Ever since Missy’s cancer diagnosis in October of 2014 and her beating it in March of 2015, I incorporated a lot of healthy lifestyle changes for both of my pups, including natural alternatives to chemical pest preventatives in order to keep their exposure to illness-causing toxins at a minimum.
Since my dear Instagram follower @dogmama65 recently expressed interest in my recommendations for natural, chemical-free pest prevention options for dogs, I am going to share my top 3 picks with you today which have worked great to keep pests at bay here in our pack! Thank you for the question, dogmama65!
1. Minced Or Chopped Garlic
Garlic helps prevent fleas and ticks and needs to be taken orally. I mince a clove and add it to the pups’ meals every now & then, but it certainly can be taken daily.
I busted the myth that garlic is harmful to dogs in my blog post Myth Buster: Garlic IS Good For Dogs, After All! I invite you to read the article to learn more about the wonderful benefits of garlic.
2. Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth is a natural cleanser & detoxifier for dogs (and humans!) because of its abrasive capabilities.
Taken internally it gets rid of roundworms, whipworms, pinworms, & hookworms.
Massaged into a dog’s coat it kills fleas and ticks by creating holes in the insects’ exoskeleton which cause them to loose their body fluids and essentially dry out.
It can also be used to line thresholds between the outdoors and inside of your house to keep fleas, ants, and other unwelcome crawlies away. The beauty of it is that it’s non-toxic and since it can be taken orally, it is obviously not harmful if investigated by a curious doggie nose.
Note that it HAS to be food-grade Diatomaceous Earth, and not the industrial kind used to clean pool filters! The latter is highly toxic.
I invite you to read my blog post Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth: The Many Health Benefits for Dogs and Their Humans to learn more about it.
3. Anicura Natural Pet Solutions – Insect Repellent
Anicura’s Natural Insect Repellent repels against a variety of insects, fleas and ticks and offers long-lasting protection from stings & bites. It is totally free from:
It is so gentle than it can even be used on puppies (& kittens!). I also spray myself with it before going on hikes!
Besides repelling insects, its natural oils, minerals, and vitamins care for your pets’ skin and coat:
- Dead Sea Salt (Flea Repellent)
- Citronella Oil (Flea, Tick, & Mosquito Repellent)
- Rosemary Oil (Flea Repellent)
- Carnation Oil (Mosquito Repellent)
- Patchouli Oil (Improves chapped/dry skin)
- Cedarwood Oil (Flea Repellent) (Improves chapped/dry skin)
- Lavender Oil (Insect Repelling/Enhances Smoothness of Coat)
- Lemon Grass Oil (Insect Repelling)
- Eucalyptus Oil (Flea Repellent/Soothes Skin)
- Peppermint Oil (Insect Repelling)
- Tea Tree Oil (Soothes/Protects Skin)
I invite you to read more about the wonderful company Anicura in my blog post Anicura’s Natural Pet Solutions – Healthy Skin For Your Dog (& Cat!).
Bonus Tip – A Strong Immune System
Pests are much less likely to invade a dog with a strong immune system!
This makes sense as it’s the same concept with humans and plants as well. A healthy human is much less likely to be germ-ridden and a healthy plant is much better equipped to deal with insect attacks than a weak one.
So how do we achieve a strong immune system in our dogs? By keeping our pups at a healthy weight, providing daily exercise, and preventing exposure to chemicals and highly processed dog food that has been depleted of a vast majority of nutrients. Dogs thrive on a fresh food diet just as much as we humans do!
Making the switch from a highly processed kibble diet to a minimally processed, balanced raw food diet is one highly effective way of boosting a dog’s immune system. I’ve seen the impact it has had on my pups Missy & Buzz over the course of the last 18 months and can only recommend it!
Here’s how I transitioned Missy & Buzz to a raw food diet – I made the detour via home cooked meals with Dr. Harvey’s dehydrated & freeze-dried grain-free dog food premix Veg-to-Bowl.
A few months later I was ready to take the plunge into unknown raw food waters, and took advantage of Raw Paws Pet Food’s free phone consultation during which I talked with Shelli for almost an hour.
I got a lot of nuggets of wisdom out of that conversation and still order from Raw Paws (I also order from Darwin’s Natural Pet and as of recently from Balanced Blends Pet Food, a new raw food company).
Garlic, food-grade diatomaceous earth and natural insect repellents such as the one from Anicura make it possible to prevent pests naturally without having to resort to harsh chemical alternatives.
Keeping our pups at a healthy weight by providing daily exercise and feeding a fresh food diet contribute to the creation of a strong immune system, which make pests much less interested in invading our furry friends in the first place!
What are your favorite natural pest preventatives to be used on/around dogs? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!