Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Fleas (Ctenocephalides canis) are wingless external parasites with mouth parts for biting. They are blood sucking. They have four life stages: eggs, larva, pupa and adult. They can lay up to 20 eggs at once; female adult fleas will lay approximately 500 eggs in their short lives. The eggs and larvae will stay out of daylight, so when treating for fleas it is important to treated that all crevices and dark areas also.
Flea Collars provide us with a shortcut attempt at controlling fleas; however, these may contain many noxious and potentially life-threatening chemicals. Not only are these bad for the dog, but also for any humans, especially children, exposed to the collar.
A safer approach is to create a natural flea repellent collar by using essential oils. Select an absorbent collar, there are many suitable ones available. Using only 100% pure essential oils, add a drop or two of rosemary and rose geranium to the collar. The collar will absorb the oil and no other collar is required. Remember that essential oils can be very strong, so start with only 1 drop and see if the dog can tolerate it. Build this up to two drops if successful. This is a simple do-it-yourself flea collar; there are also many commercially available natural flea collars.
Flea Powders like the flea collars, there are many herbal flea powders available, always check the ingredient to make sure there are no ingredients that may have adverse effects. It is also possible to make your own herbal flea powder, keeping in mind that the powder does not kill the fleas; it just makes it uncomfortable for them to stay, so put your animal outside after applying the powder so that the fleas do not just jump off into your house. A simple herbal flea powder can be made from powdered herbs. Commonly used herbs include rosemary, fennel, wormwood, rue, yellow dock and eucalyptus. Apply sparingly, using your hand or a comb to brush it into their coat.
De-fleaing the house and outdoor areas is essential. Indoors you will need to repeatedly vacuum the house, destroy the vacuum bag immediately after use or keep a flea collar in the vacuum bag. After this you will need to wash all bedding, cushions and throws in the hottest water possible. Alternatively, we have seen the emergence of flea “bombs” (insecticides) which are very effective but humans and all animals need to be removed the environment during their use. Normally it is safe to return to the treated environment after 2-3 hours.
The next step is important - sprinkle diatomaceous earth around, in, and under all soft furnishings including rugs, cushions and animal bedding. The diatomaceous earth works by scratching the flea’s exoskeleton causing dehydration and death. Again, after a few days, repeat this process remembering to dispose of the vacuum bag and reapply the diatomaceous earth again. Outdoors you will need to sprinkle the diatomaceous earth under bushes and in shady areas, as well over the lawn. Reapply after about 1 week.
HOW CAN THIS COURSE HELP YOU?
It will give you a better understanding of the needs of dogs (both working dogs and pets).
It will enable you to better care for one of the farm's greatest assets.
It may enable you to find work in caring for dogs when owners are away.