As you know, we love our corgi here at Pocket Pause. Heck, i named this blog after her. We feed her a raw diet, wash her with my natural soap, give her homemade and grain free treats, and are pretty strict with her training regimen. Yet on the first of every month, we empty a vial of insecticidal poison onto the back of her neck in order to ward off fleas. We even refer to this stuff as “the poison” and take pains not to hug her closely for the first 2 days after application. If we’re so freaked out about getting it on out skin, why are we so cool with slathering it all over her body??? I dunno!
Actually, i do know. I’m terrified of fleas.
I once lived in a shared house. I lived down the hall from a room that once housed a gal and her hound, who was not on flea medication. In Savannah, Georgia. In a house surrounded by feral cats. You get the idea. I was quickly the new favorite housing project and buffet for all those lonely, now dogless fleas. It took 4 or 5 trips from the exterminator and many itchy bites before we got rid of those fleas. I’m no longer willing to take chances.
Does my fear of fleas make it okay to slather poison all over my fur baby once a month? I think not. I posted over at Bathtime last week with some facts about why those “poisons” can be really bad for your pet, research, and ideas for a new, natural alternative in my mission to repel fleas. Check it out, if you missed it. What i came up with is an oil based concoction of mixed essential oils, chosen for their flea, tick and mosquito repelling attributes. I’ll be able to use this oil on Pocket as a spot treatment, just like that Frontline stuff, as well as hike-specific repellant. Since no poisons are involved, i’ll also be able to use this stuff on us skin-folks. I plan on mixing up a thicker balm, mixed with beeswax and coconut oil that we can bring about with us when we travel. Since i make soap, i order essential oils in bulk and have a large arsenal on my hands. Buying in bulk is much cheaper than picking up small portions at the health food store, but you CAN find most of these oils locally if you search. * If you’re interested in ordering larger quantities online, i’ve posted my favorite suppliers on the “resources” page.
Pocket’s Bug-B-Gone (makes 2 oz)
- 1 oz carrier oil (i use jojoba, though international supplies of this oil are limited. Choose an oil with a long shelf life. Hemp would be a good option)
- 3 ml Cedarwood Essential Oil (not juniperus)
- 2 ml Clove Essential Oil
- 2 ml Peppermint Essential Oil
- .5 ml Rosemary Essential Oil
- 3 ml Lemongrass Essential Oil
- 2 ml Citronella Essential Oil
- 3 ml Lavender Essential Oil (not grosso) * More about the essential oils i chose at Bathtime
I used a baby dropper to measure out the essential oils carefully. You could also use a skinny syringe. Be prudent about rinsing out the dropper between oils as you don’t want to contaminate the other bottles of essential oil. Also be sure to wash your hands well after handling straight essential oils. They can do some crazy things in your body when applied straight! Shake this solution well each time you apply and try to find a jar with a dropper or use one of those stoppers that only lets a drop pass through the rim at a time. Store the jar out of direct sunlight, but not in the fridge or it will be impossible to get out. You can alternatively store in a wide mouth, 4 oz mason jar and blend your oils with melted coconut oil then store it all in the fridge which will keep it solid. This balm would be better for rubbing in your hands then onto your dog. I like the idea of having the dropper and applying the oil directly to her neck every 2 weeks or so, to be absorbed into her body for long term pest repellent.
I will post our observations in a few weeks and let you all know how it works out!
How do you feel about heartworm/flea prevention in pets? How about vaccination? I want to hear everyone’s thoughts on these potentially contraversial topics. Bring it on!
This post is part of the Simple Lives Thursday blog hop!