Dog Wellness | The Enzo Combo – the natural way I keep fleas outta my fur

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Nothing us dogs hate more than those evil, pesky, disgusting fleas. But the chemicals in flea treatments are darn scary. Fear not, dogs and dog lovers. Cause I’m gonna tell you a natural way to keep fleas outta our fur. Yep, my herbs, oils and homeopathy defeat those evil fleas. Grrrr!

So, me and dad have done a bunch of experimenting on me–Enzo, the guinea pig/lab rat/spaniel–and
have come up with a combo of natural stuff to use and things to do that trounces the fleas. It’s been almost two years since I’ve had any topical chemical treatments on my skin, and I indeed don’t have fleas. So if the Enzo Combo works on me, I bet it’ll work for your pooch too.

No Toxic Chemicals On Me

If you’ve ever read the warnings that come with the topical flea treatments such as Frontline and Advantage, you know they’re pretty darn scary. And if you start goggling dog forums, there’s many tales about adverse reactions to flea protection products.

fleas on canine scratchingToxic chemical pesticides have been known to cause immediate health crises in some dogs and cats, and perhaps worse, these chemicals can circulate and accumulate in dog’s bodies, doing unseen damage to vital organs that may go undetected for years. And then there is the damage these chemical residues can do to children and the environment.

happy dog - enzo flea fighting combo photo©GregoryMancuso.com

 

My aim is not to raise your fur with fear, but to tell you there are natural alternatives that work just as good or better. And some of this stuff even contributes to making a beast healthier overall. Yep, the Enzo Combo is easy and inexpensive and good for dogs too.

The Enzo Combo Basic Principle

The basic principle to keep in mind is that the healthier the dog is, the less attractive the dog is to fleas. Being the creeps that they are, fleas tend to prey upon weaker canines more than the strong ones.

In our noble battle against the feisty flea, it is most important to make the skin and coat as healthy as possible. Yep, those evil fleas hate good skin and fur. It’s akin to doggie armor. A great way to build up the armor is by gobbling up those wonderful Omegas.

Slurp Up Fish Oil To Build The Doggie Armor

The first ingredient in the Enzo Combo is fish oil because it’s a great source of essential Omega 3’s and 6’s fatty acids.
Those wonderful Omegas, along with their DHA and EPA cousins, are about the best thing a dog can slurp up to create a healthy skin and coat. And remember them despicable fleas hate healthy dogs.

The fish oil I use is Wholistic Pet’s Deep Sea Salmon Oil. My dogged research uncovered that this oil is one of the best out there. It’s high quality, human-grade salmon oil from fresh-caught salmon–wild, not farm-raised. The salmon come from the cold waters of the North Atlantic and are free of pollutants and heavy metals.

For a spaniel my size, 45 lbs, they recommend a half teaspoon, but I get a whole teaspoon squirted into my dinner (it helps my joint arthritis).fish oil for dogs I recommend getting the pint size which is pretty economical cause it’s a four month supply at a cost of $22. I found the Animal House has this good price here.

Besides helping to fortify the doggie armor for its battle against fleas, check out all this other good stuff fish oil helps support: Cardiovascular health – Brain function – Improved immunity – Improvement in inflammatory conditions – Increased bone strength – Relief of dandruff and dry, patchy skin – Increased joint mobility – Reduced cholesterol. Wow, that’s a lot of good stuff. And it tastes good too.

.Vitamins Are Vital For Canine Vitality

Vitamins for us dogs are as essential as they are for people. For puppies, vitamin supplementation can help ensure that they get the vitamins needed for healthy tissues, strong bones and teeth, and overall good health. For adult dogs, vitamins can help make sure that they are always healthy and in top form.

And for aging dogs, who tend to eat less and as a result absorb fewer nutrients including vitamins and minerals, and at the same time, lose more of them through the kidneys and urinary tract, vitamin supplementation becomes essential. Antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, and E can also help eliminate free radicals and toxicities from the body. This may help slow the aging process and may prevent diseases such as cancer.

Only Natural Pet Super Daily Canine Multi-Vitamins are one of the best canine vitamins out there and they have a most yummy liver flavor too. A medium sized dog like me, takes two daily. I eat one in the morning and one at dinner time. So you get about a five month supply in the container, it costs $40 and you can get it here. canine vitamins

I’ve been getting good stuff from the Only Natural Pet Store for years and I give em a four-paws-up recommendation. They have a bunch of good holistic care products, good service over the phone, and I find the user reviews below their products can be a treasure trove of useful info too.

So the fish oil and vitamins will help build up the beast and get us strong and tough and less desirable to fleas. And now that we got a healthy doggie armor going on, it’s time I tell you about more ammo we can use to blast the insect enemy into submission. Yeah!

Homeopathy For Me –  Fighting Fleas With Fleas???

Ok, I know, this ingredient in the EnzoCombo sounds real goofy. But you can indeed fight fleas with fleas. A itsy bitsy bit of flea, that is put into a teeny weenie homeopathic pill. The scientific homeopathy term for bits of flea is “Pulex Irritans”. I won’t delve into the ins and outs of homeopathic principles here, but I’ll mention a saying in the homeo world that follows Aristotle’s theory–“like cures like.”

Like this stuff works! It does in me. It sounds weird but there’s something about taking a tiny bit of flea internally that makes other fleas not like to be around you. Which is a-ok with me.

Most homeopathy stores have this stuff or can make it. homeopathy pills for dogs, pulex irritansIf you’re in the Los Angeles area, my favorite homeopathic place is the Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy   A lot of the people there have dogs and they can recommend other homeo concoctions to help lots of canine problems. The humans there a very nice, smart and they give excellent belly rubs when I drop by.

