Natural Flea Remedies
We have four Labrador Retrievers and they are like our kids. A 15 year old Yellow Lab, Casey, an eight year old Chocolate Lab, Precious, a 6 year old Black Lab, Sammi, and a 4 year old Chocolate Lab, Lucky (Lucky is Precious’s baby). For the first time in any of their lives, they got fleas this year. Typically they all spend so much time in the pool, the chlorine keeps all the bugs away. This year has been so strange, the pool was too cold and they didn’t go in until it was too late.
I, again, searched the internet. I came up with the following and so far it’s working…
Use original Dawn dishwashing liquid (not the antibacterial or the one with additives) I used Green Apple, but you can use any of the scents.
Fill a spray bottle half and half with Apple Cider Vinegar and Water.
Have a towel ready.
I started on a dry dog and put a ring of dawn around the dogs neck. (This will keep the fleas from running to the dogs head when you start the bath.) Add some water and lather the ring up really good. Avoiding the face and ears, wet the dog and add the dawn and lather them up really good. (My dogs LOVE this part…they get a full body massage.) Don’t forget to get into the nooks and crannies between their bellies and legs and get their butts and tails good, too. Once the dog is completely covered with lather, let it sit for five minutes. This will kill all the live fleas on them. They were jumping off my dogs when I started hitting them with the water. After five minutes, rinse them really, really well. (Failure to rinse out all the soap will make them itch and cause skin irritation.) Make sure to push the hair back and forth while you are rinsing and scrub as the dawn will take a bit to rinse off and will continue to suds up until it is all gone. Let them shake and be happy for a minute. Towel them dry. This is where it is nice to have a partner. I had my hubby. He held their head and LOVED THEM while I took the spray bottle with the cider and water (set on fine mist) and sprayed them all over. I actually put the spray nozzle on their skin and squirted and then we both rubbed it in. Make sure you get it down to their skin. It will not hurt them, it actually is good for their skin and apparently it is a natural flea and tick repellent. All four dogs survived their baths and they all are much calmer tonight, they are incredibly soft and they smell really fresh. They smelled like vinegar for a few hours, but it is wearing off now and they just smells fresh. They are also REALLY soft! Now, let me say, we are not finished. Fleas have three phases and it takes 3-10 days for them to go from egg to larvae to adult. The adults can be killed much easier, as I just showed by drowning them in dawn and water. This will not kill any eggs, so you will need to bathe the dogs again in three or four days and then again in three or four days to make sure you are killing any new hatchings.
Additionally, if your dogs have fleas, your house has fleas. If you don’t deal with your house, the fleas will be back in a few days. You need to start by removing any pet bedding and washing it and putting it in the dryer. Do not bring it back into the house until you have completed the rest. Next you need to vacuum thoroughly. This includes furniture as well as carpets. Although I have no carpet, I read online that you can mix baking soda and salt half and half and sprinkle on carpet and furniture to kill fleas. I chose to try to vacuum them and repel them. After vacuuming, I sprayed all the furniture with the same vinegar and water solution I sprayed the dogs with. I also sprayed their bedding when I brought it back in. I washed and dried all our bedding too, including our pillows. Actually, I simply dried the pillows and comforter on high for 30 minutes to kill the critters if they were there. I took a small cloth and added a few drops of essential oil to it when I put them in the dryer and they came out very fresh smelling. While our bedding was washing, I sprayed our mattress and dust ruffle with the vinegar solution. I’m counting on the repellent thing and so far it seems to be working. I got bit a few times last night and I haven’t seen or felt a flea since I vacuumed and sprayed the vinegar. I will repeat the baths, the washing of the bedding and the spraying all over again in three days and then again in three days after that. I’ll probably do it again one more time three days after that just to be sure. This sure beats using chemicals, which I don’t think are good for the dogs, and I know they are not good for me as I always have trouble breathing when I use commercial flea products. I’ll post the progress just to let everyone know how it turns out.
Additionally, many sites I found stated to add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to their dog food and water. Apparently it will build in their system and make them naturally repel fleas and ticks.
Great All Natural Dog Food Additive
All the extra fat, sinew and grainy meat from the sirloin tip (see grocery bill cutting page) I cut it up and add to a stock pot with water and spices. I make homemade dog food additive for my four Labradors. I fill a 12 quart stock pot with water, add the meat, the spices, 6 cups of rice, a few cut up potatoes and some carrots. When the rice is cooked and has absorbed the liquid, I add around 4 more cups of water to make it a thick stewy consistency. I mix four cups of the cooked mixture with four cups of dry dog food and the dogs absolutely love it. I simply put 4 cups of the mixture in a big bowl every night and heat it up in the microwave. This melts the fat and makes it easier to mix with the dry food. It also makes it more appealing to them, as the smell is stronger to them if it is warm than if it is cold out of the refrigerator. It makes the dog food last twice as long for a fraction of the price of a bag of dog food. I buy a big bag of long grain rice at the dollar store and it makes two batches of doggie goodies.
I also use left over chicken and turkey carcasses to make chicken stock (simmer overnight in large stock pot, strain liquid into a second stock pot, the bones will be completely bare and you can pick them out and there will be a bunch of meat), I take the meat and add it back to the stock, add veggies, more rice, enough water to top it off and cook it the same as the beef. Great for the dogs and they love that too! They get rice, veggies, a little meat and a whole lot of flavor. It is good for them and they eat their dry food much more willingly.