Letters August 1998 Issue

Remedies for Your Flea Problem and More

Natural Flea Solutions

Regarding the natural flea-erradication tactics you published in the June issue: Trying to pick fleas off of my 18-year-old Timber Wolf can be a very dangerous proposition as she regards those fleas as hers to eat! Nor does she tolerate the application of powder or sprays. So what I have done through the years is apply a little caster oil to the base of her tail and above her hips. When the fleas run up over her back and through the oil, it suffocates them. You have to heat the oil slightly and rub it down to the skin with your fingers. I do this two or three times a year, washing off the old caster oil and drying the fur thoroughly before applying the new. She still gets fleas, as we walk through the woods every day, but in a couple of days they are gone.

She also suffers from separation anxiety (also mentioned in the June issue). When I leave the house now I leave the TV on and place a small cardboard box on the floor that she can tear up. This saves the rest of the house and the TV puts her to sleep, until I can return.

“Candi,” a reader’s 18-year-old Timber Wolf, benefits from non-toxic flea control.

-Tom Stewart
Freeport, PA

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I use a number of the preventive measures that you mentioned in “Fighting Fleas Naturally,” but I also do an additional one. Feeding fresh garlic to my dogs helps reduce the numbers of flees that I find. I have three dogs, and each weighs between 70 and 90 pounds. They each get one teaspoon of garlic twice a day with their food. I mix the garlic in a food processor with olive oil. They prefer extra virgin first pressed olive oil. I mix enough oil in to get a paste and start feeding them small amounts in mid-June, the start date for fleas in my part of New England. I slowly increase the amount over a few days until I get to the one teaspoon twice a day. I have gotten success only using fresh garlic. Bottled and dried just didn’t seem to help.

Overall, I’m extremely happy about Whole Dog Journal. I’ve been showing it to other dog lovers, hoping that more people will turn to “alternative” methods first.

-Mark Valery
Billerica, MA

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More Than Expected

I just received my first issue of Whole Dog Journal and I must say it is far more than I expected. It is full of valuable things you should know about your dog. I have a Maltese I love dearly and I always want the best for her. I especially enjoyed “Herbs for Common Canine Ailments” (Volume 1, #4), since I’m a herb grower. I always rub my dog’s fur with penny-royal after her nightly brushing, and I really enjoyed Nancy Kerns’ editorial, “What’s Best for Dogs.” I’m looking forward to each issue from now on.

-Eunice McGarvey
Palmyra, PA

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We Love The Buster Cube

To defend the Buster Cube (reviewed in WDJ Vol. 1, # 3): It arrived at our house by UPS at 5PM. Pepper, a mix we got from a shelter, got very frustrated that first night but the next day had it figured out. A few days later she could maneuver it out of tight places. I put a cup of food in it every day, and one cup in her bowl. She eats it whenever she gets hungry.

I enjoy WDJ; it’s very informative. I was very glad to know about the propylene glycol in treats. We no longer buy that kind. I look at the ingredients in dog food now, as well as our food!

-Darla Terry
Sierra Vista, AZ

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A Better Biscuit?

Your Journal fills a huge void! I can now begin to make my own educated decisions regarding the well being of my dogs. You have already helped me decide on an alternative to antibiotics for my dog’s giardia; the goldenseal worked! (“A Garden of Benefits, WDJ Vol. 1, # 4). In the future, please include suggested dosages when you write about these alternatives).

My only complaint is that you wasted valuable space in your journal complaining about MLM companies! There are retail stores with annoying pushy sales people as well – I find that a simple “No, thank you,” works to halt the pitch. You must have been very annoyed with them!

Keep the important information coming!

-Ava Eskin
Durango, CO

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