First, it’s worth asking what causes dogs to catch fleas and how this can be prevented whenever possible. There are a few different common ways in which dogs can see fleas, including the following:
- Contact with filthy surfaces, which are natural homes for fleas
- Contact dogs, cats, or other animals that are carrying fleas
- Contact with items containing flea eggs, which can sit in soil or carpet fibers before hatching
From those three points, we can see some of the preventive measures we want to take to help protect our four-legged friends from a flea problem. While it’s a losing battle to keep dogs from getting into the dirt or other filthy surfaces, you can try to discourage them from doing so as much as possible while likewise giving them regular baths.
Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs.
Are there genuinely effective remedies for fleas on dogs? The answer to that question is a resounding YES. Home remedies for fleas on dogs are becoming increasingly popular as we all tend to now look for a more honest answer to our doggy problems.
I consider fleas and ticks on our dogs as one of the most annoying, frustrating, and stressful. Some outbreaks of dog fleas can be dealt with quite effectively the first time, but, on some occasions, it just feels that no matter what you do, it is never enough, and the fleas keep returning no matter what you do.
Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs. The relationship you have with your dog
Few relationships in your life are likely to be as strong and loving as the one you share with your dog. No matter who you are or what kind of day it’s been, whether you’re on top of the world or “in the dog house,” your dog welcomes you home with a happy tail.
They may want a few treats for their trouble, but that’s no matter – the unconditional love our dogs give us is one reason why canines have been given the well-worn mantle of Man’s Best Friend.
History of dogs
It’s a friendship that transcends time and space. Dogs have left their paw prints all over world culture. The rich and powerful have long had a relationship with Man’s Best Friend, from the court of the Ming Dynasty to the Queen and her corgis to the number of Presidential pooches who called Pennsylvania Avenue home.
After all, one of the foundational works of Western Literature involves a dog dying of joy after its husband returns from his twenty-year odyssey. Since Argus and Odysseus, there have been many iconic dogs and master duos, from the joyously comic Lance and Crab in Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona to Jack London’s coming-of-age classics, Call of the Wild and White Fang. “
A Child and Their Dog” has long been a staple of American children’s literature, from the tragic Old Yeller to the bittersweet Where the Red Fern Grows. Marilyn Monroe, Bob Barker, and Salma Hayek can be counted among the ranks of past and present film and TV star dog lovers. Meanwhile, dogs have long been stars of the silver screen in their own right, from Lady and the Tramp to 101 Dalmatians.
Should you contact a vet?
No matter our personal and political differences. You naturally want to repay your pet’s devotion, and the first step toward doing that is ensuring that you take good care of them.
This means ensuring they get the medical treatment they need, which in turn means getting them veterinary care. That being said, some conditions might not rise to the level of requiring your veterinarian’s attention but still prove pernicious enough to be a real problem for you and your four-legged friend.
Case in point: fleas. While, as we’ll see, there may be some cases in which you might want to consult your vet, on the whole, you’re likely to be on your own when it comes to dealing with these pests.
Infestations of fleas
Flea infestations are, of course, nothing new. That being said, they can give your dog a real problem. Fleas biting your dog can irritate its skin, leading them to scratch excessively. Not only is this annoying for your dog, but it can cause them to rub themselves to such an extent that they hurt themselves, to say nothing of the germs fleas can bring.
Add to that that you probably don’t want those fleas and their germs in your home, and the impetus to get rid of them once and for all becomes clear.
So, what can you do if this isn’t something to visit your vet about?
Thankfully, there is a wide range of effective home remedies for fleas on dogs that you can use to cure your dog of its pesky flea problem.
Preventing Fleas in the First Place
Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs. Ticks and fleas
This way, even if they come into contact with surfaces containing fleas (to say nothing of parasites and other potential problems), you can help nip that problem in the bud. In addition, you’ll want to vacuum, and clean areas that might be breeding grounds for fleas or might otherwise contain flea eggs. Doing your due diligence and cleaning the space your dog inhabits can make the difference between them being flea-infested and flea-free.
Then there’s the matter of preventing your pet from catching fleas from other animals. Naturally, you will want to keep your pet from mingling with strange animals. You don’t know what a particular animal might be carrying – it might be fleas or something far worse, such as rabies.
You thus want to do everything you can to keep your pet from coming into contact with wild animals. If you have a friend and plan on having a doggie play date, you’ll want to use your reasonable discretion. It’ll probably be fine if you trust that the dog’s ow-friendly has kept their pet friendly and clean. If not, you might want to steer clear.
With that out, let’s look at some of the best home remedies for fleas on dogs.
Home Remedy #1: Dish Soap
Chances are pretty good that you don’t need to be told that a bath is your best friend for helping prevent and treat fleas on dogs. That said, chances are equally good that you might not have expected the first of our home remedies for fleas on dogs to be dish soap. While it’s a bit of an out-of-the-box move, it can be an excellent first step – and here’s why.
First, dish soap is something we all have in our homes, so it isn’t as though you’ll have to concoct anything special for this one. Then there’s how dish soap works. It can be a tremendous homemade flea trap when doused with warm water.
You’ll thus want to place the concoction where you see the most activity. This obviously won’t cure any fleas already on your dog, but it can act as another effective means of flea prevention.
Of course, you’ll also want to ensure that the dish soap in question is inaccessible to your dog. You don’t want your dog accidentally knocking it over or drinking the solution.
If you can place it on a countertop or raised surface, all the better. If not, you’ll want to find a way to section it off from your dog. Simply making that room or section of your yard inaccessible is a good start.
