Fleas | A Holistic Approach

Fleas have arrived – your dog’s (as well as yours) enemies are here! Are you angry or frustrated and asking yourself, how did this happen to us? Are they from the hedgehog in the garden, the neighbour’s cat or perhaps that scruffy dog in the park? These thoughts can drive you crazy!

Fleas and flea control

Fleas have different strategies to ticks when it comes to landing on their host. As soon as a young flea hatches she starts looking for a host. Fleas notice vibration and body heat and as soon as the potential host approaches they’ll jump straight on, bite and then feed on the blood whilst being hidden in warm fur.

When I decided to develop a flea repelling product I wanted it to be safe, not only for our dogs and us but also for the environment. Commercial repellents contain synthetic ingredients that repel fleas and insects, however, many of them have been linked to skin irritation, negative respiratory effects and rashes. They also have a negative effect on bees, fish, birds and the environment in general.

If you’re like me and you don’t want to expose your dog, yourself and the environment to more unnecessary chemicals, you reach for the essential oils. Not only do they smell nice but they’re also effective against insects, fleas and ticks. When we use natural flea and tick treatments on our dogs, they need to be reapplied more often but why? The reason is that the active ingredients in essential oils tend to be highly volatile and, as a result, they may only be effective for shorter periods of time. Because of this, frequent reapplication is often necessary.

Insect Repelling Citrus Spray

Insect Repelling Citrus Spray is 100% natural and has a refreshing, bright and fresh aroma. The high-quality essential oils used in this spray are intolerable to fleas, mosquitos, horse flies, wasps and even ants. It’s suitable not only for dogs but also for large animals and humans.

Lemon essential oil is one of the best essential oils for fleas. Its strong smell and powerful active ingredients can repel not only fleas but also flies, midges, mosquitos and ants. Grapefruit essential oil smells delightful and repels insects, particularly fleas. The bright and sunny, spirit-lifting aroma of sweet orange essential oil is not pleasant to insects at all (unlike us ).

Can fleas live on humans?

Although different types of fleas prefer different hosts, they all bite humans. Yes, they do and it happened to me once. I didn’t catch it (I assume there was only one) from my dog but I think I picked it up on a packed bus. And I didn’t actually see the flea but my belly started itching and on closer inspection, at home, I had about a 2” diameter patch of quite a few tiny bites!

“Getting rid of fleas is not easy. You have to treat not only your dog but your whole household too.”

Can fleas live on humans?

Although different types of fleas prefer different hosts, they all bite humans. Yes, they do and it happened to me once. I didn’t catch it (I assume there was only one) from my dog but I think I picked it up on a packed bus. And I didn’t actually see the flea but my belly started itching and on closer inspection, at home, I had about a 2” diameter patch of quite a few tiny bites!
I quickly took my clothes off and they went straight into the washing machine. Then I jumped into the shower. I assume the flea/fleas died in the washing machine or I flushed it/them off in the shower because no one else experienced any bites afterwards.

How do you know if you have fleas?

You should check your pet regularly for fleas. The easiest way is to open the coat and look for them, their bites or their dirt. Flea dirt looks like a sprinkling of black pepper. You might also notice your dog scratching more frequently. A flea comb is a very good tool to use as well.

If you’re moving house, renting a room or staying in a “suspicious place” where you’re worried about fleas, do the sock test. I’ve never tried it myself, so I can’t tell you how accurate it is, but it has been recommended as a good method to try…

Put on a pair of white cotton socks and pull them up to your calves. Walk around the room or house and if there are adult fleas present they’ll likely jump up and catch a ride. Because fleas are attracted to heat, shuffle your feet to create warmth on the floor and you’ll see them as brown/black specks on your white socks if they’re around.

Where do fleas live in your house?

Depending on the stage of their life cycle, fleas live in different conditions.

Flea Eggs: These are laid directly on your pet’s fur every day and the fall spreads wherever your pet takes them. This means that flea eggs can end up in your bedding, furniture and carpets. If you have a cat, then even on your table or shelves. They go everywhere!

Flea Larvae: The larvae are loners and prefer dark, narrow and dusty spaces that give them more protection. This is why they’re hard to find and get rid of and mainly why flea treatments often fail.

Adult Fleas: These only live and hide on live hosts such as cats, dogs, rodents and other furry mammals. As well as the occasional human… You can find them outside and they like shady humid places. If your furry friend wanders into these places on hot summer days, he’ll become an easy snack bar for fleas for sure!

How do you get rid of fleas?

