One of the most important aspects of pet care is keeping your critters free of fleas and ticks. Parasite control can be challenging, especially if your pet is sensitive to pesticides. But there are ways to eliminate fleas and ticks using a holistic approach.
Tip #1 - Mix brewer's yeast into pet food. Measure 1 tsp. for each 30 lbs. of the pet's body weight.
Tip #2 - Supplement the pet food with B-complex vitamins. Dosage should be 50 mg. once per day for cats and small dogs, twice daily for larger dogs.
Tip #3 - Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your pet's water bowl every day.
Tip #4 - Dab essential oils between your pet's shoulder blades or apply to its collar.
Tip #5 - Groom the pet over white paper. Black "flea dirt" will show on the paper and alert you that pests are present.
Tip #6 - Comb the pet daily with a flea comb. Wipe petroleum jelly on the flea comb tines, to make the fleas stick to comb.
Tip #7 - Dip cotton balls in rubbing alcohol and dab it on fleas and ticks to get them to release from your pet. Use tweezers to remove fleas and ticks.
Tip #8 - Drown the fleas in a bowl of warm, soapy water. Apply liquid soap to ticks using a cotton ball --- in about 15 seconds the tick will release. Dispose of ticks in a bowl of rubbing alcohol or crush in tissue and flush down toilet
Tip #9 - Check carefully between your pet's toes, behind its ears and on the inside of the legs, especially where they meet the body. Ticks will hide in these areas. Apply antiseptic to bitten areas.
Tip #10 - Add two drops of essential oil to oatmeal shampoo and bathe your pet. Lavender, lemongrass and citronella oils repel both fleas and ticks -- and oatmeal shampoo is gentle and will soothe any skin irritation. Lather and leave shampoo on your pet for a few minutes, to help smother any persistent fleas. Rinse thoroughly to remove insects and soap residue.
Tip #11 - Boil six cut lemons in a quart of water. Allow it to steep for a few hours. Use as a rinse after washing pets. Lemon water can also be placed in a spray bottle and sprayed regularly onto animals' coats.
Warning: Many essential oils are natural insect repellents; but some can irritate pet's skin -- and some can even be toxic to pets. Be sure to do a small patch test on your pet before applying it in larger doses. Also check to ensure the oil is pet friendly --- eucalyptus and pennyroyal, for example, are toxic to cats.
By Deborah Whistler
About the Author
Deborah Whistler began writing professionally in 1978. She has been published in "The Los Angeles Times," "Heavy Duty Trucking," "Truckers News" and "RoadStar" magazines. She is currently special projects editor for "FleetOwner," the leading trucking industry business publication. She studied journalism at California State University at Fullerton.