Holistic Approach to Flea & Tick Prevention

Last year the FDA released a warning about the side effects from certain flea and tick preventatives. These side effects include seizures, muscle tremors and loss of balance. Scary, right? 

Since this warning, I have received hundreds of requests from around the country asking for a safe and natural flea and tick control for cats and dogs. The problem is: I don’t have one. At 5,300 ft above sea level, Boulder, CO doesn’t see a lot of bugs. This year, I have seen 2 fleas and 1 tick while examining animals. That’s 3 parasites total in 9 months. Even if I were to prescribe natural flea and tick prevention for my patients, I would not be able to measure it’s effectiveness. 

So, I reached out to holistic veterinarians in other parts of the country like Florida, Texas & New York to see what’s working for them. These are places with legitimate parasite infestations. Here is what they had to say:

  1. Dr. Clay Bernard is a practicing veterinarian in Austin, Texas at Even Flow Holistic Vet. Here is Dr. Bernard’s protocol:
    • Environmental Management. Nematodes (tiny worms) and diatomaceous earth applied to the areas in your lawn and garden can prevent infestations. 
    • For your pet, he recommends using a flea comb to remove fleas manually 2-3 times per week and applying Wondercide daily. 
    • For heavy infestations or flea allergic animals, Dr. Bernard uses chemical flea medications. He recommends his patient take liver protective herbs and supplements 7 days before and after the application. 
  2. Dr. Michele Yasson is a holistic veterinarian in New York at HolVet with decades of experience. This is what she recommends:
    • Dr. Yasson recommends doing regular visual monitoring with a flea comb for your cat and dog. 
    • Topical products with neem and lavender spray (2 drops of oil per ounce of water with a drop or two of dish soap per bottle).
    • For severe infestations use Frontline with a Seresto Collar.
  3. Dr. Trish Kallenbach practices at The Healing Place in Crystal River, FL where fleas are alive and active all year round! Here are her recommendations:
    • Cedarwood oil solution (10 drops per ounce of water) can be applied to both pets and the environment once to twice daily.
    • Cedarwood mulch is a helpful deterrent for landscaping. 
    • For moderate infestations, Dr. Trish uses Revolution and for severe infestations, she recommends Nexgard.

I would love to hear what’s working and what’s NOT working for you! Let me know, along with your location, in the comments.

With love,
dr. angie signature boulder holistic vet


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2 thoughts on “Holistic Approach to Flea & Tick Prevention”

  1. I’m in Florida. My cat is indoor only so it’s rarely been an issue for her, but I’m wondering about the recommendation to use essential oils. I thought their organisms are unable to process that?

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