NOTE: If you are dealing with a serious flea infestation, I recommend you check out Arbico Organic's full line of organic flea control products. Scroll to the bottom of this post for the link. Also, check out our two favorite natural flea-repelling shampoos: Organimals Pet Shampoo and Wild Woof Dog Soap on a Rope.
With the wonderful warmth of summer slowly spreading itself upon us, also come the inevitable fleas and ticks, especially out here in the country. I think tick season has just about passed... they prefer the cooler weather of early spring and late fall. We were fortunate to find less than a dozen between the three of us (my husband, myself, and our doggie Nissa), thank goodness!
This year we have really been looking for natural alternatives to everything we do, and that now includes our pets. Until now, I had always somewhat reluctantly dosed them up with Frontline, knowing it was not good for them, but without other options. Lyme disease is possible, though uncommon, out here, and with four pets I simply cannot risk a flea outbreak.
I've been doing some research and have come up with what will hopefully be a natural remedy! It turns out that nutritional yeast (specifically the potent B vitamins contained therein) and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (present in large quantities in flax seed) are believed to be natural flea and tick deterrents, by somehow rendering the blood unpleasant to those pesky critters. (And by the way, this remedy is supposed to work on humans as well!).
So we purchased some nutritional yeast from Frontier Natural Co-op (and we will be carrying it soon at The Greater Green!), and with some searching found some milled flax seed at a grocery store in Kalamazoo. The suggested dose of nutritional yeast is about 1 teaspoon per 30 pounds of body weight per day to be mixed in with food. I sprinkle this on my pets' food now, and they seem to actually like it. In fact, nutritional yeast is often a vegan substitute for cheese in some recipes, so it really doesn't taste that bad!
But I came up with an even better way to give Nissa some extra nutritional yeast and flax seed that she loves: homemade dog biscuits! The following is a recipe I came up with by combining a couple of different dog biscuit recipes that I came across, and adding the all-important nutritional yeast. It turns out that flax seed is an excellent nutritional supplement, helping to build a healthy coat, good circulation, healthy joints, increased energy levels, and all-around good performance. I even found a package of flax seed nutritional biscuits that sold for $20! So save some money, and try to make your own instead:
NOTE: I am known for not exactly measuring things when I cook, so these are "guestimates", and feel free to adapt the measurements as you see fit! Also, I choose organic ingredients whenever possible, but of course you don't have to.
1 1/2 cups organic whole wheat flour
1 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/8 cup flax seed (or slightly less, if you have a small dog)
About 6 teaspoons nutritional yeast (or slightly less, if you have a small dog)
1 tsp baking soda
2 or 3 eggs (see how it goes)
1/2 cup or so canola oil
1 teaspoon each of the following seasonings:
organic garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix all dry ingredients together.
- Beat 2 eggs and most of the canola oil together, and add to dry ingredients.
- Using your baking sense, add more oil and one more egg if you think it needs it. I find that the batter resembles that of oatmeal cookies- and in fact, oatmeal might be a good ingredient to add!- still quite thick, but mushy enough to form into spoonful-sized globs.
- On a greased baking sheet, drop the batter by spoonfuls (depending on how big you want your biscuits).
- I bake them for about 25 minutes at 375 degrees, and then another 30-40 minutes at 200 degrees to get them crispy. But you've got to kinda watch them the first time, because our oven thermostat is a little off, and our oven tends to be on the cool side.
My dog loves these! But be sure not to feed too many, just one or two a day, because they are high in nutritional supplements. She now likes these just as much as our store-bought natural Savory Pot Pie Dog Cookies that were previously her favorite.
If you try them, let me know what you think, especially if you have any suggestions or alterations. And good luck keeping those pesky bugs away naturally!
Our favorite two natural dog shampoos are Aubrey Organics Organimals Dog Shampoo, with moisturizing and insect-repelling herbs, and Wild Woof Shampoo Soap on a Rope, also with wonderful and nourishing herbs and oils. Our dogs' coats have never looked better!
And lastly, if you are dealing with a serious infestation, either indoor or out, check out Arbico Organics line of organic flea control products. They are safe, natural, and effective.
Shop Arbico Organics: Click here now and save 10% Actually, as of the date of publication of this post, flea and tick products are 15% off. Cool!