It’s that time of year again…flea and tick season. Instead of reaching for chemical spot-on preventatives (which can do more harm than good), why not prevent your dog or cat from being bugged in a more natural fashion? Believe it or not, a number of common ingredients can be used to fend off fleas and ticks — and they might already be in your fridge or pantry!

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Is there anything ACV isn’t good for? Because of its acidity, this ingredient is displeasing to fleas and ticks. That said, its acidity also makes it a too bit harsh to apply directly to your animal’s skin, so be careful! Instead of applying it undiluted, you can use ACV to make your own homemade bug spray using the following recipe:

  • 4 cups distilled water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons aloe vera
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint castile soap

Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and apply liberally to your animal’s coat as needed.

YEAST

Brewer’s yeast is another ingredient with high acidity, which makes it a great weapon against fleas and ticks. It also contains many vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, B vitamins, and antioxidants. You can add this ingredient to your pup’s meals — just be careful not to give him too much as it’s known to cause gas. Roughly one tablespoon per day for a 50lb dog is recommended.

LEMON JUICE

No discussion about acidity would be complete without a mention of citrus! Combine equal parts lemon juice and water and spritz your dog (and yourself) to combat fleas and ticks. Don’t use this blend on cats – they tend to not like lemon.

No lemon juice on hand? Boil some orange peels and use that water instead…once it’s cooled, of course.

ALMOND OIL

This nutty oil contains sulfur, a natural tick repellent. Just put some on your palms and massage it directly into your animal’s skin and coat to keep biters at bay. He’ll also reap the additional benefits almond oil has to offer – it’ll moisturize, condition and help reduce skin inflammation!

HERBS

Common herbs like rosemary and mint are a great way to flavor your favorite dishes…and fend off bugs! Boil the leaves from these herbs and allow the water to cool before spraying it on your animal’s coat..

Why are spot-on flea and tick products so dangerous? Visit animalwellnessmagazine.com/spot-on-flea-tick-preventives to find out!