Standard  Poodles
World Class Blacks
La Jolla, California

Julie Borst Reed
and
Kirk S. Reed
Breeders 

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The Dapper Dog
By Tiara

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Fleas 101

If you would really like the answer as to how to live with dogs and not fleas, know that reading this is just the first step. It is very hard and dedicated work to achieve a flea-free existence in most areas of the world when you live with a dog. If you want the real answers and not just the shortcuts of kibble dog foods fed and chemical toxins placed directly onto your pet, then you won't be wasting your time reading further.  Please know that changing my dogs’ diet to a fresh, raw source did make a huge difference in my dogs’ health.  Parasites are less likely to harbor on or in a healthy host.

Short synopsis to entice you: Just wash your dog and clean the house and patrol the yard. Don't walk the dog out of your environment during the height of the flea season without washing him immediately when returning. Wash the dog regularly and condition well even within the same week. Top showdogs on occasion, are washed many times within a week without damage to the (Poodle) coats. Good shampoos are used two, sometimes three times, on some showdogs each week.  

Tiara D'Aire demonstrates how the show dogs do it.

Keep your environment clean. All laundry washed and put away. All floor surfaces cleaned daily if you need to. Hire help if you need to. 

Aire shows how NOT to help while keeping things clean.

Do not spray any toxins in your home or outdoor environment if you or someone in the home is pregnant or trying to become pregnant, if you have small children or a pregnant or lactating bitch or puppies less than 5 months of age.

 Please use what you can of my experience to benefit your trusting dog(s).

Fleas 101

Instead of using a neurotoxin, such as "ADVANTAGE" directly on your pets, please consider trying the following steps FIRST:

1) Clean, bathe your pet, his bed, his environment at least every 7-10 days thoroughly. The flea egg - to - flea cycle is 10 - 14 days. If your dog has free reign of your home, that means all the floor surfaces, all the bedding he comes near, everything must be kept cleaned each week.  Those 10-14 days is the shortest time it takes for the egg to flea cycle, but fleas may stay cocooned for reportedly a year at a time waiting for the vibration that awakens them that their first blood meal has arrived.

2) Keep your environment free of stray animals (a very TALL fence helps). Keep the yard in lush lawn without bare spots, weeds or tall grasses. Utilize cement runs for the dogs if necessary to give the regular grass lawn a break. If you have acreage, keep the dog in a smaller, easier to monitor area most of the time. Give the big runs on the acreage the day of or
preferably just before their bath, especially during the height of flea season.

3) Remove carpet and/or bark mulch from your pet's environment. Cement in any cracks in low decks, cement under taller decks, cement between bricks if that is a patio, consider sealing bricks and cement - keep all floors and stuffed furniture very clean. You must clean the entire floor surfaces of your home including the cracks where the wall meets the floors. Items that may be piled on the floor need to be removed and the floor cleaned where possible. Do not permit clothes to be piled up or anything in the way of your cleaning under beds. The goal is all floor surfaces save for under a tight, to-the-floor cabinet, MUST be accessible and able to be cleaned (vacuumed, mopped whatever is needed). These are all places that flea larvae flourish. Make it difficult for them! These are also all the places the Boric Acid Powder or the Precor need to be placed if treating the environment (see suggestion # 6 below and consider BEFORE resorting to the direct chemical to the pet solution).

4) Walk your dog on pavement only. Avoid streets where lawns are not perfect. Keep your dog's head out of shrubs and off and away from sandy-soiled yards. Cat "hangouts" or a place you suspect a skunk or opossum to be are most likely hotbeds for flea eggs/larvae and the dreaded cocoons. .. These can hatch in an instant once they feel your pet's vibration of walking where the flea is cocooned . . .

NOT a good place to sniff!
Bebe (Tiara Bonita Mia) knows it, too.

5) Learn details about the life cycle of the flea. The larval stage is the most vulnerable and your target. They eat skin cells, bits of food, and etc. deep in your carpet or the cracks of your flooring. They also flourish in wood shavings, semi-bare spots in the yard's turf or around shrubs. Cracks in cement or brick patios are also safe havens for the flea larvae. They HAVE to have the right temperature to flourish and the right amount of moisture too. Study, know your enemy.

