Category Archives: flea and tick preventative

Home Remedy Flea Treatments: Fact or Myth?

By Suzanne Alicie

Our dog Bear is a big fluffy dog, and fleas love her. Every year around the start of spring we begin to notice her scratching and chewing a bit and immediately give her a bath. For some reason the fleas seem to thrive after that bath making her miserable. Julia Williams tackled a few of the myths about fleas that many folks believe. Now it’s time to see about some of the home remedy myths concerning fleas. While fleas can be a hassle, it is all part of responsible pet ownership.

We have tried all sorts of home remedies and over the counter topical treatments, and have found that there is some truth to nearly all the rumors about what works but that it really takes a combination of things to get rid of the fleas on our dog and the ones that invade our house each year around this time. After all, it does no good to get the fleas off of Bear if there are fleas in the house to jump back on her.  So, here is a brief recounting of my experience with home remedies for fleas.

Dawn original blue dish detergent is said to be quite effective on fleas and is gentle on a dog’s skin. We actually use Dawn to bathe the dog quite often and yes, it does kill the fleas that are alive on her at the time. I’m assuming that has more to do with drowning and less to do with any sort of chemical death because it doesn’t seem to affect the eggs and doesn’t repel fleas after the bath.

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Winter is the Best Time to Fight Fleas


By Linda Cole

Fleas are nasty little critters that think nothing of hitching a ride on our pets or on us anywhere in our homes. One or two fleas may not seem like a problem, but it only takes a few to morph into a serious infestation in a matter of weeks. Winter is the best time to attack and mount a counter offensive against this invading pest that can be hard to find and even harder to eliminate. The first line of defense begins by understanding the life cycle of fleas.

Just because you don’t find fleas on your pet, doesn’t mean you don’t have a flea problem. That’s because adult fleas spend most of their time in your home rather than on your pet. Our pets are nothing more than a meal ticket and a place to lay eggs or hitch a ride. The female flea will lay eggs anywhere in the home, not just on your dog or cat. Not only are fleas a biting terror, some have tapeworm eggs which can infect your pet.

The perfect temperature for the flea life cycle is between 70 and 85 degrees and 70% humidity. Winter is the best time to attack fleas because lower humidity levels can slow their development down. They are still in the environment, but less active. If you have a flea infestation in your home, only 5% are adult fleas. The real problem is the remaining population made up of 50% eggs, 30% larvae and 15% pupae.

The flea life cycle begins with the egg

An adult female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day. Eggs that have been laid on your pet will drop off onto carpets, furniture, our beds, your pet’s bedding, along baseboards and cracks in wood flooring. Winter is the best time to attack a flea infestation because under ideal conditions, the tiny white eggs will hatch in about 2 days up to a couple of weeks. The dry heat from our furnaces slows the process and gives you more time to move furniture and do a deep cleaning of carpets, furniture and along the floor before the eggs move to the second stage.

The second stage of the flea life cycle: larvae

At this stage, they can move using tiny hairs that are attached to the larvae. They will go through three transformations as larvae and eat the feces of adult fleas (dried blood), organic material they find in carpets, bedding and outside in the soil. This stage will last 5 to 18 days and can be longer depending on weather conditions. The larvae will then spin a cocoon and move into the next stage.

The third stage of the flea life cycle: pupae

This is the last stage before fleas become adults. The flea will stay in this stage anywhere from 3 or 5 days up to a year or more if necessary. At this point, they are only waiting for the right conditions to emerge into adult biting pests.

Being aware of the life cycle of fleas helps to understand why winter is the ideal season to fight these nasty pests. First of all, it’s important to continue treating your pets with flea control throughout the winter months. The next step is to begin an aggressive cleaning offensive. Vacuuming daily will help pick up fleas in all four stages. Add a flea collar or spray flea control directly into the bag to kill any fleas you picked up and immediately remove the vacuum bag when you are finished. If you leave the bag in the vacuum, any fleas that hatch and are not affected by the flea collar or spray will have a chance to escape and start their own egg laying. Don’t forget to vacuum all of the furniture as well as along the baseboards and under the furniture.

