Harper is on trifexis right now, it works wonders but everytime I give it to her I cringe. We live in Florida where Mosquitos are horrible so I will be keeping her on a heartworm preventative, but only ivermectin not all the extras trifexis has.
I am looking for a natural flea preventative to start using as fleas are terrible here also. I’ve tried the garlic but it only helped minimally. What other natural routes are there? What do y’all use?
Just a thought: Years ago I read in one of Dr. Pitcairn’s books (I think) that garlic would take care of fleas. I began giving my young Golden one little round garlic capsule from Whole Foods everyday. (Whole foods brand) She has NEVER had a flea. NEVER. I drop it in the the food bowl. Recently I have been reading that garlic is BAD. But then I ‘ve also read that it’s not so bad in small amounts. I have also dropped one capsule in each bowl (supper and breakfast). she is now 10, is very healthy and totally FLEALESS. Hope this helps.
Hi Harper’s Mom,
Have you ever tried Springtime’s Bug Off Garlic? http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/bug-off-garlic-dogs
There is a ton of valuable information on the Springtime site and there are lots of folks here who have used this product with great success. You don’t have to be concerned with garlic toxicity with this product as it contains far less allicin than fresh garlic.
I live in Florida, too, and I also use Trifexis, and it tweaks me out, as well. The dogs do fine on it, though. I’m going to be trying out Sentinel next for our smallest dog, and Little City Dogs (Program generic made by a kennel owner out of NY) for fleas for the big dogs and cat. I’m still unsure if I want to do ivermectin myself (you can buy it almost anywhere that sells farm stuff), or do pre-dosed pills like HeartGuard or something. There are some cheap versions of HeartGuard I may try on CanadaVet.com (I think that’s the website) depending on the dose they give. I’d like a larger dose since the big dogs are outdoor only ATM….
I use Bug-Off-Garlic from Springtime Inc and we are almost through our first bottle of it with 4 tiny dogs and so far I like it and will continue to use it. I also recommend it to my Clients at work.
Thank you everyone for the replies!
I will definitely try the Bug-off garlic! I like the reviews on it and the articles they back it up with. When I previously tried garlic it was just a clove 3 times a week and not everyone feeding the dogs would remember it. So that would most likely be why it didn’t work.
Also, trifexis is milbemycin oxime for heartworm prevention, would it be okay to switch to ivermectin in the middle of mosquito season?
Did you ever ask BCn what routine she follows for HW/flea/tick prevention? You both live in the same region. Not sure of the effectiveness of Ivermectin against certain parasites. Maybe look into that, it could help you decide.
I don’t see why it would hurt to switch. Might as well confuse them lol Many people recommend switching active ingredients in flea meds every so often, so I don’t see why it should be any different with mosquitoes and heart worms.
Bobby Dog, I have talked to her a little about heart worm and flea stuff, but I’d have to dig it back up to recall any of it. I’ve done so much looking into it that I don’t know where I got most of the stuff bouncing around in my brain lol
I’m the same way. Only a lot older! But, I do write stuff down now and then, just not all in one place! We need to hire Bobby dog to keep us in line!
There has been a study that shows it is not a good idea to switch from Milbemycin in midseason, unless you overlap and give the ivermectin at the same time for a month or so. This is because Milbemycin is less effective at killing the earlier larval stages than Ivermectin, but Ivermectin does not kill the later stages as well. That’s also why the Milbemycins are labeled to use for 3 months post season, so here in FL, you need to use both to switch even in winter, because we don’t have 3 months post season, not even 3 weeks.
For anyone thinking of getting Ivomec liquid and dosing your dog yourself. The regular liquid is 1% and even one drop of it is an overdose for most dogs, which can lead, over time, to liver failure. The sheep drench(available at Jeffers dot com among others) is 0.08% so is much easier to dose appropriately.
