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Cat Health | PetsWeekly

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Fleas and ticks are not only a nuisance, but a serious risk to your pet’s health, and your own. These pests can bring parasitic tapeworms, flea anemia, and Lyme disease—which should be enough to put any of us into action. Thing is, there are a lot of products to choose from out there, and all sorts of opinions on the best ways to deal with the problem. Couple that with the fact that many of the over-the-counter remedies you can find at any department or pet supply store have developed a reputation for doing more harm than good, and a loving pet parent might feel at a loss on what to do.

Before you buy that topical treatment or flea “bomb,” try these all-natural methods we’ve tested and proven below.

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For Fleas:

  • Give your pet a bath using an all-natural flea shampoo. We suggest DERMagic’s Flea Shampoo Bar (for dogs only), or the Mad About Organics Flea & Tick Shampoos (they have different shampoos for cats, dogs, and horses). After the initial bath with flea shampoo, don’t be afraid to give your pet a daily dunk in some warm water. Even just a brief moment in the tub will dislodge many fleas.
  • This next step will sound silly until you see the results for yourself:
    • Place white bowls (made of any material) filled with warm, soapy water around your home, focusing on the areas your pets hang out in most.
    • Check back a few hours later, and you should see at least a few dead fleas floating around, if not dozens. If the room isn’t bright during the day, leave a light on to better attract the fleas. The soap will coat the fleas’ bodies, causing them to drown. We’ve used this method for years in our family and it does wonders in putting a stop to infestations, and works far better than any of those nasty, toxic flea bombs and sprays.
    • Refill the bowls at least daily until the bowls haven’t caught any fleas for at least three days.
      Note: Watch that your pets don’t drink from these bowls. Block the areas off if needed - even regular dishwasher soap can cause stomach upset in animals.
  • Flea bites aren’t fun, and can cause allergic reactions, so give your pet’s skin some relief with a spray or lotion designed to moisturize and heal. DERMagic, Mad About Organics and Earthheart all have excellent products to fill this need that are PetsWeekly "Pack-Tested, Pet-Approved."
  • Prevent future infestations by repelling the nasty little buggers with Mad About Organics Dog/Cat Insect Relief Spray or Earthheart’s Buzz Guard for dogs. Using "human" products can be very damaging to pets and it's important to use a product that is approved for pet use only.

For Ticks:

First of all, DO NOT attempt to pull any ticks out of your pet’s skin with tweezers, fingernails, or other methods that often result in the head of the tick left embedded, which leaves your pet at risk. Use a product designed to remove ticks, such as the De-Ticker ll (clicking this link will bring you to a handy and informative “dos and don’ts” page. You can click elsewhere on that site to purchase a De-Ticker.) Just like all of our recommended products, we’ve used this, and we’ve never had the head get left behind using it.

  • Store the tick in a container filled with rubbing alcohol. If further symptoms arise, your vet may need to see it.
  • Thoroughly clean the bite area and your own hands (unless you wore gloves) with rubbing alcohol (or soap and water).

Apply a skin relieving spray or lotion. Some of our favorites include the line of specialty pet first aid products from PetClenz known as Dr. Emmo's (you should have a small bottle of the wound care wash nearby in the house and car! Another great selection is the  Skin Rescue Lotion from DERMagic.

No matter which road you choose to take in dealing with fleas and ticks, we want to remind you to read all labels and warnings no matter what products you decide to use—even all-natural ones. Be sure that each is safe to use on any particular pet, and get in touch with the manufacturer (or get in touch with us) if you have any questions.

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