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. 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.
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