7 Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs That Can Actually Work (2022)

Fleas: the dreaded pests that no pet owner wants to see on their dog. These pesky little parasites feed on your canine friend's blood, make Fido itch like crazy, and potentially lead to more serious health troubles if the issue isn't dealt with.

What's worse, fleas use their large back legs to jump around, sometimes to distances of a foot or more. They can infest other pets in your home, as well as your bedding and furniture, if you don't take steps to eradicate them.

Clearly, you'll want to identify and treat a flea infestation in your dog as soon as you can. But many pet owners worry about the chemicals in flea collars and other standard treatment options. Luckily, you can try different home remedies to get rid of these pests on your dog and around your home.

Let's take a look at some telltale signs of a flea infestation so that you know what to watch out for. Then, we'll discuss some home remedies for fleas on dogs.

Signs of a Flea Infestation on Your Dog

You can see adult fleas with the naked eye, although it isn't always easy. But most of the time, you'll notice the symptoms of a flea infestation before you notice the fleas themselves.

The common symptoms of fleas include:

(Video) 10 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Fleas

  • Intense itching and scratching, especially around the neck and shoulder area
  • Inflammation of the skin
  • Tiny red dots on the skin (flea bites)
  • Scabbing on the skin
  • Restlessness
  • Hair loss

Another telltale sign of fleas is flea droppings, also known as flea dirt. These look like tiny specks of black pepper on your dog's skin.

Running a flea comb through your pet's hair can reveal the flea dirt. You can also collect some of the flea dirt and wet it. If it turns red, it's flea poop (the red color happens because of the digested blood).

7 Top Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs

7 Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs That Can Actually Work (1)

You've confirmed the presence of fleas on your dog, either by symptoms, the presence of flea dirt, visible fleas in your dog's coat, or all of the above. Now what?

Here are some of the best flea remedies for you to try at home:

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil contains a fatty acid called lauric acid, a component that kills fleas. The fat covers the flea's exoskeleton and essentially suffocates the pest.

(Video) How to Get Rid of Fleas Fast Cheap and Easy. See Links / Info in Description 👇🏻

Only apply coconut oil to your dog's coat outdoors. Because the acid works as a natural flea repellent, the pests may leap out of your dog's fur. Work the oil through Fido's fur and on the skin, all over the body. After you’ve thoroughly coated your dog, bring them indoors and bathe them to get rid of the oil.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has a high pH level, and it works as a natural flea repellent. You can use apple cider vinegar in two ways to try and kill fleas: by having your dog drink it or by applying it to your dog's coat.

For the drinking method, add a tablespoon or so of the vinegar to your dog's water bowl. (Check with your vet for an exact amount.) Keep in mind that vinegar is bitter, so your dog might not like the taste. If your pet refuses to drink the mixture, direct application might be a better choice. Make sure you apply the correct amount and concentration.

To apply it to your dog's coat, mix apple cider vinegar with water (consult your vet for a ratio of vinegar to water). Then, either add the mixture to a spray bottle and spray it all over your dog (avoid the face and eyes) or dip a washcloth in the mixture and apply it to your dog's fur.

3. Citrus Bath

Like vinegar, citrus also works well for repelling fleas. It's great for using directly on your dog as well as around your home.

Mix lemon juice and warm water and follow the process described above. Again, you’ll use a spray bottle to apply the homemade flea spray to your dog's coat and areas around your home. Or, you can mix the citrus mixture with a little pet shampoo and give your dog a bath.

(Video) 5 NATURAL Ways to Kill Fleas on Dogs with Dawn Dish Soap

4. Essential Oils

You can use essential oils to deal with a flea problem, but be careful. Certain essential oils can be toxic to dogs, including tea tree oil, pennyroyal, pine oils, and wintergreen oils.

Using a dog-safe essential oil like lavender or peppermint, however, may be a natural way to get rid of fleas and their larvae. Place a single drop of the oil at your dog's neck, or dilute the oils with water and apply to your dog's entire coat with a spray bottle. The aroma of these oils repels fleas. You can also use this method as a preventative measure.

5. Diatomaceous Earth

The diatomaceous earth method of flea control is for your home, not your dog themself. Diatomaceous earth is a powder-like substance that damages fleas' exoskeletons, drawing moisture out of their bodies to kill them. You might want to use this method in your home at the same time your dog is undergoing their own flea treatment.

Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth around your home, including on bedding, furniture, baseboards, and anywhere else you think fleas might be hiding. All it takes is some vacuuming a few hours later to clean up the diatomaceous earth and, hopefully, the dead fleas along with it.

6. Baking Soda and Salt

This is another method for your home, not your dog themselves. A mixture of baking soda and salt dehydrates fleas and flea eggs. Combine equal parts baking soda and salt, and sprinkle the mixture liberally around your home or yard. After a few hours, vacuum the area thoroughly.

