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Top 18 Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs

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Home remedies for fleas on dogs include essential oils, coconut oil, flea combs, vinegar, baking soda, diatomaceous earth, and more. Some remedies are mixed with shampoo, others are used directly on your pet’s fur. Be careful not to apply it to your dog’s face, and do not let it inhale or swallow the ingredients.

Home remedies can be divided into the following categories, depending on the ingredients you have around the house:

  • Washes
  • Sprays
  • Oils
  • Powders
  • Collars  
  • Combs and Sachets

Washes for Fleas on Dogs

Using homemade flea shampoo is a quick and easy way to get rid of fleas. You can add essential oils or lemon to your dog’s regular shampoo. You can also use organic soap if you don’t have shampoo suited for your dog.

If your dog likes water you can try washing it with the following shampoos to get rid of fleas:

  1. Your dog’s regular shampoo or baby shampoo.
  2. Organic soap.
  3. Dawn dish soap.
  4. Lemon shampoo.
  5. Essential oil shampoo.

1. Your Dog’s Regular Shampoo or Baby Shampoo

Antiparasitic shampoo for pets

Any shampoo that foams can work for flea removal. It is best to use your dog’s regular shampoo or baby shampoo, as they are gentler to your dog’s skin. You can also use organic shampoos as they don’t contain any chemicals.

This method does not prevent future infestations; it will only help you get rid of fleas that currently live on your dog.

2. Organic Soap

You can change your dog’s regular shampoo with organic peppermint or lavender soap. Wash your dog as normal but don’t overdo it: the soap can dry out your pet’s skin.

3. Dawn Dish Soap

Is Dawn Dish Soap Safe for Dogs
Image Source

No shampoo or organic soap at home? Don’t worry, Dawn dish soap is efficient in killing these parasites.[1]

Wash your dog once every 2-3 weeks with Dawn dish soap to help it get rid of fleas; otherwise, you risk drying out your pet’s skin, and will make a good environment for bacterial or fungal development.

Related: Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Fleas on Dogs?

4. Lemon Flea Shampoo

Lemon contains d-limonene. As d-limonene has insecticidal properties, you can use it to get rid of fleas.[2]

Squeeze some lemon juice and mix it with two cups of water, then add it to your dog’s shampoo. Wash your pet with lemon shampoo every two weeks. Your dog will be free of fleas and smell nice.

5. Essential Oil Flea Shampoo

Essential Oil Flea Shampoo
Image Source

Essential oils are considered excellent home remedies for fleas on dogs, but not all of them are safe. 

Safe essential oils to make shampoos or sprays for fleas on dogs are: 

  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cedarwood
  • Tea tree
  • Rosemary
  • Basil

Special care should be taken if you use tea tree oil on your dog. It can cause severe poisoning if ingested or if the concentration is too high. 

Oils must be diluted to a maximum concentration of 2%, but it is best to use concentrations of 1% or less on pets. Essential oils can be diluted in water (2-3 drops per 300-400 ml water) or carrier oil (2-3 drops per 30 ml carrier oil).

You can also add two drops of citronella, lavender, rosemary, or lemongrass essential oil to your dog’s regular shampoo and use it every two weeks.

Some oils can have side effects[3]. Use them with caution and always seek the advice of your veterinarian.

In addition to killing and preventing fleas, essential oils can improve skin conditions and help your pet relax if it’s anxious or hyperactive.

Flea Sprays

Homemade flea sprays are a great alternative to homemade shampoos or if your dog doesn’t like water. Spray your dog’s fur, avoiding its face.

You can prepare homemade sprays with several ingredients found at home:

  1. Essential oils.
  2. Fresh rosemary leaves.
  3. Coconut.
  4. Apple cider vinegar and salt.
  5. Neem oil.

1. Essential Oils Flea Spray

Essential Oils Flea Spray

Mix 2-3 drops of safe essential oils with 300-400 ml of water in a spray bottle. Spray your dog’s fur with the solution, avoiding its face. Work the solution into your pet’s hair with a comb or a brush.

Use the spray on your dog’s feet every time you go for a walk. You can also use it on your pet’s body, once a week.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt Flea Spray

Some people claim apple cider vinegar to be effective against fleas, but the effects of vinegar on fleas have not been proved. Your dog will have a shiny coat and healthier skin if you use it regularly though.

Salt, on the other hand, is a good home remedy for fleas; they die due to salt’s dehydrating properties.

Add a tablespoon of salt to six cups of apple cider vinegar and four cups of water. Spray the mixture on your dog’s fur, avoiding its face. Rinse your pet if you can’t stand the smell of vinegar.

3. Coconut Flea Spray

Coconut Flea Spray

Coconut oil is an excellent way to remove fleas from your dog due to its high content of lauric acid. It is safer than many other home remedies.

Add two tablespoons of coconut oil to 30 ml of warm water in a spray bottle and spray it on your dog’s fur. Comb or massage it into your pet’s fur for greater effect.

You can also coat your dog’s fur with coconut oil. Leave it on or wash your dog with its regular shampoo.

