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Baking Soda on Dogs for Fleas: Does It Work?

This is not medical advice. For medical advice regarding pets, see your veterinarian.

Baking soda is a great home remedy to get rid of fleas. This substance can also be used on dogs before bathing or when combing to remove these nasty pests.

Have you noticed that your pet has fleas? And do you have trouble removing them?

You can get a lot of help from common baking soda, which works wonders in terms of cleaning the fur, removing fleas, but also eliminating unpleasant odors in pets.

In addition, you can combine baking soda with certain ingredients to cleanse your home of these parasites.

In this article, you will find out if baking soda kills fleas on dogs, how to use it on your dog and around the house, and more.

Does Baking Soda Kill Fleas on Dogs?

Baking soda does not kill adult fleas on dogs, but it can make them come off your dog’s skin. Detached fleas are then easily removed when you wash or comb your pet. You can also control the flea population on your dog by using baking soda to remove larvae and eggs.

Baking soda is very helpful in the kitchen, but it can also be used to eliminate fleas and unpleasant odors on dogs. You can use it before bathing or combing your dog.

This chemical also has other uses when it comes to your dog. 

If your pet is bitten by an insect, remove the stinger and apply a thick paste of baking soda mixed with water to the affected area. Let the paste dry. After the irritation is soothed, rinse with plenty of water.

Baking soda is also great for flea eggs and their larvae. If you find a place with flea eggs or larvae in your home, sprinkle baking soda over them and let it take effect. This substance dehydrates eggs and flea larvae, which leads to their weakening and death[1]. 

Vacuum or wash after a couple of days.

To enhance the effect of baking soda on larvae and eggs, add the same amount of salt, creating a mixture of both.[2]

Does Baking Soda Kill Fleas on Dogs

Does Lemon and Baking Soda Work for Fleas on Dogs?

A mixture of baking soda and lemon will not kill fleas on your dog, but it can keep them away. As with baking soda, lemon is good for getting rid of fleas on clothes, furniture, tiles, or hardwood floors.

The main ingredient in lemons that keeps fleas at bay is d-limonene. This substance has insecticidal properties, but they are limited. It does not kill fleas as an insecticide does, but high concentrations of d-limonene can act as a repellent.[3]

One study has shown the effectiveness of lemons for repelling fleas. Lemon peels were added to 240 ml of water, and the mixture was set aside for 24 hours. The liquid was then strained and sprayed on dogs with fleas, successfully removing them.[4]

Other ways to use lemons to keep fleas away from your dog are:

  • Rub half a lemon onto your dog’s fur.
  • Squeeze two lemons and dip your pet’s brush in the juice, then comb your dog.
  • Add a few slices of lemon, water, and a pinch of salt and simmer for two minutes, then let it infuse for 24 hours.

Make sure your dog does not have skin lesions as lemon juice can sting and burn.

Lemon juice combined with baking soda is an excellent remedy to get rid of fleas in your house and clothes. To prepare the solution, you need:

  • One teaspoon of lemon juice
  • One cup of baking soda
  • Two cups of water

After forming the mixture, apply it to the clothes before washing them or around your home in the places where you found fleas.

Does Lemon and Baking Soda Work for Fleas on Dogs

How to Use Baking Soda on Dogs for Fleas

Baking soda can be effective in keeping fleas away from dogs if they are powdered with it before bathing or combing. In both cases, make sure you remove the excess baking soda from your dog’s skin.

It may not be a pleasant experience for you and your dog if it can’t stand still until baking soda takes effect. But if you are patient and willing to try, you can powder baking soda on your dog’s fur before bathing or combing. This way, the fleas will detach, and you can easily wash or comb them off.

Powder Your Dog’s Fur With Baking Soda Before Bathing

This chemical does not kill fleas but drives them away from your dog’s fur. A few hours before bathing, powder your dog’s coat with baking soda and let it sit with it. 

The fleas will detach from your dog’s skin, and are easily rinsed off. The baking powder will remove any off putting odors at the same time.

Make sure you rinse your dog well because baking soda can irritate its skin if you leave it for too long.

You can also create a mixture of a tablespoon of baking soda and one and a half cups of water. After wetting your pet’s coat, spread the solution into its fur, avoiding the face area. Let it sit for a minute, then rinse thoroughly.