6) If you still have carpet and pets, have Boric Acid Powder placed in the carpet and stuffed furniture. You can do this yourself or hire someone. There used to be a successful company here called Flea Busters that would guarantee this more holistic flea infestation preventative treatment of your home for a year.  

Another, more harsh chemical treatment, Precor can be used, IF you still have carpet and are not yourself pregnant and if there are not small children, young puppies or pregnant/lactating bitches and you feel that you could tolerate a bit of stronger chemical in your environment (especially if you still have carpeting – ugh – why do you still have carpeting?) spray your environment AFTER doing all the above steps 1-5, spray: all floor surfaces, under beds, closet floors, etc. and all yard areas, garage, etc. with this chemical called Precor. This is best done by a professional exterminator. Do not vacuum afterwards for several days. Let the Precor work those larvae! Same with if you put down the Boric Acid Powder, do not vacuum for a few days. You may find that you need to do this environment treatment only once or twice a year if you keep the dogs clean and out of flea hotbeds. April and September are good months to start and then only in September when you get a handle on this. Consider limiting the dog to areas of the home without carpeting.

7) Accomplish ALL the ABOVE, and if the project is still a failure and you can not move to a safer location or renovate the existing premises, THEN consider a small dose of Advantage as the very last resort. Make certain to wear gloves per the instructions on the label, as it is a neurotoxin and can cause convulsions in sensitive people or pets. Try the small cat dose on your dogs first. It may work! My holistic vet suggests this as the last resort in flea “control” if all the steps thus far do not work for you, he recommends you consider the lowest dose available for cats. This is not to be used on young puppies or nursing/lactating bitches ever. If that small cat dose does not work, then go to the larger cat dose. .. . Better to dose every 4 weeks with the cat dose than at all with the dog product. Better to actually work on caring for your pet better by keeping them protected from a flea infestation in the first place by working to keep their environment clean and non-hospitable to fleas. But alas, not everyone has the same priorities.  Do not reapply one of these types of products to your pet EVER until you may see a flea.

8) If you still can't get the fleas under control, something is wrong in your execution and most likely your environment is being compromised by an outside influence. Fleas do not migrate except on host mammals. The flea eggs fall to the ground off and around their hosts. Check your yard(s) that your dog regularly uses with a flash of light (and perhaps a hose handy) in the middle of the night. Chase any varmint or stray cat intruders and do this anytime you happen to get up in the middle of the night and have the determination to protect your environment from flea infestation. Do this with no routine or rhyme or reason as to when the lights go on. Intruders soon find another yard. Caution: do not be too demanding if the intruder is wearing a black suit with some white stripes. Skunks, opossum, rabbits and stray cats are the biggest threat to penetrating your environment and bringing in a new batch of fleas. Fence well and patrol.

Now, I know all of this is hard work, because I have done all of this for the love of my dogs and to avoid the chemicals applied directly to my dogs. I have never had to place toxins on my dogs either in a topical application or a flea dip and at all times, I am living with a half dozen dogs.  Please note: most human shampoos kill fleas because most of the products have a mild detergent. Actually most shampoo products have more detergent in them than my dogs' shampoos I use! Doc Ackerman's Orange Crème Shampoo is one of the most delightful shampoos. I use it regularly on my dogs and recommend it.
 

Lovey bathed, pretty and flea-free!

I live in a flea hot spot with perfect weather/moisture for the larvae to flourish. I was able to stop spraying the Precor once a year, when I started to feed my dogs a raw diet. As a last resort, even if you are against the raw diet, at least get the grains out of your trusting carnivores and consider the new EVO kibble diet perhaps. Raw feeding is just a step away and is available everywhere meat is sold.  ;)

Study and achieve the best in:

Diet for Your Dog & Environment Cleanliness –

ALL before placing that nasty set of chemicals on your beloved pet. Please. Please don't just take that shortcut.

For the Dogs,
copyright Julie Borst Reed, 2005
Tiara Standard Poodles
The Dapper Dog by Tiara
La Jolla , California , USA
Permission Granted to Forward with Credit

 



    

    
    
    


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