Choosing a good and natural flea and tick control is always a big issue for most dog owners. How can you make sure that you get a balance between the risk of using a repellent and the risk of having your dog exposed to fleas and ticks?
One of the things that tend to worry most is the fact that when you are treating your dog for fleas and ticks, they will not be the only ones affected. In fact, let’s just say that you have carpets on the floor. Or that your dog loves your couch. Anytime you and your family get in contact with that carpet or sofa, you will end up exposed.
As if your concerns weren’t already enough, in the end, you do have reasons to worry about it. A report done by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) discovered that a lot of over-the-counter products for dogs to fight fleas and ticks may cause serious health problems to both dogs (or pets in general) as well as to humans. The truth is that many of these products still use organophosphate compounds (OP), substances that we know for many years that have toxic effects.
Within the same report, you can also see that the NDRC found some extremely high levels of pesticides on dogs fur that can remain there for many weeks, even after if you already removed the flea collar. But again, the problem is a lot more serious. Some of the flea collars that you see for sale use propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos, two pesticides which can really hurt the health of adults and children alike.
So, how can you choose a natural flea and tick control for your dog?
The first thing you should do is to ask your veterinarian for his advice. He already knows your dog and it will be a lot easier to tell him that you may have some concerns in relation to your family. You should always make sure that you tell him if there is a pregnant women or children in the household.
By knowing all your concerns and specificities, your vet can better advise you on the best choice for your dog.
One thing is for sure – you should also prefer natural flea and tick control products. However, even in these cases, make sure that they don’t contain eucalyptus, lavender, or geranium since these can cause serious allergic reactions in people and dogs as well. Also, make sure that the products don’t contain pennyroyal oil because this has been associated with death and seizures in some animals.
As a more general guide, here are some of the NRDC suggestions regarding choosing a good natural flea and tick control for dogs:
– Make sure to avoid any products that include tetrachlorvinphos, propoxur, permethrin, fenoxycarb, and amitraz.
– You should consider the use of orally administered products since the exposure to children and other pets tend to be minimal.
– When you want to use a topical product, make sure that you do it sparingly especially if the dog is in contact with pregnant women and small children.
– Consider using some natural insect control methods such as vacuuming regularly, washing your dog’s bed regularly, bathe your dog, and regularly use a flea comb.