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How Safe Are Flea Products?

Reaction from flea product

Have you ever wondered why drug companies tell you their flea products are entirely safe for your pet, yet the labels on the products tell you to wear gloves when applying and wash immediately if the product comes into contact with your own skin?  I mean really – how safe ARE flea products?

Why is it okay to put several drops on your dog’s skin, but not one drop on your skin? Are flea products safe for your dog if they contain toxic chemicals?

It’s my personal opinion that flea products containing toxic chemicals can’t be safe for our pets.

On the other hand, the flea infestation seems to be getting worse in some areas.  If something isn’t done to prevent them from taking over residency on our pets, we end up paying vet bills for anemia, skin irritations and more.

Do Flea Collars Work For Dogs?

Bayer Ea Seresto Small DogBayer Ea Seresto Small Dog

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There is one product on the market, a flea collar, that seems to be working really well. It’s called Seresto and is a collar that stays on your dog or cat for up to 8 months.

It takes a few days for it to start working, but once it does, your flea problem should disappear.

But beware when using it. The fact is that it works well. And it is supposedly non-toxic to dogs.

Unfortunately, some dogs seem to be sensitive to it and may end up getting sick or having a skin reaction from the collar.

My suggestion is to try it if nothing else seems to be working. Just keep an eye on your dog while the flea collar is on. If you notice any unusual change in his behavior, health or skin, remove it.

It’s expensive, but because it lasts several months, it’s actually less expensive than other flea products.

Most other flea collars that have pesticide sprayed onto them. This has embedded within the material of the collar the active ingredient of Advantage plus an ingredient that kills and repels ticks.

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What About Other Flea Products Such As Frontline?

I remember a spokesperson for Frontline a few years ago explaining that it was a perfectly safe product, that no toxins get into the pet’s system, that the poison that kills the fleas simply travels along the surface of the skin.

She was pretty convincing.

But how can it travel along the surface of the skin and not get into the blood stream?  Blood feeds the skin.

Whatever toxins are seeping into the pores of the skin are also being carried into the blood stream.

And although these toxic flea control drops seemed to work well when they first came out, they don’t seem to be working as well now, a few years later.

Being around other people’s dogs every day, I’ve seen many frustrated owners who have been faithfully using topical flea control monthly only to have their dogs still covered with fleas.

I have read many heartbreaking stories of pets who have had terrible reactions after being treated with today’s most popular chemical flea and tick killers.dog sick from toxic chemicals 

These include:

  • Convulsions
  • aggressive behavior
  • stiffened limbs
  • lack of coordination
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • excessive whining or crying
  • labored breathing

and more.

What Toxic Ingredients to Watch Out For

Many of the products we have been using on our pets for years such as the liquid drops of Advantage, Bio-Spot, and Frontline, to name a few, contain one or more of the following active ingredients:are flea products safe for your dog?

  • Pyriproxyfen
  • Permethrin
  • Methoprene
  • Imidacloprid
  • Fipronil

or inert ingredients:

  • Polyvinlpyrrplidone
  • Ethanol
  • Carbitol
  • Butylhydroxanisole
  • Butyldydroxytoluene

Laboratory testing was done over the course of a decade to determine toxicology and morbidity results.  These tests were performed by:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • Extension Toxicology Network
  • N.A. Pesticide Action Network

and other organizations.

According to laboratory testing and results, Fipronil, which is in Frontline Top Spot and Frontline Plus, is a neurotoxin and is suspected of being a cancer agent to humans.

It can cause kidney damage, thyroid cancer, liver toxicity, high cholesterol, miscarriages or stunted offspring, lack of coordination and difficulty breathing.  Wikipedia explains the toxicity of Fipronil.

This is just one example.  Any of the active ingredients previously mentioned in these products can harm our dogs and cats.

Natural Flea Products For Dogsnatural flea control dogs

So what do you do if you have a flea problem but don’t want to use harsh chemicals found in unsafe flea products on your pet?  There has to be a safe way to get rid of fleas.

There is.  In fact, if you click on this link => natural flea products for dogs you’ll find a natural product made from cedar oil that works great for killing fleas.

The way these natural remedies work is by blocking the octopamine of the flea, which is kind of like its adrenalin, so that it simply can’t function and then dies.

This octopamine blocker is an oil extracted from certain plants which have a natural defense against bugs, and then used as the active ingredient in the product.

Here are some more natural flea products:

Natural Pet Spray for Dogs & Cats - Tick + Flea & Insect Repellant with Lemongrass & CitronellaNatural Pet Spray for Dogs & Cats – Tick + Flea & Insect Repellant with Lemongrass & CitronellaWondercide Natural Flea & Tick Control for Pets Home - Cedar & Lemongrass - 16 ozWondercide Natural Flea & Tick Control for Pets Home – Cedar & Lemongrass – 16 ozDr. Mercola Natural Flea and Tick Defense - A Repellant To Help Protect Your Pet From FleasDr. Mercola Natural Flea and Tick Defense – A Repellant To Help Protect Your Pet From Fleas

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Using natural products keeps everyone safe and happy and gets rid of the flea problem.

