Organic Flea & Tick Shampoos Safe?

by Jenifer

Are organic herbal flea and tick shampoos, such as Only Natural Pet or Richards Organics safe to use for dogs with skin conditions such as seborrhea? Since my first dog had a bad reaction to most commonly prescribed flea and tick medications I have avoided them with all of my other dogs. I have used only the natural shampoos and they have worked very well. My new dog has very dry flaky skin, greasy fur, scabbing, and occasional hotspots. Two vets have looked at it, tests came back with bacterial infection on skin, but all other analysis tests looked good and both stated it's either a genetic issue, or possibly allergies, that will need to be managed. I am going to try all of the suggestions listed above to help sooth his skin. With flea and tick season approaching is it safe to use the organic shampoos as well? Do you have any other suggestions for natural long term protection (something that lasts when he is being boarded for 7-10 days). Thank you.

Editor Comments

Hi Jennifer,

Organic herbal flea and tick shampoos, such as Only Natural Pet or Richards Organics, are generally considered safer than chemical-based flea and tick treatments. However, dogs with skin conditions might be more sensitive to certain ingredients, even in natural products. Always perform a patch test on a small area of your dog's skin before using a new shampoo to ensure there's no adverse reaction.

As for long-term flea and tick protection, there are a few natural options you could consider:

Diatomaceous earth: This is a natural powder that can be sprinkled on your dog's fur and bedding. It helps kill fleas and ticks by dehydrating them. When fleas come into contact with DE, the tiny abrasive particles damage their exoskeletons and cling to their bodies, absorbing the moisture from their bodies until they dry up and perish1. Make sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth and avoid getting it in your dog's eyes or nose.

To use DE for flea control, you should first bathe your pet to get rid of existing fleas. Then, treat rugs and carpets by sprinkling DE on them and vacuuming it up after a few
days. You can also wash all cloth items that your pet comes into contact with. Finally, you can apply DE to your pet by dusting them thoroughly with it, being careful not to get it in their eyes or allow them to breathe it in. Then, using gloves, work the DE into your dog’s coat.

Apple cider vinegar: Dilute apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water and spray it on your dog's fur as a natural flea and tick repellent. Make sure to avoid spraying it on any open wounds or sensitive areas like the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Fleas dislike the smell of this household product and will try their best to avoid it. Although apple cider vinegar can’t kill fleas, it is quite effective in forcing them away.

To use apple cider vinegar for flea control, you can mix equal parts of vinegar and water into a spray bottle and apply this solution to all the hiding spots of fleas, like your dog, his/her bedding, carpets, and furniture. Make sure that you don’t spray close to your pup’s eyes2. You can also add apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water bowl or mix it into their food3.

Essential oils: Some essential oils, such as lavender, lemongrass, and cedarwood, can repel fleas and ticks when diluted and applied properly. However, essential oils can also cause skin irritation and toxicity in dogs, so it's crucial to use them sparingly and under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Flea and tick collars: There are natural flea and tick collars available that use essential oils or other natural ingredients to repel pests. These collars can provide long-lasting protection, but make sure to choose one specifically designed for dogs with sensitive skin.

Regular grooming: Regular brushing and bathing can help keep fleas and ticks at bay. Use a flea comb to remove any pests and keep your dog's fur clean and healthy.

Remember, it's important to consult your veterinarian before implementing any new flea and tick prevention measures, especially if your dog has a skin condition like seborrhea. They can help you find the most suitable and safest option for your pet.


Editor and Publisher
Dog Health Guide

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