So you wanna get “Pulex Irritans 30c”–the 30c is a dosage strength. The first week take one pill a day. The second week, take one every other day. Then I do two per week. As with all homeopathy things, you should take the pill in what they call a “neutral mouth”. Which just means to not eat food for at least 15 minutes before or after ingesting.

The Pulex doesn’t even cost much. I’m still using a bottle I bought last year and I think it cost about $15 for 200 pills.

Another thing I take internally is something that’s probably already in your home–garlic.

Garlic Wards Off The Horrible Blood-Sucking Vampire Fleas

When a dog eats garlic, a faint smell, which humans can’t perceive, is excreted through the skin and the pesky fleas hate the scent. Probably because fleas are like horrible, blood-sucking vampires. In case you think you might need to give your dog a breath freshener, don’t worry, your dog’s breath won’t smell like garlic.
If you have a medium or large dog, use one clove. Use half a clove for small dogs. Just chop up a raw clove and mix it in your dog’s food. Or if you’re kitchen-challenged like my dad, just scoop up half a teaspoon from a jar of minced garlic. We get a big jar from the market for only $4 and it lasts about a year. Cheap, easy and natural. That’s my mutt motto.

That does it for the internal elements of the EnzoCombo. Now we add the external element to complete the defenses.

Shields Up – Ancient Oils & Herbs Repel Modern Fleas

Essential oils, such as Neem oil, have been used for hundreds of years as natural insect repellents. The smart folks in India were the ones to figure this out. These essential oils and a combination of herbal extracts comprise the main ingredients in the two natural concoctions I use to repel fleas.

natural herbal flea repellentAnother good thing about the oils and herbs is that they also repel ticks, mosquitoes, and other annoying insects. It’s win-wins all over the place.

One of the products I use is called Scratch. It’s made with a combo of oils, tincture and essential oils. The base oil is Neem and Grapeseed. The tincture is Quassia. The essential oil blend is Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Sage, Lavender. And no toxic chemicals!

Scratch comes in a small bottle with a dropper. We put a drop at the base of my tail, the middle of my back, and top of my head. Dad puts a few drops on his hands and lightly rubs some on my belly and legs. We put a few drops on my collar too. We usually put it on twice a week. Since it washes off in water, it is re-applied after I go swimming or take a bath.

We get Scratch from a site called Canine Natural Cures.  It has a bunch of great natural and homeopathic products for dogs. The queen of the site is Frances Gavin and she is super smart about all kinds of homeopathy/canine stuff and she even answers my emails when I have questions. Here’s one of the fine articles she’s written at her site “Farewell To Fleas”.

natural insect repellent for dogsOnly Natural Pet Herbal Defense Spray is the other repellent I use. It has a lot of the same oils and herbs that Scratch does and a few different ones like Pennyroyal and Catnip. Since Herbal Defense Spray is in spray form–we spray it on stuff. Like my beddings and car blanket. Wherever you think those sneaky fleas may be lurking now or in the future.

Before we go to places where we anticipate flea, ticks and mosquitoes might be plentiful and planning an assault–like hiking in the woods or the Venice dog park in the summer–I get a few extra sprays on my coat. And my humans spray some on their pants legs, socks, shirt, etc. Yep this stuff is safe for peeps too.

Scratch can be fetched here. It costs about $8 and it usually lasts me about a year. Defense Spray can be dug up here and costs $14 and is about a year’s supply. See, this natural approach is even cheaper than buying those topical treatments.

Be Ever Vigilant With Them Varmints

No system is perfect, even the Enzo Combo, so you should be ever vigilant for them little varmints making sneak attacks. I have a flea comb and we use it to check my coat once or twice a week or if I start scratching. If you see a flea, grab your spray and blast the fur a couple of times.
Here’s a good description of flea comb usage from my friends at Only Natural:

The ultimate weapon in the battle with fleas is the Flea Comb. It is the best method to discover whether fleas are present. Comb through your pet’s fur and gather a bit of hair and dirt. Then put this between two damp white paper towels and press them together – if the “dirt” creates rusty reddish spots on the paper towel, then a flea has been there (the dirt is actually flea feces).

If you keep combing (especially around the tummy and tail), you will likely trap some of them in the comb. Drown them in SOAPY water – fleas have been known to jump out of plain water. Flea combing may sound tedious, but it is very helpful while you are working on your companion’s health and taking environmental action.  

If you’re finding more than a few fleas in the fur, then there’s a simple, natural solution to destroy the creeps–hop in the tub and take a bath.

Just Hop In The Tub

A couple of times, during the height of summer flea season, the creeps sometimes get past my defenses and put up a fight. But I don’t freak out. I just growl at ‘em and hop in the tub and take a bath. Being the dirty, disgusting, pigs that they are, fleas hate soap and it kills them. Yipeee!

You don’t need a special flea shampoo. Any regular dog shampoo will do the trick. I like the Dr. Annie line of shampoos. Dr. Annie is my vet and has the Eastern/Western approach to mutt medicine down cold. She gives me acupuncture treatments, does house calls, and is real pretty so I can’t help but give her lots of kisses.

Dr. Annie canine shampooThe shampoo that I like the best is the Furfection Aloe and Oatmeal Shampoo. My skin is kinda sensitive and this one works well for me. Dr. Annie has a bunch of other cool canine stuff at her online store and her Animal Wellness Center in Venice. You can fetch the shampoo here.

If The Enzo Combo Worked For Me, It Can Work For You

I used to have a real tough struggle with fleas and would have to get dosed with Frontline every four, or sometimes, even every three weeks in the summer time. And, like I uttered earlier, I haven’t used any topical stuff for almost two years now. And the fleas ain’t biting me. Woo-hoo!

So go forth and give the EnzoCombo a try and I wish you much luck in your noble natural battle to defeat the pesky flea. Arf!

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