How to treat or prevent fleas…Natural vs medical treatments for dog fleas

treatments for fleas on dogsWhen your dog has fleas, treating them is important in order to reduce the risk of complications. Even if your dog doesn’t have fleas, you can still take steps to prevent infestations from occurring particularly if you are planning on sending your dog to a boarding or daycare facility. Should you use medical or natural treatments? Knowing more about both kinds can help you decide.

Medical Flea Treatment and Prevention

You’ll find several products available for medical flea treatment and prevention. Your veterinarian can also recommend products for your dog. If you’re going to use medical products for fleas, look for ones that are registered with the FDA. These products are considered safe and effective for use on dogs. The EPA also registers certain products for fleas. Just make sure that you choose EPA registered products that are designed for dogs.

Keep in mind that medical flea treatment and prevention products, such as drops that you apply to your dog’s skin to prevent fleas or medicated shampoos used for treating fleas, might have side effects in some dogs. You can find out what these are by talking to your vet and reading the labels on these products.

Natural Flea Treatment and Prevention

If you’re concerned about side effects or if your dog has sensitive skin, you might consider using natural flea treatment and prevention instead of medicated ones. Any natural products you use will not be registered with the FDA or EPA, so it’s important to do research and make sure they’re safe to use on dogs. Some natural products contain compounds or ingredients that are believed to repel or kill fleas. For example, pyrethrins are considered botanical insecticides that destroy fleas. Lemon and garlic are considered flea repellents.

Other natural flea products include diatomaceous earth, and sodium polyborate powder which is found in Borax. Both of these are sprinkled on carpets before vacuuming rather than applied directly to a dog’s skin. Diatomaceous earth dries fleas’ exoskeletons out, while sodium polyborate powder disrupts their life cycle.

If you are determined to use natural products, it’s important to watch your pet for signs of adverse reactions. Remember to also thoroughly research any products you intend to use or ask your groomer for flea product recommendations to make sure you’re using safe products for dogs.