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

  1. Your information is so timely. I am taking Bodhi, my cat, to a vet on Saturday for possible flea infestation. My husband and I have both been serving as flea meals for the past several nights. Coming from Colorado, fleas are the last critters I think about, but living in Washington is a whole different scene. I do not believe Bodhi is infected, but would prefer to have a professional opinion. I am not familiar with the flea comb, but will be purchasing one on Saturday for future use. I am concerned about the treatment, if needed, and will be talking to the doctor about the options. Bodhi is an indoor kitty, but the tech I spoke with says fleas are able to get indoors through cracks, etc.. I cannot thank you enough for your information. Hope you are feeling well.

  2. 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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