Greyhounds are VERY sensitive to many medications. They have a low percentage of body fat, so medications can travel through their systems faster, and in more potency. Traditional flea medications (Advantix, Frontline, BioSpot, Adams etc) are toxins. Be very careful in what you choose to use on your hound for flea and tick prevention.
I’ve found many natural methods to help with flea and tick prevention. And prevention is a good thing. I like using Organic Neem Oil spray for when I travel. When I live in Florida I use natural essential oil sprays around the yard, house and animals. I also use Diatomaceous Earth. Fabulous stuff to put on the dog directly, put in food and put everywhere in your home – rugs, baseboards etc. – to keep destroy the nasty critters, naturally. It’s also a natural wormer when given daily in food for a month. One tablespoon – FOOD GRADE only.
And of course, there’s always checking for fleas and ticks daily. They are easy to find on greyhounds. Look in crevices on their body – between and around toes, in the anal area, around the tail to body area, behind and in ears, in arm pits etc.
Here’s some more ideas for natural flea protection.
NATURAL FLEA & TICK REPELLANTS
1. Neem…. Neem products work well. It’s an herb. You can spray the pet spray directly on the dog (nontoxic if eaten), you can shampoo w/ the shampoo or add a few drops neem oil to regular shampoo, you can mix neem oil & water & spray around the house, you can attach it to the garden hose for the yard, you can even use it as a supplement for killing the fleas from inside out. You can also put neem oil on the back of the neck like you would frontline, but you have to reapply weekly.
2. Lemon/Rosemary: Recipe: Take one lemon and slice it. Place it in a large bowl add a few sprigs of rosemary to the bowl.
Pour a kettle of boiling water over it. Cover with a towel. let steep overnight. Strain into a squirt bottle. spray liberally over your dog each time you go out. Can spray on your feet too. Refrigerate mine and discard after one week and make a new batch.
3. You can make a tea out of Eucalyptus leaves to spray the house and yard. Take a bunch of Eucalyptus leaves and pour boiling water over them & cover the pot. Let them steep and cool and then strain and put in a sprayer & spray the whole house & yard.
4. You can also use diatomacous earth sprinkled inside & outside the house. It punctures the fleas shell and dehydrates them & is totally safe. Just don’t inhale it when you apply it because it is a dusty substance. It is safe to let the dog on it right after you apply it. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth can be given to dogs as a natural wormer.
5. Beneficial Nematodes……these can be purchased form an organic gardening store. You put them in the yard and they eat the flea larvae.
6. LymeDyp for Ticks…..For a particularly heavy infestation. The dog can be dipped in lymdyp, a natural dip made form Sulferated Lyme.
7. Garlic….adding a little garlic to the food is said to keep away parasites. Please check w/ your vet re: safe amounts of Garlic to feed for flea control.
8. Most importantly, keeping your dog healthy and on a good diet will make him/her much less attractive to fleas & ticks.
Natural FLEA Dog WASH – Add 40 to 60 drops of Eucalyptus Oil to soapy washing water and wash dog – reputedly rids fleas.
To stop the cycle of eggs (usually in carpets) ….. Sprinkling Borax Powder over carpet area in house and dog and cat beds, shake out, and vacuum carpets within a few minutes of coating carpet. Put some Borax in the Vacuum bag also. Repeat as often as needed to stop eggs/fleas.
Various Recipes for Bug Repellent using Avon Skin So Soft
Skin So Soft is not sold by Avon as a Bug Repellent. These recipes were provided by Avon Customers and are not approved by Avon Products Inc.
We don’t generally have a bug problem here, but for my horses (and I’m sure it would be safe for greyhounds too) I use the following bug spray:
- 1 cup Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 5 cc citronella oil (this is from the health food store, an essential oil – NOT the citronella oil that you burn in lanterns to keep bugs away)
Mix it in a spray bottle. Straight SSS works great on mosquitoes too.
Have tried a mixture of l/4 Skin So Soft, fill the mister w/water, add 20 drops each of pennyroyal, eucalyptus and citronella (this is from the health food store, an essential oil – NOT the citronella oil that you burn in lanterns to keep bugs away). Shake up. Spray. Me and the dogs. This *worked* for mosquitoes and black flies
This recipe was posted years ago on the Greyhound-l list:
All Natural Insect Repellent (safe for sighthounds and non-toxic)
- 1 Cup Avon Skin So Soft
- 2 Cups White Vinegar
- 1-3 Cups of Water* (depending on strength needed) *In the woods, use 1 Cup Water, in the backyard use 2-3 Cups
- 1 Tbsp. Herbal Repellent “Shoo” OR Citronella (this is from the health food store, an essential oil – NOT the citronella oil that you burn in lanterns to keep bugs away) OR Eucalyptus Oil. Mix together, put in a misting bottle, and spray dogs as needed.
From: “Alisa Bonnette” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This recipe has been passed around the PWD-L. It’s used by a couple of breeders that I know in New England that tend toward holistic and homeopathic remedies. One adds lavender oil as well, as recommended by her homeopathic vet.
Organic Anti – Tick, Flea, Mosquito Recipe (from the Tick List)
Ingredients are full strength, organic (not synthetic) oils (Important! NEVER put undiluted oils directly on yourself or your dogs):
Tea Tree Oil. Rosemary Oil. Sage Oil. Cedarwood Oil. Peppermint Oil. Sweet Orange Oil. Eucalyptus Oil. Citronella Oil. Carrier Oil – Almond, Jojoba.
Shampoo: Mix 4-6 drops each with 32 oz of any natural shampoo and you have a natural flea shampoo
Repellant: Mix 2-3 drops each with 16 oz of (not chlorinated) water in spray bottle – shake before each use and spray lightly over entire body.
Repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, flies and makes the van smell great. Can spray on blankets, beds, too. Good for people & dogs.
From: Stacy/Golightly Greyhounds <golightlygreyhounds@JUNO.COM>
BioSpot is permethrin (a synthetic knock-down pesticide) combined with an Insect Growth Regulator. Permethrin is not specifically dangerous to greyhounds, but it is a potent chemical in its own right. It’s not safe to use on cats. They make a BioSpot for cats – but it’s got a different formulation. It’s a suspected carcinogen. Click here for an article about the dangers of Bio-Spot.
Frontline is fipronil, which is relatively harmless to mammals in the short term. It’s classed as a suspected carcinogen.
Advantage is imidacloprid, which unlike the other two is not a known or suspected carcinogen. As far as can be determined, it’s harmless to mammals in both short and long term.
If your problem is fleas, I’d recommend Advantage. If fleas and ticks are a problem, I’d go with Frontline. BioSpot is not something I’d use, but there are greyhound owners who use it and are happy with it. Don’t use it on your cat (unless you buy the cat formula.)
Don’t bother with Revolution – it says it kills ticks, but if you read the fine print it kills only one species of tick and that species is not a big disease vector in most areas. The ones you worry about: deer ticks and Lone Star ticks are not bothered by Revolution. From the feedback I’ve read on various lists, Revolution doesn’t do a very good job at eliminating even the limited number of parasites is *says* it can get rid of.