4. Rosemary Flea Spray

You can prepare a spray for fleas with fresh rosemary leaves and boiling water. Add fresh rosemary leaves to boiling water, let it infuse for a few minutes, then strain the mixture and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray your dog and let it air dry.

5. Neem Oil Spray

Neem oil is completely natural and generally considered safe for dogs. It makes a good repellent and killer for insects, including fleas.[4]

Dilute neem oil with water to create an effective flea spray. You can also use it as it is or add it to your dog’s shampoo.

Powders for Fleas on Dogs

Powders such as salt, baking soda, or diatomaceous earth are excellent remedies for fleas. Use them with caution and be careful not to let your pet ingest or inhale them.

Several powders are safe to use on dogs to kill fleas. Here are the most effective ones:

  1. Baking soda
  2. Diatomaceous earth
  3. Salt

You can also use these powders in your home, garden, or anywhere you find fleas, larvae, or eggs.

1. Baking Soda

Does Baking Soda Kill Fleas on Dogs

Baking soda has abrasive and dehydrating properties. It is a good alternative to veterinary antiparasitic powders.

Powder your dog with baking soda, avoiding the face. Make sure your dog does not inhale the powder as it can cause respiratory problems. Brush your dog or massage the baking soda into its fur and wait a few hours. Then wash the dog with its shampoo. 

2. Diatomaceous Earth

Food Grade and Regular Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth has abrasive and desiccant properties, being considered a good remedy for fleas.[5]

If you have diatomaceous earth at hand, make sure it is food-grade before using it on your dog. Filter grade diatomaceous earth is considered toxic to humans and animals because it contains traces of pesticides.

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on your dog’s fur before going for a walk. Make sure your pet does not inhale it, as it may cause severe respiratory problems.

It is recommended to leave the diatomaceous earth on your dog for at least 24 hours in case of moderate infestations.

3. Salt

How to Use Salt to Kill Fleas in Your Home

Salt is another natural remedy for removing fleas. It is especially useful to remove fleas in the house or garden, but can also be applied to dogs if used with caution. Salt can cause poisoning if ingested in large quantities.

Salt has absorbent (desiccant) properties, drying the body of adult fleas, larvae, or eggs. This causes them to die from dehydration.

Sprinkle salt on your dog’s body, avoiding the face. Do not use it often as it can dehydrate your dog’s skin.

Homemade Flea Collars

Flea collars are a great way to keep fleas at bay without having to bathe, spray, or powder your dog with various solutions or substances.

You can make a flea collar at home from a bandana or a textile collar, to which you can apply the following flea repelling substances:

  1. Essential oils
  2. Vodka

1. Essential Oils Flea Collar

What Are Essential Oils

To make a flea collar with essential oils, dilute a few drops of cedar, lavender, or eucalyptus essential oil, and apply them to a textile collar. Reapply when you feel the essential oils have evaporated.

It is recommended to test the dilution on a small area on your pet’s body before using it on a collar. Sensitive dogs can develop allergic reactions.

2. Vodka Flea Collar

Make a flea collar by adding two teaspoons of vodka to your dog’s textile collar. Allow it to dry well before putting the collar on your dog’s neck, as alcohol can be absorbed into the skin causing alcohol poisoning.

Alcohol is more effective against fleas if they are immersed in it, but it can still work. You can also add 1-2 drops of essential oil if you can’t stand the smell of alcohol.

Flea Combs and Sachets

Flea combs are one of the most popular tools to get rid of fleas. They are cheap, easy to use, and efficient against light infestations. You can also create a flea bag if you don’t have a flea comb.

A flea comb is an effective tool against fleas due to its short and thick teeth. It does not kill fleas but gathers them from your pet’s fur. Immerse the fleas in soapy water after removing them with the comb to make sure they die.

The flea comb can be used as it is, or you can soak it in lemon juice for added effect.

1. Flea Comb

dog Flea Combs

Flea combs are specially designed tools to remove fleas, eggs, and flea droppings.

Comb your dog’s hair as close to the root as possible to get rid of fleas. Use the flea comb after each walk.

2. Lemon Flea Comb

Lemon is harmless to dogs and humans, but is effective to kill fleas. Immerse the flea comb or brush in fresh lemon juice before combing your dog. Use a cloth soaked in lemon juice for short-haired breeds.

3. Flea Bag (sachet)

You can create a flea bag or sachet if your dog doesn’t like to be bathed, combed, or sprayed. These are best placed in the area where your dog sleeps as this is where fleas gather and lay eggs. Place it out of your dog’s reach.

Add lemon peel, crushed cedar bark, and two teaspoons of dry lavender buds to the bag. Replace the ingredients after a month.

Conclusion

There are countless home remedies for flea control. You can use them if your dog is allergic to classic antiparasitic substances or if you don’t want to use chemicals.

Always talk to your veterinarian to find the best way to get rid of your dog’s fleas with the least risk.

Natural remedies are not as effective as classic flea treatments, but they can work. Make sure you always use the correct dosage and don’t use them on your dog’s face. Do not allow your dog to ingest or inhale any of the used ingredients as they can cause side effects, intoxication, or respiratory problems.

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.

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