Did you know that most commercial flea medications and topical “spot-on” flea treatments contain toxic insecticides that are harmful to pets?
Flea collars can contain chemicals like propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos which have been shown to hinder brain development. Eek!
Well, it’s time to get rid of those poisonous and expensive flea medications. We found the 15 best natural flea treatments for dogs that are free of toxins and safe for your pup.
Now you can take your pup to the dog park, beach, or backyard and enjoy the outdoors without the fear of fleas and ticks. Try these all natural flea remedies for dogs and say goodbye to those itchy flea bites!
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an age-old natural flea treatment and is one of the best ways to get rid of fleas on dogs. Due to its strong acidity and pungent odor, fleas hate the smell, making it a natural flea repellent.
Therefore, it should only be used as a preventative measure since it won’t actually kill fleas. However, vinegar is highly effective at chasing these pests away and deterring them from coming back.
When using vinegar for fleas, be sure to use raw apple cider vinegar due to its numerous health benefits for dogs. A major benefit is that only raw apple cider vinegar is alkaline-forming in the body. Alkaline foods help to balance out the blood’s pH levels which tend to become acidic due to unbalanced diets. Raw apple cider vinegar can also help moisturize dry skin and promote a shiny coat.
How to Use Vinegar for Fleas
- Add to your dog’s water or food – You can either add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per quart of water or add it directly to their food.
- Add to your dog’s bath – Lather and massage the vinegar into your dog’s skin and let sit for 10 minutes. Then thoroughly rinse.
- Make your own natural flea spray – A flea spray is great to have handy for your pet’s bedding, furniture and carpet.
Jenni, proud dog mom from Sweet Pennies from Heaven, recommends mixing 50/50 Bragg’s apple cider vinegar with water. You can also spray this mixture directly onto your dog’s coat, especially before taking them outside.
Diatomaceous earth is one of the safest natural remedies for fleas on dogs. Consisting of the fossilized remains of aquatic diatoms, each particle is microscopic and shard-like. It kills fleas and other pests like ants and bed bugs by lacerating their exoskeletons. The resulting cuts cause their bodies to dehydrate from the inside out and eventually them.
Since diatomaceous earth is so microscopic it is completely safe for humans and pets. It’s easily considered one of the easiest and most effective natural flea treatments for dogs.
How to use Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas
The best way to use diatomaceous earth to get rid of fleas is to sprinkle it everywhere your pet goes including their bedding, carpet, and furniture. Leave it for a day or two, depending on the severity of your flea problem in the house, and vacuum away the dust. You can even sprinkle diatomaceous earth directly on your dog’s fur and near the base of their tail where fleas tend to reside.
When using diatomaceous earth for fleas, make sure to only use food-grade products.
If you’re looking for a powerful natural flea treatment for dogs, look no further than essential oils. Although it’s one of the most popular flea remedies for dogs, pet owners need to be careful in choosing the right essential oils. There are many types of essential oils that are known to be toxic to pets, such as tea tree oil.
Essential oils in their pure form can also be too concentrated for pets. That’s why it’s important to always dilute essential oils with carrier oils before applying them on your pet.
How to Dilute Essential Oils for Dogs
We recommend diluting one drop of essential oil in approximately 30 drops of carrier oil. Popular carrier oils like coconut oil or sweet almond oil are great to work with and are fairly inexpensive.
Each type of essential oil is different, so you’ll want to adjust according to your pet’s sensitivity towards a particular type. If you have questions about essential oils for pets, be sure to talk to your vet.
Here are the three most effective essential oils for fleas on dogs:
Lavender is one of the best essential oil flea repellents around. Fleas hate the smell of it, and a very small amount is enough to keep them off your dog. An added benefit to using lavender essential oil for fleas is its calming properties, making it a great choice for dogs who have anxiety.
Apply the diluted lavender oil mixture onto your dog’s back. Start from the shoulders, down the spine to the base of the tail. You can create your own DIY flea spray by combining the diluted lavender oil with water. Spray this mixture onto your dog’s bedding, couch and on directly on your pooch before taking them outside.
Cedar oil is a highly effective essential oil flea repellent because it is also a natural flea killer. In addition to fleas, it kills other nasty pests like lice and mites which can cause severe skin irritation.
Other great benefits of cedar oil include:
- Promote hair growth
- Reduce itching
- Heal hotspots
Ready to kill those fleas? Just remember to dilute the cedar essential oil with a carrier oil before applying it onto your pet.
