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Dogs/raw food transition: fleas/worm medicine


my puppy corgi is taking ComboGuard monthly to prevent fleas/heartworms/etc. I typically don't like to take or give chemical pills. Is there any alternative options to prevent fleas/heartworms besides having him taking a pill every month? i worried the side effects of him taking ComboGuard everything month.

thanks ahead for your advice!

ANSWER: Hi June,

You're right about the chemical treatments being hard on dogs. It don't matter what the manufacturers say, it should just make sense to people that putting chemicals in or on your dog can have side effects.

I don't know all the danger side effects for heart-worm prevention chemicals but I know for fleas, it weakens the immune system and of course that can lead to problems.

We never recommend anyone treat for fleas unless they see flees on the dog. When and if you do, there are many very good natural alternatives to flea treatment.

One for fleas and ticks we carry is called Natural Defense. It's less expensive than the chemical ones and usually comes with a three month supply and is usually under $20. It has a strong clove smell but it seems to work good.

If your dogs sleep with you, put it on in the morning so it will not be so strong at bed time.

There are also natural powders. One is called Diatomaceous earth. This is a very fine powder that you rub into the skin and when fleas walk through it, the powder sticks to them and they dehydrate.

This is a good alternative to having the fleas bite the animal to receive the poison or other products that kill them.

There are some natural heart-worm products as well. You can shop for them at your local natural pet foods stores or there is a website that carries some, start your search here to learn more:

We don't use any heart-worm products on our dogs as we never heard anyone getting heart-worms in our area. We are in the Pacific NW.

The natural products can be a good alternative if it is common in your area. Anywhere there are a lot of mosquitoes is supposed to be a higher risk.

My specialty and expertise on this forum is in pet nutrition. If you would like me to evaluate your pups diet and make recommendations, I would be happy to do so.

We own a premium natural pet food store and I am certified in canine nutrition. We've helped hundreds of dogs regain great health by making better diet and supplement choices. Food has a lot of power to cause harm and to heal.

If you would like me to evaluate his diet, please just respond back to this same question and let me know everything that is in his diet, including brand names.

I hope the rest of this has helped answer your questions. Should there be anything else, please let me know.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks Roger for such quick detailed responses. I just bought your book on Dog Food Decoded on amazon! I'm considering of putting my 6 months corgi on semi raw diet, if you could give some advice on how to slowly transition to raw. Currently, he is eating WEllness Super 5 Mix for puppy--half kibble and half wet puppy food mixed together.

And is it good for my dog if i switch up the his food daily so he is not just eating raw all the time? what if i, feed him wet+kibble in the am, then raw diet at night-- visa versa? i'm not sure if that is bad for his stomach.

i took your advice and have ordered the Animal Essentials Plant Enzymes & Probiotics--a pinch of this every meal. Plus, i just bought Nature's Variety Raw chicken bites!

big thanks again!

Hi June,

Thanks for purchasing the book. It will be a good reference for you and others you know that have dogs.

A semi raw diet is absolutely fine. That get's him a little taste of good variety. Feeding raw in the morning or evening and his other meal mixed is just fine.

Adding the probiotics and enzymes on every meal will be great as well. Especially the Natures Variety brand as they do a "High Pressure Pasteurization" on there foods. They did this to keep bacteria counts down as they transport all over the country.

It's a good one for older dogs, people just starting out on a raw diet and dogs who's immune system is weak.

To start, it's usually a good idea to give the enzymes and probiotics to his regular food for a week or so to help build up the good bacteria is his system.

If you don't have them yet, that's fine, just thaw some of the raw out in a tupper-ware or equivalent container and keep in the fridge. Give him just a teaspoon with his regular meal. The next day make it two teaspoons. Make sure to reduce his other food the same equivalent as you add more and more raw. You don't want to give him too much food or the weight will go on.

Eventually over a week or so you will build up to one full meal of raw.

Keeping variety in his diet is great. The more you rotate your proteins, the stronger his immune system will be. Next time get the lamb for a good change up.

Once you've been on a raw diet for a while, you can look at other brands as well. He will get even more benefit from raw that hasn't been through the HPP process.

Also, try to find raw that has around 20% veggies in it. Natures Variety has around 5%. It was determined by a couple holistic vets we know that around 20% veggies is ideal for dogs. We use a brand called North West Naturals and it is at 20%. But I don't think they are national. There should be several available in your area. Just look in the store or talk to the people there where you bought the Natures Variety.

It sure don't hurt a growing pup to have a higher amount of protein versus veggies however. Dogs use protein for growth and repair. Young ones need both of these!

The Wellness brands are good food and we carry them as well.

You can give him additional omega's in his diet to help with eye and brain development as well. One of the best sources is canned sardines. They provide a "whole food" base and a full chain of omega 3's and 6's. Just give him a couple of sardines once or twice a week.

If you don't like to smell or handle sardines, there is a good brand of fish pill from Nordic Naturals that is actually sardines and anchovies.

Of course other sources are fine like fish oils, canned tuna or canned salmon.

A raw egg now and then is good. A little cottage cheese, a little yogurt, some green foods now and then are all good. Greens such as wheat grass, kelp or spirulina all help build the immune system.

This is pretty much what we do for our dogs. We mix things up, change things around, add one supplement until the bottle is gone then try another and so on. Just keep variety and use different companies.

Once you have him on a regular diet that has  been rotated good, he could eat anything anywhere. This is good because you never know where you might be, what company might have a re-call, etc.

He will surely benefit from your efforts with a long, happy, healthy life. Keeping our dogs out of the vets office is always good.

You're off to a great start, keep up the good work.

Let me know if you have any further questions or would like to add anything.



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Roger McLeskey


Can answer all nutritional information for all dogs. Common problems with food, supplements, weight control, allergies, fleas, etc. Questions regarding raw food, homemade food, skin & coat issues, ect. Can't and/or will not do medicinal type questions that the vet takes care of.


I am certified in Dog Nutrition. Over 6 years now I've owned a natural pet food retail store. I've worked with hundreds of dogs and there owners to achieve better health. We promote a healthy balanced species related diet. This is the way nature made your pet to thrive. Fortunately for those who cannot or wish not to feed a raw based diet, there are alternatives with supplements and cooked food. Just don't let processed food be there only diet. Food is the most powerful medicine. Heal the core of the animal and the rest will take care of itself. We've turned the lives of many dogs around. There parents come back into the store and comment to us on how there dog acts like a real dog again. Our business is thriving and we continue to help many.

We work with Second Chance Companions, Must Love Dogs, members of ASPCA, HSUSA and started our own personal "Red Head Rescue" (non chartered) for stray dogs and rescue dogs from high kill shelters. We've been able to heal the many health ailments these dogs have and place them in good homes.

Dog Food Decoded - How To Choose A Health Diet For Your Dog and Your Budget - Available on Amazon in Kindle format or Paperback. Various articles for in store and web.

Certified - Canine Nutrition Level Three. Last 7 years I've been working with veterinarians, holistic veterinarians, attending seminars and best of all, real life experience with hundreds of customer dogs and cats. I've seen what works and does not work. Feeding a proper species appropriate diet works for most ailments. We've taken away our petís natural diet and caused most of todayís problems.

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