There’s nothing endearing or pleasant about fleas and ticks. They’re troublesome little parasites that cause pet owners and their beloved furry family members nothing but grief.
Even worse, they have the audacity to feed on the blood of our dogs and cats, transmitting some horrible diseases in the process.
It’s no wonder that we pet owners hate fleas and ticks and go to extreme measures to rid ourselves of them. But it's important to use safe, effective, and environmentally conscious methods to repel and kill these stubborn pests.
Don’t sacrifice the safety of your family – four legged or two – in your fight against fleas and ticks. In this article, we'll give you a helping hand by sharing our top 5 natural flea and tick repellent tips.
1) Always Feed a High-Quality Diet
Diet is the foundation of good health, and fleas especially will take advantage of an animal with a compromised immune system.
Optimize your pet's health and immunity by feeding them the very best diet you can. Choose top quality commercial pet foods that contain no by-products, unnamed meat meals or bone meals, chemical preservatives, or other artificial additives.
It’s also a good idea to ensure meat is the primary protein component.
The healthier your pet, the less likely they are to become overrun by parasites like fleas and ticks.
2) Avoid Chemical Flea and Tick Preventatives
Conventional chemical flea and tick treatments can be toxic for pets. Especially if you use them regularly.
The chemicals they contain – which often come with warning labels to avoid contact with human skin – can accumulate in your dog or cat’s blood, skin, and deep tissue.
One common preventative that falls into this category is spot-on liquid pesticides. They’re applied to a “spot” on the pet’s skin, usually the back of the neck.
These often-monthly treatments have been reported to lead to pesticide overdose in some pets. And unfortunately, some have actually died from this situation.
Powders and aerosol sprays are two other popular, chemical-laced methods commonly used. However, they present dangers as well due to the high risk of inhalation and potential to ingest. When this happens, damage can be done to internal organs. It’s best to keep an eye on those labels so you know exactly what you’re buying.
3) Use Natural Flea and Tick Prevention Methods Instead
Garlic and brewer's yeast help prevent fleas and ticks from attacking your pet by creating an odor that's unnoticeable to you and your pet, but unpleasant to fleas, ticks, and other biting insects.
It’s incredibly easy to add these to your pet’s diet with a specially formulated food which has them on the ingredient list. But if that’s tough to find, you could opt for something like Only Natural Pet Brewer’s Yeast & Garlic Flea Pills for Dogs & Cats.
There are also some essential oil-based, non-chemical products, that will do a great job at killing and repelling fleas and ticks. Some essential oils can be toxic to dogs, so you want to make sure you’re getting the right ones and using them as directed.
4) Check Your Pet Regularly for Fleas and Ticks
You should check for signs of fleas and ticks regularly, especially during warmer months or if you live in an area that doesn’t have cold winters.
If you walk your dog in grassy or wooded areas, it’s especially important to give them a quick inspection afterward. But even if it’s just a spin around the block in a mostly paved suburb, you may find some unwanted guests from time to time.
If you spot a tick, you should follow expert advice on how to remove it carefully using a special tick-removal device to make it easier. But if in doubt, seek the assistance of your vet to get the job done. What you don’t want to do is leave the head of the tick lodged inside the skin, which can lead to further infestation and infection.
Using a flea comb to check for fleas periodically is a great idea. That way you may spot the little pests before they reach outbreak levels. And of course, if you do see a lot of them on your pup or kitty, the flea comb will do its job and whisk them away.
5) Naturally Protect Your Home and Yard from Fleas and Ticks
Avoiding potentially harmful chemical pesticides is a good idea. They seem like a quick fix but may end up doing more damage in the long run if inhaled or ingested by you or your pets.
Instead, protect carpets, flooring, bedding, and furniture from infestations by vacuuming regularly and washing with natural cleaning products. Also consider using natural powders that contain calcium carbonate, diatomaceous earth, or boric acid.
Some products can be applied directly to your pet, like Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy Powder for Dogs & Cats.
Others, such as Fleabusters Rx for Fleas Plus Powder, work their magic in places like your carpet.
Just be sure to read labels and directions carefully so you know how to use them safely and effectively.
A natural approach to flea and tick prevention is a whole lot easier than complications caused by infestations or transmitted diseases. Protect your pets and home year-round using the tips we’ve given you here.
We recommend choosing natural products because they are generally safer than chemical alternatives. If you’re looking for some help or direction on how to effectively use them or are wondering if they’re the right choice for you and your pet, please speak to your veterinarian.