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I’ve been making DIY flea repellent because my dog had an adverse reaction to Simparica.
Last June, I dosed Maggie with Simparica. Soon after, she started to regurgitate her food between 30 minutes to 6 hours of her eating it.
I had all the various tests done. The first diagnosis was that she had megaesophagus. I had two more rounds of tests done, and $1200+ later, the vets at VCA said that the first diagnosis was wrong and did not know what was wrong with her.
During that time – she was also going to school, and I heard from the owner that about nine other dogs had similar symptoms.
And it occurred to me that June was typically the month dogs that did limited flea treatment would start dosing their dogs.
I decided right there and then to discontinue giving her flea preventative, and Maggie’s regurgitation went away.
I later researched Simparica’s datasheet and read up on Isoxazoline and decided that flea medication was poison and I was no longer giving that to my dogs.
San Diego has a dry, mild climate and I don’t think we have as many fleas because we don’t have as much vegetation.
Therefore I can turn to natural flea prevention alternatives more easily than, say if we lived in Dog Dad’s home state of Minnesota.
Some of the things to incorporate into their diet is food rich in vitamin A, vitamin D, E, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and omega 3 fatty acids.
DISCLOSURE: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you, and as always I only recommend products I have tried and trust. Maggielovesorbit, Ilovebostons is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
10 drops lemongrass oil
5 drops lavender oil
5 drops peppermint oil
I normally make this when the weather turns warm and by then the coconut oil has turned liquid. If your coconut oil is still firm, you can heat it in the microwave for five seconds.
I put the coconut oil in these amber jars I got on Amazon and add the oil in.
Keep in mind that oil can be poisonous to cats. Even one drop of peppermint oil can cause a reaction in a cat so if you have cats at home DO NOT make this mixture for your dog.
I keep one jar at home and one in my car. I’ve also gifted friends this mixture.
Product quality is an important consideration so be sure to use a high-quality essential oil.
My own personal collection is a hodgepodge of oils that came with my diffuser as well as purchased from Sprouts. And as of the time in writing this – I’ve placed an order with doTerra oils through a friend’s link. This friend happens to own Orbit’s brother and someone I trust as a source for Essential Oils.
There is no single formula for diluting essential oils in carrier oils (like coconut oil). In “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy”, an excellent introduction to the subject, English aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood, Ph.D., recommends adding two to five drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil, which is like 48 to 120 drops per 1/2 cup (or four ounces).
So this means I could add more drops of the essential oil. In fact, my first recipe had a total of 40 drops in four ounces but I found it to be too strong.
And so I’ve dialed the recipe down and haven’t seen any difference in how effective it is.
I notice that my two dogs Maggie and Orbit are less itchy when I apply it to them. They also do not run away from me when I am applying it unlike Wondercide (which I still use sometimes) which causes them to run to corners of the house to hide from me.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid. Fleas naturally know they do not want to be near anything containing lauric acid. They will stay away.
So the coconut oil acts as a flea repellant. If they do land on the oil, it will work one of two ways.
Coconut oil kills fleas. The acid will kill them. And it will hold them in place so they can’t move. The oil will get into their exoskeleton, restricting its movement and breathing – leading to and death.
I’ve seen a flea on Orbit twice now in the past 12 months I’ve been using this homemade DIY flea repellent.
But there are two caveats: I forget some days to apply it. And I’d still rather find the random flea than to dose them with Simparica or any other flea medication which has greater side effects.
We go to the beach every day, so sand sticks to the girls. I brush them out daily and do a very quick 15-second water rinse every few days to refresh their coats.
In the summer – Maggie and Orbit get a weekly bath.
I use a natural medicated shampoo on Maggie right now because she’s recovering from hot spots.
I’ll use that shampoo for a month and switch her back to the shampoo I use for Orbit.
I’ve seen the benefits of a more natural approach to flea prevention with my dogs.
Admittedly we live in a milder climate.
Also, their diet plays a role because fleas are attracted to dogs that eat kibble or high starch diets.
It’s essential to keep a diary to understand how any natural approaches to flea prevention affect your dog.
Keep a diary and track the condition of their:
At the end of the day, your dog’s health markers will give you a clear indication of whether or not you are on the right path.
Let your dog and their health determine what’s best for them.
Thank you for reading this far, dear friends. To your own dog’s health and happiness. Best of luck in your information-seeking journey.
Stay steadfast and curious as you research and form your own opinions on what’s best for YOUR dog.
To report suspected adverse drug events for these products and/or obtain a copy of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) or for technical assistance, contact the appropriate manufacturers at the following phone numbers:
I reported Maggie’s case to Zoetis. They asked a few questions as to:
And they gave me her case number as 2021US46393
Simparica Data Sheet:
FDA Fact Sheet:
Are Chewables Safe?
Video of dog seizures after flea prevention medication
Hello, my name is Hannah, and learning about Boston Terriers and canine nutrition has become my life’s work.
First and foremost I am a dog owner, a Boston Terrier breed enthusiast, and a seeker of the truth.
As a certified Canine Nutritionist, I turn to food to keep my dogs vibrant and healthy and prefer to raise them and myself naturally.
I started this blog because there isn’t enough space to write on our Instagram.
My mission is to equip Boston Terrier owners and dog owners alike with the knowledge I have so that your dog will live a longer life and better health.
I have two dogs. Maggie is my socially awkward one; which I find highly relatable because I am completely out of place in large groups myself. And Orbit is the freebird. She used to have terrible allergies but since she started eating fresh food she’s been symptom-free.
You won’t read about cats here… but you will get a fairly large dosage of articles dedicated to the Boston Terrier. Read more about us.