Early in my radio career, a caller asked how to control fleas with organic techniques and I was launched into the pet care advice business. It’s simple to have healthy pets. The program is similar to the proper approach to gardening. Don’t do anything that hurts the life in the soil is the gardening and agriculture mantra. Don’t do anything that hurts the health of the animals is the same concept. Some basics are:
Limit vaccinations and other medications.
Don’t use toxic chemical pest controls and other products.
Provide good nutrition and clean water
Make sure your pets get plenty of exercise.
Pest control is actually easier with the natural techniques. The toxic chemical products don’t work for several reasons. They cost too much, don’t really control the pests and are toxic to the pets. The “one spot” products sold to use on the backs of your pets are among the worst of the toxic products. If you are thinking about that idea put a spot on the back of your neck first. See how you feel in a while. I doubt you’d be using any on your dog or cat after that. On dipping - don’t ever dip or let anyone else dip your pet in pesticides, not even organic ones – especially pyrethrum products. Spray toxic pesticides, including pyrethrum products on areas your pets use is of course something that should never be done.
For worming synthetic products that contain ivomec and other toxic chemicals should never be used. Do add apple cider vinegar in the pet’s drinking water from time to time. Just a dash or about 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. Organic vinegar is of course best.
The best control comes from feeding animals a diet that does not contain synthetic toxic preservatives. The best commercial dog and cat food is Muenster Natural. The Missing Link supplement will also help.
Comfrey tea can be use topically for dog skin allergies. Cook a mess of comfrey greens, dilute the cool pot liquor down to a light iced tea color and pour or dap onto the hot spots or into the into the dog’s fur. Comfrey is very powerful so don’t use more than once a month and only when needed. Cornmeal juice is also good and can be used more often. Put a cup of whole ground cornmeal in a 5 gallon bucket of water, strain out the solids and apply to the skin liberally.
Bathing the dogs in herbal shampoos that contain orange (d-limonene) and tea tree (melaleuca) will also help. Dry cornmeal, horticultural or whole ground cornmeal, dusted onto problem skin areas is also helpful, if the skin problems are fungal.
Fleas and Tick Control
Spraying only helps if there is a severe population of pests. Dusting natural diatomaceous earth can help in dry weather. Treat the site with beneficial nematodes in any weather other than the dead of winter. These are living organisms so make sure they are alive by wetting a small amount from the package and inspect with a powerful magnifying glass prior to using. If they aren’t moving they’re dead! Dust pet sleeping quarters, if necessary, with natural diatomaceous earth. This should rarely if ever need to be done. Bathe pets with mild herbal shampoos. The most effective products for pest control contain citrus (d-limonene) or tea tree oil (melaleuca). Avoid all products that contain pesticides, including pyrethrum and pyrethroids products.