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How To Safely Protect Your Dog From Fleas This Season!

The Truth About Flea Medication

As an animal owner most of us have been taught that flea medications, topical or external have little to no harmful implications. We are constantly told (especially for those living in Texas) that these products are absolutely necessary and if we decide not to do them we are actually putting our animals at risk! Interestingly enough its quite the contrary.  
These medications contain an abundance of toxic ingredients, some that are even life threatening. The good news is that you do not have to choose to put your dog at risk for toxicity or fleas as there are wonderfully safe and natural alternatives to these medications. 

What Is In Flea & Tick Medication?

Most of these medications contain the active ingredient Imidacloprid. In laboratory studies Imidacoprid has been found to increase cholesterol levels in dogs, cause thyroid lesions, create liver toxicity, and has the potential for damaging the liver, heart, lungs, spleen, adrenals, brain, and gonads. As a neurotoxin, it can cause in-coordination  along with labored breathing and muscle weakness. 

 When this drug was tested after its introduction in 1994, researchers found an increase in the frequency of birth defects when it was tested on rats, mice and dogs.

In the Journal of Pesticide Reform, author Caroline Cox exposes thyroid lesions as a result of exposure to imidacloprid.

 Most people think that the pyrethrins (naturally occurring compounds from the chrysanthemum plant) and pyrethroids (the synthetic counterpart) are less hazardous than other tick and flea preventive ingredients.

 Data from pyrethroid-based insecticides was recently made public through the Freedom of Information Act and analyzed by the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity  (CPI). According to the CPI, from 2002 through 2007, at least 1,600 pet deaths were related to spot-on treatments with the above mentioned ingredients reported to the EPA. That was nearly double the reported fatalities linked to flea treatments without pyrethroids.

The pyrethroid spot-ons also accounted for more than half of the "major" pesticide pet reactions including brain damage, heart attacks and seizures. Non-pyrethroid spot-on treatments accounted for about 6 % of all major incidents.

 Bio Spot Flea and Tick Control, Defend EXspot Treatment and Zodiac FleaTrol Spot On all contain either or both of the active ingredients Permethrin and/or Pyriproxyfen.

Permethrin has been implicated as a carcinogenic insecticide causing lung cancer and liver tumors in laboratory animals. There is also a suspicion that it disrupts endocrine function. 

 It can act as a neurotoxin, causing tremors as well as increased aggressive behavior and learning problems. Vectra #D, the new guy on the block, contains 36.08% Permethrins.

As a result of all this newly revealed information in the CPI's report, the EPA in April 2009 announced it was taking a closer look at all spot-on flea and tick products. The EPA is also taking action to address uncertainties about the so-called 'inert' ingredients present in these products.

" In response to more than 44,000 potential adverse reactions to spot-on flea and tick products reported in 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency is intensifying its evaluation of these products. No recalls have been issued at this time. The AVMA will continue to maintain contact with the EPA and monitor the situation, and updates will be posted as they come to our attention." To see the EPA's statement, including a chart of products,
Breaking Down The Cycle 

If you picture a population pyramid of fleas as a representation of the relative numbers of the various life stages that exist at any given moment, the bothersome adult fleas that  bite and cause problems would be only the very top, about 5% of the total.

 The broad base of the pyramid is the vast number of eggs, 50% of the total population. These are laid both on and off the host animal, and are awaiting proper conditions to hatch and begin a new generation. The next major population segment is the larvae (35% of the total), which emerge from the eggs and feed on debris and organic matter in carpets, soil, or in cracks and baseboards. 

Then, above these, a relatively small segment of the total (10%), are the pupae, suspended in a cocoon that seems impervious to all control efforts, natural or otherwise. 

The obvious plan of action is to kill the larvae. Most conventional, toxic flea treatments target the adults who are the most bothersome. 

How To Naturally Get Rid Of Fleas Indoors & Outdoors

Let's start with the outdoor environment first. If your animals spend a fair amount of time in a grassy yard, there is a biological control that can be used to prey on the flea larvae in the soil. 

 A nematode, which is a tiny worm, is applied via lawn sprayer, and, within 24 hours, brings about a 90% decrease in the number of flea larvae.

In Austin, there's ANTidote, which preys on fire ants as well as fleas! They're sold through pet stores and garden suppliers, like The Natural Gardener.

Nematodes have no adverse affect on anything but the pest, and they have the side benefit of helping in the garden against cutworms and grubs. As with all biological controls, the predators need to be reintroduced periodically, because they eat all the prey species and die off for lack of food. Follow the label instructions, which usually recommend wetting the soil well before application, to give the nematodes a good start.

