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Farewell to Fleas

Are you worried about the effects of chemicals on your dog? Why not make your own safe, non toxic flea repellents?

Citrus Repellent: Cut a lemon into quarters and place in a pint jug. Cover the lemon with boiling water and let it steep overnight. Next day you have a flea repellent that you can use in a spray bottle. Spray all over your dog remembering especially behind the ears and around the head generally (careful of eyes), around the base of the tail (once again keep away from delicate bits) and under your dog's 'armpits'.

Aromatherapy repellent. Using 10 ml. of sweet almond oil as your base, add 10 drops of lavender and 5 drops of cedarwood. Shake well and use 1 or 2 drops spread over the skin at least twice a week to keep the fleas away.

A flea collar can be made by rubbing a few drops of one of the following into an ordinary webbing or rope collar or even a doggy bandanna: eucalyptus oil, Tea Tree Oil, citronella, lavender or geranium. Don't forget to do this weekly.

Your Home: Fleas spend most of their time in your furnishings and only hop onto your dog or you for their next meal. Make sure you wash your dog's bedding regularly because no flea ever survived a hot wash cycle. If you add eucalyptus oil to the final rinse it will also kill 99% of house dust mites according to research from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Vacuum your home very thoroughly and sprinkle a fine layer of ordinary table salt over your upholstery and carpets and leave overnight before vacuuming again to evict your unwelcome guests safely but don't forget to empty your vacuum bag.

Bathing: A badly infested dog really needs to be bathed so use your favourite dog shampoo. Rinse the dog off very thoroughly and in the final rinse add a couple of drops of Tea Tree Oil or Lavender oil. An alternative is to make your own herbal flea dip which will also work on ticks. Steep two cups of fresh rosemary in two pints of boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid, discard the leaves and make it up to one gallon ( 8 pints) with warm water. Pour this mixture over the dog until it's saturated. Do not rinse off and allow the dog to dry naturally so this is a remedy to use on hot summer days.

Internal Flea Repellents: Garlic may not be your favourite cologne and it's not the flea's favourite smell either. When your dog eats garlic, the smell is excreted through the dog's skin making your dog less likely to be the flea's next meal. In case you think you might need to give your dog a breath freshener along with the garlic, my dogs, Mack and Josh, eat a garlic clove every day and I don't find their breath smells from it at all.

Brewer's yeast tablets will also help to make your dog less attractive to fleas because once again the smell is excreted through the skin.

Adding a dessertspoon of apple cider vinegar to the water bowl will make the skin more acidic and unpleasant to fleas and ticks. If your dogs don't fancy apple cider vinegar in the water bowl, dilute it 50/50 with water and use in a spray bottle instead of the citrus repellent.

Dogs Worldwide.com - This article has been reproduced courtesy of Frances Gavin

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