Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Flea Market Has Come to Town

Well, today I had an interesting experience. Reba (on the right) has lived here for about 11 years and Malone (on the left) for 6. That entire time we've never had a flea or tick issue...that is, until today.

I'm very particular about keeping the pups tidy since they're indoor guys and used to be very diligent about rubbing them down with a lavender wipe whenever they would go outside. Fleas hate lavender and this simple wipe down keeps the pups clean and eliminates the worry of bringing critters in the house that don't belong (: I guess I should have continued that little habit.

The one thing my furry low-riders miss is a good roll in the grass. I know, I know. It's their way of leaving an "imprint" to announce their presence to the world, but I'd rather keep them clean. Isn't that selfish!

Well, a few days ago I had a lapse in judgement. I knew better, especially since I've been lax on the lavender wipes, but Miss Reba was so wanting to roll around in the dirt and for some reason those pouty little eyes got the best of me. When she started to dig I let her go to town! Her tiny wiener body whirled from side to side and those petite dachshund legs were reaching for the sun...she was a sight! Malone wasn't quite sure what to think (:

After Reba's romp, I dusted her off and we headed inside. She immediately was given a brush down (should have used the lavender wipes instead of a brush!!) and we went about the rest of our day. Fast forward a few days....I started noticing my sweet girl itching. Just once in a while, mind you, but scratching of any kind is very rare for her. I didn't think much about it and continued working until I saw this one lone flea right in the middle of her white blanket!

Oh no...I hope this is just ONE hobo flea that hopped a ride on the wiener express from our last walk and not a family moving in for the summer. And the search was on! I checked her fur and sure enough there were more! Fleas!! What in the world!! And into the tub she went...bless her heart (:

Thank goodness there was a great shampoo on hand! After her bath I added water and a few drops of lavender and tea tree essential oils in a spray bottle to create a carpet spray. The perfect thing to apply after each run of the vacuum. I washed and dried their pet beds and placed dried lavender bud sachets inside to ward off any fleas that might want to take up future residence (: Being proactive it essential!

So, lesson learned...no more grass rolling for these little ones and I'll be using those wipes again!! If you find yourself hosting a flea market in your home, give natural methods a try. Here are some steps to help get rid of those unwanted little guests should they make an appearance:

**The use of essential oils is only for dogs. Essential oils are dangerous for cats and should never be used with them**

1. Find a good natural flea shampoo with lavender or tea tree and wash your dog on a regular basis...I prefer at least once a week.

2. A flea comb is essential when you are in attack mode. The extra fine teeth will trap the fleas and lift them out of your pet's coat. Dip the comb in hot soapy water after each stroke to kill the fleas and rinse with cool, clean water.

3. Mix 10 drops of lavender essential oil in 8 oz. of water to make a spray that can be used on carpets, pet beds or any area where your furry ones visit often.

4. Vacuum and clean the floors regularly especially where your dog sleeps to kill any unseen developing fleas. Remember to do areas like under beds, around base boards and window sills.

5. Wash your dog bed in hot, soapy water and then dry on high heat. Adding 10 drops of eucalyptus or lavender oil to the wash will act as natural flea repellent.

6. Steam cleaning the carpets is about the best thing you can do because the heat kills the eggs that might be lurking. I do this once a week because I'm a little bit of a clean carpet freak (:

Good luck!

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