I use Ivomec(the sheep drench) for heartworm prevention right now. I give garlic and use an essential oil shampoo and I feed 1/2 raw. Mostly I shampoo because they rolled in something, not because of fleas.
If I do have to shampoo for fleas, I wet the dog’s head and shampoo behind the eyes all the way around. This drives any fleas back down onto the body. Then I wet the rest of the dog and shampoo the rest of him. Leaving the shampoo on, I let him go play while I do the next one, and the next one. After I have 3 soapy dogs running around the yard, I call the first one back for a rinse, this gives the nasty little fleas plenty of time to smother in a coating of shampoo. I towel dry the first and put him in the house and start the rinse on the second. That guarantees that the last dog has enough time to kill all of her fleas.
Thank you BC!
Harper received her trifexis last on June 28th if I were to dose her with ivermectin (heartgaurd) tomorrow would that be effective? Or do you think we should wait for this months dose to switch?
What natural oils do you use? I have a relative to is very big into natural oils and holistic methods for herself so I might be able to get advise from her.
Last thing, when you feed half raw, do you use it as a topper or do you feed one meal raw and one kibble? I’ve heard that combining the two in a single meal can lead to digestive issues later on?
Nancy C, how many of those garlic capsules do you give your dog a day? I just bought those today, because my dog has refused to eat fresh garlic and the Bug Off garlic tablets. I’m hoping she won’t notice these in her food, because they don’t have a smell. Or if any one else wants to answer this question, feel free. They are little 500mg garlic extract capsules. The dosage on the bottle says take 1 softgel twice a day. Bailey weighs about 53lbs.
I would give her 1 every other day and see if that does the job. If not then up it to 1 a day.
Hi Harper’s Mom
Giving it now would be close enough/just fine.
I always use therapeutic grade essential oils. I use in no particular order:geranium, eucalyptus, peppermint, clove, patchouli, birch, cinnamon, cedar, rosemary, bergamot, lemongrass, tea tree, and spearmint. Some of those are known for their insect repelling properties, others for their insecticidal properties.
I use raw like a topper. I’ve heard the same stories about mixing them causing stomach upset because of the different digestion times, but canned and kibble digest at different rates too, but nobody ever advises against mixing those for that reason. People digest different types of food at different rates too, and our stomachs and digestive tracts take even longer to empty, but we don’t have issues with it. Of all the people I know who mix raw and kibble, only one has one dog that can’t handle it, and this particular dog can’t handle a whole lot.
Nice list! I have used most of them except for the birch and the bergamot. My research has led me to these observations:
Geranium – Effective as a repellent mostly because of it’s Geraniol content. Ceylon type Citronella has a higher Geraniol content and is MUCH less expensive.
Eucalyptus – Powerful killer of fleas! Contains 1,8-Cineole. Rosemary has similar qualities (1,8-Cineole) and I use it because it has other ingredients that in combination I think make it a more effective flea killer. I also like the smell better! The Morocco type is my favorite.
Peppermint – Powerful flea killer! I don’t like the smell. It is often used in combination with Rosemary for the synergistic effect.
Clove – Powerful flea killer! I stay away from Clove because of it’s phenol content. Phenol’s are in my opinion pretty toxic and can be very irritating.
Cinnamon – Phenol
Tea tree – I don’t like it because of it’s toxicity. Oils that contain Geraniol have the same antiseptic qualities and they are safer and smell better.
Patchouli – Brings me back to the 60’s! Expensive.
Birch – The sweet version contains primarily Methyl salicylate (the wintergreen smell). Methyl salicylate penetrates the skin and I think it is pretty toxic. It is also a powerful flea killer.
The Tar version contains Cadinene which would put it more in to a Cedar type of oil and would also make it much safer.
Cedar – Powerful flea killer and safe to use!
Lemongrass – Repels and kills. Not as effective as Geraniol but it smells good. The citral version of lemongrass smells divine. Safe.
Bergamot – I would only use a Bergaptene Free version because of Bergaptene’s toxicity. It gets it’s flea killing properties from Limonene which is MUCH cheaper in Orange oil.
