Natural Prevention for Common Canine Parasites

One of the most common questions I get asked is if there is anything natural to help prevent common parasites (fleas, ticks, heartworm) in dogs so I thought it would be a post worthy subject.  Below I have listed a few of my favorites.  Please keep in mind that there are many good options and these are just a few that I am most familiar with.  This doesn't mean there are not other good products worth exploring so do your homework.  

FLEAS AND TICKS

For home treatment:
Fleabusters Powder

For yard:  
Beneficial Nematodes 
Wondercide Outdoor  
EcoSMART Yard Granules 

 There are many non toxic yard products out there including this one, EcoSmart 

There are many non toxic yard products out there including this one, EcoSmart 



For topical treatment:  
Wondercide spray 
Ark Naturals Spray

For internal treatment:
Earth Animal 

 Let nature help you with Nematodes; they naturally control flea and tick eggs and larvae.  

Let nature help you with Nematodes; they naturally control flea and tick eggs and larvae.  

 Dogs with a smooth coat may only need the neck gator, others with heavier coats will benefit from the vest 

Dogs with a smooth coat may only need the neck gator, others with heavier coats will benefit from the vest 

HEARTWORM

For internal prevention:
Amber Tech 

For topical prevention:
Wondercide or Ark Naturals Sprays or Vetri Science Repel Wipes

 These simple steps can go a long way

These simple steps can go a long way

A healthy species specific diet promotes a healthy immune system and along with reducing and avoiding excess inflammation (mindful, not routine, vaccination for example) your pet will be in good health.  That said, in my experience with parasites, it often boils down to exposure chances and hygiene.  If your pet is diagnosed with a parasite burden, conventional wormers may be the best option, all the while incorporating natural options for the future.  In areas with a high exposure possibility (infected yards, boarding facilities, climates that support high parasite counts), natural prevention may not be the best single option.   Sometimes chemical options can be tailored in a way that best benefits the specific animal.  Maybe it's cold enough in your area to omit chemical heartworm prevention in the winter?  Perhaps you can give the conventional treatment less frequently than labeled by the manufacture.  Is a topical repellent a better option for your specific pet vs a systemic internal product? 

A holistic veterinarian can be very valuable in choosing your dog's best options and I highly encourage that you consult one rather than blindly applying or administrating chemical prevention that last 1-6 months. If it lasts that long on the hardy parasites, do we really know what it does to the insides of our pets?  Nobody can likely answer that question with absolute certainty so advocate for your dog and choose wisely.  Less is more often than not, best.  

 Cedar is effective, safe and smells nice

Cedar is effective, safe and smells nice