DIY Flea Treatment for Dogs

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Fleas are not just a nuisance to our furry friends. They can also cause significant discomfort and lead to a host of skin issues.

While commercial flea treatments are often effective, many pet owners prefer to avoid them due to concerns about exposing their pets to harmful chemicals.

If you wish to go the home remedy route, here are 10 DIY flea treatment for dogs that will help keep your canine friend flee-free.




10 DIY Flea Treatment for Dogs

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

A large dog smelling a bottle of vinegar
Image Credit: todaysdogfun from Instagram

Apple Cider Vinegar is undoubtedly one of the most popular natural remedies in many homes, for both humans and pets. ACV has a strong and pungent acidic smell that is said to repel fleas.

Using ACV on your dog will not kill fleas, but it will help keep them away. To use this remedy, combine equal parts of ACV and clean water in a spray bottle and shake well to ensure the solution is mixed.

Transfer the solution to a spray bottle and lightly spray over your dog’s coat before heading out on outdoor adventures.

The acetic acid found in ACV (approximately 5%) acts as an antiseptic, offering relief from itchiness for your furry companion.

Due to its alkaline properties, ACV can help balance your dog’s internal pH levels, counteracting the acidity often found in their regular diet.

We strongly recommend you speak to your vet about the correct dosage before adding ACV to your dog’s food or water.




2. Brewer’s Yeast

A small pup taking treats from a bowl showcasing a DIY Flea Treatments for Dogs
Image Credit: oakleybellesworld from Instagram

As the name suggests, brewer’s yeast is a nutritional powerhouse derived from the single-celled fungi used in beer brewing.

This dietary supplement is highly packed with B vitamins, protein, and trace minerals, making it a valuable option for use in your dog’s diet.

When it comes to flea control, brewer’s yeast works by changing your dog’s smell on the skin when consumed. Fleas dislike the pungent smell excreted through a dog’s skin taking brewer’s yeast.

In the context of flea control, brewer’s yeast works by altering your dog’s scent. When ingested, it is excreted through the skin, emitting an odor that fleas find repulsive.

Most brewer’s yeast typically comes in powder or flake form and can be easily mixed into your dog’s favorite foods or water.

The dosage can vary depending on your pup’s age, size, and weight, so be sure to ask your vet about this product and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

There is however not much scientific information about the efficacy of brewer’s yeast on flea control, other than USDA pamphlets published in the 1950s.

Besides deterring fleas, brewer’s yeast offers numerous health benefits for dogs. The B vitamins promote healthy skin, coat, and digestion, while the protein supports muscle growth and maintenance.

Brewer’s yeast is also believed to boost the immune system, making your dog less susceptible to infections and diseases.

Some pet owners have even reported that a regular dosage of brewer’s yeast helps alleviate stress and anxiety in their dogs.




3. Coconut Oil Rub

A person massaging a dog using coconut oil
Image Credit: arctic woodslife from Instagram

Natural coconut oil is made of a saturated fatty acid known as Lauric acid among other wonderful ingredients.

This acid has the potential to make fleas incapable of moving when they come into contact with the parasites’ skin.

Gently massage melted coconut oil into your dog’s coat using bare hands. Pay attention to areas where parasites are likely to hide, such as the neck, behind the ears, under the belly, and at the base of the tail.

The saturated fatty acids coat the entire flea, suffocating them, and disrupting their brief life cycle on your pet’s coat.

Besides the potential in flea control, Lauric acid has antimicrobial properties which can help soothe the dog’s skin from flea bites and irritations.

You can also offer your dog coconut oil orally by mixing a recommended dose in their food or given as an occasional treat.




4. Natural Oil Sprays

A person bathing two small dogs
Image Credit: millie.and.philip from Instagram

Nothing beats the effectiveness of using natural products with flea-repelling powers. These natural solutions are made using essential oils and are free of harmful synthetic chemicals.

An essential oil spray can be used to control fleas on your pet safely and sprayed around the entire home to address the infestation issues.

Always be careful and read product labels before using them on your dog. For example, some essential oils are only effective in repelling fleas, others kill them, while others kill the fleas and the eggs.

Some of the popular essential oils used for flea control include lavender, cedarwood, citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, and eucalyptus.

Feel free to use a single-ingredient oil for flea control or create a blended mixture for maximum effectiveness.

To create this solution, start by filling a spray bottle with water. You can add a few tablespoons of witch hazel or apple cider vinegar to help disperse the oils more evenly and enhance the flea-repelling effects.

Into the spray bottle, add about 10-15 drops of each chosen essential oil to the water mixture. A typical ratio is 10 drops of essential oil per 1 cup of water.

