3 APR 2014-With Spring in the air and Summer on its way, the arrival of FLEAs will also appear. Although in many states, FLEAS can be an all year battle, here in the Western portion of the Pacific NW not so much of a battle. There has been huge controversy about how to combat these pesky critters. An owner has a choice of monthly pills((which is given orally)), monthly topicals((which is applied to the skin)), sprays, flea "dips" and baths, flea collars, home made remedies, and more; not to mention combination type prescriptions from the vet((flea, ticks, heartworm all in one)) With all these different products no wonder its confusing. To make matters worse, not all of the products are a catch all for ALL dogs or all sizes and can be HAZARDOUS/DEADLY instead!
I could write a book on the pros-cons of any flea product, but that is not my intent here. Instead, I would like owners of pets to REALLY DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH FIRST on ANY product they decide to use on their cats and dogs.
Although we all would like to think our veterinarians ALL have our pets best interest in mind, but in reality that is NOT always the case. MONEY, unfortunately is a factor too.
I will only speak for what I do for my own pets based on my own experience as an example that works for me. I have (3) dogs, (1) bird, (3) ferrets, and (1) pot belly pig. I also board dogs/cats IN my home on a regular basis. With that in mind this is what I do.
I ONLY USE FLEA PRODUCTS IF I SUSPECT/SEE FLEAS, otherwise I leave well enough alone!!!
For my dogs/ferrets I use a 1x/month TOPICAL((applied to the skin)) type of flea medicine called ACTIVYL that I get over the counter at my vet's office. My dogs get monthly baths, but during "flea season" I give baths every 2-3 weeks doing (1) application of flea shampoo((I use natural defense or sergents-NO HARTZ)) and the (2) application baby shampoo. I do NOT USE FLEA COLLARS AT ALL....for me this is too much of a risk of chewing, licking, or too much product left on the animal for too long. Of course I also treat my carpets, dark places in my couches, between bedspring and mattress with natural mixture of oils/water: such as Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, cedarwood, lemon juice, and others. Sometimes I will spray my dogs coat with these oils if there is an unusual high volume of fleas. I would do this 2-3x/week if needed. FLEAS HATE ESSENTIAL OILS IN GENERAL. I do NOT and WILL NOT give my pets All-In-One Meds((i.e. heart worm, flea, tick, etc.)).
I have not have any adverse effect with the methods I have used thus far. Common sense dictates to me to keep ANY type of unnatural products out of my pets system as much as possible. I always think, if the product isn't good for me((human consumption)) then why would I give it to an animal and NOT expect something bad to happen?((no I don't go eating flea pills-its the idea behind the concept for those reading to deep into what I am trying to say here...LOL))
I hope what I have touched on here gives "you" food for thought when treating your furry family member for fleas. I only ask for "you" to research your product, ask lots of questions of your vet, understand there is NO "catch-all" product((sometimes combination is the best anyway)), and be vigilant this Spring, Summer, Fall.
GOD BLESS and CLAWS/PAWS with NO FLEAS ^5