FLEAS!!! HELP!!

Fleas!!! I even hate the word. Fleas are a pain for every pet, pet owner and veterinarian. A single female flea can lay almost 2,000 eggs in her lifetime. So seeing even one flea in your house is a big problem.

When dealing effectively with fleas, I take an integrative approach. This means the least amount of the safest western medicine I can find combined with the safest holistic topicals I can incorporate.

You can use all or some of the ideas listed here. I would advise that you have your veterinarian involved in fighting fleas in your home. Veterinarians are educated in flea life cycles and can help you navigate the best prevention plan for your family.

Also your protocol should depend on if you have a dog or a cat and if that pet goes outside or stays inside. The recommendations here will be general guidelines and ideas for natural flea control.

        1. Wash your pet’s bedding and blankets/toys regularly. Fleas not only live in pet fur, but also furniture and bedding. Washing regularly will help decrease fleas in the environment.
        2. Vacuum often. Vacuum carpets, sofas, rugs and even wood floors. The vacuum can suction up fleas and larvae that may be lounging around your house
        3. Brush your pet daily. The furminator is a great brush for this, but any flea brush will do
        4. Try a natural flea collar. It’s safer than most topical medicated flea products. For dogs, add 4 drops of VetNaturally organic lavender essential oil to 4 tablespoons of water. Place pets collar or a bandana into the solution. Let it dry then place on your pet’s neck. For cats, use 1 drop of VetNaturally lavender essential oil in 4 tablespoons of water and only use a break away collar. Bandanas aren’t safe for cats. If your pet seems to resent the scent, you should respect this and try another safe, pet approved essential oil.
        5. Make a real lemon spray. Fleas don’t care for the scent of lemon ,or the limonene in lemons, so applying it to your pet’s coat can deter fleas. Take 6 organic lemons and chop them in half. Place in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Turn the stove off and let the lemons and water sit overnight. Strain out the lemon/lemon parts in the morning. Pour the remaining liquid into a glass spray bottle and apply to your dog’s coat. Avoid the eye area and other delicate parts. This spray can be used daily or every other day.
        6. Try adding Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar to your pet’s water. It deters fleas while also improving your dog’s coat quality. Add 1 teaspoon Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar per quart of drinking water. This is based on a 45 pound dog. Always place two bowls of water, one with the vinegar and one without. This way, if your pet doesn’t like the vinegar, he still has access his regular water.
        7. Keep a natural flea spray handy. Pour one quart of fresh water into a glass spray bottle and add 3 drops of VetNaturally organic lavender essential oil. Then add 1 cup of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. Mist your dog as needed. Avoid misting around their eyes. You can use this spray on blankets and bedding too.
        8. Wash your pet with a natural flea bath. Pick any gentle, organic shampoo. Stir in ¼ cup of the organic shampoo then add ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 drops of VetNaturally organic lavender essential oil and 2 cups of water. Bathe your pet weekly with this mixture.

Whether you are using conventional medicine with natural remedies or natural remedies alone, we hope that these tips help you keep your pet and home flea free. When you know better, you do better. Together we can do better!

Dr. Ashley Geoghegan

Dr. Ashley Geoghegan, known affectionately as Dr. G, has spent a lifetime devoted to animal care. Dr. G graduated from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and served in the U.S. Army as a veterinary officer. At VetNaturally™, she practices Integrative Medicine, which is a combination of Traditional Chinese Veterinary medicine (TCVM) , canine rehabilitation and conventional Western medicine.