Most people don’t care for the idea of loading up themselves or their pets with chemicals and medications…but people don’t want their pets hosting parasites either. When it comes to natural flea and tick treatment, Animal Kind Veterinary Hospital wants to help set the record straight.
Natural Flea and Tick Treatment Myths
Even here in the heart of the city, fleas and ticks can be a problem. Not isolated to the wooded countryside, these ectoparasites can travel into high rises via urban-dwelling mammals such as rats and mice.
When it comes to preventing and treating these unwelcome guests, natural flea and tick treatment options abound. It can be difficult to sort fact from fiction, though. The following are common myths surrounding fleas and ticks in pets.
- Indoor pets don’t need parasite prevention. Even animals who never set a fluffy foot outdoors are at risk of contracting parasites. Fleas and ticks can travel in on rodents, and some species of ticks can actually live in duct work and other indoor locations. Parasites like heartworms can also be transmitted by mosquitoes, who don’t bat an eyelash about taking the stairs.
- Garlic will do the trick. Many natural flea remedies utilize garlic as a parasite repellent. They claim that eating garlic will allow it to enter the bloodstream, discouraging fleas from biting. Not only is there zero scientific proof this works, but garlic can actually be toxic to pets.
- Dish soap is all you need. Dawn dish soap and a flea comb can do wonders to remove little hitchhikers on your pet. Unfortunately, it does nothing to prevent fleas from jumping back on. The adult fleas you can see on your pet make up only about 5% of the parasites in the environment. The rest, which are in larval, pupal, or egg form, are waiting to jump back on as soon as their life cycle allows them to mature.
- Diatomaceous earth is magic. Many natural pet care sources tout the effectiveness of diatomaceous earth for parasite control. While this dusty clay particle does kill many parasites, it’s also a known carcinogen when inhaled.
Keeping Your Pet Parasite Free
Thankfully, many safe and effective options for flea and tick control are available. While there’s no harm in trying to keep things natural, sticking with something that works well is important. This is especially true when it comes to preventing diseases that go along with ectoparasites.
All flea and tick products that we recommend have gone through the extensive process to become FDA-approved. While adverse reactions can occur with anything, these products are quite safe and have demonstrated efficacy.
When it comes to parasites, prevention is key. Please give us a call to discuss the options available to your pet. We’re always happy to help!