What Else Can You Do To Get Rid of Fleas?

A few things may help keep the fleas at bay:what can you do to get rid of fleas?

  • Keep your dog clean with regular baths
  • Run a flea comb through the hair on short-haired dogs
  • Use an undercoat rake to get dead hair off of long-haired dogs
  • Feed high quality food with added supplements
  • Spray your yard with a flea killer
  • Use cedar dog bedding

Whether you use natural or chemical flea products, the main thing is the health and well-being of your dog.

There is no absolute definitive guide to how safe flea products are.  I think it somewhat depends on the individual dog.

Just like people, some dogs are more sensitive to chemicals than others.

I do know, however, the devastation fleas can cause not only to your pets, but also to your family and home.

If you’re struggling with a flea problem, keep trying until you find something that works – for your sake and your dog’s.

Have you found a non-toxic flea control product or compound that works for you?  Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 11 comments
Brenda

I am glad I have not used topical flea products for my pets. Instead, I give my dogs flea medication which they ingest and which I mix into their food. It is basically a tablet which seems to keep those nasty parasites at bay for two or three months. It may last only a month, but I’m not actually the one who administers the medication. I just hear about when it is given to them.

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    dogblog

    Unfortunately, the flea control pills are also chemically based. They do work great and I have used them, but my own dog won’t eat the pill and it smells horrible. My dog will eat anything, so I finally decided she must know the pill is not good for her. That’s why I have been looking into natural flea products that don’t contain foul smelling chemicals that may be harming my dog internally.

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Robert

Even though our beloved pets (pooches and cats alike) are considered part of our family, it does not make them immune to the natural cycle of wild life. So they remain susceptible to parasites like fleas and other funguses which they can so easily pick up when they go outdoors – as they must in order to relieve themselves and to get the proper amount of exercise. I think Heartline makes a good ingestible tablet to prevent fleas.

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Edward

I don’t always trust that the vet is giving me the safest most valuable information I need especially on medications. Look what happed a couple of years back to that news report that came out that your indoor house pet did not have to have a rabies shot every year because they are in the house and that every three years should be enough.

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Scott

If the flea medication is so harsh and can cause so many thing to happen then what doe heart worm medicine do to them? I have given my dog both before and it has never seemed to harm him but that may be something I don’t know until he is gone right? Is there a way to test your animals to see if they would have a harsh reaction to the medication or not?

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    dogblog

    Scott, I’m not sure about the heartworm medicine. I’ll have to do some research to see if there is an alternative way to protect dogs against heartworm. I know heartworm can kill dogs, so if it is something that is prevalent in your area, it is important to protect your dog. As far as flea products not harming your dog, unfortunately, it can happen over time if you are using flea products on a monthly basis. So, as you say, you may not know how it is harming your dog until it’s too late. If your dog is going to have an immediate harsh reaction to a flea product you probably will not know until you actually put it on your dog. If natural flea products work, it is definitely worth it to use them.

    Reply
James

If you are not supposed to get flea medicine on your skin why would you put it on your dog in the first place? I believe the medicine they take orally to fight the fleas is the safest treatment. It is no wonder they tell you to put it on them between their shoulder blades, because that is the only spot the dog can’t reach to lick it off.

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Ernestine

I’d say that the topical flea treatment is’nt the safest way to go and it’s probably very toxic if you don’t want to get it on your skin. If flea treatment like this is so bad for them what does a flea dip do when you have them groomed? I’ve never done that myself but I have friends that get their dogs groomed all the time so I thought I might tell them about this.

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Amber

It all depends on the kind that you get really. If you want something really strong that is going to kill the fleas and ticks then the one that tells you not to get it on your skin is going to be the best and just because it says that about our skin doesn’t mean that the dogs skin is the same. They are dogs and the do react differently to things then people do.

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Kevin

I have an inside dog and the only time he goes out side is to use the bathroom so fortunately I don’t have a problem with fleas. But if I did I believe that I would give him the oral medicine because from the sounds of it the topical stuff seems to be a little dangerous and possibly toxic. This was a very interesting blog and I as a dog owner appreciate it.

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Joseph

This is and should be an important point of interest for all pet owners. And the United States has a huge percentage of people who are dog owners. If what this article suggests is in fact true, could this mean that there are multitudes of dog lovers and pet owners who are unwittingly poisoning their beloved pooches and leading them to a slow or early death? That is a disheartening thought, but one that must be considered.

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