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Homemade Flea Shampoo for Dogs: Best Recipes

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One of the popular ways to get rid of fleas on your dog is to prepare a homemade flea shampoo. Take your dog’s regular shampoo or Dawn dish soap and add ingredients with an anti-flea effect, such as essential oils, lemon, or vinegar. Keep in mind that not all these recipes will kill fleas, some of them having a repellent effect.

Did you forget to buy your dog a flea solution, but you have dog shampoo or Dawn dish soap and essential oils or lemon at home?

Starting with your dog’s regular shampoo or Dawn dish soap, you can create a multitude of homemade recipes to remove or repel fleas.

Remember not to use homemade flea shampoo on dogs that have skin problems (lesions, dermatitis, burns), and avoid getting it into their eyes and mouth.

Use with caution the first time and make sure it does not cause side effects to your dog, such as an allergic reaction.

Here are some homemade shampoo recipes that can be helpful if your dog has fleas and you want to kill or repel them.

Homemade Flea Shampoo Recipes For Dogs

Multiple ingredients can be added to your dog’s regular shampoo to turn it into a homemade flea shampoo. These include essential oils, lemon, vinegar, and coconut oil. You can also make homemade flea shampoo with dish soap or baby shampoo.

A flea infestation can make your dog uncomfortable and sick and can infest your entire home. To help your pet get rid of fleas you can try homemade shampoos.

Homemade flea shampoo has several benefits:

  • It does not contain chemicals like many of the classic anti-flea shampoos do.
  • You can make another shampoo with other ingredients if it doesn’t work.

The most popular ingredients you can use to prepare a homemade flea shampoo are:

  • Your dog’s regular shampoo
  • Baby shampoo
  • Dish soap
  • Essential oils
  • Lemon
  • Coconut oil
  • Vinegar

Related: Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs

Homemade Flea Shampoo Recipes For Dogs

Homemade Flea Shampoo With Essential Oils

Essential oils should be used with caution as they can cause side effects for pets, even if they are considered safe. Always use in low concentrations.

Not all essential oils are safe for dogs. Using the wrong ones can cause health issues.

The following essential oils are considered safe for dogs:

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

They should always be diluted in water, shampoo, or carrier oil before use. Never use 100% concentrated essential oil.

Make sure your dog does not ingest shampoo with essential oils. Poisoning with essential oils in dogs[1] can result in several issues:

  • Excessive salivation.
  • Depression.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Incoordination.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

In severe cases, your pet can die. Only use essential oils on your dog if your vet recommends it.

Lavender Essential Oil for Fleas on Dogs

Homemade Shampoo With Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is a very potent and effective oil against fleas. It has repellent properties and can be used with shampoo to get rid of fleas:

  1. Add 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil to your dog’s regular shampoo.
  2. Wash your dog regularly with this shampoo.

Homemade Shampoo With Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil has repellent properties. You can try this recipe to help your dog get rid of fleas:

  1. Add three drops of eucalyptus essential oil to one tablespoon of dog shampoo.
  2. Wash your dog regularly with this shampoo.

If you don’t have pet shampoo you can use Dawn dish soap with eucalyptus oil as follows:

  1. Add 500 ml water.
  2. Add one cup of vinegar.
  3. Add two tbs. Dawn dish soap.
  4. Add 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil.
  5. Wash your dogs with this mix once every 2-3 weeks.
  6. Rinse well.

Dish soap can dry and irritate your dog’s skin if used in excess. Use it for massive infestations, but avoid it for dogs with skin problems.[3]

Eucalyptus Oil

Essential Oil Combo Homemade Shampoo For Fleas

A recipe with a combo of essential oils is more potent against fleas. Try the following recipes for a homemade flea shampoo with a combination of essential oils:

  1. Add 300 ml of water.
  2. Add 60 ml aloe vera gel.
  3. One tbs. Castilia soap or Dawn dish soap.
  4. Two drops of lavender essential oil.
  5. Two drops of rosemary essential oil.
  6. Two drops of peppermint essential oil.
  7. Two drops of eucalyptus essential oil.
  8. Wash your dog once every 2-3 weeks.
  9. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Rinse well.

Homemade Flea Shampoo With Lemon

Lemon is a good alternative for killing and repelling fleas as the citrus fruit has insecticidal properties. They destroy the waxy layer of fleas, so they die by suffocation.

According to studies, lemons contain d-limonene – a substance with insecticidal properties. D-limonene is toxic to all flea’s life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.[4]

Because of these properties, we can use lemon to repel fleas.

How to prepare a homemade shampoo with lemon for dogs:

  1. Boil two cups of water.
  2. Slice one lemon into thin slices.
  3. Add the slices to the boiling water.
  4. Add a 1/3 cup of dried rosemary.
  5. Boil all the ingredients for five minutes.
  6. Let the mixture sit overnight.
  7. Add 1/4 cup of lemon mixture to your dog’s regular shampoo.

