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Natural Flea and Tick Remedies for Your Pet

At one time or another, most pets catch fleas or ticks during their lifetime. Fleas, which can affect both cats and dogs, often hide under piles of leaves, under porches, and inside dark cracks. If you live in a warm, damp climate, you need to be especially on the lookout for flea infestations. Ticks commonly live in wooded, brushy areas and embed themselves into thick skin to draw blood.

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Photo credit: Borislav Dopudja via WikiMedia

Similar to human medications, most cat and dog remedies that you find in stores are full of chemical ingredients and synthetic toxins. Fortunately, there are a number of natural and non-toxic pest treatments that are affordable and require no prescription. Here are a few natural tick and flea remedies for your pet that have proven effective:

Plain Water

Most fleas can be removed from your pet’s fur with just plain water. Fleas don’t grasp onto hair shafts, so many of them literally fall off and drown when immersed in water. A good bath will get rid of most of your pet’s fleas, and then you can follow up with one of the following treatments.

Lemon and Other Citrus Fruits

Although lemon is safe for humans and pets, lemons and other citrus fruits repel fleas. Try squeezing a lemon or orange onto your pet’s fur or squeeze some into a bath with pet-friendly shampoo and water. Even if he licks it off, no harm done and he’ll smell great too! You can also combine fresh lemon with water and dip a comb into it to pull through his fur. Seagate Lemon Powder made from whole freeze-dried lemons can be used for this purcpose. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon powder to a cup of water and mix well to reconstitute. Then rub liberally into you pet’s fur.

Natural Oils

Lots of pet owners have had success using rose geranium oil for pests on pets. You can apply the oil to your dog’s collar for fleas, however cats are known to have adverse reactions with oils. Lemongrass oil helps repel fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes, while also promoting a healthy coat of fur. Cinnamon oil, sesame oil, and castor oil are also popular natural pest remedies among veterinarians. Always make sure to dilute oils before using them on your pet, and gauge your pet’s reaction to the oil before applying it liberally.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another safe and effective pest remedy for pets. For a 40-pound dog, try adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to his drinking water to battle fleas. You can also create your own homemade flea spray by adding apple cider vinegar to fresh water and a couple drops of natural oils. Avoid spraying anything directly into your pet’s face, but pay particular attention to the neck, chin, and behind the ears.

Tips to Keep Fleas and Ticks Away

-Give your pet frequent baths
-Regularly comb and brush your pet’s fur
-Feed your pet a natural, balanced diet, as parasites are drawn to weak hosts
-Examine your outdoor environment and keep your yard groomed
-Visit your veterinarian regularly for checkups

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