Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Do All Natural Flea and Tick Products Work?

My boy, Sammi
If you're at all like me, when it comes to flea and tick prevention, you feel trapped between a rock and a hard place.  You want to protect your furries from the agonies of their bites and all the diseases that are spread by these pesky creatures.  But at the same time, you're not all that comfortable, if at all, about putting chemicals on your beloved pets.  There are many so-called effective, all-natural flea and tick remedies available these days, but do all natural flea and tick products work?

This summer, I'm on a mission to find out whether Only Natural Pet Store's "Easy Defense" Flea & Tick Tags really work.  If you follow my blog, you know I have six dogs:  Ripley the Blue Heeler mix, Shasta the Hound mix, Sammi the Beagle mix, Cookie the German Shepherd mix, Andie the herding-type mix, and Franki the Black Lab/Dalmatian mix.

Living in a place that's hot and humid every summer means the dogs need protection most of the year.  Many veterinarians recommend year-round flea and tick prevention in many parts of the world, including my own.  But I've never followed that advice, because I wanted to minimize my dogs' exposure to the strong chemicals found in the most popular preventative treatments, such as Frontline, K9 Advantix, Revolution, and Biospot.

(and Cookie in 
the background)
Earlier this year, I got an Only Natural Pet Store catalog in the mail, which is where I first saw the Easy Defense Flea & Tick Tags.  Because they offer a money back guarantee, I decided to put my doubts aside and try them.  I know it's hard to believe a simple tag could keep fleas and ticks off anything. But a 15% discount, in addition to the guarantee, gave me the extra push I needed. Plus, if you buy 2 at a time, you save even more money (about $7.50 per tag).  

According to Only Natural Pet Store, the "Only Natural Pet EasyDefense Flea & Tick Tag is a safe, chemical-free way to keep harmful pests off of your pet. Using state of the art holistic technology, the EasyDefense Tag utilizes your pet’s own energy to create a natural barrier to pests. There are no chemicals or pesticides involved. It is completely safe for pets and humans in the household."

And you needn't be scared off by the price tag ($59.99 per tag or $104.99 for 2 tags) because they last for up to three years.  If you've been buying name-brand flea and tick drops, you know that you can easily spend that much or more on just a 3-month supply!

Sweet Shasta
SO! ... I wanted to know if these tags worked, first and foremost.  But I also wanted to know how well they worked compared to the traditional chemical products.

This summer, four of my dogs are wearing the Easy Defense Tags (Shasta, Cookie, Andie and Franki).  For the other two, I'm using a generic form of Frontline Plus (Ripley and Sammi).  Because the directions on the box advise that the tags can take up to three weeks to begin working, all of the dogs were treated with the generic drops at the beginning of the season (March).

So far, at the end of June, I've seen no fleas on any of the dogs.  Because we had a mild winter, ticks are REALLY plentiful this year.  I've found very few ticks on any of the dogs (relatively speaking).  And the ticks I've found on the 'tagged' dogs, were either just hiding in their fur, or were barely attached.  I've even seen healthy-appearing ticks near the 'tagged' dogs, that didn't seem to be attracted to them.  Usually a tick makes a bee-line toward its intended prey, but they seem to be slowed down or stalled when they get near the 'tagged' dogs.

In my mind, the real test is yet to come ... as the summer gets hotter and more humid, the flea population will peak.  ... I'll keep you posted.


UPDATE ... April 2013:  I got mixed results with these flea and tick tags.  Later last summer, the tick population exploded.  Two of my dogs who were wearing the tags repeatedly became infested with deer ticks.  The other two wearing the tags didn't get nearly as many ticks on them.  A lot of the ticks attached themselves, although it seemed that most of the little pests were still crawling away from the dogs (and onto me!).

I never had any problem with fleas, but don't know if that was due to the tags or the possibility that the flea population was low last summer.   The whole summer, I saw only a couple of fleas on one of my dogs, but only on one occasion.  She and the rest of the dogs were flea-free the rest of the summer.  She was wearing one of the flea and tick tags. 

