How can I combat internal and external parasites in dogs without using chemicals?

How can I combat internal and external parasites in dogs without using chemicals?

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The summer season brings with it its share of external and internal parasites that make life difficult for both humans and their dogs. Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks and other pests can be repelled with a plant-based antiparasitic product for dogs. As long as the precautions for use are followed, these repellents do not present the same risks to your pet and the environment as pharmacological molecules. Warning! If your dog is infested, or if there is a high risk of infestation, insecticide antiparasitic medication is essential.

What is a plant-based antiparasitic product for dogs?

Insect repellent for dogs contains plant extracts, essential oils and mineral or synthetic substances. These products combat the animal’s external parasites; they are repellents as opposed to insecticides, which kill parasites.

There are two types of antiparasitic products on the market:

- medicines for veterinary use. Their effectiveness against one or more parasites is tried and tested. Antiparasitic drugs require marketing authorisation (MA).

- biocidal antiparasitic products, based on plant extracts or synthetic, for which authorisation or registration is required. Despite the vegetable origin of their active ingredients, they are not without risk, as an allergy to one of their components is always possible. However, they are best used when your pet is not in a situation where there is a high risk of infestation

🐾 When should I use a plant extract-based antiparasitic product on my dog? An antiparasitic product for dogs made from plant extracts has a repellent effect. It can therefore only be used as a preventive treatment on a healthy animal. If your dog is in good health, but is at risk of coming into contact with external parasites that can carry other pests and diseases, we recommend that you use an antiparasitic product of this type to reduce the risk of infestation. Always follow the dosage and method of application.

Several plants or extracts have historically been used for their supposed effects on parasites: citronella, lavender, certain geraniums or chrysanthemums. To have an effect on parasites, we use concentrated extracts, which are more effective, but also more delicate to dose to avoid undesirable reactions. Take care when using them and never use them in homemade preparations.

What are the best antiparasitic products of vegetable origin for dogs?

Francodex offers several alternatives to reduce the risk of infestation by external parasites in dogs. Some products treat the animal and others target its environment. Whatever plant extract-based antiparasitic product you use on your dog, always keep a tick tool close to hand!

Insect repellents for dogs and the environment


Insect repellents, unlike insecticides, are products that keep external parasites (fleas, ticks, sandflies) away instead of killing them.

They are an “insecticide-free” alternative and are formulated using plant extracts with repellent properties (Margosa and/or Dalmatian Pyrethrum and/or Lavandin).

Laboratoire Francodex offers several types of products to suit your preferences and needs:

-insect repellent pipettes for large breeds, dogs weighing 10 to 20 kg, small dogs and puppies 
-insect repellent collar for dogs weighing over 20 kg, dogs weighing 10 to 20 kg, small dogs and puppies 
-fruit insect repellent shampoo for dogs and cats, fresh fragrance and monoï for summer 
-insect repellent powder 
-insect repellent lotion

Most of these repellents are also suitable for cats. Be careful, as cats are sensitive to essential oils due to a deficiency in liver-specific enzymes for the aromatic compounds in plants. Only use repellents that specify “for cats”, “for dogs”, “for cats and dogs”, depending on the animal to be treated, and don’t allow the cat to ingest the product!

🐾 What should I do if my dog is allergic to flea bites? Important: if your dog is allergic to flea bites, your vet will recommend a stronger treatment than a plant-based antiparasitic product. Insufficient repellent action will not completely eliminate the threat. The consequences can be serious for your pet’s health. What’s more, certain diseases such as leishmaniasis and piroplasmosis are highly virulent. Once again, insect repellent may not be effective.

Environmental insect repellents are repellents that are diffused throughout your home to make it inhospitable to external pests. Once again, different products are available depending on your needs and requirements:

-insect repellent granules

Take care if you have children or curious pets. Although they contain no chemical insecticides, these insect repellents should be kept out of their reach.

⚠️ Insect repellents are in class PT19 (baits and repellents) and should be used with caution. Read the label and product information before using the product.

ECTO CHOC PARASITES products with 0% insecticides

Laboratoire Francodex offers you a wide range of antiparasitic products, in different formats to make them easier to use and provide the best possible coverage for your pet and its environment.

