While most vets and manufacturers of medications for parasites recommend regular monthly use of their products, I can’t bring myself to medicate my Shelties on the off-chance they might cross paths with these little parasites.
I prefer to do something only when they actually have a problem.
Using this philosophy for a few decades has saved my guys from exposure to a lot of chemicals and I believe, helped to keep them healthy.
Most times, regular bathing and grooming has been the first of the remedies for natural flea control. If you are looking for shampoos specific for fleas and ticks, here are some I recommend, depending whether you want to use insecticide or not
Ticks can get removed by either a tick remover like this handy little guy which scoops it up and holds the tick in the bowl until you run to the bathroom to flush down the commode.
Or there is always the traditional forceps (tweezers). Either way, getting the head out is the goal. So slow and steady is the technique
Living in a house without carpet is certainly a big help and reduces the need for any flea remedy to begin with.
If I do need natural flea remedies, one option is cedarwood oil. A teaspoon of oil to a spray bottle of water, shake often while using and spray on the coat, especially the pants and legs and belly. Protect their eyes while spraying.
There are other essential oils you could add to the mix for a home remedy such as a few drops of:
Catnip Essential Oil which is supposed to be 10 times stronger than DEET for mosquitoes.
Rose Geranium Oil for ticks and mosquitoes.
Then there is the use of Diatomaceous Earth for control of fleas in the home. Make sure you get the food Grade kind.
I came across an old natural remedy for flea, tick and mosquitos. Decided to tweak it a little and make it better. You can find out more about my natural insect repellent here.
Every few years, I have a need to use a spot-on medication. I use the medication for a month, maybe two after which they have served their purpose as a remedy for dog parasites. That's when I discontinue the medication.
Since I don’t use the spot-on medication often, I always get overwhelmed with the choices. I thought it might be helpful to post a chart of some well-known medications. Here is a file of what I have so far.
Living in Oregon, I hadn't been using any heartworm medication either. Since returning to Delaware I've done some reading up on how to naturally control heartworm. I have additional pages on heartworm including using:
If you are interested in finding out the incidence of a variety of parasites for your area, click here. Maybe your Sheltie doesn’t need year round medication to remedy fleas, ticks or heartworm.
Herding breeds have known reactions to Ivermectin, the pimary drug for heartworm prevention, so I test my breeding stock for the MDR1 mutant gene. If they test positive, I inform my puppy buyers.
If you or your breeder have not had your Sheltie tested, there is a possibility of a reaction to quite a few drugs in addition to Ivermectin, so it may be prudent to find out if he would be affected.
As always, I feel less is better when it comes to chemicals of all kinds, including the remedies for all types of dog parasites. It's an ongoing research project to see what alternatives are available. So far, I've found Pumpkin Seeds, Coconut Oil, Papaya Seed and Ginger.
Kelp is another supplement easily found and is good for getting rid of intestinal worms and protozoans (giardia and coccidia)
However, if you are into traditional medication for worms that includes Panacur, Safeguard (same drug as Panacur) and Nemex.Panacur Canine Dewormer 2 gram
If the Sheltie happens to be between 20 and 30 lbs, add this additional packet of Yellow Panacur C - 1 Gram
Safeguard Goat Dewormer is the same as Panacur and Safeguard granules just in liquid form. It is sold for other livestock including goats etc.
Newborn pups are wormed with Nemex 2 at 2,4, and 6 weeks of age.
If you have multiple litters Nemex 2 - 16 oz would make more sense rather than the small 2 oz bottle