So after the ticks got really bad, and I got tired of them crawling onto me, I gave in and treated the dogs with some generic Frontline drops.  And although the tags definitely seem to have some repellent properties, from my experience, they work only on some dogs and don't seem to work well during periods of heavy infestation.

A little less than a year after I bought the tags, I decided to ask for a refund on all four tags.  If I didn't live out in a rural area and if I didn't frequently take my dogs out on hikes in the woods, I would have kept the tags through another summer to get a better idea of their effectiveness.

I had no problem getting a full refund from Only Natural Pet Store (minus shipping charges, of course).  It took about 3 or 4 weeks from the time I mailed the tags back until I got my refund check in the mail. 

Another Update ... July 2013:  I never did find another natural product that I was willing to try, so have been using a "generic" alternative to Frontline because I know it works.

By the way, I'd love to hear from anybody who's had good results from any natural flea and tick product in the past.  Please feel free to leave a comment.

*Disclaimer:  I may earn a small commission from any purchase you make through any of the links to OnlyNaturalPet.com within this article or anywhere else on this blog.  Be assured, however, that my commission does not affect (increase) the prices you pay.*


  1. Ohh you're sweet.
    I just look at your blog and will come again.
    There is so much to discover beautiful.
    greetings from Sylvia and Beagle Tibi

    1. Hello Sylvia and Beagle Tibi! I'm so glad you stopped by for a visit. I just love your profile pic!

  2. Let us know the results and kisses to the doggies!

  3. I am seriously considering the purcvhase of 4 of these for my fur babies. I know this was only published June 26, but am wondering if you have any more observations on these tags.

    1. Hey Sue! Well, so far, so good! Still haven't seen any fleas ... and it's been perfect flea weather here lately with all the heat. Just like with Frontline or other flea and tick drops, I see the occasional tick on the dogs with the tags, but the ticks don't seem able to burrow their heads deeply into the skin. They are easy to remove.

      One day, my Shepherd-mix, Cookie, was laying on the bed and I saw a tick crawling along nearby. So out of curiosity, I picked it up and set it right in front of her. The tick stopped moving and just sat right where I left it rather than crawl towards Cookie. So then I put the tick on her leg to see what it would do and it did the same thing ... it just sat there like it couldn't move.

      And just yesterday, I saw a tick on Shasta (my white hound) that was just hiding in her fur. It was very easy to pull it off.

      The thing I like about Only Natural Pet Store is that they guarantee all their products. If the tags don't work for your babies, you can get your money back. Just remember that they are supposed to take a little while to start working.

      If you have trouble with the links to Only Natural Pet for any reason, please let me know.

      Thanks for visiting!

    2. Thanks Amy. I really appreciate your response, and you are right about Only Natural Pet Store.

  4. Amy, well raw extra virgin organic coconut oil will repel fleas and ticks and keep your dog's coats beautiful. Unfortunately they don't repel mosquitoes, which is why I was searching for an alternative to insecticides to prevent heart worm. I live in HI where mosquitoes are plentiful. But I just read an article on Dr. Mercola's website by a holistic vet, which made me feel less anxious about not using chemicals on my dogs. If you've not seen it, it's a great article:http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2010/08/03/why-havent-pet-owners-been-told-these-facts-about-heartworm.aspx And if you want to know about how to use coconut oil to prevent fleas and ticks on dogs, check out Dr. Fife's book http://piccadillybooks.com/coconut-therapy-for-pets.htm Warm aloha, Karen Russell, www.HealthyLifeAdvisors.org :)

    1. Thanks, Karen, for your reply. I use coconut oil daily for a variety of things and also give it to my dogs ... because they love it and for health benefits ... so I'll be very interested in learning how it can be used to repel fleas and ticks as well. I'm also familiar with Dr. Mercola, so will check out that link as well. Again, I truly appreciate the feedback and input. Best wishes to you and yours!

    2. What is the dose of coconut oil? oral, not topical, right?


Comments and Feedback are always welcome, as long as you follow one rule: Be the person your dog thinks you are (or cat, bunny, ferret, horse ...)