This range offers an alternative with 100% plant-based ingredients that acts against all flying and crawling pests. The products in the ECTO CHOC PARASITES range surround the parasite with a liquid film that blocks it and renders it inactive. No rinsing required, they combat fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies and flies.

We offer two formats to suit your preferences and needs:

- A 290 ml spray to protect dogs and their environment from external parasites. Misting allows you to cover a large area in the home.
- A 200 ml lotion that protects dogs from fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies and flies.

Their purely mechanical action and plant-based ingredients mean they can be used early on, on the animal and in its environment. They leave a pleasant, refreshing minty fragrance with soothing properties.

After application, prevent the animal from licking itself for a few minutes while waiting for the coat to dry. Then wipe down or brush the animal to remove the parasites. Wait a week before reapplying if pests are still present.

Proven effective on 30 dogs!

In the environment: 100% reduction in parasites:
• In 5 minutes for fleas
• In 4 hours for tick nymphs
• In 10 minutes for mosquitoes

On the animal: Reduction in parasites:
• 100% for fleas in the group treated
• 86% for ticks in the group treated (Only ticks attached around the eyes and in the ears remained, as they were not exposed to the product).

These products should be kept out of reach of children.

Diatomaceous earth-based products

⚠️Diatomaceous earth-based products are insecticides in biocide class PT18 and should be used with caution. They are subject to stricter regulations than insect repellents because they are dangerous.

Before use, ensure that it is essential and choose products that are the least toxic for humans, animals and the environment.

Diatomaceous earth-based products have a mechanical insecticidal effect. They are abrasive and dry out external parasites.

Diatomaceous earth is made up of fossilised micro-algae, the skeleton of which mainly consists of silica (a mineral resembling small glass crystals). It can be used both indoors and outdoors to repel external parasites.

⚠️ Ask your vet for advice before using them, and read the label and instructions carefully. These products are irritating to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract, and many are reserved for professionals!

Food supplements

Traditionally, certain plants are reputed to have an action against parasites: garlic, thyme, tansy, pumpkin seeds, etc. You can find them in the composition of complementary foods, the main aim of which is to support the animal’s digestive system and reinforce its immunity, which helps the animal to maintain a good digestive balance. If digestive parasites are present, medication will be required.

In tablet form or as an oral solution, these supplements are highly palatable, making them easy for your pet to take.

Discover the drinkable version Vers O Net Oral Solution.

Are there limited alternatives to chemical insecticides?

A plant-based antiparasitic product for dogs is not sufficiently repellent to combat parasites.

A plant-based external antiparasitic product cannot effectively block the rapid reproduction of parasites. The infestation is likely to grow.

You should consult your vet in the event of an infestation. The vet will prescribe a suitable treatment for your pet, usually medication. Don’t forget that external parasites can be carriers of internal parasites and vectors of disease.

Similarly, a plant-based antiparasitic product for dogs is not always powerful enough to protect your pet in an environment where parasite pressure is high. In a field infested with ticks, your dog will undoubtedly be bitten, even if a plant extract-based antiparasitic product for dogs, or even medication, is used!

When it comes to prevention, how do you choose an insecticide and an insect repellent? If your pet lives in a low-risk environment: few walks in the woods, other pets already treated, low season, etc., opt for prevention with plant extract-based antiparasitic products. On the other hand, Francodex recommends that you use external and internal veterinary antiparasitic drugs and environmental insecticides:

-in the summer 
-if your pet is in a high-risk area with a lot of parasites
-if you take a lot of nature walks
-if your pet comes into contact with other animals, for example in boarding kennels
-if you have children

Now you know the benefits of plant extract-based antiparasitic products for dogs.

Final precautions for insect repellents!

They should not be used on puppies under 3 months of age or on pregnant or nursing females.

Only use veterinary products to treat your pet, as human repellents are not suitable. They contain specific plants and essential oils in proportions that are sometimes harmful to dogs.

By following the instructions in the leaflet for an antiparasitic product for dogs, you can protect your pet from external pests all year round.

Conventional insecticides are still essential if there is a high risk of infestation or if an infestation has already occurred. Have a great summer with your pet and make sure you check his coat after every walk in nature!


Article written with the assistance of
Dr Stéphanie Padiolleau, Veterinary Surgeon