Thursday, March 18, 2010

EPA wants to protect your pets too

Each month I put flea drops on my cats. Because I love them. And I hate fleas. Plus I think they hate fleas.

After I apply the drops, my cat Larry itches like crazy. I've always thought that he scratched because the drops were making the fleas die and that the fleas were biting as they were dying. I'm not sure why I think that but that's what I think.

Then this morning I was reading a story that said the flea and tick drops are killing peoples pets. Killing them. That scared me. 

I scanned through the article and read the reactions that people reported their pets having: skin irritation, burns and welts on their skin, excessive drooling, uncontrollable shaking, vomiting, seizures and in 600 cases, death.

There was a link to the EPA site and I followed it (it's here if you want to see it) and became even more worried about applying drops to my animals that I thought were helping them but may be hurting them instead. 

Now, being the obsessive person I am, I just had to find out some ways to treat fleas without using pesticides. You know I love the internet! There are so many sites out there that give me the information I need.

I found this site and decided to share some of their ideas with you.
  • You can dab some petroleum jelly on a flea comb to help make the fleas stick to its tines.
  • Dab fleas with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. This slows down fleas, enabling you to catch them. Then plunge the fleas to the bottom of a cup of warm water. Next, dump the water into the toilet and flush, or rinse down a sink, to prevent the flea from escaping.
  • Smother fleas by dropping them in a cup of water to which a teaspoon of cooking oil has been added. 
  • A half teaspoon of nutritional brewer's yeast daily can provide the B complex vitamins a dog needs. Dr. Michael Fox has recommended brewer's yeast or nutritional yeast (but not baker's yeast), giving 1 teaspoon per 30 pounds of body weight mixed with the animal's food.
  • B complex vitamins - 50 mg once a day for cats and smaller dogs, and twice daily for larger dogs.
  • Use Omega 3 and 6 fatty acid supplements.
  • Add a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar to your dog's water bowl.
  • Add a teaspoon each of safflower oil and powdered kelp or seaweed to the food bowl.
  • Fresh garlic in small quantities can help repel fleas by making the animal taste unpleasant to fleas. Grate a small amount of fresh, raw garlic into your pet's food at mealtime, about one-half to 3 chambers of the clove (chamber, not a whole clove) depending on the animal's size. One vet recommends one crushed clove of garlic (not a whole bulb; a clove is just one chamber) per every 30 pounds. 
  • When bathing your pet, you can use apple cider vinegar to rinse his or her fur. Fleas don't like the smell or taste.
  • Lavender, peppermint and geranium essential oils repel mosquitoes. Lavender, lemongrass and geranium repel ticks. And lavender, lemongrass, peppermint and citronella repel fleas. Dab oils between your dog's shoulder blades. Lavender (which also repels flies) is particularly versatile. Other effective natural repellents include lemon, cedar, eucalyptus, myrrh, neem and rosewood
  • Put a drop of lemon oil or rosemary oil on your dog's collar.
  • A safe, easy homemade flea repellent: cut 6 lemons in half, boil in a quart of water, steep a few hours, then strain the solution into a spray bottle. Spritz your pet's fur, taking care not to spray near the eyes. Don't spray anything in a dog's face; apply spray to the hand and then rub it on the fur.
  • Another gentle homemade flea spray: dilute a flower-scented shampoo in water and spray liberally, or rub into the coat and let air-dry.
  • One inexpensive over-the-counter choice for dogs and cats is Gentle Touch drops. Gentle Touch is a spot on that is all natural and free of chemicals and petroleum solvents. 
  • Avon Skin-So-Soft wiped on pets keeps insects off
I knew about the Avon Skin-So-Soft and have used it in the past. It really does work. You can put a couple cap fulls into a tub of water and dip your pet in it also. 

One more easy (and least to me) way to rid your pets of fleas is to take them to the beach and let them swim in the ocean. The salt water removes the insects and clears up any skin problems they may have. That works for people too.

So now I have some things to think about. Maybe you do too. All I know is that I don't want to harm my pets. Especially if I think I'm helping them.

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william said...

thanks for the tips babe, I have a wee dog and hate flees too, ur the tops xx

Doris Sturm said...

I hate the flees more than the drops - if Gizzy has just one flea he will chew himself RAW and then he really needs medical help. We have so many gosh darn strays outside and are tick infested and this is Mosquitoe heaven, as you know, that I really need something that's fool proof. I normally prefer natural remedies, but I've tried so much on myself, none of which worked (including skin so soft) Garlic I won't use - I HATE the stuff (I must be part vampire) but I won't go near it - and I might try the lemon thing because I love lemons and the oils .... they're expensive and difficult to get where I live. I'd have to mail order them and then maybe they will or will not work. I love naturals believe me, but when it comes to bugs, give me the Raid and the Black Flag and I'll take my chances (yikes!)

xinex said...

Great tip, Kathy, but I am glad I don't have to worry about fleas cause I have no pets....Christine

DoanLegacy said...

This is a great information for people with pets..Summer is coming and so are the fleas :-)

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