To help break the life cycle of fleas, wash all bedding, removable furniture coverings and clothing your pet may have been on. For severe infestation, winter is the best time to attack fleas with a visit from your local pest control company. Foggers can also be used, but make sure to follow all of the instructions, warnings and cautions if using foggers.

Winter is the best time to combat fleas because you have a fighting chance of getting a handle on any infestations you may have. Unfortunately, you could have millions of fleas in your home in one stage of development or another, and dealing with them is an ongoing battle. But if you take advantage of the flea’s slower development during the winter months, you may be able to break the life cycle of the flea. It may take some time, but with proper flea control and dedicated cleaning practices, it is a battle you can win.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

How to Find Pet Friendly Motels and Hotels


By Anna Lee

Pet lovers are a large and growing group of people. However, there are many people who, for various reasons, are not pet lovers. Some people have allergies and I understand they would not want to use the same room where dog dander may trigger an attack. Others may feel that a room isn’t really clean if a dog or cat had been a previous occupant. I will provide you with some firsthand information, as well as websites, that I have used to find dog friendly motels and hotels. Hopefully the information I am sharing will help make your trip or vacation more enjoyable for you and your pet. A short amount of time setting up your accommodations can save you a lot of time in the long run. I always feel more comfortable leaving for a trip when I know I have pet friendly rooms ready and waiting for me.

Years ago pet friendly rooms did not exist. You just took your dog with you on a trip and didn’t think much about it. Not true in today’s world. Before we take a road trip I plan the route and make sure there is at least one pet friendly motel where we intend to stop. If not, I adjust the route by a few more miles one direction or another. I would rather travel a few extra miles and know there is a dog friendly room waiting for me.

Pet friendly rooms are not hard to find as they are becoming more popular. Motels owners realized they had to conform to what the customers want. Motels set aside a certain number of rooms for the weary travelers and their faithful pets. I don’t know if they actually clean the pet friendly rooms differently than the regular rooms. I hope they clean pet friendly rooms more thoroughly, since they do charge a pet fee. Finding pet friendly lodging requires a different type of online search than you would normally use.

I have been searching for pet friendly motels and hotels for the last 11 years. There are several excellent sources, and I will give you a few suggestions. It will certainly make your next trip easier if you plan ahead. One thing to be aware of is many motels and hotels ask that your dog be on a flea and tick program. I make sure to put a flea and tick preventative on our dog a few days before our trip. She has never had one flea in her life and I don’t want her to pick up a stray!

The first, and usually the last, site I check is Petswelcome.com. This is a very simple website to use. Just follow the instructions screen by screen. They provide information as to the room rate and pet charges. Some listings have a link directly to the motel. When you book a pet friendly room that you found through Petswelcome.com please let the motel employees know that is how you found the room. It will help them decide to continue their listings in Petswelcome.com.

If you prefer to stay at a particular chain, you can check the chain’s website. Look under amenities to find out if they list pets as an option. Sometimes I check the motel’s website after Petswelcome.com just to find out what restaurants are in the area. I accidentally ran across a few search sites that charge you for the information. Do not pay to find a pet friendly motel or hotel; you can get the information for free.

Other websites that I have used as search tools are:

*Petfriendlytravel.com – they also offer a listing of off leash and dog friendly beaches
*Dogfriendly.com – they also offer info on dog friendly campgrounds
*Officialpethotels.com

It is not difficult to find a pet friendly motel or hotel. When I started out for the first trip with our dog I was worried how she would be welcomed by the larger chains. For that 1998 trip I selected a small family run motel, nothing fancy, but they were pet friendly. The towels were so thin you could not dry yourself and the room was too small for two adults and a large dog. Each trip after that we upgraded to bigger and nicer motel chains. Now when we visit our family for the holidays we stay in a dog friendly, extended stay, all suites hotel with no problems or worries. Make your pet friendly motel or hotel reservation and pack your suitcase. Don’t forget to pack your dog’s favorite toys and enough CANIDAE® dog food for the trip. Happy travels everyone!

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.