10 Reasons Why People Are Switching To Natural Flea Treatments
- A natural progression…often the journey starts with dog food. Owners that have made the switch to raw or fresh food start seeing the health benefits for their dog. When you’ve seen a dog transform from a diet change the thought of moving back to processed kibble runs shudders down your spine. Once you start looking into what you put into your dog frequently, questioning treatments like parasite preventatives is often the next step
- Side effects…chemical flea treatments are really effective at killing parasites. The chemicals attack the central nervous system of the parasite and paralyse and kill them. Unfortunately, in order to be strong and effective they do have some implications for your dog, which is why they come with a list of potential side effects. Vomiting and diarrhea being most common. However, for some dogs they may experience muscle tremors, excessive salivation, breathing difficulties, weakness, collapsing, seizures and in some instances death. Bravecto is often challenged over safety concerns but the FDA has recently ruled that the net benefit it provides in pest control outweighs the risks to those dogs that do react badly. For some dog owners the risk is just not worth it
- Even non-invasive treatments seem to be causing side effects as we have seen with the recent coverage surrounding Seresto collars. In the States there has been outcry as 1,700 dogs have died and there have been over 75,000 incident reports from side effects after owners have used the collars as pest control. These products are still for sale and considered safe. Again, for lots of dogs they are safe but they do carry risk as you have no idea whether your dog is going to be the one that reacts badly
- Some experts are questioning their long-term effects on dog health. Dr Jean Dodds writes extensively on the subject of nutrigenomics (how things like diet, chemical exposure, environment can all contribute to how genes are expressed). Dog health is declining with rises in areas like cancers, immunity disorders, chronic allergies. Is this linked to the change to highly processed diets, frequent chemical exposure, more frequent vaccinations…the truth is we don’t really know. For some dog owners, taking sensible precautions like moving to more natural products and being mindful of what treatments they expose their dog to seems the best way to safeguard their long-term health
- Environmental impact…up until recently it was believed that parasite control like spot ons for dogs would not be transferred to the local environment. However, a study by the University of Sussex had some worrying results. Fibronil (which is banned in all agricultural use) is a common ingredient in pet parasite treatments. In the study, 98% of water tested contained Fibronil. To give context a standard pipette can contain enough pesticide to kill 60 million bees. Even a small transfer can have worrying effects on local wildlife which has knock on effects too (killing insects which are important food sources for birds and so on)
- What’s the worst that can happen…? For many it’s about risk management. What is the downside if I don’t use strong parasite control? Most commonly, the risk is getting fleas. We admit this is not a nice outcome for anybody, but if a dog gets fleas then they can be treated. For me personally, I would shampoo the dogs with a natural flea treatment shampoo (a trick is to lather before adding water to more effectively suffocate the fleas (as they can survive in water)) and then treat the house. If fleas were persistent then I’d consider chemical treatments (as just that, a treatment rather than a preventative). Luckily for most dogs, getting fleas isn’t as common as some of the scaremongering adverts from treatments would have you believe. Keeping the environment clean (regular hoovering) and having a dog that is regularly washed and healthy is going to be one of your best defences.
- Ticks…unfortunately even the strongest chemical treatments are not 100% effective at stopping ticks. What they do well is helping to kill ticks once they attach. Natural treatments work differently. Herb Defence contains ingredients like neem leaf, lemon balm and mint which ticks hate and so they can help to prevent the ticks attaching in the first place. The important thing in both cases it that you always check your dog for ticks and remove them quickly and safely. Lyme’s disease, whilst still a very low risk in the UK for dogs, does need to be safe guarded against. If you remove any tick within 48 hours then the risk of transmission is significantly reduced.
- Natural treatments like Herb Defence can have added benefits too. Our ingredients have been hand-picked for not only their parasite repelling properties, but also for their health boosting credentials. Ingredients like seaweed, spirulina, pumpkin seeds are packed with goodness. We contain no fillers, no preservatives, and no added chemicals so any risk of side effects is minimized
- Cost effective…compared to chemical treatments, natural options can be very cost effective. A 250g of What Fleas? works out at £1.36 per week for a medium dog
- Natural options are getting increasingly sophisticated. Our product was put together by a vet that specialises in holistic treatments and is manufactured to the highest safety standard. Whilst many vets are still very traditional in their views on treatment, there are increasing numbers of vets that will support the use of more natural options as long as you are aware of the benefits and the downsides.
Natural supplements are very different to chemical medical treatments. Natural supplements are designed to be gentle on your dog’s system and help prevent parasites attaching to your dog as a host. Chemical treatments are medically proven to effectively kill parasites that come into contact with your dog. However, they come with downsides and as a pet guardian it is your job to make the best choice for your dog. At Herb Defence, we believe (some) chemical treatments may be the best choice for some dogs in some instances. However, for us and our dogs, the best choice is giving natural supplements to help build up natural protection.