw away the bag immediately

Anonymous said...

Treating your whole house with diatomaceous earth works really well, but be prepared for everything you own to be covered in a fine layer of dust. I've heard tea tree oil works, too, but be careful if you also have a cat, b/c it is poisonous to cats. The best thing I've found for my dog is the Comfortis pill. You give it to your dog once a month and it works like magic.

kellygreen said...

What has worked best for me: First a bath in a bucket of 4 parts warm water to 1 part apple cider vinegar. Really soak and rub her, 3 min under water will kill the adult fleas on her. (Soap her up too, that will kill the vinegar smell if it bothers you) Then vacuum your whole house especially the places she sleeps and hangs out. Wash blankets, pillows etc in hot water. A dusting of diatomacious earth will help too, but I wouldn't stress about trying to find any if you don't have some already, just use baking soda instead. Then get some brewers yeast and/or garlic pills (they usually sell it in at some pet stores...) for her and give them to her every day for at least a month. (or three weeks AFTER you see the last flea) That should keep her from picking up fleas next time. It increases health (a super healthy dog won't get fleas) and make her taste bad to them.

Anonymous said...

Neem oil works. If you buy a bottle of straight neem oil you will have to warm it because it is pretty thick, otherwise there are sprays you can buy which already have the neem oil dissolved or diluted so that they are ready to use. I think it has an interesting smell, but it does work.

Kate said...

I am not sure of what to do to your little dog --- I have found that good ol' Morton SALT works well in the house --- sprinkle all around, leave for a few hours to dehydrate the little suckers then sweep/vacuum it up. Salt is also much cheaper than any chemical treatments.

lisa s said...

hey tracy - fleas don't like the smell of eucalyptus oil either....

if it gets really bad and you want to try pyrethrins [a natural "chemical" from chrysanthemums that is toxic to insects] here's some good info on what they do environmentally: http://extoxnet.orst.edu/pips/pyrethri.htm

hopefully your dog isn't allergic to the fleas? that is the worst. b/c then they really are miserable from one flea bite [we've had a cat and a dog that suffered the second a flea bit them]

great resources above too !!!

chetanddot said...

Diatomaceous earth! It's amazing. Apply a small amount (it's very powdery) to the fur and rub or brush it in to get down to the skin. It basically dehydrates the fleas by cutting up their exoskeleton. It may take a week or so but it works amazingly well. We've been using it on our cat for 2 years not and haven't had a flea problem since. We also used it in our chicken coop to keep fleas and mites under control. I take it internally also. Try to find food grade DE if possible. Try your local farm or pet supply store. Otherwise you can buy it online. Good luck! Fleas are the worst.

Anonymous said...

We used to bathe our dog in a citrus shampoo. It repels future unwanted guests. d-limonene or something like that, is what's in more expensive anti-flea pet bath products - same result from a human citrus shampoo or dish soap, at less cost.

Rachel said...

I use something called FleaGo which is natural. You sprinkle it all over your carpets and then vacuum it after 7 days. It lasts for a year and since I started using it about 7 years ago I have had no fleas. I got mine at a natural pet food company.

Lisa Sharp said...

OH OH I can help! My doggy is organically raised so didn't want to use chemicals on her when she got fleas either. Get Ark Natural's Neem Shampoo and spray. OMGOSH!!!! This stuff is awesome. The fleas dissolve in it!

f. pea said...

OMG! Don't spray your dog or your house! Yikes. Check out this step-by-step for least toxic flea and tick control: http://www.toxicfreenc.org/informed/factsheets/fleatick.html

xanadu.fan said...

I'm wondering how you got on with this. Our lab picked up fleas over Christmas holidays this year and we thought we were rid of them but now it's Spring (in Australia) and they're back. Did any of the suggestions in the comments work for you?

Terrence Flendersen said...

We used to bathe our dog in a citrus shampoo. It repels future unwanted guests. d-limonene or something like that, is what's in more expensive anti-flea pet bath products - same result from a human citrus shampoo or dish soap, at less cost. lube equipment