Fighting fleas is a frustrating battle that every pet owner will need to face at some point. Dogs are ideal hosts for these little parasites, and even with preventative measures, your pet could still get infested with fleas. If you're looking for home remedies for fleas on dogs, I have some tips for you.
Table of Contents
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are more than 2,000 species of fleas. These creatures survive best in warm and humid climates, and must feed off of the blood of a host animal to survive. Before you learn how to kill fleas on dogs, you must understand how fleas survive and reproduce.
During its life cycle, a flea changes from an egg, to larvae, to pupae and finally into an adult flea. An adult female flea can live for more than three weeks and lay 20-30 eggs each day.
Fleas can also survive for more than 100 days without a blood meal, which means they can easily survive on carpeting, bedding, furniture or other areas where your dog spends his time.
If your pet has contracted fleas, there is a good chance that they have infested your house as well. Home remedies for fleas on dogs will not be effective unless you get rid of the fleas in your home. If you don't, the dog will get infested with fleas again in no time.
My 3 Favorite Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs
1. ACD Homemade Dog Flea Spray
Flea spray is a common product used to kill fleas on dogs. Most commercial flea sprays are made with harmful chemicals and ingredients that could be toxic, but you can make your own homemade flea spray that's safer yet still effective.
Personally, I prefer to make my own homemade flea spray with just 2 ingredients:
To make this spray, simply combine 1 part water and 1 part apple cider vinegar in an empty spray bottle. While this spray will not kill fleas, it will prevent an infestation from occurring. You'll need to apply the spray every 2-3 days to ensure that it is effective. The drawback to this remedy is that it is a bit stinky. The apple cider vinegar has a strong smell, but that's also what helps to repel fleas.
2. Essential Oils Flea Spray for Dogs
If you're looking for home remedies for fleas on dogs that smell better than the one above, try making a homemade flea spray with essential oils on top of water. I personally like using the mixture of these two essential oils:
To make a better smelling home flea spray, simply add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, 5 drops of peppermint essential oil and 5 drops of lavender essential oil to an empty spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with water.
This spray is a little less stinky, but just as effective. You'll also need to apply this spray every 2-3 days to ensure it keeps fleas off your pooch.
3. Flea Bath Remedy for Dogs
Giving your dog a bath is one of the best ways to remove fleas from his coat. Of course, there are a lot of commercial dog flea shampoo products available for you to purchase. Many of these shampoos are made with harmful chemicals that can dry out your pup's skin or even make him sick!
One of my favorite home remedies for fleas on dogs is this easy DIY dog bath. If you don't know how to properly give your dog a bath, check out my video guide on the topic. It's not as easy as you may think, especially if your dog isn't cooperative.
If your dog has fleas, I recommend washing him with Dawn dish soap (I use this one) instead of traditional dog shampoo. The dish soap will destroy the exoskeleton of the fleas, which will kill them, and this has been proven in many tests before. The Dawn dish soap works because it creates a type of surface tension that prevents fleas' exoskeleton from floating, and make those adult fleas just sink in water. Simply, the dish soap drowns them.
Once you've washed and rinsed your dog thoroughly, give him another rinse with apple cider vinegar. This will help to balance the skin's pH level, and fleas do not like that. If you don't want your pooch to smell like vinegar, you can give him another thorough rinse with water to remove the majority of the odor.
Commercial Dog Flea Remedies
While the above three homemade dog flea remedies are safer because they're made with natural ingredients, I find that they don't always work. If you're dealing with a more serious flea infestation, you can try store-bought flea remedies like flea shampoos or flea sprays that will have more chemicals but will get rid of fleas quicker. Below are four brands that are my favorites that you can try.
|Wondercide Natural Flea, Tick and Mosquito Spray...||2,373 Reviews||$24.99||Buy on Amazon|
|Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor 12...||4,762 Reviews||$10.79||Buy on Amazon|
|Vet's Best Flea and Tick Home Spray | Flea...||22,222 Reviews||$10.49||Buy on Amazon|
|Natural Care Flea and Tick Dog Shampoo | Flea...||584 Reviews||$8.97||Buy on Amazon|
READ NEXT: Top 50 Best Flea Treatments for Dogs