Pregnant Dog - Flea Protection

by Kim
(Strathmore,AB Canada)

Here is a question about a topic that concerns every dog or cat owner:

Question: Can you use a flea or tick powder, oils or collar on a pregnant dog?

Answer From the Editors at Dog-Spoiling

The short answer to your question is, yes, there are flea products of this type considered safe for pregnant dogs, they just have to be chosen very carefully.

And, even then it's still best to first check out any flea control product you plan to use, with your vet. He is the expert when it comes to giving advice about safety etc., because he has your dog's complete health history and/or knowledge of past allergic reactions to substances.

That being said, we can share with you our opinion about flea treatment during dog pregnancy. First and foremost, we are completely opposed to the use of harsh chemicals such as are found in the spot-on type treatments because the active ingredients in these products are very toxic.

We think the safest approach to flea control in dogs, is to use natural products and remedies and this is especially important when a dog is pregnant with unborn fetuses that need to be considered as well.

You can learn the details of using this type of approach in an article we have written on the topic of natural flea and tick control.

What it boils down to is that once you see a significant amount of fleas on your dog, they are almost definitely in your house, your yard, your pet's bedding and other favorite places where she likes to hang out. This means that you need a multi-step plan to treat all of these flea venues! The article mentioned above will tell you how to go about this.

If, on the outside chance you don't have fleas all over the place and your dog isn't overrun with them, then the first step is to give her a long soak in the bath using a product like Dawn dish liquid. Although Dawn may sound strange, lots of dog owners have used it with great success.

Get the liquid up around her neck and ears first to prevent the head area being used as an escape route for the fleas. After the bath most of the fleas will have drowned, but go ahead and run a fine-toothed flea comb throughout her coat to catch any that may be remaining. When you do this, inspect the comb and rinse out any fleas you find into the soapy bath water.

You'll also want to separately wash all of her bedding at this time.

In between baths, for preventative care, take a look at some of the natural products here, such as the Vet's Best spray which we've had good results with. Or, you can make up a homemade spray containing the natural flea repellent d-limonene. Here is one found in Dr. Pitcairn's book: Steep a whole sliced and unpeeled lemon overnight in a pint of almost boiling water. Spray or sponge the lemon water onto your dog's coat leaving it to dry. Can be used daily to repel fleas.

While your dog is pregnant you can follow the bathing procedure once a week.

Now it's true that natural remedies can also result in allergic reactions with some pets and may also take longer to get results, but we see them as safer and far better options than risking the long term and far more likely dangerous effects of using harsh chemicals.

Dr.Pitcairn dog health and nutrition book
Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to
Natural Health for Dogs and Cats

If your dog does have a severe infestation, you may want to ask you vet about Capstar. This is a pill we learned about recently that the manufacturer says is safe for pregnant and nursing dogs. Apparently, the pill is effective in killing ninety percent of the fleas in about four hours, giving a pet quick relief from the tormenting effect of a bad flea attack. It doesn't have to be repeated unless really necessary, but the weekly bath routine would certainly be a good follow-up treatment to prevent re-infestation.

We don't have any first hand knowledge of Capstar, but we did read some encouraging reviews. Your vet will probably have an opinion about it.

Since you took the time to write us about dog flea remedies, we know you must have concerns about using products that may harm a pregnant dog, and rightly so.

This is a link
to an article that appeared in The Whole Dog Journal that will give you extensive information about the dangers of chemicals used in "Spot-On" type flea formulas.

We hope this information will help you in making the best choices for your dog when it comes to dealing with fleas.

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