Ten natural ways to protect your chihuahua from fleas
There is a movement away from using chemical flea control as people are concerned about the long-term effects of dousing their dogs in insecticide. We try to avoid these products as they make Mika sick. There are a whole host of different ways to protect your chihuahua from fleas. You can read more about why spot on treatments are bad for your chihuahua.
If you see fleas on your chihuahua, they are likely to be cat fleas that have jumped ship or have come in from the garden. If you are unlucky enough to get an infestation this article will help you deal with them in the home.
Fortunately, there are many home remedies you can try to prevent your chihuahua from bringing hitchhiking fleas home. Here are ten of the best ways to prevent dog fleas.
#1 Neem oil
Neem oil is the best thing ever! We use this for a whole host of different things, from scratches and cuts, dealing with harvest mites and sore skin. It can be made into a shampoo or you can buy it made. Neem oil is such a fantastic resource that it has it’s own blog post. Read all about why you need neem oil in your life.
# Apple cider vinegar
Fleas hate the taste of apple cider vinegar, the best way to include apple cider vinegar is for your dog to ingest it. Add one teaspoon to their water bowl for every 20 kilos of your dog’s weight. As well as preventing fleas you’ll see improved skin and a glossy, shiny coat.
#3 Flea repellent sachet
Fill a muslin pouch with dried lavender, lemon peel and cedar chips if possible. Seal the fabric and place the sachet under your chi’s bedding. The smell should be pleasant to you and shouldn’t affect your dog. It may be wise to zip it into the bed itself to prevent your chi from finding it and trying to eat it.
#4 Create a flea collar
Dilute a few drops of eucalyptus or cedar oil in three tablespoons of a carrier oil such as olive oil and dot the mixture onto a collar or bandana. By diluting the mix, your dog shouldn’t be irritated by the oil. Make sure to reapply the oil mixture to the collar every week.
#5 White vinegar spray
Mix one part white vinegar with three parts water in a spray bottle. If you do not like the smell add a drop of essential oil such as eucalyptus, cedar or lavender. Spray your dog’s bedding, and anywhere they like to sit and lie down with this solution.
# 6 Bath regularly
The cheapest and easiest way to deter fleas is to make sure your dog is clean, and bathing regularly will also encourage fleas to drop out if they have made their way onto your dog. Give your pup regular baths and make their fur a less attractive home for blood-sucking beasts. Any soap will kill fleas, but using a neem oil soap will give your chihuahua an extra edge over the little blighters. When you bath your chi, put a ring of soap around his neck before you start to stop the fleas from escaping by running into head fur.
# 7 Season dog food with garlic or herbal mix like ‘Billy No Mates’
Lots of garlic is harmful to dogs but an eighth of a clove every day will not be dangerous and is considered one of the most effective ways of preventing fleas. You can give your dog up to a quarter of a clove for every ten pounds of a dog’s body weight but never give more than two cloves a day, regardless of how big your dog is.
There are also herbal mixes like ‘Billy No Mates’ that you can sprinkle on their food. We add this to their food, this is the beauty of home cooking, you can add a range of herbals and supplements without it becoming a battle to get your chihuahua to eat it.
Don’t put Billy No Mates in food if your chi is pregnant.
#8 Citrus oil baths
Fleas do not like the smell of citrus, which makes it a perfect deterrent for your dog. Boil up the peel of citrus fruits such as lemon, grapefruit and oranges in a large pan of water. Allow the water to cool and bathe your dog in the citrus water. The scent should hopefully make fleas reluctant to jump on board.
#9 Flea comb
To keep your dog clean and healthy, regularly flea combing is essential, regardless of whether they have fleas or not. Ensure the flea comb has narrow teeth that will remove eggs and larvae. To avoid too much pain for your chi, you may need a wider tooth comb first. Most dogs will enjoy the process of being combed. Have a cup of soapy water ready to dip the comb in if you find a flea. The soapy film will prevent them escaping and make sure they drown. I put a couple of drops of Tea Tree oil in as well.
#10 Brewer’s yeast
Ingesting Brewer’s yeast will make your dog repulsive to fleas. Add a small spoonful to food for a non-toxic flea-preventing solution. Make sure to visit your vet to determine the correct dosage for the size and weight of your dog. We have started home cooking for our dogs, and add Brewer’s yeast to their food. It also contains essential minerals and vitamin E. We use this for our dogs.
A word About essential oils: Many of the repellents use essential oils, and it’s important to dilute the oils well, so they don’t cause any harm to your dog. If you have cats in the house, then you must dilute the essential oils further as cats are much more sensitive. The best way to dilute oils is with a carrier oil such as vegetable or olive oil.
Do what’s right for you
While we all try to be as natural as possible, there are times when you may need to use spot on products. Minnie had a bad reaction to a flea bite last year and started to pull her fur out. She had flea allergy dermatitis . Not only did we have to use Advocate for the summer, she was also on Apoquel tablets. (Not a good long-term medication).
My point is here, being natural and avoiding harsh chemicals is good, but sometimes you may need a drop of the hard stuff so don’t beat yourself up about it.
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