Fleas are a given when you have a dog or cat that goes outside. These pesky, microscopic pests cause scratching and itching and great discomfort to your furry loved ones. Regular cleaning interrupts the life cycle of the fleas and greatly cuts down on the number of adult fleas that end up on your pet, especially if you act before flea season begins. So start your program with these nontoxic steps:
a. Steam clean your carpets.
b. Clean and vacuum floors, couches and beds, particularly where your pet hangs out, at least once a week.
c. Wash all linens in hot soapy water. Heat kills all stages of flea life.
d. Give your pet a bath with a natural anti-flea product like Halo Herbal Dip, and then go through their fur with a flea comb and remove any fleas. They are the size of a pinhead and black. When your dog’s fur is wet and soapy, the fleas are less likely to get away from you.
e. As a preventative, add a few drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle of water. Lightly mist your pet before he or she goes outside.
f. Give your pet nutritional yeast and garlic tablets or powder, but be careful to use products that specifically say they are for cats, or for dogs, or okay for both (for instance, be careful giving garlic to cats). Some studies show yeast supplementation significantly reduces flea numbers. I have always had good luck with it with my dog.
g. Keep your pets healthy! Feed them quality food, exercise them and love them.
h. Use natural flea collars.
I have never had to use commercial or toxic flea collars on my dog and have used the steps above (as recommended by veterinarian Dr. Pitcairn) to get rid of fleas, when she has had them.