How to give your dog a natural, healthy flea bath, without chemicals.
By Hilary Barchash
Everyone you’ve spoken to – the staff at the pet store, your friends, your veterinarian… they’ve all told you the same thing. “You need chemicals to get rid of fleas.” Your dog is scratching like crazy, and all you want to do is help her, but you think to yourself – “There’s got to be a better way!”.
Well, you’re right. There is a better and healthier way.
Additionally, many of us live with dogs which have compromised health or immune systems, or are sensitive to chemicals, and using a flea product containing toxic chemical pesticides can be very detrimental to the health of your pet.
Following the steps below will ensure you rid your dog of fleas in a safe and healthy manner, without worry that you may be harming your pet, even while you’re trying to help them.
- Use a gentle, all natural shampoo, preferably one with essential oils which repel fleas, such as lemon, peppermint, cedar and eucalyptus. Make a ring around her \neck of thick, undiluted shampoo. Make another ring in front of her ears, but behind her eyes and muzzle, being careful not to get soap in her eyes. Put a third handful of shampoo on her anus. These act as barricades to stop fleas from hiding in your dog’s ears, eyes, and rectum, once you get the rest of her wet.
- Wet her body, tail and legs, and apply shampoo. Use a generous amount of soap, and work up a real rich lather. At this point, you can spread the shampoo on her face, in case she has any fleas there too. Keep this lather going for 10 minutes, adding a little more water and shampoo as you go. Some dogs love the massage and the attention, others do not, and this can be a challenging process, so having a somebody to help you may be a good idea.
- After 10 minutes of bath time, the fleas will have drowned and most will have become trapped in the soap. Now rinse, rinse, and rinse again. Don’t forget to rinse armpits, under the tail and between the legs. Towel dry, and if she lets you, use a blow drier on a cool setting to look for any dead fleas which didn’t go down the drain. You can comb these out with a flea comb.
Now that your dog is free of fleas, you’ll want to be sure her environment is as well, so she doesn’t become re-infested.