Fleas can be a big problem for dogs and cats, especially during summer months, but there is a bigger problem: the commercial chemical-laden treatments that–in my opinion–do more harm than good. Flea collars, sprays, powders, shampoos and the like may be mildly effective, but the dangers outweigh the benefits.
As your skin does, your pet's skin absorbs everything you put on it, so topical treatments make their way into the bloodstream. If the products are filled with chemicals (most of them are), those chemicals also enter the bloodstream. Over time, they pose serious health risks. These products can also cause respiratory issues.
I've talked before about how adding Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to your pet's diet can help the overall health of your pet in so many different ways. Flea control is one of these ways. Regularly giving your pet ACV can help with long-term flea control. ACV can also be used topically in the form of a rinse or spray if your pet is already flea-infested.
Before treating your pet with ACV, do your best to remove as many of the buggers as you can. You can pick them out or use a flea comb, which will also help remove some of the eggs.
As a rinse, shampoo your dog as you normally would, and rinse thoroughly. Then rinse your pet's coat thoroughly with ACV and massage. Fleas do not like the odor or taste of the vinegar, so they should bail out or rinse off when you next rinse off the ACV. As an added bonus, the ACV will likely improve your dog's skin and coat. It can help with dry skin and increase the shine in your pet's coat. It can also help with odor.
As a spray, you can use an ACV mixture for flea prevention and control. You can make a simple mixture with one part ACV to two parts water. Another commonly used recipe is as follows:
• 8 oz of Apple Cider Vinegar
• 4 oz of warm water
• 1/2 teaspoon of salt
• 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
Mix the salt and baking soda together, then add the mixture to the water and ACV mix in a spray bottle. Shake gently, as the mixture will foam. Apply to your pet and comb or massage through fur. Be careful not to spray in your pet's eyes (or your own) because it will sting, and do not use on open cuts our wounds. Again, ouchie.
There are many brands of ACV, but we use Bragg. It can be found in health food stores and nearly any grocery store, typically where the salad dressings or health foods are kept. You'll want to make sure that whichever type of ACV you choose, it has "the mother," strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules.
The greatest part of this natural flea remedy is how safe it is for your pet and for your family. Don't forget, while we're cuddling our creatures, whatever they have on their fur gets transferred to us. Natural flea treatments keep the whole family safe and happy.
If you have tried ACV for flea control, please share your story!
This article, written by me, was originally posted on Hybrid Rasta Mama, for whom I create original content. It appears here with permission, with minor changes.