By Marthas455 from Claxton, GA
YES it can & it can actually make them sick too! In fact I've been told by a vet that all flea & tick products actually contain a NERVE AGENT! That's how they kill fleas! In my extended family we have a total of 9 cats & we've noticed that ALL of our pets sleep for 1 or 2 days after applying "Advantage" brand topical flea & tick medicine to their necks. This is because the medicine is so strong it actually makes them ill. But you have to weight the pro's & cons... If you don't use it, your pet could very well get heart worm, ticks & other nasty parasites, PLUS your pet & whole household could become totally infested with fleas & then you'd have to use even MORE chemicals!
What I do is use the least amount I can possibly get away with using. I've noticed that with my cat, it still works if I use half as much as is required. I'll then warn my family & tell everyone not to handle or pet our cat for 3 days after applying the Advantage (especially near his neck area). I also like to put our pet outdoors for about 2 hours after applying the meds because the fleas will then jump off outside & not in my house! It's VERY important that your pet has a nice quiet place to rest where he can be undisturbed & sleep all the next day after you apply the topical flea medicine. This is not the time to go on long walks or hikes!
* Many people think it's better to use the herbal or "natural" flea & tick remedies, but they can also be pretty nasty! One reason is because animals have such an amazing sense of smell. These natural products are made from peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil & clove oil & sometimes they also include rosemary, citronella & pennyroyal oil (nasty stuff!) They work because the herbal odor is so strong that the fleas stay away. Can you imagine how strong these natural products can smell to your pet!? Herbs also have pros & cons & they don't always work (especially for heart worm). Use care if you decide to use the "natural" flea products because their ingredients (essential oils) can cause allergic reactions & also cause severe irritation & burning. Also, never apply these oils right after bathing your pet or if he's wet! (because the pores are open & the skin more sensitive)... I know this because one time I made the mistake of applying a natural bug repellent (made for people) on my 10 year old son right after he had bathed & he said "It hurts & burns mom!" (it also turned his skin pink after a few minutes too). I'm glad my son could tell me it hurt, but unfortunately our pets can't tell us!
Some of the least toxic ways to rid your home of fleas is to sprinkle half borax & half baking soda on your carpeting & upholstery. This works because it dehydrates the flea's shell & kills them. This same stuff can be sprinkled then brushed in your dog's fur to kill fleas. This isn't for all pets, with cat's, you don't want them to lick it & with some dogs it can dry out their skin. But it's always safe (for your pets) to sprinkle it in your carpeting... Another no-chemical technique is to comb your pet daily with a flea comb. There's also the technique where you put out a pan of water with a drop of dish liquid in it with a light on top. This attracts the fleas & they drown, a nontoxic "flea trap" Also, put a flea collar in your vacuum cleaner's bag.
Lastly, if you have a real flea problem in your area, you can have your yard sprayed by a professional. They come out every 3 - 4 weeks or so & bill you monthly. Use care when hiring someone like this because my ex-husband hired some of these guys & they actually sprayed when our yard was flooded! This did not one bit of good, but they billed us anyway! We filed a complaint with our state's Attorney General & eventually the company gave us credit because they didn't want to have a complaint in their files, but what a hassle it was! With all this said & done, I still use that nasty chemical flea repellent "Advantage" on my cat because it works so well & I'm allergic to fleas & swell up terribly, so I really have little choice. In Seattle it doesn't freeze enough during the winter to kill our fleas so we tend to have a pretty bad problem with them!
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