One of the most challenging struggles that a pet owner faces is the prevention or elimination of fleas and ticks once a dog has exposure. These are nasty pests that transmit disease among animals and to the people who own them. It’s imperative to protect your dog, but finding remedies that are free of harsh chemicals is difficult.
As a responsible dog parent, you’ll need to take it upon yourself to obtain knowledge as to methods of maintaining a safe environment for the pet along with your family while providing treatment. It will mean eradicating the pests but doing so without the use of dangerous toxins.
Commercially Designed Pest Protection
Traditional flea and tick products that flood the market, such as topical ointments, flea and tick collars, dust, and sprays, are classified as pesticides and receive regulation through the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. Tablets or similar oral treatments require U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA approval.
The chemicals are said to be allowed for use on our animals but yet has the potential to bring serious health risk to people such as respiratory and neurological conditions and cancers. The risk is not merely with humans; it is detrimental to the animals for which the products tout their use. Pets receive poisoning to the level of having organ failure with known reports of neurological issues, skin irritations, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Finding A Way Around The Toxins
Before resorting to chemical solutions to treat for fleas and ticks, you should try a variety of natural or organic methods of controlling pests. More resources are becoming available to assist as society becomes more aware of the dangers associated with commercial treatments. Pesticides should be a very last resort effort.
- Regular grooming of your dog is vital maintaining control of fleas and preventing ticks. Killing an adult flea is simplistic with the use of basic soap and water. Keep your dog combed using a flea comb to eliminate the insects from the body. Discard the waste in soapy water that you can dispose of by tossing it out.
- Sanitize your living space on a regular, routine basis. It is especially important in the areas where the dog likes to hang out. Wash all the dog’s blankets and their bed each week in hot water, making sure to wash down and vacuum surrounding areas. It would help if you cleaned under furnishings and in between any cushions. If you feel that you may have an infestation, you’ll want to do every day and include steam cleaning of any carpeted surfaces.
- Preventative measures are necessary on the outside of the home where the dog goes running and plays. Nematodes or worms that are known to eat flea larvae can be purchased online or with any gardening store. These thrive with placement throughout the soil.
- A less toxic substance that can be used within the home or in the yard is diatomaceous earth, but it has the potential for risk if you accidentally inhale it or if it were to get into your eyes or those of your dogs. It is better that you situate it in spaces where it won’t be disturbed.
Organic or natural products are not necessarily going to be the best or the safest option for use with your pets or the most effective on the pests. A lot of the products consist of various herbs or spices, including cinnamon, peppermint, cedar wood, lemongrass, or rosemary. There has been no research to indicate that these are effective for eradication with reports linking them to allergic reactions in humans and animals. They won’t pose the same risks as synthetic chemicals, but supervision is a requirement with use to avoid adverse effects. Follow https://pets.webmd.com/features/natural-insect-control-flea-and-tick-treatments-for-pets for natural remedies.
Oral Flea Treatments
One of the better options among treatments for dogs are tablets that contain nitenpyram, lufenuron, or spinosad active. Orals boast of being safer compared to other treatments with topical application that leaves a residue remaining on the fur or the person’s hands. Pills tout as being especially useful in the treatment of fleas but at a higher price point with the need for a vet prescription. It may not be a realistic option for many pet owners.
Education On Ingredients That Are Deemed Safer
It is part of being a pet owner to make educated decisions on behalf of your dog, meaning research is always on tap. If it comes down to having to use the commercial products for eradication, make sure to find the least toxic of the options available. The suggestion for two of those that are said to be less toxic is s-methoprene and pyriproxyfen, but make sure to read what other ingredients are inclusive in the product. Instances transpire where these components are blended in with more harmful toxins.
Make sure that you select the formula that is appropriate for your specific dog. The EPA indicates that smaller dogs are more likely to have adverse reactions, including vomiting, rashes, diarrhea, or seizing with the topical ointments. Dogs that are taking medications, older dogs, or dogs that may be sickly are at higher risk as well. There is the potential for breed-specific aversions meaning not only that you need to research but consult a vet before administration.
Eradicating the pests doesn’t have to put your dog or your family at risk. The goal is to stay on top of it, using the safest techniques before a significant issue develops.