A DogGeek.com exclusive by Teresa Barker
Well, summer is officially here, and with the sun and the heat, come the bugs. It’s important to have a flea and tick prevention plan for your dogs, whether it’s topical chemicals, natural alternatives, or a combination of both. Be sure to talk to your vet about flea and tick prevention products, but there are many other easy ways to help keep the bugs at bay during those dog days of summer.
For your Dog:
Many people use natural food supplements to help keep bugs away from their dogs. Garlic, apple cider vinegar and brewer’s yeast are common nutritional supplements that are dog-friendly bug repellents. You can sprinkle it on their food during feeding time or add the vinegar to their drinking water. For topical solutions, there are many all-natural essential oil based products at your local pet store. Some of them come as shampoos, others as a conditioning spray to be applied once a week. Many of them have the added benefit of smelling fantastic and are completely non-toxic.
For your House:
Cleaning your carpet regularly with Borax soap is a simple and chemical-free way to keep fleas at bay. Simply vacuum your rug, sprinkle with borax soap, and let sit overnight or up to a few days, then vacuum again. Borax soap is also a great cleaner for dog beds and linens. Many of the topical flea and tick sprays that you use on your dog can also be sprayed on dog beds, linens, couches, and other areas where your canine might hang out. Remember to clean your dog’s bed and linens regularly to reduce the chance of an infestation.
For your Yard:
Due to increased interest in the safety of our environment, there are now more and more chemical-free alternatives for outdoor insect repellents. Citronella candles are available almost everywhere and can make a great addition to your outdoor space. There are also all natural essential oil-based products that can be sprayed on and around your yard, as an alternative to the heavy-duty chemical-based lawn treatments. Many of the yard treatments feature citrus and citronella oils, or garlic-based formulations. Finally, it may seem like a no-brainer, but keep your lawn cut short. It’s a less hospitable environment for all bugs.
Prevention is the key when fighting the battle of summer bugs. Have a plan in place and check your local pet store for natural products for cleaning and prevention. Also, remember to keep your dogs, their bedding, and the areas that they hang out, clean and protected regularly while checking them thoroughly for evidence of fleas or ticks. You might feel like a monkey in the wild, but you’ll be sure to see the first traces of anything suspicious!