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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reading a lot about how commercial flea/tick killer/prevention can cause cancer in dogs in cats. Our cats are indoors, and only go outside occasionally, but pretty much we just don't use prevention on them because they have never had fleas/ticks. Especially this time of the year. We are getting a puppy though, and he will be going outside much more often, as well as going places where he can come in contact with other dogs, so I was wondering what other people used for fleas/ticks. I read this article that said to mix Diatomaceous earth, neem, and yarrow together in equal amounts, and then to push your dog's hair back and apply it to the skin. It said about a tablespoon for a medium sized dog (so maybe 2 tablespoons for us!)

I was wondering if anybody else had tried using this, or what other methods people used to help prevent fleas/ticks. I'm not sure how prevalent ticks are here, but where my husband works he gets them sometimes, so I want to prevent against them anyway. I want to have a few different options to go with when we get there. So any different ideas will work!
 

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I made the mistake of putting DE on the dog. It about choked me and was everywhere and soon after there was some skin problems, but I can't say for sure that was it. I give it in their food and that's it.
 

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Diatomaceous earth IN and ON the dogs?? I've never heard of this and have only used in the yard. wow
 

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Diatomaceous earth IN and ON the dogs?? I've never heard of this and have only used in the yard. wow
It has to be food grade. I use it for parasite prevention and it works extremely well.
 

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It has to be food grade. I use it for parasite prevention and it works extremely well.
Yeah, that's what the website said, to get it food grade, and just mix it with the other stuff, and put it on the dog. The yarrow is soothing and should help with any skin irritation. But i wan't sure about putting DE on dogs, although we did put it on our chickens once, so I guess same principal?
 

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Yeah, that's what the website said, to get it food grade, and just mix it with the other stuff, and put it on the dog. The yarrow is soothing and should help with any skin irritation. But i wan't sure about putting DE on dogs, although we did put it on our chickens once, so I guess same principal?
I can't say, because I do not recommend it, it was that bad:)
 

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If you are in a high tick area, don't mess around. Just use the chemicals. I've been using the Seresto collar on Seger and so far no creepy crawlies.

DE will dry their skin out. It does work good on internal parasites like round worm because it literally cuts the worms up into tiny pieces effectively killing them.

If you are going to use DE, put a mask on. Those are tiny, sharp, crustaceans going up your nose and the dogs nose.
 

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If you are in a high tick area, don't mess around. Just use the chemicals. I've been using the Seresto collar on Seger and so far no creepy crawlies.

DE will dry their skin out. It does work good on internal parasites like round worm because it literally cuts the worms up into tiny pieces effectively killing them.

If you are going to use DE, put a mask on. Those are tiny, sharp, crustaceans going up your nose and the dogs nose.
Thank you! This is just one of the methods we were looking at, but overall we are going to go with an effective and least evasive method. Where we live isn't high tick, but where my husband works can be in the Spring, so we'll have to look at that. I know my husband has had some ticks on him last Spring, but no problems before that. So it may had just been that year was bad. I've heard essential oils are good. This time of the year isn't bad flea/tick wise, so we'll have some time to investigate real well.
 

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What are you going to be using for heartworm prevention? A lot of those meds have some flea control already built in. The pup has to be on HW prevention, as there's no effective natural option.

I think you can tamp fleas down in your yard with weekly yard spraying of Wondercide. It has little residual effect, so it only kills what's there the day you spray (it's cedar oil), but I have noticed fewer pests in the yard after spraying.
 

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What are you going to be using for heartworm prevention? A lot of those meds have some flea control already built in. The pup has to be on HW prevention, as there's no effective natural option.

I think you can tamp fleas down in your yard with weekly yard spraying of Wondercide. It has little residual effect, so it only kills what's there the day you spray (it's cedar oil), but I have noticed fewer pests in the yard after spraying.
We haven't decided on a HW prevention yet, our last dog was on Heartguard, and he would take it as a treat! But our vet offers a lot of options, I will talk to him about it when I take the pup in for his first check-up.
 

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You wouldn't want to use DE topically all the time, b/c it dries out the skin/coat. This is mainly for when you see ticks or fleas on your dog or in the house. The DE comes from fossils and have very sharp spines to the fleas/ticks (not the dogs) which cut their bodies. You'd want to do this outside with good ventilation for the reasons llombaro presented. You can also wear a mask. To keep billowing down, pick up small hand-full carefully, part dogs hair and gently place the DE powder on that area, continuing on whole body, including belly & legs, in small spots.

Dogs and Humans ingest DE! Some people take it religiously!;)

Neem is a good insect deterrent but there is some controversy about using it around females (human or dogs) if pregnancy is in the future (keeps it from happening) or if already pregnant (possible abortion). But we use it all the time!

Essential Oils (not massage oils) must be mixed with water in a spray bottle or mixed with a "carrier oil". They should not be put straight on to the skin.
Quality Essential Oils should cost $13 or more for 15 ml bottle. If they are cheap, they won't work well.
Best EO repellents: Neem, Rose Geranium, Lemon Grass, Lemon Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Cedar, Tea Tree, Sweet Orange, Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Blue Gum or Eucalyptus globules, Citronella, Catnip, Yarrow, Pine Needle, Niaouli, Peppermint.
Sprayed on whenever the smell dissapates.
This is a good source: Essential Oils, Pure Therapeutic Grade - Our Complete List

I can pm you the recipes if you'd like.