Home Remedy #2: Acidic Solutions
Maybe the dish soap hasn’t proven effective in trapping fleas, or if it has, it hasn’t stopped some fleas from getting into your dog’s fur. Acidic solutions can be a great help in this regard. They’re something you can apply to your dog’s coat, thus protecting them more directly. The acidic solutions will not harm your dog should they lick their fur.
These solutions work by acting as a flea repellant. Fleas do not care for biting surfaces, so adding apple cider vinegar or coconut oil – the two most common forms of this repellant – can help keep them away. For the apple cider vinegar solution, you’ll want to take 4L of vinegar from a trusted brand, 500ML of lemon juice, 2L of water, and 250ML of witch hazel and mix them.
This is one of the most commonly-cited home remedies out there for removing and repelling fleas from dogs, and one which, assuming that it’s successful, you should repeat every day or a couple of days as long as the fleas are present.
Home Remedy #3: Dehumidifiers
Another method of flea prevention, dehumidifiers, can be a great way to destroy one of the critical elements needed for fleas to thrive – humidity. Adding a dehumidifier to space can thus help make it less amenable to fleas, thereby keeping them out of your home and off your dog.
Of course, this won’t help in outdoor spaces, so you’ll still need to figure out something to deal with if your dog is outside. That said, if they are inside dogs and don’t go out too much, or if it’s your home giving you the most terrific deal of trouble as far as a potential flea infestation goes, this can be a simple yet effective treatment.
Home Remedy #4: Baking Soda with Vacuuming
We’ve already mentioned that one of the most effective home remedies for fleas on dogs is to apply a simple, safe acidic solution to your dog’s fur, such as coconut oil or apple cider vinegar. Using a base such as baking soda can also be effective in getting rid of fleas. However, you won’t be applying this to your dog’s coat.
Instead, you’ll want to take baking soda and apply it to your carpets. In doing so, you’ll want to be gentle so as not to damage your carpets. Once you have done this, it’s time to get vacuuming.
If you have fleas in your home, vacuuming should be one of the first steps to get rid of them, as mentioned above. That being said, flea eggs, in particular, can be challenging to remove, given how well they can nest between the fibers of a carpet. That’s why baking soda can be a game-changer here – it makes it far easier to vacuum up those fleas and flea eggs for good.
Home Remedy #5: Applying Salt to Different Solutions
We’ve already listed some ways to get rid of fleas on dogs, but if that hasn’t done the trick yet, it may be time to bring out one of the secret weapons in your flea-removal arsenal: salt. Part of the reason why salt can be so helpful in this regard is the fact that it can be added to different remedies to make them even more effective.
For example, you can add salt to the dish above the soap method of catching fleas to make it even more potent. Whereas dish soap helps kill adult fleas, salt helps suffocate any eggs the adult fleas may have laid.
In addition, you can add salt to your baking soda solution as well. As with baking soda, you’ll want to gently sprinkle salt on your carpet before vacuuming to increase its effectiveness. Part of the reason why salt is so effective is that it acts as a dehydrating agent, which can be a massive problem for fleas.
Home Remedy #6: Lemon Spray
Here we have another acidic flea spray to help keep fleas off your dog. At this point, it should be worth noting that flea sprays are professionally made and may be necessary if these home methods continue to fail. If that’s the case, you’ll want to talk to your veterinarian about the following steps.
For now, however, let’s look at another method of keeping fleas off your dog via a home remedy. You’ll want to make the lemon spray from a decent amount of lemons, with about six or so being a decent number to start.
You’ll want to slice these lemons and place them into a large bowl or jar before adding some rosemary leaves, 1L of boiling water, and some geranium oil. Let the concoction sit overnight. In the morning, pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it onto different surfaces that may be infested with fleas (though not on your dog’s fur).
Home Remedy #7: Herbs to the Rescue
If you have a green thumb, you might consider killing two birds with one stone by planting some lovely herbs in your yard or garden, which can double as a natural flea repellent. These herbs include lavender and rosemary. How much of a given herb you should plant will naturally depend on the size of your yard and how much you’re willing to grow.
Home Remedy #8: Horse Apples
Another of our plant-based home remedies for fleas on dogs involves horse apples and a mulberry. You can buy these from Amazon and most outlets that sell mulberry and Osage. As with the herbs listed above, they are generally considered natural flea repellents.
For this natural home remedy for fleas, you’ll want to cut the horse apples into sections before scattering them around your lawn. If your flea infestation has reached your home, you’ll also want to place at least one horse apple in each room.
These fruits should last for a couple of months before replacing them, although you’ll naturally want to check on them periodically to ensure they are still fresh. They should continue to be at least somewhat effective even after drying out.
Home Remedy #9: Diatomaceous Earth
Finally, if all of the above have failed, you may want to turn to one of the more potent home remedies for fleas on dogs: diatomaceous earth. It is worth noting at the outset that this method requires more caution than the others.
Mishandled, this method can lead to irritation of the eyes and other body parts. While diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, you’ll still want to be careful and always get options that are labeled as food-grade. In addition, it may be a good idea to wear a gardener’s mask while using this method.
Diatomaceous earth is made from the remains of fossilized algae, forming a fine powder. As with salt, the main benefit of the diatomaceous world is that it acts as a potent dehydrating agent. Likewise, you’ll want to sprinkle it atop areas of suspected flea activity and let it sit for a day or two. You can also apply diatomaceous earth to your yard.
Our final thoughts
All these different types of home remedies for fleas on dogs can be effective on their own or when used in conjunction with one another. If a few have failed, your dog may have a more significant flea problem than an all-natural remedy can handle, or something else may attract the fleas to your yard. You’ll want to consult a veterinarian, landscaping professional, or both for further assistance.
Take the time to give your dog the protection from fleas they deserve with some of the best all-natural home remedies for fleas on dogs.