Lemongrass essential oil contains limonene which helps repel and even kill fleas and other small insects.
If you have cats, you’ll want to keep lemongrass away from them since it’s toxic. Lemongrass can also potentially be toxic to dogs too if you use too much. Therefore, make sure to start with a very low dosage if you’re trying lemongrass essential oil for the first time for flea control or consult your vet.
An easy way to use lemongrass for flea prevention is with a natural spray like Wondercide’s Flea and Tick Spray. It’s a pre-diluted formula that uses lemongrass as the primary ingredient.
A natural pesticide, neem oil is derived from the seeds of the neem tree. This tree grows prevalently in India and has been known for centuries for its healing powers. It is an all natural and non-toxic pesticide for fleas, mosquitos and ticks. Similar to cedar oil, neem oil not only repels fleas, it’s also a natural flea killer that eliminates them on contact.
Neem oil is not an essential oil, and can be used directly without dilution.
Neem oi is an ideal natural flea treatment for dogs since it also helps with promoting a healthy coat and is effective at reducing skin problems like dryness, itchiness and excessive shedding. Because neem oil is non-toxic, it does not need to be diluted as with essential oils. You can apply neem oil directly to your pet’s skin. It’s one of the best home remedies to get rid of fleas on your dog.
How to use Neem Oil for Fleas
There are a few ways to use neem oil as a natural flea repellent for dogs.
Dogster recommends dabbing a few spots of neem oil on your dog’s head, behind their ears, and on their shoulders and tails.
Just like lemongrass, lemons contain high amounts of limonene that fleas hate. For an easy DIY natural flea treatment for dogs, follow the instructions below to make your own lemon spray!
How to Make a DIY Flea Spray
Thinly slice one whole lemon and boil a pot of water. Add the lemon slices to the pot and turn off the heat. Let steep overnight.
The next day, you’ll have a highly concentrated lemon water that you can use to spray onto your pet. You can also dip a flea comb, brush or sponge and run it through their fur.
For more powerful flea-fighting action, fortify your lemon flea spray by adding a sprig of rosemary, salt and/or apple cider vinegar.
Ultrasonic flea tags eliminate fleas by periodically emitting a high-frequency sound that repels many annoying pests including mosquitos and ticks. The sound frequency used is considered safe for dogs, cats and humans and is a completely chemical-free method of getting rid of fleas.
It’s perfect for keeping fleas off your pet in the outdoors like lawns, parks and hikes. Simply clip it onto your dog’s collar let it work it’s magic!
Not only are these great for dogs, they’re great for a variety of other uses as well. Hang one on a baby stroller the next time you go out for a walk; it will keep disease-ridden mosquitos away from your newborn. If you love the outdoors, clip one of these solar-powered ultrasonic tags onto your backpack or keychain for your next camping or hiking trip.
One of the first areas you should look for fleas is in your very own backyard. Lawns can be prevalent with fleas and they can easily latch onto your dog’s fur every time they go outside. Using nematodes is a powerful way to kill fleas in your yard and is one of the most effective natural flea treatments for dogs.
Nematodes are tiny microscopic worms that attack and kill pest larvae including fleas, ticks, and gnats. When released into your yard, they crawl into the soil where they can instantly locate and kill the majority of the flea larvae in the area within 24 hours.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of fleas in the yard, nematodes are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Specialized spray bottles make it easy to spray the nematodes over your lawn, garden or anywhere else in your yard. Although they are considered parasites to pests, nematodes are safe to use and do not harm plants, humans or animals.
A flea dip is a great natural flea treatment for dogs, since submerging your dog in water will drown out most of the fleas on their body. Since many store-bought flea dips contain harsh chemicals, using a natural flea dip is definitely the way to go.
Rosemary is a natural flea repellent for dogs and is perfect for making your own natural flea dip.
How to Make a Rosemary Flea Dip
Simply boil two pints of water with two cups of fresh rosemary leaves for 30 minutes. Allow mixture to cool.
Add mixture to a bathtub or bucket of water and allow your dog to soak in the mixture. After the soak, allow their fur to air dry. You can also use this rosemary mixture as an after-wash by pouring it over your dog after shampooing.
Many commercially-made flea collars contain high amounts of toxic insecticides that can be harmful to pets. These chemicals can even cause brain damage in dogs. Yikes! To avoid using toxic flea collars, try making one of your own using natural ingredients.
How to Make A Natural Flea Collar
Dab a few drops of diluted lavender or cedar oil onto a bandana or folded handkerchief. Wrap this loosely around your dog’s neck, especially before going outside. You can also soak the handkerchief in the rosemary dip recipe described above.
