It's likely that your veterinarian will recommend a chemical insect repellent if you ask them how to protect your pets. However, chemical poisons are not the only option for keeping your pets safe from insects. Below are a number of natural insect repellents to protect your pets, sans chemicals.
1. Herbal Repellents
Using essential oils is an excellent way to repel insects without pesticides. The strong scent and the makeup of many herbs naturally repel most insects.
Choose your essential oils carefully, however. Some contain synthetic components that can harm your pets, and other essential oils are naturally toxic to pets. Cats are extremely sensitive to essential oils, so it's important you only use them in low concentrations. Even pure essential oils deemed not dangerous to your pet can be dangerous if used in their full concentration.
You should dilute these concentrations by 90-percent by mixing them with a pet-safe carrier oil, like coconut oil, or by diluting them in a large spray bottle of water to mist the mixture over your pet's fur.
Consider using any of the following herbs:
Another way to use herbs to protect your pets is to create sachets of herbs and place them around where your pet spends its time, especially near pet beds. Use dried herbs mixed with essential oils to keep the scent strong. Add a fixative, something absorptive to hold the scent, such as wood chips. This will keep the sachet effective longer.
However, be sure that you keep an eye on the sachet so that it doesn’t become your pet’s new favorite toy. Eating these herbs can make your pet sick.
Citrus oils also repel insects. However, they should not be used directly on your pets, as there are often chemicals in them that can cause harm. Limit the use of citrus to using dried pieces of the peels in your sachets.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
Although the chemical version is known best as an additive to pools, the natural version of diatomaceous earth is an excellent means of destroying insects on your pet. The version from health-food stores contains no chemicals, just the microskeletons of a type of algae.
Finer than sand, these small particles dehydrate insects and inhibit their breathing. You should wear a mask while applying it, but otherwise it is of no risk to you or your pet. It can even be eaten and used to dispose of internal pests.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth down the spine of your pet. Rub or comb it into your pet's fur, focusing on the legs and belly. Avoid the eyes and mucus membranes when applying to the head.
You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the carpet, pet beds, or infested furniture to dispose of insects. Vacuum a few days later to remove the insects and eggs that are dead.
Make sure that you have bought food-grade diatomaceous earth, as the pool version could be extremely dangerous to inhale, ingest, or rub on your pet’s fur.