Last June I posted my first impressions of FleaHex, an all natural flea control product sold by Dr.Dobias. FleaHex is sold as a two part system that includes a shampoo for your dog as well as a household spray. In June I wasn't able to say much about FleaHex's efficiency since, at the time, we had only used the product once. We've been using FleaHex consistently for 5 months so I figured that now is as good a time as any to post an update about how it's been working for us.
The complaints I wrote about back in June still stand, although some of the initial issues we had I've been able to work around. I was never crazy about the consistency of the FleaHex shampoo - it's very watery and doesn't produce the best lather. I did find, though, that I can wash my dogs with their regular shampoo (we use Buddy Wash), rinse that off, then wash them with FleaHex. Using their regular shampoo prior to FleaHex gets them cleaner in the bath, and also makes it easier for me to work the FleaHex into their fur. The downside here, of course, is that I'm using two shampoos during each bath which makes bath time a bit more expensive.
Instead of applying FleaHex directly to my dogs' fur I mix some in a cup with a bit of warm water. For some reason mixing it with water before putting it on my dogs seems to help the FleaHex penetrate their fur.
FleaHex, as I also stated in our first impressions post, leaves the dogs' fur looking a bit greasy. The shampoo doesn't make their fur feel gross at all, just look oily. This isn't a huge deal, but it's still something I'm not crazy about. The smell of both the FleaHex shampoo as well as the household spray isn't amazing, at least in my opinion, but isn't horrible either.
Let me answer the question I know you all really want the answer too - Did FleaHex work for us? Yes and no. I'll explain.
FleaHex makes no official claims to prevent ticks. However, I did come across some statements where people said they did feel that it helped to prevent ticks. I don't feel that that was the case for my dogs. Since we started using FleaHex I removed one tick from Fenrir, and four from Kit. I know those numbers sound low but, as we live in the city, that's average for us. If you live in an area where ticks are a bigger problem, or where tick born illnesses are prevalent, I wouldn't rely on FleaHex only as a tick preventative.
As for fleas, I was pleasantly surprised with how well FleaHex worked! We were able to, for the most part, enjoy a flea free summer/fall. The "for the most part" is added in there because we did have a few issues with fleas. Fen got them once right after he was neutered. But, on FleaHex's defense, Fen went awhile without being bathed due to his stitches, and he was around a lot of other animals during his vet visits.
Unfortunately Kit also got fleas once. I'm not quite sure why he got them, as with him I was following FleaHex's recommended bath schedule. Kit, as I mentioned before, has flea allergy dermatitis so flea bites are a pretty big deal with him. FleaHex says it can eliminate fleas if your dog already has them but that it can take 4 to 6 weeks, which isn't an option with Kit. When Kit had his one run in with fleas I did end up resorting to using a spot on (Advantage II) treatment in order to get him some relief as soon as possible.
So, would I recommend FleaHex? For the most part, yes. Unless I find a better option, I'll most likely be buying the shampoo again next year. I'll probably forgo the household spray. I agree that an important part of eliminating fleas is making sure they don't take hold inside your home, but in my opinion this can be accomplished without expensive sprays. I vacuum my floors almost every day, keep bedding clean, and just generally keep a clean house. For me I feel that this has been enough to make sure our home stays flea free.
I love that FleaHex seemed to prevent fleas without the use of harsh chemicals. However, because of Kit's flea allergy I found it necessary to also use, perhaps less healthy but much faster acting, flea products. It would be a different story if I only had Fen, or if Kit didn't have a flea bite allergy, but the way things stand now it looks like I'm going to have to make sure I keep a back up flea product in stock. The downside of that, of course, is that I'll end up spending more on flea products.
My take home message is that FleaHex did seem to work well and, despite not liking a few things about it, I would recommend the shampoo. However, if you need a product that also reliably deals with ticks or your dog, like one of mine, has flea allergy dermatitis and waiting weeks to completely eliminate fleas isn't feasible, then you might want to either research other products or, in the very least, keep some kind of back up product in stock. I don't feel the FleaHex household spray is necessary as long as you are able to use other means to prevent flea infestation in your home.
If anyone has heard of/used natural/safe flea and tick products I'd love to hear about your experiences with them! I really don't like using potentially dangerous pesticides on my pets but, especially with Kit's flea allergies, I do have to use some means of flea prevention.