Advice about dogs... — The Bump
September 2015 Moms

Advice about dogs...

We live in the country and have been having a recurring problem with fleas which I'm embarrassed about. Today when I was out shopping with my son we saw a flea on him and I was so embarrassed/upset. 
I'm a type A clean freak and we have 2 dogs and 2 cats, all before our son. One of our dogs has nipped at him a couple times and they make such a mess I have to vaccume everyday. we've treated them with frontline repeatedly but I can't help but feel I can't stay ahead of it. we've started to consider rehoming them because of their need for more exercise and attention and my lack of time to provide it along with some behavioral issues. 

Does anyone have any advice on getting fleas out of a home without using strong chemicals?

Any advice of rehoming dogs? please spare me the "how could you get rid of your fur babies" speech, I feel bad enough considering it and my baby comes first. 


Re: Advice about dogs...

  • Sorry you're having to deal with this and make this tough decision! We have a 11-year-old dog who had a very hard time adjusting to our little one and has aggression issues, so there was a point where I had to contemplate rehoming him. It's such a tough decision! In the end, we decided to keep our pup but have to keep him separate from our kiddo due to the aggression issues. The dog has the run of the house downstairs (he's kind of a loner anyways) and we are upstairs with LO. Then we hang out with the pup after LO goes to bed, during his two naps, and the pup sleeps in the bed with us at night. So while it's not perfectly ideal, for us it was a better option than rehoming considering his aggression issues - I doubt he would stay in another home for long and at his age, I just want him to be happy for the remainder of his life.

    As for the fleas, I don't have any actual experience, but have you tried the ingestible flea medications (pills/chewables)? I know my vet uses this kind of flea/tick protection now and because it's ingested, I'm assuming it would work better than a topical medication. I would definitely try this option out first, and hopefully it helps the situation! Are your pets outdoor or indoor pets, and are they boarded a lot? Do you know where the source of the fleas is coming from?
  • Thank you @jen83mn for responding, this is such a stressful situations. they are indoor and outdoor and they must be getting them outside. they are social and wouldn't tolerate being separated well :(
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  • Definitely try out the ingestible flea medicine and talk to your vet - totally worth it if it does the trick!
  • I second the oral flea meds. That's what we use and it really helps. 
  • In the home you can use a natural essential oil spray. Take pepperment oil.  Add a decent amount to a spray bottle full of water.  Pests hate the pepperment. I am embarrassed to say my daughter ended up contracting lice at school. She was in first grade and all coats and bookbags get hung in one community cubby in the class. We washed her hair with it and sprayed the house with this mixture.  You can bath the dogs in it also to prevent it from coming back.  It works to prevent them from coming back too. It also works to keep out spiders  and stink bugs. 
  • missliz53missliz53 member
    edited November 2016
    I don't know of any non-chemical ways to get rid of fleas. But you have to treat your entire house too because they hang out and lay their eggs in carpet fibers/fabrics, ect. And the eggs are extremely resilient. Anything you use has to kill the eggs too or they will just keep coming back. Have you had the pets treated for tapeworms? Fleas are a host for tapeworms so if they have fleas, they probably have tapeworms too and people can get those. 

    As for the aggression: we have been dealing with this as well and brought in a trainer who specializes in dogs and kids to evaluate our situation. Many times, normal dog behavior and normal kid behavior don't mix well. If you can afford this and are willing to put in the time, I highly recommend it. I have never left DD alone with our dog, but we practice much more active separation now using baby gates and treats to set our dog up for success. So when they are interacting, DH and I are in between them, we don't allow them to interact in situations where our dog might be uncomfortable or grumpy and we have short training sessions where we reward her for looking at DD, anytime DD does something scary, and for looking, then walking away from DD (you want the dog to glance and continue with whatever it's doing, not stare or watch them). I completely understand the lack of time or just plain energy: toddlers are an immense amount of work.  

    If you feel that rehoming them is a better option for you, try contacting a local rescue or ask family and friends, don't put an add in the newspaper or on Craig's List, or if the dog is from a breeder, ask the breeder if they will take him/her back. You could also let your vet know the situation because sometimes they will have a client who would like a dog. You will probably not be able to find a home that will take both dogs or a rescue that will promise to keep the dogs together, so rehoming the dog with the nipping and keeping the other may be an option as well. 

    Edited to add that in normal dog behavior: the recessive dog is always the one to approach the dominent dog and you can use this to your advantage. For example: if Gertie is on the chair and I want her to get off, I don't go to the chair and pull her off or try to pet her, instead I use a treat to have her get off the chair and come to me. It's the same thing with petting. If I want to pet her, I have her come to me. If she has something that I want, I toss a treat away from the item and pick it up when she goes for the treat (and yes this works if she steals raw hamburger off the counter, but the treat I swap her for has to be something really good like a piece of chicken or cheese. 
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