Itchy, scratchy, yucky. There’s plenty of words to describe the season for when fleas from your dogs and cats begin to surface. As you probably know, there’s a plethora of chemical treatments that can terminate these obnoxious pests. But are those chemically-infused products safe for you and your family? And do you really want to douse your pets with potentially harmful materials?
Rather than resorting to traditional pet flea treatments, consider these top 5 dog and cat flea remedies for your home instead.
1. Natural Homemade Pet Flea Collars
Most pet owners assume that the chemicals used in traditional flea collars have undergone a slew of safety tests. Well, not always. In fact, according to the National Resources Defense Council, many of the top flea collar brands are chalked with potentially harmful chemicals.
If you want to avoid such products, you can craft your own homemade dog or cat collar. Below are two recipes to consider for each pet. Simply pour one of the mixtures over a cotton or nylon collar and wait for it to dry.
- Dogs: 1) One tsp of unflavored vodka, one drop of lemongrass essential oil, and one drop of eucalyptus. 2) One tsp of unflavored vodka, one drop of thyme essential oil, one drop of rosemary oil, and one drop of garlic oil.
- Cats: 1) One tsp of unflavored vodka and one drop of cedarwood essential oil. 2) One tsp of unflavored vodka and one drop of geranium oil.
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2. Apple Cider Vinegar Pet Flea Treatment
Apple cider vinegar is a miracle solution that offers so many health benefits – cold and flu, athlete’s foot fungus, laundering, just to name a few. Well, it’s also a great flea prevention alternative for cats and dogs.
As described by DogsNaturally, all you have to do is mix up a solution of half water and half raw, unfiltered ACV. Then, spritz the solution on your dog or cat’s coat. If your cat isn’t so tolerant to getting sprayed by a foreign substance (there’s a good chance they’re not), you can instead dip a flea comb in the solution and comb into your feline’s fur.
Another way to “apply” the apple cider vinegar remedy is internally. To eliminate fleas from the inside out, try supplementing two tbsps of ACV to your pet’s drinking water. If you use this method, be sure to monitor your pet to make sure they don’t have any negative reactions.
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3. Brewer’s Yeast For a Healthier Pet
“Healthy pets get fewer fleas, and good nutrition makes for healthier pets,” observes columnist Dr. Michael Fox. Sure, it may seem like a common sense statement, but it’s undoubtedly true. That’s why basic nutritional options can be effective at eliminating fleas. Brewer’s yeast isn’t just made for brewing beer. As a naturally occurring substance, it is also used to make nutritional supplements. Brewer’s yeast is rich in proteins and fatty acids, and includes a range of B vitamins.
Brewer’s yeast combines all these nutrients in a natural and condensed form that can easily be digested by pets. Dr. Fox suggests a half tsp of brewer’s yeast during mealtime for a cat or small dog. Or 1 tsp per 30 pounds of weight for large dogs. Not only can brewer’s yeast be great for fighting fleas, it is a very cost-effective solution! Other benefits of brewer’s yeast for pets are:
- Improved digestive health
- Clean and shiny coat
- Reduced stress
- Brewer's Dried Yeast Formula Plus Vitamins is an excellent source of B-complex vitamins.
4. Lemon Essential Oil Spray Repellant
Rather than shelling out a considerable amount of money for a traditional spray with mysterious ingredients, you can whip up your own flea control spray using just water and lemon essential oil. While this repellant doesn’t necessarily kill off the fleas, it can help control them after your dog or cat has been bathed and their bedding washed.
What makes this so effective is that fleas are repelled by the scent of lemon, and so they will generally venture out of your home. While you could use a range of lemon-scented products, the most effective solution is in essential oil form – due to its high concentration.
Simply fill a standard sized spray bottle with water and add 7 to 10 drops of lemon oil. You can spray the mixture throughout your home. We wouldn’t recommend spraying your pet with the solution, because they could have a reaction if the oil came in direct contact with their eyes.
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5. Natural Flea Trap Without Using Chemicals
Creating a flea trap is a great way to catch and kill these little monsters. It will take a little more work, but it enables you to clear up your whole house with a just a few simple ingredients: Warm water, tea candles, dinner bowls, and dish washing liquid.
You’ll want to place a bowl in each of your rooms (preferably in the middle of the room) before going to bed. Fill the bowls partly with warm water and then add a cupful of dishwashing liquid. Place one tea candle at the side of each bowl and light the candles. This will attract the fleas and they will get caught in the water. You’ll want to continue this process for three to four nights.
Home Pet Flea Alternatives That Actually Work
Warm vertebrates, like your dog or cat, are magnets for these creatures. Thankfully, these five pet flea remedies can work wonders at cleaning up the creepy, wingless insects in your home. Whatever application you try out, it doesn’t hurt to begin at the arrival, or even before, flea season begins.
For now, give these a try. And don’t forget to stay ahead of schedule next year!