Like most nature lovers going on outdoor hikes with my two best friends is one of my favorite things to do in good weather. We live for the adventure, tall grass, and peaceful walks along the water. Who doesn’t?! We pack up our backpack with snacks, leashes, balls, water bowls, towels, but the one thing I cant forget is my flea and tick repellent! I love using all natural and chemical free products that can work for both me and my pups. I am so excited share with you this easy to make mixture that will keep the nasty pests away without causing any discomfort to you or your dog. Seeing is believing, so I use my own pups as guinea pigs to make sure anything I am selling or telling actually works. First we will talk about the risks, the removal, and then the prevention.
Why is this so important to take care of ? If being uncomfortable isn’t enough, you should know the risks that fleas and ticks can bring to your pets. They are carriers of certain diseases such as dermatitis, tapeworms, lime disease, and tick paralysis. This is both a concern for your pet and the people in your household. Okay, so now that your back is tingling and you want to pick at your dog like a monkey let me tell you what to look for. Ticks like warm places, that are not easy to nibble on or scratch so check all of these places first. Armpits, inner thighs, under the tail, under or in the ears, neck lines and in between toes. So if you find some please don’t just pull them off. The head of the tick is lodged under the skin making removal more difficult. Also, if removed incorrectly a new body may grow or a skin infection may occur. Don’t panic, there is a simple way to remove these pesky bugs, go to the kitchen and grab your dawn soap. Simply drench a cotton ball in dawn, and hold on the tick until it backs out and releases. The dawn coats the skin of the tick and causes it to suffocate. It will quickly back out to breathe and that’s when you flush it or toss it in a cup of alcohol. Rub some coconut oil on your pups skin and call it a day! See told you it wasn’t too bad, now fleas aren’t as simple to remove but much easier to spot. I always lift the fur right above the tail, if you see small black dots that is a sign of flea feces. also check the warm spots, they will usually group in those areas. If you find any evidence the best solution is to go back to the kitchen for dawn. Coat your pup neck down and let it sit for five to ten minutes (or until you see the fleas stop crawling around). Use baby shampoo for the face and then rinse thoroughly. This will suffocate them too and won’t be harsh on your pups skin.
Some of you may think to yourselves why dawn soap? Many of the flea control products on the market today contain highly toxic ingredients in them. Not only are these ingredients toxic to our animals, but if brushed off onto our human family members they can be potentially dangerous. The most at risk is children as they are highly susceptible to the amount of toxic ingredients in these flea collars and sprays. You use dawn on the forks you eat with, your hands, and now conveniently you dog. Shops all over have been using this trick, and my best answer is BECAUSE IT WORKS.
Alright so fleas and ticks are all gone, but you still want to explore the world. So lets create a formula to leave you worry free. Here is what you will need:
- a plastic spray bottle
- Tea tree oil ( organic is preferred but not necessary (: amazon has it for a great deal)
- Rose Geranium oil (again organic is always nice )
- raw apple cider vinegar (smell alone repels mosquitos)
Mix these ingredients in a bowl or cup, with vinegar, and about 3-6 drops each of the oils. The smell of vinegar alone, is enough to repel a mosquito, but apple cider vinegar is more than just a repellent. It is a natural conditioner to the skin and hair. It is also great for adding shine and luster to the coat. Spray this mixture onto your dog. Allow to dry and do not rinse! Works great on people too and is safe on and around children as well.
There are many essential oils that help repel all sorts of bugs and are safe to use in dog sprays! You can substitute these essential oils into your dog’s homemade Flea & Tick spray, based off of what you have on hand. PLEASE REMEMBER – dogs should be thought of like babies when it comes to essential oils and the amount to use. Not only do they have sensitive noses but they also have smaller organs than we do. Some of the essential oils you can safely use on dogs for flea and tick prevention are: lavender, lemon, neem, citronella, sage/clary sage, bergamot, cedarwood, lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, geranium, sweet orange, and rosemary. It is important to note that there are essential oils that are toxic to dogs. According to the book Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals, some of these essential oils to avoid using on your dogs are:
Anise Mugwort Birch Mustard Bitter Almond Oregano Boldo Pennyroyal Calamus Thyme Camphor Rue Cassia Santalina Chenopodium Sassafras Clove Leaf and Bud Savory Crested Lavender Tansy Garlic Terebinth Goosefoot Thuja Horseradish Wintergreen Hyssop Wormwood Juniper Yarrow
Regular vacuuming helps to pick up fleas and eggs from your carpets, floors, and furniture. It is important to flea control to empty the vacuum cleaner immediately after vacuuming and remove it from your home to prevent re-infestation. For an extra flea killing oomph sprinkle food grade diatomaceous earth all over your carpet before vacuuming. Let sit 15-30 minutes before vacuuming.Though you can wash some bedding in the washing machine, others are more difficult to do so frequently. I am lazy and have big dog bedding so I like to sprinkle the bedding with baking soda and essential oils at the same time that I am sprinkling my carpet, let sit 15-30 minutes, then vacuum up.
I hope this information helps and may the force be with you in defeating these pesky bugs! If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns don’t hesitate to ask. I am simply a text or email away. Your pups are my babies too and their well being is my main concern!