For controlling your indoor environment Diatamaceous Earth is a great non-toxic choice for killing the flea larvae indoors. Start by sprinkling the powder evenly through your carpet, on dog beds or anywhere your pet hangs around. Make sure to leave the powder for 24 hours and then vacuum it up. If your problem is severe do several times weekly to stay on top of the hatching larvae. You can also spread the diatamaceous earth through your dogs hair to control the hatching! 

Another great product for topical flea control is Cedarcide. Cedarcide is an essential oil based product that works by paralyzing the exoskeleton of fleas and other critters. Cedarcide makes a topical spray that can be used daily as a preventative before outdoor activity. Cedarcide also has a yard spray that prevents fleas and many other insects including mosquitoes.   

Parasites Only Prey On The Weak


Feeding your dog a species appropriate raw diet is so incredibly vital to your dogs health as it assists the body's ability to thrive. Staying away from processed foods like kibble will help keep your dogs immune system in top shape. Essentially, a healthy immune response depends on a healthy diet! A healthy diet helps prevent an array of issues including fleas. When dogs are fed a species appropriate whole food diet their immune response is in optimal shape. When dogs are fed processed foods like kibble, their bodies shed yeast from the carbohydrate dense foods and they become very attractive to parasites. 


Limiting our dogs exposure to vaccinations or refraining from them altogether is essential in maintaining a solid equilibrium of health. If our dogs have a healthy functioning immune system and are in balance, they will not attract parasites. Over vaccinating or annually vaccinating decreases your dogs natural ability to fight disease. Over vaccinating causes a myriad of imbalances in the body due to the heavy amount of toxins added into vaccines. So what do you do in place of that? The answer is simple, immune supporting supplements! Those include products like medicinal mushrooms, Peak immune by Glacier Peak Holistic or Transfer Factor by 4life, all of which we can assist you with.


Everyday you and your pet are exposed to an array of different toxins like household cleaners, lawn chemicals, conventional flea & tick control, non purified water, chlorine in pools etc. Limiting their exposure by being  more conscious with the produ cts you're bringing into your home, will have a tremendous impact on their health. Using all natural household cleaners, switching to natural yard care, giving your pet only filtered water etc. will be a huge step in helping maintain the health of your dog and preventing them from getting fleas or other parasites.  

So What Is The Next Step? 

Come to Bark Avenue! There are an abundance of ways to prevent disease in our animals. There is no need for harsh and toxic medications!

Here at Bark Avenue we truly believe that food acts as medicine. If used properly, it can heal the body and provide the upmost source of health and vitality. We carry many different super foods and supplements. We are always excited to talk with our customers about nutrition and health. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to come talk to us! 

Thank you so much for being a customer here at Bark Avenue!
 We are very grateful to be a part of your furry companions health journey. 

With Love,
Kiana & The Bark Avenue Team

Source: Dogs Naturally Magazine, pestasides, 
Congratulations Tammy!

Tammy Doak, one of Bark Avenue's owners has just completed her certification as a Small Animal Naturopath and a Carnivore Nutritional Consultant! 

We are so excited for Tammy as she has been working on her certifications for the past 5 years! 

To set up a Wellness Consultation, contact Tammy at or you can reach her at 817-656-2275.

            What's New At Bark Avenue?          
Answers Cheese Bites

Answers has just released their first cow cheese treats! A Super tasty and healthy treat for your dog.

    Harbour Hound

  Harbour Hound
bone broth is back
in stock! Come and get  yours today before  t hey are gone!


Small Batch                             

Small Batch has just
 released a 5# chub formula in Chicken, Turkey and Beef!
 We currently have beef and
 turkey in stock. If you are 
interested, please contact us and have us special order it for you! 

June Promotions!

Horizon Pulsar
  • $7 Off Large Bags
  • $5 Off Small Bags

Instinct 85/15 & Signature Frozen Raw
  • $3 Off 3lb
  • $4 Off 4lb
  • $6 Off 6lb

Steve's Freeze-Dried Food 
  • 15% Off 

K9 Natural
  • 15% Off Entire Line 

Herbsmith July 4th Calming Supplement
  • 20% Off

My Perfect Pet
  • $3 Off (Excludes Bulk Boxes)
Bones & Co.
  • Free 16oz Goat Milk With Purchase Of (1) 6lb Bag of Bones & Co. Frozen Or (2) 3lb Bones & Co. Bags
Peach Tree Hill Goat's Milk
  • 16oz - .50 Off
  • 32oz- $ 1.00 Off
  • 64oz- $ 2.00 Off

20% Off 14oz Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Dr Will Falconer has written the e-book, "Vital Animals Don't Get Heartworms".  
It truly is a life-changing way to look at heartworm prevention.  Click on the following link to get your copy today: 

Tammy & John | Bark Avenue Market & Bakery | 817-656-2275 | |