Shake the spray bottle thoroughly to ensure the oils are well mixed with the water. Essential oils don’t dissolve in water, so you will need to shake the bottle before each use.

Lightly mist your dog’s coat with the essential oil spray and avoid spraying directly into your dog’s eyes, nose, mouth, and any open wounds.




5. Diatomaceous Earth (Food Grade)

A person combing a white dog
Image Credit: Parker the Samoyed from Instagram

Don’t let this complicated name distract you! Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a naturally occurring rock powder that works wonders on flea control.

This powder-like substance is made of fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms known as diatoms.

Diatomaceous earth works by physically killing fleas on your dog’s coat, rather than using chemical means, making it safe and practical. We only recommend using food-grade DE for your pets.

To use this natural remedy, get some from your local store and lightly dust it over your dog’s fur using bare hands. You can also dust your pet’s sleeping area and other surfaces.

Just be careful not to overdo it! Too much powder can create a dust cloud that your canine friend or human family could inhale.

Allow the diatomaceous earth to sit on your dog’s coat for several hours for the flea control properties to kick in, then brush your dog afterward to remove the dust.




6. Fresh Lemon Spray Repellant

A lemon spray bottle
Image Credit: Little Rose Gifts from Instagram

You can make a natural flea-repellant spray using fresh lemons as a healthy alternative to harsh commercial chemicals.

While there’s no scientific evidence that citrus can kill fleas, it has been shown that the strong scent can drive fleas away.

To prepare this solution, slice one or two large lemons and place them in a pot of boiling water. Reduce the heat and simmer the contents for about 30 minutes before letting it cool overnight.

Strain the lemon-infused water into a spray bottle and discard the lemon slices. Feel free to dilute this solution with clean water if the citrus scent is too strong for your dog.

Lightly spray the natural repellant on your dog’s fur, making sure it doesn’t get into their eyes, ears, or wounds. Pay close attention to crevices where fleas are known to hide.




7. Natural Soap

A dog covered in lathered soap
Image Credit: Dogtopia from Instagram

While this option is not a direct flea treatment strategy, using a natural soap for your dog’s regular baths can be a helpful part of their coat health.

Natural soaps are free from harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances that can irritate your dog’s skin, making them a gentler option, especially for dogs with skin sensitivities.

Look for soaps specifically formulated for dogs and made with natural ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, neem oil, or essential oils known for their flea-repelling properties.




8. Sulfur

Small dog playing in the backyard
Image Credit: jaxandthepack from Instagram

While Sulfur is a naturally occurring element known for its antifungal and insecticidal properties, it should only be used for outdoor flea control.

Sulfur helps in flea control by interfering with the parasite’s energy production. Sprinkle powdered sulfur in your backyard, lawn, grass, shrubs, or other outdoor places your dog loves to hang out.

Always apply the Sulfur powder using a sifter, while maintaining light dusting to allow your plants’ color to show through.




9. Light Traps

Fleas are naturally attracted to light and warmth; we can thereby harness these properties to lure these parasites to reduce their population.

Researchers believe that a trap with a yellow-green light, flashing on for 10 minutes and then off for 5 seconds, tricks fleas into perceiving the movement of your dog, prompting them to jump towards the light.

Set up this trap in your home today for flea control and avoid putting it near electrical outlets or flammable materials.




10. Rosemary Flea Dip

Rosemary herb with blue flowers
Image Credit: Dirk Beckmann from Instagram

Synthetic chemical flea dips can be extremely harsh and potentially harmful to your dog’s skin and overall health.

You can formulate a gentler flea dip option at home by spiking clean water with fresh rosemary leaves. Scientific studies have proven rosemary leaves to be flea, spider, and cockroach repellents.

Take a handful of fresh rosemary sprigs or two tablespoons of dried rosemary and steep them in a quart of boiling water for about 30 minutes, then allow the solution to cool completely.

Strain the cooled solution and discard the leaves and herbs. Add an equal amount of warm water to dilute the rosemary infusion.

Wait until the brewed solution is comfortable for your dog and pour it over the coat to soak the entire coat, leaving out the eyes, ears, and wounds.

Allow your canine friend to air dry naturally in a warm place. The rosemary scent will linger on their fur and repel fleas and other external parasites.




Conclusion

With the above 10 DIY flea treatment for dogs, we hope you found a strategy that can work comfortably for your canine friend.

Feel free to use one strategy at a time or combine more for much more effective results. Always ask for a green light from your vet before using any new substance on your dog’s skin or orally.

Remember to practice flea management consistently and maintain regular cleaning and grooming to keep your dog’s skin healthy.

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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