Getting rid of fleas is not easy. You have to treat not only your dog but your whole household too. Regular and thorough hoovering is also necessary because apparently, this kills up to 96% of adult fleas. If you’re worried about the remaining 4%, get a professional flea fumigation booked ASAP.

The pupae and larvae are resistant to most of the pesticides used in flea control. And in fact, researchers recently found strains of fleas that are immune to popular pesticides such as fipronil as well as others.

Diatomaceous earth and bicarbonate of soda are popular DIY methods and cause fleas to die of dehydration. Bathing your dog helps too, even if you don’t have a special flea shampoo. Be sure to leave the lather on the coat for at least 5 min. This will trap the fleas before rinsing off. Regular bathing helps to keep the flea population in check. And if your dog has fleas you’ll be able to see them easily while shampooing. If you use a high-quality shampoo you don’t have to worry about dry skin or other issues either.

When it comes to fleas, the popular saying, prevention is better than cure, applies. It’s definitely easier, cheaper and less worrying.

Where to find our expert!

Jitka Krizpva started Vita Canis from the simplest desire to produce 100% natural aromatherapy products that have a useful purpose for both dogs and their owners. Her personal belief in living an environmentally friendly lifestyle is a key driving force in how she runs her business and this is at the core of all her products.

For More Information: https://vitacanis.co.uk

Download the K9 app for FREE!

Check out some of our related articles!

Canine Lymphoma

As a vet it is never a nice feeling to have to tell an owner that you think their pet might have cancer. Dogs suffer from a variety of different cancers just like humans do. And some are more treatable than others.

Read More »

Dog First Aid

Not many dog owners know that dog first aid is ‘a thing’. If you have a baby and something happens you can ring 999. Experts will help you perform first aid over the phone until paramedics arrive who take charge and then transport your baby to the hospital if necessary. Unfortunately, pets do not have that same luxury.

Read More »

Jitka Krizpva started Vita Canis from the simplest desire to produce 100% natural aromatherapy products that have a useful purpose for both dogs and their owners. Her personal belief in living an environmentally friendly lifestyle is a key driving force in how she runs her business and this is at the core of all her products.

For More Information: https://vitacanis.co.uk

Check out some of our related articles!


Enrichment is defined as ‘something you add to your dog’s environment that they choose to interact with and that has a positive impact on their psychological or physical well being.’

Read More »

Thyroid Disease in Dogs

The thyroid gland is an almost mythical part of the body
that everybody knows exists but nobody is quite sure where it is, what it does and what happens when it goes wrong.

Read More »

Download the K9 app for FREE!

Download the app for FREE to read more great articles!

Sign up to our newsletter to receive a monthly email with the latest from K9 Nation!

Privacy Policy

Protecting your data is very important to K9Nation Limited (“K9Nation”, “us”, “our” or “we”). This policy, together with our Terms and  conditions, sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by K9Nation.

It applies to your use of the website www.K9Nation.uk, the associated ‘K9Nation’ mobile application (together, the “Platform”), all communications between you and us and (unless expressly provided otherwise) all agreements entered into between you and us which involve the collection by, or disclosure to, us of personal data.

Information we may collect about you.

We may collect and process the following data about you:

  • information that you provide by filling in forms on the Platform. This includes information you provide at the time of registering (including, but not limited to, your name, telephone number, address and email address) or at any subsequent point;
  • if you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence;
  • your responses to surveys you choose to complete on the Platform from time to time;
  • details of any photographs, comments, posts, or other information you post on the Platform;
  • device-specific information (such as your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifiers, and mobile network information); and
  • details of your visits to the Platform (such as the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from the Platform (including date and time); page response times; page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the Platform).

Information we may collect about others.

We may collect and process data about others that you provide us with, including (but not limited to) information that you provide by filling in forms on the Platform. You represent and warrant to us that you have obtained the express consent from the individuals whose data you provide us with.

For the avoidance of any doubt, any reference in this privacy policy to your data shall include data about other individuals that you have provided us with.

IP Addresses

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration. This is statistical information about our users’ browsing actions and patterns, and may be linked to an individual user through other information that is held by us or publically available.

Cookie Policy

The Platform uses cookies to distinguish you from other users. This helps us provide you with a good experience when you use the Platform and also allows us to improve the Platform.

Please note that it is possible to disable cookies being stored on your computer by changing your browser settings. However, the Platform may not perform properly or some features may not be available to you if you disable cookies.

For detailed information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them see our cookie policy.

Where we store your personal information.

