Developing a Flea Treatment For Dogs

Developing a flea treatment for dogs can be achieved through simple trial and error. Like most remedies and treatments, one product may work for some dogs, while a combination of several products and methods will work best for others. There are a number of different over-the-counter flea treatments on the market today, and a number of flea treatments that are only available with a prescription. Some are topical, some are oral. This article includes information to help you find what can work best for your dog.

How to Test Topical Flea Treatments

There are a number of effective topical treatments on the market today such as popular formulations like Advantage® and Frontline®. Over-the-counter treatments such as these should be applied once a month until the condition clears. While topical treatments can kill most fleas, they may not be enough for severe infestations. Wait several months to find out if the topical treatment works before increasing the frequency of application, or before adding another treatment.

Benefits of Topical Flea Treatments and Flea Collars

Although flea collars are not the most popular type of flea treatment, when used in conjunction with topical flea treatments, they can help repel fleas. Some argue that flea collars only keep fleas away from around the head and neck of the dog and others argue that flea collars emit a steady flow of pesticides into the air. There are no conclusive studies to confirm any significant dangers associated with flea collars, so the decision whether or not to use a flea collar is a personal one.

Combining Collars with Topical and Oral Treatments

If you have used flea collars and topical treatments without much success, a combination of topical and oral treatments and a flea collar may be in order. Oral medications (in pill form) are typically administered once a month. These medications inhibit the growth of fleas. This means that the fleas will not reproduce. The pills also keep the fleas from biting.

How to Use Natural Flea Treatments

One of the quickest ways to get rid of fleas is by giving your dog a flea bath. Flea shampoo is readily available at pet stores and drug stores, but some pet owners say dish detergent such as Dawn or regular dog shampoo will do the trick. This will not prevent fleas, it will only wash away most existing fleas.

In addition to a thorough flea bath, you can also add essential oils to the water and to the dogs coat to repel new fleas. A few drops of an essential oil such as pennyroyal should be sufficient. In addition to insecticide and stomachic properties, penny royal has the following properties:

  • anti-hysteric
  • anti-microbial & anti-bacterial
  • anti-rheumatic & anti-arthritic
  • anti-septic
  • astringent
  • cordial
  • decongestant
  • depurative
  • digestive
  • emmenagogue

You can also feed your dog brewer's yeast or garlic. Fleas don't like these flavors, and tend to stay away from them. If your dog has eaten them, the flea will taste them on your dog.