Update: 25 June 2017
Author: Animal Elite
Dog fleas (Ctenocephalides canis) are nasty parasites that live off of the blood of dogs. Flea bites cause irritation, rashes, skin problems, anemia, flea allergy dermatitis, and sometimes transmit tapeworms. The discomfort your dog experiences will range from mild to extreme, depending on how allergic he is to flea saliva. A dog's allergic reaction varies based on how functional the dogs immune system is. The weaker your dog's immune system — the more appealing your dog is as a home for fleas.
Big ugly, nasty flea! The flea is a small, wingless, jumping insect that feeds on the blood of mammals and birds. It sometimes transmits diseases through its bite, including plague and myxomatosis. From the order Siphonaptera, there are several families and many species, including the human flea (Pulex irritans) and the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis).
Commercial flea control products are poisonous chemicals. Pesticides and insecticides are what make up the active ingredients. Look at any commercial product, they warn to contact poison control if swallowed and often require you to wear gloves when applying the product. Have you ever gotten any on your skin? Don't, it burns. You must wash your hands for several minutes under water to ease the discomfort. And we are told to put this toxin on our loved dog?
Let's take a look at a common commercial product, ‘Frontline Plus for Dogs.’ Feel free to substitute any commercial pesticide product, the results will be sadly similar and equally disturbing. Pesticides are poisonous, please do not use them on your dog. There are two active ingredients in Frontline®, Fipronil and Methoprene. Over 80% of the product's ingredients are "inert" ingredients, which implies benign, but what this means that it is an ingredient which is not actively responsible for the advertised effect.
Please be aware that this does not refer to the toxicity the animal is exposed to. "Inert ingredient" is legislated terminology that a chemical manufacturer is allowed to use in order to put pretty much anything they want in their products. Regardless, any commercial flea control product is so toxic you should not even touch the box.
Sporadic "detoxification" programs are not enough to protect a dog from cancer causing exposures. What is needed is healthy cells that can perform their detoxification functions effectively. This requires ongoing nutritional support and an effective monitoring system such as hTMA.
Fleas are not fun to deal with. The great news is that a dog with a healthy immune system will rarely, if ever, become a host for hungry fleas. The bad news is most dogs today have weak immune systems. Fleas, like many parasites, are designed to find and live on weak hosts. That is, those with compromised immune systems.
The right approach is not to address the symptom but to get to the cause of the allergic reaction that a flea bite stimulates in a vulnerable pet.
It means getting your pet healthy enough that fleas will cause no reaction in him-and ultimately the fleas will have no interest in him.Dr. Martin Goldstein, The Nature of Animal Healing
If your dog has fleas, or you want to prevent the possibility, here are some tips that will not harm your dog.
These are the two simplest and most effective ways to naturally prevent fleas that we have found.
If your dog already has fleas or encounters an infestation, here are some safe natural treatment options. Your dog has fleas? Its okay, it happens to the best and most attentive animal caretakers. The most natural way to treat the problem is with two highly functional repellents; garlic and brewers yeast. Grate or chop one or two cloves of garlic into each meal AND add one tablespoon of brewers yeast (1/2 tbsp for small/toy dogs or cats). You may also rub brewers yeast into your dog's coat with your hands 3-5 times per week. Do this outside as the fleas may abandon your dog immediately, you do not want this to happen inside your home.
If garlic and brewers yeast do not address the flea problem adequately, there are herbal flea treatments and preparations on the market that can be useful. We recommend a few products from Earth Animal. Both their Herbal Internal Powder and Internal Powder contain natural ingredients that discourage fleas and are nontoxic to your dog. I encourage you to do your own research on the herbal preparations and find the product that fits your needs most adequately both with ingredients and price. There are also a few non-toxic flea collars that are effective in flea prevention. The flea collars that are not harmful to your dog and repel fleas most effectively are those containing refillable natural herbal oils. Specific oils that are most common and effective in flea treatment are eucalyptus, pennyroyal and citronella. These oils are usually used in combination with each other and/or other oils and herbs. Some of these collars are also available at www.earthanimal.com.
When treating fleas you must not forget your home. Your carpets, rugs, upholstery, even curtains should be steam cleaned. Your dog's bedding, as well as your own bedding should be washed and dried at high heat (this will kill any present fleas). Make sure you clean your home with non-toxic methods.
Nutritional Balancing.org is a free, non-commercial, public information resource. The information provided is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a physician or other licensed health practitioner. The information provided is not intended to be used for diagnosis, treatment or prescription for any condition, physical or emotional, real or imagined. Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the FDA.