Spearmint – I love the smell! It contains limonene AND R-(–)Carvone which is also a flea killer and is what gives spearmint it’s characteristic smell. S-(+)-carvone, smells like and comes from caraway seeds
& USA Dog treats, when BCnut is in her laboratory, mixing up her essential oils, she’s rubbing her hands together and doing that evil laugh like a mad scientist, then she cuts the arms and legs off gingerbread men! Lmao!!
Cyndi! How did you know?!? Are you spying on me? I have this huge old fashioned armoire that I keep all my supplies in and I walk in the room and throw open both doors… How could I not rub my hands together and laugh.
Thanks USA, I knew orange oil worked better than Bergamot, I’ve used it, but for some reason I just can’t tolerate its smell, I think of it as cloying. I live in FL and can’t stand when the orange trees are blooming either.
Citronella should have been on my list, oops. I’ll have to go look which Rosemary I have. Hmm, Rosmarinus officinalis, now I have something to add to my shopping list.
I am very careful with the phenols, a single drop in a 16 oz spray bottle, but I’ve found the inclusion of clove really helps when mosquitos are really bad here. Tea tree is the same, if I use it at all, I really don’t like the smell of it.
I have a couple different peppermints, one I don’t like much, the other I can’t get enough of.
Is there a type of Eucalyptus that you like best? I have 3 and I like certain ones for certain reasons, but I haven’t figured out which one is best for insects. I have radiata, dives, and polybractea.
I have been throwing one in the food bowl at breakfast and then sometimes at supper (during high season — summer). I’m in NC. Looking at this bottle it is WF 365 Odorless Garlic 500mg and is PINK on the label. My vet nicely chewed me out late last fall for NOT giving the Sentinel year long. I had ONLY been giving it in the warm months (May-Sept) which is what my breeder told me 25 years ago when I got my first golden. THat golden lived over 15 years! She got heart worm meds during those warm months ONLY. With this second Golden ( 10 yrs old and GREAT HEALTH) I did the same until the vet realized it last fall and told me I was PUTTING HER AT SERIOUS RISK. SHE COULD GET HEART WORMS EVEN IN JANUARY! I am not sure I believe that, however, this is an excellent vet so I started the sentinel. I HATE IT. Now that I do the Sentinel there is no reason to continue the garlic.
I have learned about a product that is NON TOXIC which works also as heartworm prevention. I know someone who I consider “very informed” and connected in high places maybe I should say — has two extraordinary dogs to whom he is devoted and he uses this non toxic stuff. The company does not advertise it for heartworms, nonetheless this individual says that it covers them and many people use it for heartworms. Here is the website: http://www.firstchoicenaturals.com/resourcearticles/parasitesbegonefrommypet.php
This individual knows such information and would NEVER trust a company unless he KNEW. His dogs are big in his life. So go and see.
I will add this: The same vet who got me BACK on the Sentinel Wagon full time also in June initiated a conversation about LEPTO VIRUS, recommending that I get the shots for both my dogs. I have been researching LEPTO VIRUS and so far as I can tell there are too many strains of it for the vaccine to cover AND there are risks in taking the vaccine. The vaccine is expensive and you start with TWO SHOTS. Also you must keep up with it annually. This is a MONEY MAKER FOR THE VETS. Lepto is not new. It was “discovered” back in the late 1800’s and my suspicion is that the vets and researchers AND BIG PHARMA have created this hype about YOU NEED THIS VACCINE!! A neighbor’s dog supposedly died from it in March but her other 2 dogs did not catch it. And I am even wondering if the diagnosis was correct. I read that sometimes it is MISdiagnosed. Bottom line: This is a subject that warrants more research and WAKEFUL OWNERS. I am interested in any other opinions.
Good luck with the Garlic. OH – my dog would just eat it up in the food. The capsule is so small that unless you have a picky eater it will disappear. Otherwise you could wrap it with cheese softened in your hand and the dog will hopefully swallow it.