These products are great too: Natural Flea & Tick Sprays for Dogs, Cats & Home

Fresh Garlic:
Per Dr. Pitcairn: “I have not seen problems with garlic in the amounts recommended in the recipes I have used.”
*1/8 tsp to each cup of food OR
*10 to 15 pounds – half a clove
*20 to 40 pounds – 1 clove
*45 to 70 pounds – 2 cloves
*75 to 90 pounds – 2 and a half cloves
*100 pounds and over – 3 cloves

Spring Time Garlic Granulars: Springtime Bug Off Garlic for Dogs | Natural Flea and Tick Repellent for Dogs | Springtime, Inc.


Moms:)
 

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When I'm going hiking or to dog events I spray them with cedar oil(for dogs) and that has proven effective too.

I also use the Springtime garlic with Scalibor flea collars.
 

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We use advantix. For many years. I'm just stating my experience with it. It worked great and always used it. We had a German shepherd who lived till 12 we had to put to sleep- arthritis. King Charles she passed away at 9 years old she was born with bad heart murmur. 2 cats who passed away from old age at 20 and 1 cat who is 19 years old present who has kidney failure I do not use advantix in the past 2 years with him. My mom a collie who lived till 12-13 years old two American Eskimos who lived about 15 years old all passed away from old age. It is very sandy where we live and would have a flea issue is not used. You have to be comfortable with using and every dog responds differently it also depends how bad the fleas and ticks are in your area. For some reason coconut oil works well for preventing ticks where we live but I think it depends where you live. I still choose to use advantix as we live in a very sandy area and much wildlife around us. It is very potent chemical and I can understand why some are averse to it. I just never had any ill effects with any of our pets and do not use it in winter.
 

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Thank you guys for all of this advice. One thing we have found to be wrong with commercial flea prevention also is that the fleas become immune to it. We used to use frontline, and our dog would still have fleas, the day after applying the frontline. So I would rather use something like essential oils where we can rotate through them and not use the same thing every time. I am going to look into all of this different stuff for sure until we decide on something we really love!

@MOMto2GSDs, would you mind PMing me the recipes for the EO use?
 

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We use Wondercide and Springtime garlic granules. I also check for ticks religiously. I gave up on chemicals a while back after reading some of the cancer studies, as well as having numerous friends deal with huge flea infestations despite their dogs being on Frontline, Advantix or Nexgard. Good luck in your search!
 

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For ticks I've found springtime garlic to be extremely extremely effective!! There are a ton of ticks in my area and without it my dogs would be covered in ticks after a hike. about 2-3 weeks after I started using it, I saw NO MORE TICKS EVER. (Until in November I thought tick season was over and I tried cutting the dose in half. Tick season was definitely not over and I started seeing ticks that week.) Ticks didn't even bother to hitch a ride period, it totally repeals them which is different than most chemicals which tend to just kills the ticks once they bite or get on the dog. I mean, before springtime garlic if he stuck his head in a bush to sniff, he would usually come out with 5-10 ticks crawling on his face.
I'm extremely amazed at how well this stuff works. In my area Lyme is a concern but its not near as scary as some parts of the US like in the northeastern states. There you really don't want to mess around at all.

For fleas though... I think it must be diet/supplements/luck or something because my GSD just never picks them up, while other dogs in my area have major issues. My nextdoor neighbors dogs/yards/houses are infested. I dog sit for them and am constantly having to tell them to get their dogs on something to control the fleas. This was long before I started garlic for ticks, which would probably add a little additional help. :) When I brought home my second dog, he picked up a flea here and there the first couple weeks and then they just went away.
For fleas, I'd definitely wait and see if they actually need flea control first.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you everybody for your awesome advice. I am thinking about using either EOs, or wondercide and the springtime garlic prevention for our pup. I just have read some of the cancer studies related to flea/tick prevention, and also from experience have seen it stat to not work, so we are looking for an alternative method!

Everybody on this forum is always so knowledgeable and helpful!
 

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over the years I've used many many things and combinations of things... I've had good years and bad. bottom line is that there are so many factors from diet, environment, type of flea/tick, frequency of exposure, etc.

what I always come back to is using commercial/chemical products if I see fleas and need immediate action...and natural products to prevent fleas/ticks and I only change the system if it's broken - not by recommendation, new products or trends.

last spring my flea allergy dog began one of his itch/bite fests... I gave him an oral flea med right away and bathed all the animals in the house. (I believe my cat brought them in when she got locked outside once), the next month I gave my other dog a topical, the next month an oral with the allergy dog and that was it for the year. they all get springtime bug off garlic tabs and no bugs - even with constant exposure. I will warn however that garlic belches are horrid!! ha

oh, ps, you'll be glad to hear that my best years ever were when my dogs were on a predominately raw diet ;) no additional treatment necessary but it may be noteworthy that they also swam almost daily.
 
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