If you’re looking for safe options for parasite prevention, here are some natural alternatives that work very well.
You don’t need toxic flea dips and shampoos to kill fleas. Anything that suds will drown and suffocate fleas. Bathe your pet, suds them up, and let them sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly. Be sure to use a natural, gentle shampoo formulated and pH balanced especially for pets. We prefer Earthbath.
Vacuuming and Washing Dog Beds
Vacuuming and washing beds and linens in hot soapy water will rid your environment of fleas and their eggs.
Diatomaceous Earth (Food Grade)
Diatomite, also known as “diatomaceous earth” or “DE”, is a sedimentary rock composed of fossilized hard shelled algae. It is harvested from the bottom of dried ancient lakes and broken down into a fine powder.
There is a pool grade and a food grade. Make sure you are using DE label food grade! Food grade diatomaceous earth is an excellent safe and natural product that kills any kind of parasite with an exoskeleton (such as fleas and ticks.) As the parasites crawl throughout the DE, their exoskeleton is scraped off and any moisture is absorbed by the DE, causing them to dehydrate and die.
We use DE in our yard and around our house. You can use it inside if you have carpet, but be careful that you and your pets do not inhale the dust, as any inhaled powdered substance can be a lung irritant.
Food grade diatomaceous earth (which has been approved as safe by the FDA for internal consumption as well as external use) is also great for naturally killing internal parasites such as tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, and hookworms.
Neem, Peppermint, Lavendar, Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus and Ctironella (not the lamp oil!) are all essential oils that are fantastic at repelling any kind of insects, including fleas, ticks, flies and mosquitos. We make up a mixture of our own, rotating between different essential oils and mixing them with water in a spray bottle. We mist the dogs before they go outside to repel insects and prevent them from bringing any new critters home with them. We use this on ourselves too! The oils smell amazing and work better than anything we’ve ever used! (Cedarwood is our favorite!)
After each walk, (especially for those walks in heavily wooded areas) we take about 5 minutes per dog and use a flea comb dipped in apple cider vinegar all over their entire body to rid them of any parasites they may have picked up along the way.
A Healthy Diet
Fleas are not attracted to truly healthy dogs. A species appropriate raw diet can help bring your dogs health and body into balance, boosting their immune system and making them unattractive hosts for parasites.