You can’t just ignore fleas, because a few on your dog’s back will multiply into a thick swarm in a matter of days. Cat’s and dog’s usually pick them up from the outdoors and then bring them inside. Each flea produces 40 to 50 eggs per day, up to 2000 per lifetime. In a week, if you do nothing your house would host tens of thousands of fleas. They get into rugs and bedding, where they can survive for two years until a pet come’s along to bite.Flea bites do not only itch, but they also cause significant problems as many pets are allergic to the bites and and develop dermatitis and hair loss from scratching.

The best line of defence is prevention. So how do you prevent dog fleas?

Dog FleasAlmost all Veterinarians recommend several products that have been on the market since about 2000. There are the topical, spot-on preventative liquids, such as Advantage and Frontline Plus. These preparations kill fleas and eggs on contact. These products can work well to eradicate fleas, but they do contain insecticides. The expert’s say not to worry! The products are far safer for pets than the sprays and flea collars, because they remain on the oiy layer of the animal’s skin without entering the bloodstream. Pet owners are cautioned to avoid touching the area, where the pesticide has been applied until dry, but people do forget and kid’s are not aware of this, and this is the first problem with the product.

The second problem is that the products do contain ugly pesticides such as midacloprid, permethrin, methoprene and pyriproxfen, and there is mouting evidence, despite what the expert’s assure, that those pesticides can enter the pet’s bloodstream. Pet’s can manifest a range of reactions, including rashes, diarrhoea, breathing problems, vomiting, and seizures. The Environmental Protection Agency conducted investigations, and after a year of study, the Agency concluded that small dogs in particular are extremely vulnerable to problems with the spot-on treatments.

Steve Owens, EPA Assistant Director says “These are poisons that we are applying to our pet’s. Pet owners should exercise caution.” The long-term effects of these products have not been studied, and that’s probably of greater concern since most pets will have treatment with these products regularly over the course of their lifetime. The accumulation of these chemicals makes a full body detox for a pet almost impossible.

The reality is that most pets can tolerate these treatments without any “obvious” problems, and to an owner faced with a flea infestation, whatever kind of flea poison works may seem like a godsend. But before resorting to the convenient pill or drops,pet owners might want to ask themselves if they would allow their children to swallow pesticide tablets to keep bugs away or have a healthy immune system, even if the doctor said it was fine. If the answer is no and you love your pets, you might want to think twice before squirting the tube or giving the pill.

To keep fleas away without bringing poison into the picture, you can try hoovering your floors every day until the problem subsides, washing all surfaces the pet sits on, bathing the pet every few days with a natural shampoo that has flea deterrents such as cedar oil, pennyroyal, citronella, wormwood, and rosemary oil, and applying food-grade diatomaceous earth to the pet’s coat. Also, fleas don’t like the taste of garlic or brewer’s yeast, so add a teaspoon or so to your pet’s food to make him less tasty to the bugs. It’s a lot of work, but you will get on top of the fleas if you do these things, and in the end you may save on vet bills incurred from “mystery” illnesses and tumours induced by the topical and ingested poisons.

written by Hiyaguha Cohen 1999-2013 The Baseline of Health Foundation