Can feeding a raw diet prevent fleas?

How good health can fend off pesky fleas

Conventional flea products are known for serious side effects, such as seizures. Sadly, with almost every chemically-based product, there are reports of fatalities. This is one reason why so many dog lovers look for safer natural alternatives and why I often get the question: "Can feeding a raw, natural diet prevent fleas?"

Fleas are ectoparasites, which means that they live on the skin's surface, similar to lice or ticks. As a holistic veterinarian, I've seen a marked decline in the overall flea infestation of my patients after they switch to a balanced raw diet and essential natural supplements.

So, is a raw diet a cure-all, including for fleas? Of course not. A good diet is the fuel for your dog's body, but it would be a mistake to think that a raw diet can prevent fleas completely. It happens less often, but it still happens!

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Fleas are smelly, dog-loving, sugar junkies

There are two main reasons why dogs that eat processed food have higher rates of flea infestation.

The first is fleas love sugar highs and kibble diets cause severe spikes in blood glucose levels, which attracts fleas. This phenomenon can be compared to some people attracting mosquitoes more than others. It is the skin and body chemistry that makes a difference.

The second reason is that fleas are attracted to animals with stronger odors and less healthy skin. Everyone who feeds a raw or homemade cooked diet will agree that the 'doggy smell' disappears in the vast majority of dogs after a few weeks of eating wholesome food.

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Fleas have power in numbers

As I said above, some dog lovers worry their dog is sick when they find fleas, but that's not always the case.

Several years ago, my previous dog Skai and I visited an old family friend. One of the reasons for our visit was to comfort her over the loss of her canine companion. We had a lovely visit, except that it wasn't only my friend who was missing her dog. The dog's fleas missed him too and they were HUNGRY!

Within 24 hours of our stay, I found at least 50 fleas on Skai. There was no way Skai's immune system could fend off such a flea army. At that time, FleaHex was not available and I had to use a conventional product. It was also one of the reasons why we created Fleahex®, an all-natural alternative for fleas.

Dogs are less prone to fleas and other parasites if they are healthy, however, there is a tipping point when even a healthy dog will get fleas and you'll need to deal with the infestation.

Check out FleaHex®, our all-natural flea control product for dogs! 

Recommended reading:

10 wild and crazy facts about fleas and dogs

What flea products are the safest - orals, spot-ons or washes?

Flea product toxicity reports and natural flea product breakthrough 

© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM



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