Aside from making themselves comfortable on your dog – often causing excessive itching and skin irritation, fleas also infest the home environment of their host pooch. So that means if your dog has fleas, your house probably does too!
Unless you’re in the midst of a full-blown flea infestation (where more aggressive treatment methods may be required), here are 3 natural methods of flea eradication and control which may help limit a flea outbreak at your place:
- Brush your dog regularly with a fine-tooth comb. Any dog brush will help to agitate and dislodge fleas from your dog, but it’s far better to use a fine-toothed flea comb. Flea combs physically lift fleas out of your dog’s coat, which you can then remove and dispose. It’s important that you comb your entire dog and make sure the comb reaches all the way to your dog’s skin, so that no fleas are missed. After each sweep through your dog’s coat, immediately dip the comb into a bucket of warm, soapy water to kill any fleas you may find. Depending on the severity of the flea problem, you may need to comb your dog once a week or perhaps as often as once a day.
- Wash your dog regularly with a gentle shampoo. Using a gentle pet shampoo, along with a thorough brushing, is a great combination for helping to rid your dog of fleas. As fleas are unable to hold onto the hair shafts of their host dog, regular baths will cause any resident fleas to fall off into the water and drown. After lathering your dog with a good quality, natural pet shampoo, make sure you rinse them off thoroughly so that all fleas are removed. Wash your dog no more often than once per week, so that you don’t cause damage to their skin by stripping out the natural oils.
- Keep your dog’s bedding and environment clean. In addition to living in your dog’s fur, fleas can also set up camp in your furniture, your flooring and your dog’s bedding. The first thing you can do to help keep fleas out of your home is to wash your dog’s bedding frequently (once a week), and leave them to dry outside in the sun. Secondly, it’s important to regularly vacuum all carpet, rugs, and upholstery to remove any fleas and larvae that may have taken up residence. Boric Acid and Diatomaceous Earth are natural, non-toxic insecticides, so you might like to try sprinkling your home with one of these before vacuuming.
Dogs which are fed a balanced, whole food based diet are healthier both inside and out, which may help them to be more resistant to fleas than dogs eating highly processed food. The daily addition of Dig-In Digestive Gravy Powder helps to strengthen your dog’s immune system, improve the condition of their skin and reduce the risk of parasite infestation. While dogs eating a nutritious diet may be far less likely to attract large numbers of fleas, even those with strong immune systems will occasionally attract a few, so it’s important to have a proactive plan of attack!
Natural flea treatments must be repeated regularly in order to be effective, and they are most beneficial when used in conjunction with preventative flea treatments such as monthly ‘spot on’ treatments. Always consult your vet for further advice and to receive more information about the best methods for keeping fleas off your dog and out of your home.