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Five Ways to Get Relief from Flea Itching - Naturally

April 09, 2020

It’s always difficult to see your beloved dog in pain and discomfort, and the added stress of medicating pets can add to the worry of pet owners who are dedicated to using natural products and remedies whenever possible. If your dog has been exposed to fleas and is showing allergic dermatitis, we have some tried and tested remedies for you to try at home that will provide relief for your furry loved ones.

What Causes Itching from Fleas?

What causes this condition to occur? When feeding on your dog, fleas inject saliva which contains a variety of histamine-like compounds and enzymes that can cause hypersensitivities and an allergic response. This usually occurs in dogs without previous exposure to fleas or in dogs with compromised immune systems, and causes Flea Allergy Dermatitis.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis is typically diagnosed based on a combination of the following symptoms combined with the pet having an active flea infestation. Symptoms include redness, crusty lesions, fur loss, skin pigment changes, and secondary bacterial infections usually caused by excessive licking and scratching. The most commonly affected areas are the lower back, neck, ears and lower abdomen, though the reaction can spread to different areas over time if it’s not treated.

Eliminating the Flea Infestation

Eliminating the source of the problem (those pesky fleas!) in a safe and effective manner is vital.  We recommend using a product like EnviroPowder which uses a powdered cedarwood and peppermint essential oils to safely kill 100% of fleas within 48 hours of application.

It is also important to treat the symptoms before they worsen and cause your dog further discomfort.

Natural Oral Treatments

While your veterinarian can prescribe topical and oral drugs to help with flea allergy dermatitis, there are several natural alternatives that you can use to relieve the symptoms, calm the skin and improve your dog’s immune system too!

1. Homemade Turmeric Paste

For systemic use, ​Turmeric Paste​ is wonderful and has active agents that target inflammation, pain, and skin irritations. It also fights bacteria and promotes digestive health which in turn will help to strengthen the immune system. The basic paste recipe is simple to make, and includes ground turmeric, water, black pepper and coconut (or olive) oil that is heated and allowed to cool into a paste. The black pepper is vital as it increases the absorption level of curcumin (the active compound in turmeric). A small amount of paste, around 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon, can be added to each meal. It’s best to start with a small amount and see how your dog responds.

2. Quercetin Supplement

Another great supplement is ​Quercetin​, which has even been referred to as “nature’s benadryl”. Quercetin is a flavonoid that is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, but is also available in capsule or pill form which is easier for dosage purposes. It acts as an antioxidant, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory, so can be very effective. You may see Quercetin sold as a combination with Bromelain, an enzyme that helps to inhibit the production of histamine and helps boost the activity of Quercetin, therefore adding to its ability to help treat the itchiness and inflammation that occurs with FAD.

Natural Topical Treatments

In addition to the above, and for more immediate relief from itchiness and skin inflammation, we turn to topical remedies that have been proven to help dogs with FAD and other skin issues related to allergies. Please remember that in order to be effective (and not potentially harmful), topical preparations should not be ingested by your dog. We’ve found it’s best to apply them just before an activity that will distract your pet from licking the area, like before a meal or a walk, so that the product has a chance to absorb into the skin properly. You may have to resort to using a cone, cotton t-shirt or sock on the area if your dog is persistent in his attempts to bite or lick the affected areas.

1. Baking Soda

A very common household product that soothes the skin is ​Baking Soda​, which can be made into a paste or added to bathwater. Baking soda acts as an anti- inflammatory and also neutralizes pH to help balance skin irritation. For the paste, use a 50-50 mixture of baking soda and water, apply to affected areas and leave on for at least 20 mins then rinse off. As mentioned, you can also create a baking soda bath for overall skin relief.

2. Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel​ is another plant that is very effective to reduce swelling, inhibit bacteria and speed the healing process. Different parts of the shrub, including the bark, twigs and leaves are generally included in commercially sold witch hazel tinctures. When applied directly to affected areas, it works quickly to relieve symptoms and helps to promote healing. Witch hazel is commonly available as an astringent in most health stores and pharmacies.

3. Calendula Flowers

Calendula flowers​ (commonly known as pot marigold) are an herbal remedy that every dog owner should have in the cupboard! The medicinal properties of these flowers, including flavonoids, essential oils and carotenes, combine to assist cell reproduction, reduce swelling and inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. Creating a tincture to use as a skin wash is easy, simply make a tea using boiling water and dried calendula flowers, steep for 15 minutes and let cool. This wash can be applied to quickly relieve itchiness and other symptoms of inflammatory dermatitis.

As you have read, these remedies have successfully been used to treat the symptoms of flea bites as well as other allergic skin reactions. Your veterinarian can also guide you into further options if necessary, but If your pet is suffering we hope that your they can find relief with these natural solutions soon!

Jeanette Johnstone
Veterinary Technician, Co-Founder - AMOR Animales de Nosara Rescue



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Flea & Tick Repellent Collar

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Eliminates Infestations

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