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For fleas and worms, I do a multi-pronged attack myself. Everything I read and hear says that garlic in low doses is more beneficial than harmful. It has both antioxidants and the bug repelling feature. I feed a supplement daily that is wayyyyyyy below the toxicity levels (found listed that it is 1 tsp fresh garlic per 10 lbs to be toxic).

First step: Feed a high quality food that meshes well with your dog's system. This is the first step to making their immune system strong. My dog had lived on a farm for 5 months and then been exposed to an infested dog for 2 months before she got fleas because a new food I tried was completely wrong for her. She reacted to the food, and a week later she was infested. If your dog is sensitive to food changes, don't change foods during flea season unless it's a big upgrade and the current food is not working well.

Second: I use diatomaceous earth in my household carpet. Pet grade (this is the brand my holistic vet sells: http://www.naturalanimal.com/ ) can be dusted on carpets, bedding, the pet itself, and ingested to kill worms. Also can be used outside for slugs, but is only effective against fleas when dry (rain has to dry off to be effective again).

Third: Nematodes are a natural predator to fleas. Use on outdoor infestations.

Fourth: Herbal shampoos/essential oils. Warning: do not use essential oils on cats! Cedar, citronella, neem, eucalyptus, orange, rosemary, and several other oils/herbals are great against fleas. I'm fond of Ark Natural's "Neem Protect" spray and shampoo, Touch of Mink's "3 in 1 Pet Shampoo", and Snook's (www.snookdog.com) "Herbal Shampoo" and "Flea Tea Dip". On dogs, you can even get away with applying the essential oils on the back of the shoulder blades, but do research on any necessary dilutions.

Fifth: Lastly, I supplement the diet. My dog gets a daily supplement by the aforementioned Snook's. It's a blend of garlic powder, brewer's yeast, rosehips, and kelp. Her ration of this mix as a 70 lb dog is about 1/4 tsp. Very low dose. She has been on this for about 5 months with no problem. I have customers at my store and friends that have used it for years. I think that garlic in a low dose to repel is far less toxic than any chemical that kills fleas.


All of these methods promote a healthy immune system. Applying chemicals and insecticides only kick an already down immune system. I tend to only recommend Frontline or Advantage as a one month barrier while you get your dog's health in order, but some of these natural steps should work in place of those toxic products.
 

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Just wondering, aside from a holistic vet (and we don't have any around here, unfortunately) and the websites, is there any other place that you can buy those natural products that you have listed? I'd really like to try that, but I've always been iffy about buying online (a security paranoia, I guess)... And what do you think about ProPet supplements (with garlic and brewers yeast)? Would that have too much garlic in it, as compared to the product from Snooks? Walmart, unfortunately, is the only place around here that has anything similar to what you've described, and they're products are all generally... unresponsive. We also have a product called "Nature's Guardian"... don't know if you've ever heard of it, but it's a natural flea repellent that is sprinkled on the carpet and furniture and then swept off. Anyway, thanks for your response! That really gave me a great insight!

I'm afraid that Snook's is a local company for me in the Portland, Oregon area. Otherwise they are mostly only available online. I vouch for all of their products though! So if you were to make a larger order, I'm sure that shipping would be reasonable.

The diatomaceous earth that I linked you to (as well as the other products on that site) I have only seen at my vet's office. My store is presently trying to get some of those products in, but the company doesn't seem to want to work with us :(

Not to be advertising my employer, but I might be able to arrange something with the owner of the store I work at and we could ship products. Website for us is www.happy-healthypet.com, so you know that we are real. I would be able to get you any of the Snook's products, as well as the Ark Naturals.


As for the products you listed, ProPet shouldn't be a bad brand. It is made by Eight In One...probably the same or similar to their Excel line, but rebranded to be sold in large chain stores like Walmart, Fred Meyers, etc. However, when I was just giving my dog brewer's yeast and garlic tablets, I didn't find it as effective for some reason, possibly because it isn't formulated for fleas, but for skin and coat only (big companies are much more conservative about using a possible toxin...hence the reason Natura took garlic out of Innova and EVO pet foods).

The Seargent's "Nature's Guardian", again, is a rebranded product line. In many pet stores it is known as Sentry "Natural Defense". When I worked at a store that sold Natural Defense, it didn't sell well, but at the same time it was never returned. I imagine that it might work, but have never tried it. I don't think it would hurt to give it a try though, given your options.
 

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...Exactly. I believe that most of the essential oils do have to be diluted. I have no personal experience using them as I have found other products that work well for my dog.

The nice thing about essential oils, in my opinion, is that if you have a hyper allergic dog, you can spot test and customize for your dog. Many herbal flea remedies use a "kitchen sink" approach to formulation, and a dog could have a reaction to just one of the 10 herbs included. How do you know which one? This way you can use just one, or a mixture, or even switch off between safe ones to prevent a development of allergies to what works.
 
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