You should examine your dog if you see them acting restless while constantly scratching their coat. They could be infected with grey colored parasites called lice. Unfortunately, dogs can get head lice too.
Don’t worry – these lice are exclusive to dogs and don’t infect people. What you need to worry about is treating this condition immediately. Whether you want to use a natural method or not, continue reading to find out.
When To Use Home Remedies
Nits–another name for these parasites–like to suck blood off of their hosts. The scary part about them is the diseases they tend to carry. So how does infection occur?
It can happen if your dog interacts or plays with a dog who is already infected. A contaminated comb is also another likely source.
For infestations that aren’t too serious, home remedies are highly recommended. A lot of natural substances out there help combat lice infestations.
Assessing How Serious The Infestation Is
The surest way is to go to your veterinarian and ask if the condition of your dog allows for natural remedies. Or you can simply inspect it yourself by checking your dog’s hair. If you see severe cases of infestation resulting in hair loss and wounds, then it’s too late for home remedies.
Call a specialist in cases of severe infestation. Aside from following commercial instructions for treating dog lice, having a specialist ensures a lice free future for your dog.
What Home Remedies To Use
Home remedies for lice are just the same as the ones for fleas–at least some of these. Most have antiseptic and anti-parasitic qualities. Here’s what you should use:
Tea tree essential oil to treat excessive itching. This is usually mixed with the dog’s shampoo. It contains substances that can fight bacteria and parasites. A mix of five drops will do.
Massaging your dog with citronella is a good way to ward off parasites like lice. Mix a half pint of citronella with boiling water and use that for massaging the dog’s coat.
If there are no open wounds, lavender is a good essential oil to apply to your pet’s skin. Using a cotton pad, 5 drops of it should be applied to the area that’s affected. Also, mix this to the shampoo your dog is using.
One toxic food for a dog is garlic. But in this case, there’s a non-lethal dose you can use. Half a clove for small dogs and a whole clove for large ones. I’m not a huge fan of using potentially toxic foods so I’d probably steer clear of this one, but included it for completeness sake.
The medicinal plant artemisia is also a viable option. It has the potential as an insecticide. Use it as an infusion and make sure its applied daily to infected areas.
Don’t Use Multiple Remedies Simultaneously
Keep in mind that the remedies mentioned above should not be used together or simultaneously. For those that require external application (which is most of those mentioned), use only one method at a time.