There are many remedies for natural flea control that use simple ingredients from your store cupboard; natural ingredients that won't harm your pets but will kill those pesky fleas!
We also appreciate that owners may be concerned by wording on commercial flea control packaging, such as "Keep out of reach of children", "Avoid contact with eyes or skin" - it's no wonder they believe that natural flea remedies may be the safer option.
We have researched the area of natural flea remedies and have come to the conclusion it that it is possible to free your Cocker Spaniel and your home of dog fleas, without the use of toxins.
This, however, is our personal opinion; we recommend you discuss the idea with your vet before making your own decision.
Understanding the flea life cycle can help you to tackle the problem effectively using either natural flea control or a chemical treatment.
The following are a selection of natural flea controls we discovered.
Citrus oils are often used as a natural remedy for controlling, repelling and killing fleas.
If you use citrus oil, it should be diluted with water, which can then be used to drench your dog in the bath, or put in a clean spray bottle to dampen his coat.
Make sure you get behind the ears and the top of his head, but place your hands over his eyes when using the spray.
The base of his tail and under his 'armpits' are additional places where fleas like to reside, so don't forget those.
Diluted citrus oil won't last too long and you'll need to treat your dog every three days or so; however, it's much safer spraying natural lemon juice onto your dog's coat than it is to spray chemicals.
If you prefer the natural route to controlling fleas, you can make your own using lemons.
Simply cut a lemon or two into slices or quarters (it doesn't matter which) and place in a bowl. If you score the lemons before cutting them you'll release more of their oils. Pour boiling water over the lemons and leave overnight.
The next day you can strain the pulp and use the lemon liquid in a clean spray bottle or sponge directly onto your dog's coat.
Bubbles and suds are another natural flea control and are a great way of getting rid of adult fleas - they literally drown in the suds!
Using your favourite dog shampoo wash your dog - don't forget to create lots of bubbles!
When your dog is clean, rinse him thoroughly (twice is always a good bet, and then once again to make really sure there's no more suds left in his coat) and then dry him off.
When he's dry you can spray him with your chosen natural flea remedy.
It's said that cider vinegar is effective at controlling fleas because it makes the dog's blood unpalatable.
Add one teaspoon to your dog's fresh drinking water each day. Alternatively, you can use it as a spray; simply add a tablespoon to a small water spray and use on your dog's coat, allowing it to dry naturally.
White vinegar is also a natural flea control for dogs.
Simply make up a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water and spray onto your dog's coat.
One of our regular visitors (Stephanie, you know who you are!) sent us this great photo of her Cocker Spaniels.
Stephanie sprays her dogs' coats with vinegar to repel fleas naturally. She swears by it as she says it make their coats beautiful and glossy and it's not expensive - it's a great cheap alternative to those expensive de-lousing pipettes!
Cedar chips or shavings placed inside a pillow case, or your dog's bed is said to deter fleas, as apparently they don't like the smell...how on earth did they work that one out?
The cedar chips must be contained, especially if your Cocker Spaniel enjoys chewing wood, as cedar wood could make him sick.
If your dog also has an outside kennel, don't forget to use the cedar there too.
Fleas don't like the taste of garlic and yeast - although I'm not sure how that was determined!
If you mix a small amount in your dog's food, it will render your dog's blood unpalatable to fleas. You can buy capsules from health food shops, or you can use powdered garlic.
Please note: our research shows that large amounts of garlic can actually harm your pet, however, we are unable to say what defines a 'large amount' of garlic.
We recommend, therefore, that if you plan to use garlic as a flea deterrent, you discuss this with your vet first to establish safe amounts to feed your Cocker Spaniel.
Pennyroyal, which belongs to the mint family, is said to deter parasites and can be made into home remedies for fleas.
Plant Pennyroyal in the garden where your dog may play or lie around, or you can also plant in pots on the patio.
A flea comb, one of the most natural flea controls there is, will help to rid your dog of fleas and eggs; however, we also recommend that you use a rinse treatment after using the comb. Your Cocker Spaniel's coat should be combed daily until all the eggs and fleas have been removed.
Have a small bowl of warm water by your side as you comb his coat so that you can dip the comb into the water to remove all flea debris from the teeth.
Once you've combed him thoroughly, you can then use your chosen natural flea remedy on his coat.
As with any product, natural or otherwise, we recommend you discuss these with your vet first before using them on your Cocker Spaniel.
Your vet will advise you whether or not your chosen method of flea removal is suitable and/or safe for your pet.
Remember, a natural flea remedy, as opposed to prescribed dog medicines, is simply that, an alternative.
The medicines your vet may prefer to prescribe for flea removal will be just as safe - they certainly won't harm your dog.
There are many more natural flea control remedies available - for
example, infusions made from lavender, or rosemary and peppermint, or
some other herbs. There are too many to mention here, but we may list
more in the future - watch this space!
If you have a natural flea removal remedy, either for your dog or your home, why not share it with us and our visitors?
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