An increasing number of people are turning away from treating their dogs for fleas by the traditional methods of administering spot on treatments, sprays and powders, and looking towards more gentle and natural methods of treating fleas.
In this article we are going to look at how you can use essential oils as an effective method of both treating a dog who has fleas and also using essential oils as a repellent for fleas.
Let us look first at using essential oils as a repellent for dog fleas. The best time to begin this process is around winter time, as the flea population is very low at this time of the year, although not completely non existent, as many homes these days have central heating, and the warm atmosphere can help maintain the flea breeding cycle throughout the year but, usually not to a degree to cause your dog too much of a problem.
To keep fleas to a minimum you will need to treat both your dog, his or her basket and bedding, plus your house. Wash your pets bedding and basket regularly; use 2 to 4 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a very hot wash, as you will eliminate both fleas and dust mites in your pets bedding at the same time.
To treat your home, vacuum regularly, especially areas that are dark, warm and harbor dust, as these are ideal breeding areas for fleas. Examples of such places are under furniture, beds and under carpets.
Use lavender scented detergent mixed with 4 to 8 drops of lavender essential oil to clean your floors. Pay special attention to where the floors meet the walls, as these crevices are another place where fleas can exist undetected and breed successfully.
It's now time to use your essential oils as a flea repellent on your dog. You can do this in a number of ways, but a simple and effective programme will consist of the following; bath your dog using a natural dog shampoo that has had 3 drops of lavender, 2 drops of lemon grass and 3 drops of citronella essential oil added to it. Bath your dog using this solution on a regular basis using this solution.
When bathing your dog remember to pay attention to areas like the base of his tail, the back of his ears and between his paws.
Take an old spray bottle filled with water and add 8 drops of lavender essential oil and spray your dogs fur, especially his back area, base of his tail and neck. Remember to cover your dogs eyes when spraying his neck area.
If you think your dog may already have fleas, check first to see if this is the case. Dogs scratch for all kinds of reasons; stress, allergic reactions to certain food, or a badly conditioned coat for example.
Carefully check your dogs fur, if you find small black flakes on his skin or in his fur, especially around the base of his tail, his back or around his neck, this is flea excrement and you will need to be treated.
Treat your dog in the way described above, but on a more frequent basis, for example, give your dog a lavender bath 2 times per week, and spray his coat with lavender spray once per day. you can treat flea bites with undiluted lavender essential oil, or tea tree essential oil, as both these oils are excellent antiseptics. If you are using tea tree oil, don't use it neat, mix 2 to 3 drops in a cup of water, and clean the infected area with cotton wool balls.
Keep checking your dogs fur, until there are no further signs of fleas. To keep your dog free from fleas in the future, keep his coat in good condition by bathing him regularly, and grooming his coat. When grooming your dog check his coat for fleas. Keeping your dog fit and healthy, through a good diet, exercise and regular grooming is the first defense to flea control, as fleas are much more likely to infest unhealthy animals rather than healthy ones.
Following these simple steps to natural flea treatment, will ensure you dog remain free from fleas all year round.