I’m embarrassed to admit that during Isis’s first flea outbreak, I actually blogged the words Frontline is way cool. Ugh. I’m ashamed of nearly everything I thought or did during those early years, and am tempted to delete all my blog posts from that era.
It was cool, in a setting-fire-to-ants kind of way, to watch fleas literally drop dead and fall off Isis’s body. But I never liked the idea of exposing her to pesticide. Since we don’t have to use flea preventatives year-round in these parts, the following spring, I felt the same hesitation. Then I saw fleas crawling all over the creature who slept with us in our bed, and was disgusted enough to turn again to the quick fix of Frontline.
My rationale, it horrifies me to remember, was, Maybe she’ll live longer if I don’t pour poison down her back, but what kind of quality of life will she have if she’s crawling with fleas?
Then… we started feeding Isis a prey-model raw meat diet, and she never had another flea. Veterinary types and Hill’s “Science Diet” advocates may dispute it, and I can’t prove the cause and effect, but my experience backs this claim:
Fleas are very attracted to pets that eat a high amount of grains since it makes them quite “yeasty.” They also like pets with lower immune systems and who are not as healthy. Having your pet on a raw diet or at least a diet that is grain-free will make them less attractive to fleas and other parasites.
Leo had a flea outbreak during his first spring with us, and our holistic vet approved the use of Advantage. Leo was (and still is) eating a combination diet of raw meat and a grain-free kibble. I wondered, Did this slight deviation from a prey-model diet make him susceptible to fleas?
I had heard that apple cider vinegar was a flea repellent, so I started adding a few drops to the dogs’ water bowls in the springtime. We haven’t seen a flea since.
Our traditional vet recently asked us if we had any trouble with fleas, reporting that he’d just had some dogs come in with horrible infestations … and it was February! I’m proud to report that we have not had any fleas since Leo had them in 2011.
Here it is, spring again, and time to start adding apple cider vinegar to the water bowls. Probably now that I’ve bragged about my all-natural secret to flea control, we’ll have an outbreak. Apple cider vinegar is also supposed to get rid of fleas if you spray it on them directly, so I’ll try that first if I see any. But probably I’ll get so grossed out by the idea of flea eggs in my bed and on my couches that I’ll be the hypocrite who reaches for the chemical pesticide. So let’s hope the ACV and the raw diet keeps the fleas away in the first place.
F is for Fighting Fleas by Feeding Raw
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…