Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sustainable Living: Flea Repellent for Companion Furries

In this post, I am sharing information on products that I have actually used or told others to use who are near and dear to me. I have not been given anything for free, nor been paid to "review" anything. This post is NOT a review, but instead is a "share".

Many of you don't know that I have been an animal caregiver and healer for many years. In my offline professional life, I often don't share with everyone that I am a Witch. So I often keep quiet about that animal-laden life online, too. But I have not only rescued and rehabilitated many animals, but also have been a holistic healer, nutritionist, and reiki-giver to companion and wild animals for years.

One of the toxic things that even "crunchy" or natural folks do that is preventable and unnecessary is treating their furry companions (dogs and cats) with a topical flea treatment like Advantage. Did you know that this stuff contains a neurotoxin? And that many companion animals have adverse reactions to it, such as seizures- sometimes for the rest of their lives?

This is completely unnecessary and harmful to pets, humans, and the environment. Further, as more and more animals are being put on these regimens, fleas and ticks are getting resistant to the poison and they are coming out with more toxic remedies to replace the less effective ones. Stop the madness and get off the cycle of poison!

Many people do not understand when they get an flea infestation that they need to treat their home as well as their animal. They also may not know that when get fleas, you likely get tapeworm and need to treat for that, too.

Here are alternatives for infestation treatment as well as ongoing prevention.

1. Nothing works faster than a bath. Nothing. And you do not need a fancy flea shampoo, no matter how slick the marketing. Soap kills fleas. They cannot swim, so place an inch or so of water at the bottom of the basin that your animal is in, too.
Get yourself a natural soap (Dr. Bronner's Eucalyptus is a great choice, as eucalyptus naturally acts as a repellent, in case you miss some) and a flea comb. If you have a bath hating creature, make sure you have backup to restrain the animal as you methodically soap, comb, and rinse the animal.

2. Treat your home and especially ALL the areas your pet frequents, like pet beds, crates, bedding, and sofas. There are two treatments that do a great job for this purpose. Diatomaceous earth (get food grade- Azmira makes a great large sized package) and Flea Busters, which is a mineral based treatment. Both are powders, so wear a mask over your face when applying. Get the powder deep into fabrics, carpet, and into the cracks between hardwood floors. Remember, fleas are tiny but must be destroyed! Follow the directions exactly for FleaBusters.

3. Treat for tapeworms. Tapeworms go along for the ride with fleas and quickly will infest your pet. Azmira and Quantum make great herbal dewormers.

1. Dietary supplements- by far, the best prevention for any blood sucking parasites are blood bittering and B vitamin rich supplements. These have the advantage of also being healthy for your pet. The two best formulas that I have found are the "Internal Powders" by Earth Animal- they have two formulas- a nutritional yeast formula and a green herbal formula. While the packages and products look substantially different, they do the same thing with different ingredients. I recommend the yeast formula for cats, mostly. Cats love nutritional yeast and tend to be persnickety when it comes to things being added to their food. This is a taste they like. Obviously, if your cat has a yeast issue, that will not work. The herbal formula is great for dogs. I used it myself for years and my dog would go everywhere outside and never had a flea or tick. If your animal refuses daily supplementation like this, I would resort to their tinctures. (Administering tinctures to an animal is sucky, though!)

2. Diatomaceous earth in their bedding and in the periphery of your home. Sprinkle this around where they frequent and also near porches and such to keep fleas at bay.

3. Lifestyle change- if your cat keeps coming home with fleas, perhaps it is time to give the wild birds a break and keep kitty inside. His/her life will be longer, they will get less infections from fights, and bonus- no fleas!

4. While they tend to only protect the head of an animal- there are herbal flea collars.

5. More frequent baths- either with a soap that has tea tree or eucalyptus oils, or a dust bath with diatomaceous earth (in the case of cats). Don't worry, the DE is edible and will kill internal parasites as well! There is DE in all our processed grains like breakfast cereal. Do NOT use essential oils on cats- they will get very sick.

Hope this post helped ya'll!


  1. Love this post! So great to have all of this information in one place, my two big dogs both had fleas last year and we were able to get rid of them with purely natural approaches. Thanks!

  2. Ooooh!! I am sooo going to try the supplements!! I have 2 dogs and a cat, and one of my dogs (who is the smallest) seems to always have fleas. I don't like the chemical stuff, but we have tried a ridiculous amount of all natural/herbal flea medicines and collars. Not a single one made even a dent. We finally had to take her to the vet and they gave her something there. For the first time she is flea free. The other animals never have fleas. So thank you for the tip. I just hope it works!! :)


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