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Baggins' Bites: Fleas!
June 22, 2010
Dear Dog Lover,

It's been hot here in Pennsylvania (90F degrees this past weekend!)

But I’m thrilled to be able to wear sandals again and not have to wear a coat every time I go outside so I'm not complaining.

But with the warm weather also comes the dreaded flea season...

I recently read something really interesting about fleas.

This is a new idea (for me) because I grew up in the South and always thought fleas were just a part of life.

But some vets are challenging that belief.

Turns out, there are vets who believe healthy dogs are less likely to get fleas. Basically, they say fleas are most attracted to animals with low immune systems.

Even in Florida where the heat and humidity make a little flea paradise, one Florida veterinarian says healthy animals don’t get many fleas.

I don’t know about you, but that’s something of a revelation for me.

In other words, truly healthy animals get no fleas—or very few.

Of course nutrition plays a vital role in having a truly healthy dog.

Quality food and supplements will boost your dog’s immune system. A healthy environment with plenty of exercise and love and affection will round out the necessary factors your dog needs.

But if you want to add some natural prevention (just in case) or if your dog is already scratching himself to death what can you do?


A Few Natural Flea Treatments:



  • Brewer’s yeast, (1 tsp on your dog’s food) You can also dissolve a ¼ cup of brewer’s yeast in water. Shake it well and put the mixture into a spray bottle. Then you can spray it on your dog and brush him thoroughly. You can do this several times a week.


  • Garlic ¼ teaspoon a day will help keep away fleas. Larger dogs can have ½ a clove. Too much garlic can be toxic so use sparingly.


  • Use a Flea comb. Regular brushing and combing with a flea comb will let you know if your animal is having a flea problem-- before it gets out of control.


  • Diatomaceous earth is a mineral dust that kills insects.

    You can sprinkle this around your yard and near your door entrances to keep the fleas and other insects away. (I haven’t used it, just learned about it last year but lots of natural living mags recommend it.)

    Dr. Pitcairn says use it 1-2 times a year.

    It can have an irritating dust so you should be careful about breathing it in. Do not use the kind made for swimming pool filters. That kind is very fine and can be breathed into your lungs causing irritation and chronic inflammation.



  • Clean—steam clean your carpets, vacuum every few days and mop your bare floors at least once a week.

    Wash your dog’s bedding in hot water. The vacuum will suck up fleas and flea larvae. The mopping will rid your life of flea larvae and they can’t survive a hot bath so the washing machine will kill them.



  • If you dog does need a flea dip, here’s a nontoxic one I just read about.

    LymDyp S is a sulfurated lime product that protects your animal from fleas. It's much safer than the usual chemical flea dips. It does have to be special ordered by your vet.

    If you’re looking for more ideas, be sure to visit my natural flea prevention page. Here’s to a flea free summer !


    Reader D. Tafrow shares this recipe for an easy chicken recipe she makes for her dogs. Thanks for sharing!
    Recipe for a Doggie Chicken Dinner

    Yours in Treats and Good Health,

    Jen

    In loving memory of Baggins

    P.S. By the way, my holistic vet says you can spread out those chemical treatments (Advantage, Frontline, etc) if you really need them.

    For example, instead of every month, you can do it every 6-7 weeks. That lessens your pet’s exposure to the harmful chemicals in them.

    And if you want a good supplement to boost your dog’s immunity, take a look at Dr. Jones’ supplement. It’s full essential vitamins and nutrients for your dog’s radiant health. I wish I'd found this earlier for Baggins...

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