Are Natural Flea Treatments Safe or Effective?
Fleas are tiny insects that live on the fur and skin of animals. Fleas feed off blood and their bites can cause intense itching and discomfort. Over time, animals can develop an allergic reaction to fleas. At the very least, fleas are a nuisance and can be extremely difficult to get rid of.
Treatment involves treating the pet as well as their environment. Fleas can hide in grass, carpeting, bedding, furniture, and other areas. These pests lie dormant, waiting for a host where they can feed and lay their eggs.
The Problem With Fleas
Fleas can feed off any animal, even humans. Their bites can cause itchy bumps on the skin, typically in runs as they hop, bite, hop, bite, etc. Affected pets may lick or scratch incessantly, causing fur loss, sores, and even infections to develop.
When your pet has fleas, you’ll likely do whatever it takes to ease their discomfort. There are several flea products available for this purpose. It’s important to note, that not all flea treatments are created equal.
Over time, fleas can become resistant to certain chemicals, making them ineffective. Products such as Advantage and Frontline are no longer able to effectively eliminate or prevent fleas.
Popular Flea Treatments
Over the counter treatments such as flea collars, spot treatments, flea dips, and shampoos have been known to cause serious, life-threatening reactions in pets. These products should never be used.
Newer treatment options available through your vet have been proven to be both safe and effective for moderate to severe flea infestations. Comfortis is one such treatment. These chewable tablets are given monthly and begin working immediately to kill fleas and prevent re-infestation.
Natural Flea Treatments
More and more people today are turning towards more natural options for themselves and their pets. A quick Internet search will provide you with several “natural” flea treatments. It’s extremely important to keep in mind that natural does not necessarily mean safe. Several natural remedies are toxic for pets and can cause serious reactions. Always check with your veterinarian before applying anything to your pet’s skin or fur.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a safe, effective option for mild to moderate flea infestations. This powder can be applied to carpets, floors, bedding, furniture, and pets. Although DE is non-toxic, it can cause irritation to the respiratory tract.
If you are considering trying this method, it’s crucial that you use only pet-safe Diatomaceous Earth. Do not ever use “pool grade”.
Many natural treatments involve the use of essential oils. These oils can be toxic and should never be used around pets, especially cats.
Claws N Paws Day Spa recommends the use of Comfortis. We also offer Seresto collars, another safe and effective treatment for fleas. Please check with your veterinarian for additional advice.