Tuesday, January 12, 2016

All natural flea repellant

Here in North America our Winter is in full swing.  So this post isn't exactly timely, but we have a question for all of you.  When Spring arrives, what do you use for flea and tick prevention?  We are looking to go the all natural route, as we want to avoid pesticides.  There are so many different suggestions online, we wondered what have you found to be the safest and most effective?

I know many people use the leading topical flea treatments, and they are happy with the results.  And I'm not criticizing those that do choose to use these products.  But after going through the heartbreak of losing a dog to cancer, when he was only 7 years old, we have become very particular about which foods, treats, vaccines and medicines we give our dogs.  Losing a dog is devastating enough, without losing them before their time.  With collies having issues with so many drugs, we already have to be super vigilant anyway.  (See Here and Here). #overprotectivedogmom


And two bloggers already kindly responded to my inquires, but I lost the links to your responses.  Sorry, I didn't want you think I was ignoring your suggestions.

Edit to add:
Our friends at Keep the Tail Wagging just posted about what works for her.  You can find it here -


  1. Hi there, Fortunately for Hunter, we don't get fleas here-guess the deep snow keeps them away. When we lived in Ca. we did and I used the meds the vet gave-now I'm much more holistic. My old response would have been garlic, but I've learned the garlic can makes dog sick. I would go to a pet store that is more apt to carry holistic remedies.

    1. Thanks, I will probably do that. I have seen many recipes for making your own sprays using various essential oils. But I am not sure which one is best. And I have read garlic is bad, but recently some people are now reporting that it isn't bad as previously believed. There can be so much conflicting info out there its hard to know what is true.

  2. I live in Oregon and unfortunately the fleas here are resistant to most natural remedies. We have to use Advantage and sometimes it doesn't even work and we can forget about using Frontline because all the fleas are resistant to it.

    I give the girls regular baths and we also use Diatomaceous earth. We haven't had much luck with it, though!

    1. We give baths on regular basis, just not too often because it can damage the collie coat.
      I used to use Frontline, but it stopped working here too. Then Lad got cancer, which I believe was linked to the use of topical flea preventatives. (The cancer actually started right where we would apply the topical treatments.) I know many experts say these treatments are safe, but after reading many articles written by those who follow holistic methods I have personally decided to avoid pesticides on my dogs. I do realize I may be overreacting after watching the pain and suffering my boy went through, but it is what it is.

  3. it's a tough one to answer - a bit like the dilemma people have with baby vaccinations. Having worked as a vet tech for many years I saw far too many dogs with heart worms, tetanus and other ailments which could and would have been preventable with a simple shot or medicine. Ultimately it is up to each individual to work out what they want to do and to deal with what ever consequences that occur as a result of them

    1. We do use heart worm preventatives, that is one thing we can't avoid. There are definitely heartworm carrying mosquitoes in our area.

      As for other vaccines, we have begun using titers on our older collies, as I do not want to over-vaccinate either. And I agree it is up to the individual, and I am not criticizing anyone for their choices. Nor am I telling anyone they have to follow my example. I just think there should be a healthier way to prevent fleas and ticks. Honestly, if we have to be extremely careful about letting Frontline or Advantage touch our own skin, maybe it shouldn't be touching our dogs' skin either. (But again, that is only my opinion, for whatever it's worth.)

  4. We use revolution. Never had explored the natural ones. Best of luck with that search.

  5. We have paralysis ticks here in Australia. They kill us blokes so we have to be very careful. I haven't got long hair like you blokes but Mum won't use chemicals on me if she can help it. She has a big spray botte which she keeps filled with a mixture of water, a few drops of lavender oil, teatree oil, eucalyputus oil and citronella oil. she sprays me a couple of times a day when we are in tick territory and so far I've stayed tick and flea free. She doesn't worry too much as, because I am such a short hair, she feels she would find one on me before any damage was done but she's never even had to pull one off of me and I've been in some really heavy tick infested areas. Don't know if this is worth a try for you or not. I've been with other dogs that weren't sprayed and they have picked up ticks. Maybe worth a try as I don't think your ticks kill you .... Do they?? Ive never had fleas either.

    1. We have ticks that carry Lyme disease here, which can have some awful consequences. (Lyme disease actually started on our state.)

      There is a local Lavender farm that we have visited. We bought some of their Lavender water, which is made with just pure Lavender oil and water. I have also read that eucalyptus and citronella oil work well. I read Tea tree oil is dangerous for dogs though. Maybe it's safe in the small quantities in your mixture?

      I have also read that rosemary oil works well too...

    2. I had a sheltie who was soooo sensitive to tick/flea products. It was quite scary. I do think those products and exposure to lawn chemicals caused (or contributed ) to his cancer.

      I've tried a lot of natural products, but haven't found anything to be very effective with repelling ticks. During tick season I do make my own spray out of water, vinegar and lemongrass and eucalyptus oil. I spray it on their feet, legs and belly before we go hiking.

      Even on advantix, my dogs still end up with ticks. But I do use it some years when ticks are really bad. I always buy the lowest dose though and only put it on once a season, not monthly.

      I've had lyme twice....I hate ticks!

  6. I'm sorry I don't have any great solutions. I'm looking for one myself.

    One thing I do know is that fleas are most drawn to animals with stressed immune systems. So the healthier your dog's diet, the less likely they are to be bothered by fleas.

    Some people also recommend feeding your dogs small amounts of fresh garlic (yes, in large doses it can be toxic; but a small clove would be fine).

    I've opted to give Honey Advantix because we expected to be traveling to places where we'll encounter fleas and worms all year around unlike in upstate NY. However, since we're still stuck in Virginia, I'm doubting the wisdom.

    I'm very interested to read about what you try so please keep us posted.