It was recently announced that Advantage and Advantix are now available over the counter. Bayer Animal Health announced last week that its popular flea and tick products, formerly available only through veterinarians, would now be available at pet retail stores and internet outlets.
This is supposedly great news for pet parents. Personally, I have never been a fan of using chemical based flea treatments. I think it is the connotation of using a “pet insecticide” that has never appealed to me. I have often wondered how many pet parents would administer these flea treatments directly onto their baby’s skin? Chemical flea and tick products are something I would not use on myself and therefore do not want to put on my animals.
I found it absolutely fascinating in reading that we have created the “super flea”. I was reading The Goldstein’s Wellness and Longevity Program, written by Robert Goldstein, VMD, and read that the “heavy use of insecticides and pesticides has been largely responsible for the production of the “super flea”, which has adapted to withstand progressively stronger poisons. As a result, fleas have longer life cycles today than they did 50 years ago.” (www.healingcenterforanimals.com)
The purpose of this blog is not to advocate the non-use of chemical flea treatments but instead to promote a pet parent’s awareness of alternative measures. Have you ever considered going green for your dog and integrate a healthy and natural approach to warding off fleas? As more pet parents choose nonchemical and nontoxic alternatives, poisonous flea products will have less of an impact on the environment. As a pet parent I find comfort knowing that I am not administering a product that has potential side effects or possible long-term effects on my dog.
So what are your options for flea and tick control if you do not wish to use chemicals? I have listed a few helpful resources that I have come across in my own research.
Some Alternatives to Chemical Tick and Flea Products:
Dr. Martin Goldstein, DVM suggests – Garlic and brewer’s yeast (besides feeding these to your pets, sprinkle on their coats every few days)
Stay vigilant about cleaning and vacuuming up your pet’s surrounding environment. Make sure to wash blankets and bedding in hot water.
Regularly brush your pet with a flea comb with tightly spaced teeth
Dr. Robert Goldstein, VDM offers – Boost your pet’s immunity for a flea free life. Specific foods and supplements can be added to the diet to boost immunity and promote health.
Introduce flea fighting foods into your pet’s diet – as a pet parent you can buy flea-fighting ingredients such as brewer’s yeast (some animals may be allergic to yeast but yeast free alternatives exist), garlic, B vitamins, and minerals.
One of my favorite “green” pet resources is the book, eco dog, written by Corbett Marshall and Jim Deskevich. They offer some wonderful alternatives for flea treatments and include a recipe for lemon flea tonic, herbal flea powder, and flea repellent rosemary tonic in the book.
I made the conscious decision not to expose my pets to any more chemical flea products. Yes, I originally tried the recommended chemical protocol but the more I learned and researched, the more I felt that I was making an informed health decision for my pets by eliminating that regimen. Since then, I have never had any flea problems and have lived and traveled with my pets throughout the United States.