@harper‘s Mom: I’m glad you’re switching from Trifexis. I was using it on my Golden. I got a knot in my stomach every time I have it to him. He would be lethargic and mope around for a good 24 to 36 hours every time he received it. I hated it. I wanted to use straight Ivermectin and Bug Off Garlic, but he has food intolerance issues and reacts to garlic. : (
If you ever have any questions about Springtime products, call them! Their customer service is great. Last time I called, I spoke with Dr. Trista, who is a Veterinary Canine Nutritionist!
LOL!! BCnut I can picture it now!!
Thanks Nancy, that’s the same stuff I picked up yesterday. I put one in her food this morning and was so happy to see it was gone when she got done eating. When I was putting fresh garlic, and even the Bug Off Garlic, in her food, she either ate around it or refused to eat altogether. Glad I found something that will work now.
Eucalyptus polybractea is also called Blue Mallee – Highest 1,8-Cineole content. Should be best flea killer. The most camphoraceous smell with a touch of peppermint.
Dives – Different chemical makeup. Probably not as effective for fleas and ticks.
Radiata – High 1,8-Cineole content. Camphor smell with a touch of sweetness.
Globulus – High cineole content. Less camphor like and a little more woody.
The lemon type Eucalyptus called Eucalyptus citriadora has a very high Citronellal content. Camphor smell with lemon mixed in. Great repellent. I prefer Citronella Java for it’s softer lemony scent.
Moroccan Rosemary IS Rosmarinus Officinalis. There are different country of origins for Rosmarinus Officinalis. I like the smell of the Moroccan the best but they all have a high cineole content.
The repellents, Citronella, Lemon Eucalyptus and Geraniol have a very short duration of effectiveness. Less than a day when applied as a spray. The Killers, Clove, Peppermint, Thyme, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Orange, and so on have a duration of a couple of days when applied as a spray.
I can’t believe you don’t like the smell of orange oil OR orange blossoms. They are different smells and I really like both of them!
Dives is known as Peppermint Eucalyptus. I use them mostly for relief of asthma symptoms and Radiata is my favorite. Blue Mallee is supposed to work better, but I didn’t find that to be the case.
At least the orange oil smells more woody and green, but it still reminds me of how sick I feel when the oranges are blooming. I didn’t mind orange blossoms when I was growing up out there, but here they make the air think with the smell, and they set my head to spinning. I can’t get enough of lemon, lime, and tangerine oils though. That’s what I like to use most in cleaning solutions. It leaves the house smelling like sunshine and happiness.
Sunshine and happiness indeed!
One fact about Ivomec, or Ivermectin, it is not recommended to give it to Collies as it could be toxic to them. I don’t think I’d give it to a dog mixed with Collie either to be on the safe side.
I also give my dogs the little round odorless garlic capsules, as well as fish oil capsules. It is my belief that fleas are developing an immunity to all those chemical flea treatments, and feel that naturally treating the dog from inside out is best.
Coconut oil is said to repel fleas either rubbed on the dog or small amounts added to the food each day. Avon Skin-So-Soft is also reported to be effective against fleas.
I figured I would update everyone!
Harper has been on heartgaurd as her HWP, Springtime Bug Off Garlic and an essential oil spay for about a month now and I couldn’t be any happier! We have had no issues with any sort of bugs and she even seems to be itching a little less.
We have also introduced a new member into the house! We now have a 14 week old German Shorthaired Pointer, his name is Heath. He seems to be adjusting well to our crazy life so far.
Congrats on the new addition! 🙂 What essential oil spray are you using?
Thank you! And we use a mix of lemongrass, citronella, lavender and witch hazel, about 10-12 drops of each oil and 14oz of witch hazel mixed into a spray bottle. It was recommended to me by my Great Aunt and has worked wonders!
Thanks for sharing!! 🙂
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