The data that we collect about you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”), including the USA. It may also be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our service providers. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing.

Your passwords are stored in K9Nation’s database in encrypted form. We do not disclose your account details, postal or email addresses to anyone except when legally required to do so. We will only hold your information for as long as is necessary for the purpose we collect it for, or for such additional time as may be required by law or any relevant regulatory body.


Sensitive information between your browser and the Platform is transferred in encrypted form using Secure Socket Layer (SSL). When transmitting sensitive information, you should always make sure that your browser can validate the Platform’s certificate. It is your responsibility to keep your password secure.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although K9Nation will do its best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to the Platform, any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try and prevent any unauthorised access.

How we use your information.

We use information held about you (and information about others) in the following ways:

  • to provide you with our services;
  • to reply to requests for information or any other kind of request as indicated by your correspondence;
  • to provide you with information about other goods and services we offer that are similar to those you have already purchased or enquired about;
  • to allow you to participate in interactive features of the Platform when you choose to do so, including interaction with external social networks and platforms;
  • to improve the Platform and ensure the content on the Platform is presented in the most effective manner for you and your computer or mobile device;
  • to administer our Platform and for internal operations ,including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes;
  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising served to you on the Platform; and
  • to notify you about changes to our service, the Platform.

Disclosure of your information

We may disclose your personal information to any business partner, sub-contractor or supplier of K9Nation for the performance of any contract we enter into with you, and/or a member of our group.

We may also disclose your personal information to third parties:

  • in the event that we sell or buy any business or assets, in which case we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets;
  • if K9Nation or substantially all of its assets are acquired by a third party, in which case personal data held by us about our customers will be one of the transferred assets;
  • in order to enforce the Terms and Conditions and any other agreement between you and us; or
  • if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation or to protect the rights, property, or safety of K9Nation, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations.

Marketing communications and your rights

By registering for an account on the Platform, you give your permission for us to use your personal data for marketing purposes in relation to our products and services. You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data by contacting us.

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right to access information held about you by submitting a request in accordance with the act and is subject to a £10 administrative fee. All such requests should be sent via our contact form.

Changes to this policy

Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page, and where appropriate, notified to you by email.

Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy policy are welcome and should be addressed via our email address: hello@k9nation.dog

Cookie Policy

We use cookies and similar tools on our website, www.K9Nation.uk, and the associated ‘K9Nation’ mobile application (together, the “Platform”) to improve their performance and enhance your user experience. This policy explains how we do that.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files which a website may put on your computer or mobile device when you first visit a site or page. The cookie will help the website, or another website, to recognise your device the next time you visit. We use the term “cookies” in this policy to refer to all files that collect
information in this way.

There are many functions cookies serve. For example, they can help us to remember your username and preferences, analyse how well the website is performing, or even allow us to recommend content we believe will be most relevant to you.

Certain cookies contain personal information – for example, if you click to “remember me” when logging in, a cookie will store your user identifier. Most cookies will not collect information that identifies you, but will instead collect more general information such as how users arrive at and use the website.

The cookies we use.

At the date of the last update of this Cookie Policy, the list below represents a comprehensive list of all cookies set on the Platform, but please note that the cookies we use are subject to fairly frequent change. The purposes of the cookies in use, as described below will not change without this policy being updated. However we may not update this policy every time the identity of a particular cookie or the party setting the cookie changes.


Category: Strictly necessary

Party: BorrowMyDoggy.com

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses cookies to enable the essential features of the website, such as the navigation system, signing up for the service, subscribing, verifying and messaging.


Category: Analytical /  Performance

Parties: Amplitude, Hotjar, Segment, Google Analytics, Optimizely, Improvely

Purpose: These cookies are used to analyse data from users’ visits in order to help us improve the service or create and analyse content tests to allow us to optimise the experience for future users.


Category: Functionality

Party: BorrowMyDoggy.com

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses functionality cookies to improve the experience for its users. For example, to save users from having to remember their username, we use a cookie to remember this information.


Category: Advertising

Parties: Google Adwords, Facebook, DoubleClick, Affiliate Window, Improvely

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses paid advertising in order to recruit new customers. These paid advertising channels will set cookies so that we can measure the effectiveness of this advertising.

Can you block cookies?

It is possible to block cookies, although remember that if you do choose to disable cookies, you may find that certain sections of the Platform do not work properly.

More detail on how businesses use cookies is available at http://www.allaboutcookies.org.

If you have any queries regarding this Cookie Policy please contact our Privacy Officer at hello@k9nation.dog