Firstly, I have to tell you that I don't use any flea or tick preventatives. I spend most of my time in my yard working out with my Mum. And when I do venture out for walks, agility, and hiking, Mum always checks me over very thoroughly immediately upon my return for any signs of fleas and ticks.We have treated our yard with beneficial nematodes. We keep our shrubs trimmed and grasses cut. Even when I was newly rescued from the shelter and had a flea infestation, Mum bathed me in an eco friendly, safe, gentle shampoo, combed me with a flea comb, vacuumed thoroughly and they were gone in a matter of days.
- A healthy dog on a good holistic diet is much less prone to attract flea and tick infestations.
- Check your dog often for signs of fleas and ticks.
- Utilize beneficial nematodes in your yard to cut down on fleas and ticks.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your yard to ward off and kill existing fleas and ticks, or better yet get chickens or guinea hens for your yard...they love to eat ticks.
- If you find ticks or fleas on your dog remove them immediately utilizing proper removal tools and dunk them in soapy water.
- Keep pet beds and other linens cleaned regularly.
- Herbal repellents containing cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary and thyme are likely safer. Avoid citrus, cinnamon, clove, d-limonene, geranium, tea tree, lavender, linalool, bay, eucalyptus, pennyroyal and rue oils, as they have been shown by the NRDC to be dangerous to pets.
- Check out our Squidoo lens on Dogs and Ticks to learn more about the dangers of ticks and how you can battle them.
If you have additional green, safe, and environmentally friendly ways to prevent the nasties, be sure and share them! So here are a few safer alternatives and tools to keep your pet healthy and happy....and here's to a safe summer!
UPDATE: (Note: In 2011 we moved to a cabin in the mountains of Tennessee and encountered an exorbitant amount ticks.Read more about our experience in that area. We left Tennessee just last year because of tick problem and now have a cabin in the mountains of NE Georgia. Read on to see how we are dealing with just the few ticks we've encountered).
Here's what we've done to keep the ticks at bay here in our home in Georgia (notes we've only found just a few ticks a year while living in Georgia):
- We fenced in an area around the cabin and raked all the leaf matter out of that area.
- Then we sprinkle Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth around the outside of the fence line to keep the little critters out.
- When out and about hiking, we utilize Earth Heart's Buzz Guard on a bandana to keep and ticks and fleas off when we're away from home.