For a more potent flea collar that’s all natural, try Arava Flea and Ticks Botanical Collar. This collar contains a powerful herbal cocktail of 11 essential oils including cedar, peppermint, cinnamon, lemongrass, and rosemary to help you fight off those fleas for as long as five months.
A good ol’ flea comb is an inexpensive way to get rid of fleas on your dog. Running a flea comb through your dog’s fur should be done on a regular basis during flea season. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you’ll want to use a flea comb either once a day or once a week.
Using a flea comb alone will not be very effective in eliminating the flea population on your dog. However, using it along with these other natural flea treatments for dogs will help you get rid of fleas more effectively. For example, you can dip a flea comb into our lemon spray recipe or rosemary flea dip recipe before combing your dog’s fur.
A flea trap consists of a sticky surface with a built-in bright light. Since fleas are attracted to light, they’ll jump towards the glow only to fall into the sticky trap below it. Flea traps are an easy way to get rid of fleas quickly and are all natural without the use of any chemicals or unwanted odors.
Our favorite flea trap is the Victor Ultimate Flea Trap for its reasonable price and ability to lure fleas in from as far as 30 feet away due to the brightness of its light.
Peppermint is a flea-fighting herb that’s also a soothing agent for itchy, flea-bitten skin. One of the best ways to use peppermint to fight fleas is by using peppermint castile soap as a natural flea shampoo for dogs.
Castile soap is safe for dogs because it is made from plant-based ingredients, is pH-balanced and won’t strip your dog’s coat from its natural oils.
For extra flea-fighting capabilities, the folks at Dr. Bronner’s created a recipe to help you make your own homemade organic anti-flea shampoo.
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Homemade Flea Shampoo Recipe
½ c distilled water
⅓ c Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap
10 drops rosemary essential oil
1 tsp organic olive oil
Directions: Simply mix the above ingredients together and wash the fleas away!
Another great peppermint flea-fighting treatment is Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Pet & Home Spray. Made with natural essential oils and plant-based ingredients, it repels fleas and can even kill fleas on contact. It’s great for spraying directly onto your dog’s coat and everywhere else where fleas might be hiding including bedding, the couch and carpet.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is a natural flea repellant. Rub a teaspoon sized amount between your palms and run your fingers through your dog’s coat and skin. It will not only repel fleas but will also moisturize your dog’s skin and promote a healthy and shiny coat as well. Since coconut oil is non-toxic, you won’t have to worry about your pet licking it off and swallowing it.
When using coconut oil for fleas, be sure to only use organic unrefined coconut oil that is free of any additives and preservatives. Unrefined coconut oil also contains the most amount of nutrients, which are usually stripped away in coconut oil that is refined. Coconut oil is one of our favorite natural flea treatments for dogs because it’s so easy to use!
If your pet is itchy from flea and tick bites, try King Kanine’s King Kalm Balm. It’s a CBD-infused coconut oil balm that formulated with Manuka Honey that will reduce inflammation, moisturize the skin and alleviate itching fast.
Brewer’s yeast is rich in a wide range of vitamin B compounds as well as key nutrients like potassium, selenium, iron, zinc and magnesium. Due to its rich nutrients, brewer’s yeast can help promote a healthy coat and nails for both dogs and cats.
While the jury is still out on whether or not brewer’s yeast alone has flea-fighting powers, supplements containing garlic have been found to be effective. The combination of brewer’s yeast with garlic makes your pooch’s blood unpalatable to fleas and keeps them away.
Wondering how to get rid of fleas in the house? A regular vacuuming is the easiest way to help prevent flea infestation in your home. You’ll want to vacuum your pet’s bedding, carpet, couches, upholstery, and any dark corners on a regular basis to remove not only adult fleas but larvae and eggs. Be sure to empty your vacuum and dispose of the contents immediately to ensure that the fleas are out of your house.
The next time you see your pup scratching and itching from fleas, don’t leave things up to chance and wait for the infestation to get worse. Take action immediately with these 15 natural flea remedies. Use these easy flea remedies consistently and before you know it, your pup will be flea-free! Leave those expensive and toxic flea prescriptions at the vet, and try these natural flea treatments for dogs today.
To help alleviate itchy skin and allergic reactions to flea bites, try CBD oil for dogs. CBD can help to reduce inflammation and soothe the itching caused by flea bites in addition to its many other health benefits. Read our definitive guide to CBD for pets to learn more!