Powder Your Dog’s Fur With Baking Soda Before Combing

Baking soda cleans your dog’s fur, so before brushing it, cover it with baking powder. Use a brush to work the baking soda evenly through its coat. The result will be a cleaner and shinier coat without unpleasant odors or fleas.

For an even better result, comb its fur with a flea comb to remove the fleas.

dog Flea Combs

How to Kill Fleas Around Your Home With Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda in generous amounts over the areas where you find fleas, eggs, or larvae. The thick layer will suffocate and dehydrate them, which will eventually kill them. This process takes about 12 hours to take effect.

Getting rid of fleas is a long process. Fleas have four evolutionary stages, and you have to take their evolutionary cycles into consideration when getting rid of them. Killing the adult fleas will be in vain if you missed the eggs on the carpet.

If you have baking soda at hand you can get rid of fleas, no matter their stage.

How to Use Baking Soda to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Carpets

To get rid of fleas on the carpet, you can use a mixture of salt and baking soda. This combination guarantees success for larvae and eggs and is also very effective in dehydrating adult fleas.

Get rid of fleas in your carpets:

  1. Mix baking soda and salt in equal parts. Make as large quantities as possible as you need to cover the whole carpet in a thick layer.
  2. Cover the carpet with this mixture, making sure you do not miss the corners and hard-to-reach places.
  3. With a broom or a large brush, push the powder into the fibers of the carpet, spreading it evenly.
  4. Leave on for at least 12 hours.
  5. Cover the carpet overnight if you can.
  6. Vacuum the carpet after 12 hours.
  7. Repeat the process at least once a month to make sure you have completely gotten rid of fleas.
How to Use Baking Soda to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Carpets

How to Use Baking Soda on Hardwood Floors or Tiles

Fleas generally prefer dark, sheltered, and warm places, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see a few fleas on your wooden floor or tiles.

Mix one cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of salt and sprinkle on the floor. Leave on for as long as possible (preferably 12 hours), then vacuum.

If this method doesn’t work, you can try making a solution of ¼ cup of salt, ¼ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar, and two cups of water:

  1. Spray the solution in the areas with fleas, at joints, in corners, and in hard-to-reach places.
  2. Do not saturate the wooden floor with the solution as it may swell.
  3. Allow the areas to dry naturally, then sweep and mop as usual.
  4. Repeat as needed.

How to Use Baking Soda on Upholstered Furniture and in Your Garage

Couches and other pieces of furniture are fleas’ favorites. 

To remove fleas from furniture, prepare a mixture of equal amounts of salt and baking soda and sprinkle over them. With a soft bristle brush, spread the mixture evenly. Leave on for at least 12 hours, and then vacuum. 

Repeat until you get rid of fleas.

If you have fleas in your garage, make a mixture with baking soda and vinegar (like the one for hardwood floors) and spray it all over your garage. Repeat every two weeks.

Best Way to Prevent Fleas on Your Dog and Home

To prevent fleas on your dog, it is recommended to use antiparasitic products for pets such as flea medication. If you have a massive flea infestation in your home or garden, it is best to contact an exterminator.

Although fleas prefer the warmer months, they can be found all year round because they can survive at temperatures of 0.5°C or 33°F. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), what you can do to prevent fleas from spreading[5] to pets is to:

  • Limit your dog’s time outside.
  • Limit your dog’s contact with other animals, including wild or stray animals.
  • Bathe and brush your dog regularly.
  • Check your dog regularly for fleas.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about the best way to fight and prevent fleas in your dog.
  • Use year-round pesticides to kill adult fleas and prevent larvae from hatching.

When it comes to antiparasitic products that are given to dogs, always follow the instructions of the package. Otherwise, you may accidentally intoxicate your dog, or the product will have no effect.

Symptoms of flea medicine poisoning in dogs include the following:

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Tremor
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Incoordination
  • Excessive drooling
  • Seizures
  • Itchiness and redness at the site of application
  • Loss of appetite

In mild cases, the symptoms may resolve on their own within 24-72 hours of ingestion. In severe cases, the death of the pet can occur if not intervened in time.

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above after you have given your dog flea medication, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Alternatives for Baking Soda

If you are looking for other home remedies against fleas on dogs, try these out:

About Iulia Mihai (DVM)

Dr. Iulia is a certified veterinarian with more than 10 years of experience in the field. With extensive knowledge of diet, care, and medication, she helps Misfit Animals provide readers with accurate knowledge on technical topics.