Flea and Tick Treatments That Don’t Work

There are lots of flea and tick medicines out there.  You can put a topical product on your dog to wipe out the fleas and ticks, or you can use an oral medicine.  However, some people rely on old remedies to try and control the fleas and ticks on their dog.  These remedies do not work and may even endanger your dog.  Here is a look at the more popular home remedies that fall into this category.

  1. Dish Detergent. Some people wash their dog in dish detergent to try to kill the fleas.  While it will kill some fleas, it does not kill them all.  It also doesn’t kill the larvae or the eggs.  In a few days, the dog will have fleas just as bad as before you treated him.  He will also have dry, irritated skin because dogs have a different pH than humans do, and the soap is formulated for humans.
  2. Garlic. Some people feed their dog powdered garlic, often mixed with brewer’s yeast.  They think that the dog will ooze this smelly mixture out of their sweat glands and repel fleas and ticks.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  Dogs sweat very differently than humans, and the mixture does not come out of their sweat glands.  It doesn’t repel fleas, either.  In fact, too much garlic is poisonous to dogs.
  3. Alcohol. No, not that kind of alcohol. This is rubbing alcohol.  It will kill fleas and ticks, but it is bad for the dog.  Some of the alcohol is absorbed through the skin and can make the dog very sick.  Instead, drop fleas and ticks into a cup of alcohol to kill them without endangering your dog.  If you dump alcohol on a tick that is still attached to the dog, it will spit out its toxin and make matters worse, not better.
  4. Cedar oil. Some people put cedar oil on their dog’s bed, and on the dog, to repel fleas and ticks.  While it may repel a few pests, it may kill your dog.  Cedar oil is a skin irritant.  In fact, it is so strong that some dogs get skin problems from sleeping on a dog bed stuffed with cedar shavings.  Worse, too much cedar oil can be consumed when the dog licks itself clean after the oil has been put on him.  The cedar oil can cause liver damage and lung problems. The risks of this remedy outweigh the rewards of using it.
  5. Kerosene.  Over a hundred years ago, veterinarians advised people to soak the dog in kerosene to kill the fleas and ticks on the dog.  Kerosene does kill fleas and ticks, but it can kill your dog, too.  Your dog may experience vomiting, drooling, eye and skin irritation, and difficulty breathing.  Depending on the dose of kerosene, your dog might go into a coma or even die. Never use kerosene on a dog.

Home remedies may seem tempting because they are often lower in cost than remedies you get at the veterinarian’s office.  However, it is important to discuss any remedies you plan to use before you use them and find out the hard way that they cause bad side effects in your dog.