You can spray the remaining mixture on your dog’s fur (avoiding the face) or add 2-3 drops of it to your dog’s textile collar.

You can also prepare a homemade shampoo with freshly squeezed lemon juice:

  1. Add half a cup of lemon juice.
  2. Add two cups of water.
  3. Add half a cup of dog or baby shampoo, Castile soap, or Dawn dish soap.
  4. Wash your dog twice a week if you use Dawn dish soap and only once a week for the rest.
  5. Rinse thoroughly.
Homemade Flea Shampoo With Lemon

Homemade Flea Shampoo with Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a good remedy for fleas. It is also considered safe to apply coconut oil on your dog or let it ingest it, making it a risk-free flea remedy.

Fleas coated with coconut oil die of suffocation. This oil can also be used as a flea repellent due to its high lauric acid content.[6]

Other properties of coconut oil:

  • Moisturizes the skin
  • Soothes inflamed skin
  • Gives the fur a shiny appearance
  • Removes unpleasant odors from your dog’s fur
  • Antibacterial and antifungal

Here’s how to make and use a homemade flea shampoo with coconut oil:

  1. Take half a cup of Castile soap, dog or baby shampoo, or dish soap.
  2. Add a three-quarters cup of water.
  3. Add a quarter cup of coconut oil.
  4. Add five drops of lavender oil.
  5. Add five drops of rosemary oil.
  6. Mix all the ingredients.
  7. Wash your dog with the solution once a week (twice if you use dish soap).
  8. Rinse thoroughly.

If you don’t have lavender or rosemary oil at home, you can try a recipe with coconut oil, peppermint, and eucalyptus essential oil:

  1. Grab half a cup of Castile soap, dog or baby shampoo, or Dawn dish soap.
  2. Add Three-quarters cup of water (tap or distilled water).
  3. Add a quarter cup of coconut oil.
  4. Add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil.
  5. Add 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil.
  6. Mix all the ingredients.
  7. Wash your dog with the solution once a week (twice if you use dish soap).
  8. Rinse thoroughly.
Can I Use Coconut Oil to Kill Fleas on My Dog

Homemade Flea Shampoo with Vinegar

There are no studies on the effectiveness of vinegar on fleas, but when used in combination with other anti-flea ingredients, it can get rid of fleas on dogs.

How to prepare a homemade shampoo with vinegar:

  1. Add 60 ml apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
  2. 60 ml baby shampoo or your dog’s regular shampoo.
  3. 120 ml water.
  4. Wash your dog with this shampoo.
  5. Leave on for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Rinse thoroughly.
  7. Apply whenever needed.

Another shampoo recipe with vinegar:

  1. A cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar.
  2. One liter of warm water.
  3. A cup of Dawn dish soap.
  4. Wash your dog.
  5. Leave on for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Rinse thoroughly.
  7. Apply once every 2-3 weeks.

This shampoo is not suitable for dogs with skin problems or sensitive skin because it dries out the skin.

Dawn dish soap dissolves the fleas’ exoskeleton, causing them to sink and drown. You can also add 2-3 drops of safe essential oils for dogs for greater efficiency when you prepare a flea shampoo with vinegar.

apple cider vinegar

Homemade Dry Shampoo For Fleas on Dogs

If you do not have shampoo, soap, or dish soap on hand, you can make a dry shampoo to kill the fleas on your dog.

Add the following to a bowl to make dry shampoo for fleas on dogs:

  1. A cup of baking soda.
  2. A cup of cornstarch.
  3. Four drops of lemon or lavender essential oil.
  4. Mix the ingredients well.
  5. Spread the mixture on your dog’s fur.
  6. Comb it with a brush or comb.
  7. Leave on for a few minutes.
  8. Comb your dog with a flea comb.
  9. You can rinse your pet or leave it as it is.
  10. Apply the mixture as often as necessary.

Baking soda and cornstarch have absorbent properties, causing fleas to dehydrate and die.

Keep in mind that excess baking soda on your dog’s skin can lead to skin problems (dry skin).

Conclusion

Natural remedies or homemade recipes will never be as effective as veterinary antiparasitic products at killing and preventing fleas.

Always talk to your veterinarian before using essential oils on your dog. It may have skin problems or be allergic to some of them.

Test your homemade flea shampoos on a small area before using them on your dog’s entire body, especially those that contain essential oils. Some dogs are sensitive to essential oils and can develop allergic reactions.

Shampoos containing vinegar or Dawn dish soap can dry your dog’s skin too much, so use them with caution. Dry shampoos containing baking soda and cornstarch can also dry out your dog’s skin. These shampoos are not recommended for use on dogs with sensitive skin or lesions.

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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