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Protecting Your Dog From Fleas

Oct 13, 2007
The easy natural ways to protect your dog from fleas.

- Make use of vacuum cleaners to get rid of dust. Do not forget to seal the vacuum bags before you dispose them off.

- These parasites mostly breed on your dog's bed. You must clean the bedding once a week with warm soapy water.

- Use of a dog shampoo also helps in keeping the fleas away.

- Cedar made products are naturally flea repellent. Use cedar shampoo for your dog and also put cedar oil on their beds.

- A dogs dry skin attracts fleas. To keep their skin moist you should refrain from doing too much shampooing. Linatone oil in their food can also help.

- A mixture of brewer's yeast and garlic can be given in small doses to your pet. This creates a certain odor in pets, and seems to repel fleas.

- Fresh or dried pennyroyal leaves is also a natural flea repellent. Use this in carpets to avoid the abundance of fleas in your home. However, do not use it if you have small children around, as this could be toxic.

- You may also use a mixture of lavender oil and rock salt to bathe your dog and sprinkle it in the places where dogs usually prefer to rest.

- Marigolds can also be planted in your backyard as it keeps away fleas, as well as other certain kinds of bugs.

- You may also give your dog a quick bath in boiled lemon water or by using orange peels in the water. This can also be used for soaking your dogs bedding for a few hours before washing it with warm soapy water.

Remember that bathing your dog will only work if the infestation is low. In fact, these methods of keeping fleas away are only preventive in nature and wouldn't work well if the infestation level is too high.

There are number of commercially made products that are also available in the market. Let us take a look at them.

- Advantage: This is a product from Bayer having imidaclorid as the active ingredient. Advantage comes in liquid form and is applied on the dog's back. It quickly kills the fleas by breaking the nervous system of the fleas and its effect lasts for about a month. Although it is a liquid, it is safe for your dog as it does not get absorbed into its bloodstream.

Advantage also kills the flea larvae.

- K9 Advantix: Also from Bayer, it has quickly become the favorite of veterinarians and dog owners. It is for dogs only. Its active ingredients are Imidacloprid and Permethrin. It kills fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks, including deer ticks and keeps working after swimming or bathing.

- Frontline Plus: Frontline is not much different from Advantage except that it is not soluble in water. The product can be used safely for your dogs and puppies. It is very efficient in repelling the fleas and its effect can last for over four months.

It contains Fipronil as its active ingredient.

Like Advantage, Fipronil also attacks the nervous system and causes instant death in about 24 hours. In spite of being highly toxic it is not harmful to your dog, unless your dog is not allergic to fipronil.

- Biospot: Biospot is meant for dogs only. It kills up to 75% of fleas and larvae and is also effective for mosquitoes. Biospot can temporarily alter the color of your pet's hair and make it appear yellowish. It contains permethrins and IGR and is effective for about a month.

- Knockout: Another effective product that is exclusively meant for dogs. Its active ingredients include Pyriproxyfen: 21 pyridine: 0.05% cyclopropanecarboxylate: 2%. It also contains NYLAR to control the flea growth.

- Proban and Prospot: Again exclusively and widely used for dogs. However these repellents only work when the fleas bite the dog as they are effective only after they are absorbed in the bloodstreams. You also need to remember that you are injecting a small quantity of poison into your dogs body and you may not even know the side effects. Also, if your dog is allergic to the flea bites these may not be the right products.

Fleas thrive during the summer as it is their breeding season. Commercial products are effective during this time, but it is always better to consult your vet before you actually begin to using these products on your dog.
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