Essential Oils for Flea & Tick Control

By Jeannie Thomason, The Whole Dog

As the warmer weather creeps up, we dog lovers start to worry about those tough, relentless survivors called fleas.

"Have you ever wondered why some dogs and cats have severe flea problems, while others are hardly bothered by the little pests? Fleas can be viewed as an indicator of an animal's general health. Parasites in general, and fleas in particular, are most attracted to the weak, unhealthy, or very young animal whose immune system is not functioning well. The long-term solution to a flea problem is to reduce your pet's susceptibility to fleas by improving his/her health." - Jeffrey Levy, DVM

The biggest key to flea and tick prevention - and to your dog's overall health - is good nutrition. A healthy diet of fresh foods (NOT processed kibble or canned foods) will do a lot to keep pests away.

The commonly used chemical based products used in over the counter and veterinary prescribed flea and tick collars or spray and even topical drops deterrents have been found that in large enough doses can cause breathing problems, tremors, vomiting, skin irritations, permanent nerve damage and death. Some dogs experience hair loss and sores around the neck from flea collars or where the topical drops have been applied, plus the chemical fumes given off by these products can negatively affect everyone in the house.

Did you know that your dog's liver and kidneys are adversely affected by the use of commercial flea products such as frontline and advantage, chemical de-wormers and even heartworm drugs? The toxic chemicals in these products will eventually result in renal failure (kidney failure), liver damage to the point of the liver becoming unable to filter the blood and complete liver failure.

Contaminated blood circulating throughout the body day after day will most definitely contribute to other more complicated health issues, such as diabetes and arthritis to name two of the most common long term side effects.

These toxic drugs can also cause severe skin rashes, loss of hair, epileptic seizures, brain damage. The list of adverse side effects amazingly goes on and on. Still people continue to use these drugs because they don't know there is a better, simpler, less expensive, safer way.

There is a safe effective alternative for your dog!

You can do it without chemicals!

Many plants produce essential oils as their own survival technique to repel bugs This makes essential oils great insect repellents for animals (and humans, too). Essential oils are all natural, mild and will leave your dog's coat healthy and vibrant. For centuries, they have been used in a variety of ways to repel fleas, ticks and other biting insects. These oils are nature's own God given repellents. They ward off unwanted hitchhikers. Some of the more common oils that act as flea and insect repellents are citronella, cedar, peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and lavender.

Essential oil formulations will need to be applied more frequently than synthetic pesticides, but the benefits far outweigh the exposure to harsh chemical smells and toxic side effects. They are great for misting your dog's legs (and your own) any time that you go out where fleas would be likely to be found.

Basic instructions

Ten to 20 drops of any of the above oils or combination of the same may be put in a dark colored, glass, pint sized bottle with spring water or distilled water. This is used for misting your dog daily and it can also be sprayed on bedding or around doorways and baseboards in your home to keep fleas out.

Shake well before each use.

Uses:

  • Mist the dog before going to training class and upon returning as well. You won't pick up fleas from other members of the training class.
  • Spray the area where you set up your exercise pens and crates at the dog shows. Fleas will choose to go to the neighbors instead. The dogs themselves can be misted when you leave home and again before returning from the show.
  • Set the squirt bottle near the door, so that you can mist the dog (and your own pants legs) when you take the dog for a walk. No hitchhikers will come home with your or your pet from public places.
  • If you have a dog with flea allergies, it can get instant relief while you are ridding the environment of fleas.
  • For dogs that are bothered by flies biting their ears, cover the eyes with your hand and mist the ear area. Flies will stay away and the ears can heal.
  • Mist your own hair and clothing when outside during mosquito season. The oils set up a very pleasant smelling barrier, so that you (and your party) won't be bothered by these pesky insects.

For longer term control, a few drops may be placed on a cotton flea collar and put around the dog's neck. Renew the oil whenever the aroma starts to fade. You can also put a few drops of one or more of the oils into the palms of your hands, rub your palms together and apply to the dog's coat and skin starting at the neck and down the front legs, then down the back to the base of the tail and down the back legs.

Caution: I only recommend Young Living Essential Oils due to their high quality and purity! To order Young Living Essential Oils, call 800-371-2928 and use the referral and Sponsor number 719671. For more information on the importance of essential oil quality click here.

About the Author

Copyright ©2008 The Whole Dog Store, Whole Dog News Blog, Jeannie Thomason, All rights reserved. All the articles at The Whole Dog and Whole Dog News have been researched and reviewed for accuracy, however, they are not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a veterinarian or other qualified canine health professional. The Whole Dog, Whole Dog News and Jeannie Thomason does not assume any legal responsibility