7. Nematodes

You can use this pest-control method in the yard. Nematodes are tiny worms that live in soil and eat insect larvae, including flea larvae. Get nematodes at your local garden center or order them online. Mix them with water, and spray the mixture around your yard. It's a great way to keep fleas away before they’re a problem, too.

(Video) 7 Home Remedies For Fleas in The House

When to See Your Veterinarian

If a flea infestation is severe or home remedies aren't working, it's time to visit the vet.

It's also possible that your dog has flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), a condition in which your dog is allergic to flea saliva. This causes symptoms like severe itching and inflammation, hair loss, crusting of the skin, and hot spots. Your vet can prescribe medicated shampoo. Your pet might also need antibiotics to help with secondary infections or even steroids to help the skin heal.

If your pet's itching and scratching is severe or you see inflammation, hot spots, bald patches, crusting or scabbing on the skin, or anything else that concerns you, contact your vet's office for help.

Flea Prevention Tips for Dog Owners

7 Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs That Can Actually Work (2)

Just like any health problem, preventing fleas is better than dealing with them after the fact. Prevent a flea infestation in your dog by:

  • Using a flea preventative: Prescribed products are the most effective and simplest way to ward off fleas before they infest your pet. Talk to your vet if your dog needs a flea preventative.
  • Checking for fleas regularly: As described above, use a flea comb on your dog once every few weeks to look for fleas or flea dirt.
  • Maintaining your yard: Fleas like to hide in overgrown grass and shrubs, so maintaining your yard is a good way to keep fleas at bay. You can also use the diatomaceous earth method or nematode solutions described above as preventative measures for the yard.
  • Keeping your home clean: Regularly vacuum and shampoo and clean carpets and furniture. A clean home keeps fleas away.

Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs: What to Know

It's no fun when your dog has fleas. Before resorting to flea collars and other methods, you might want to try some natural home remedies. From apple cider vinegar, citrus baths, and coconut oil to pest-control methods for the home and/or yard like diatomaceous earth and nematodes, a variety of solutions might work for you. Consult with your veterinarian to make sure these methods are safe and effective for your dog.

(Video) Try this natural home remedy to wipeout your dog's fleas 🍋 #doghack #doghealth #dogtokker #fyp

If a flea infestation is severe or you see symptoms like hot spots, scabbing, and constant itching, see your vet. More advanced medical treatment might be necessary.

Is your dog’s problem fleas, or are they just prone to itchy skin? Native Pet's all-natural Omega Oil may be able to help. The formula can help reduce itching and scratching and promote healthy skin and fur.

Learn more about your dog's health and wellness by visiting the Native Pet blog here.

FAQs

What kills fleas on dogs instantly at home? ›

Apple cider vinegar's slightly acidic pH level creates an inhospitable environment for fleas. Mix six cups of ACV with four cups of water (use a 6:4 ratio), add a pinch of salt, and spray the mixture on your dog's coat and underbelly, making sure to avoid their eyes and any wounds they may have.

What's the best natural flea killer for dogs? ›

Citronella, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, and neem are all great essential oils for getting rid of fleas. Add 10 to 20 drops to a spray bottle filled with water and spray on your pet's coat, taking care to avoid their eyes.

What is the best homemade flea killer? ›

Vinegar. Vinegar is not only used to keep your home clean, but it can also be a solution for your flea problems. It can use as a spray repellent by combining an equal amount of vinegar and water. You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, which is both effective in dealing with pests.

Can I spray vinegar on my dog for fleas? ›

In short: using vinegar solution or white vinegar on your pet's fur or in their drinking water will not kill fleas. There is a chance ACV could repel fleas because they don't like the taste, but it is only a mild detergent and is not the best flea remedy. ACV should not be your first choice for natural flea treatment.

How do you get rid of fleas when you have nothing works? ›

Use baking soda. A surefire way to remove any fleas harbouring in the fibres of your carpet is to sprinkle some baking soda down, give it a scrub and then vacuum it up. Likewise, regularly vacuuming your carpet will also help to keep the pests at bay. Pay close attention to the areas where pets sleep, too.

What kills flea naturally? ›

Natural Remedy: Diatomaceous Earth

You can sprinkle it on carpets, bedding, and furniture. Let it sit for several hours, then vacuum it up. It kills fleas by drying them out. You can also use it on your lawn.

Can I put baking soda on my dog for fleas? ›

Baking soda does not kill adult fleas and will do nothing to protect your pets. It is excellent at absorbing smells and has been suggested by some online pet sites for use as a flea killer because it “may” dry out flea eggs and larvae. But there is no evidence that using baking soda to kill fleas is effective at all.

What kills flea eggs on dogs? ›

The most effective products to kill flea eggs include insect growth regulators (IGRs). These compounds, called isoxazolines, are safe for pets. They work by mimicking a hormone that stops fleas from maturing into adults—including preventing eggs from hatching.

How do you get rid of fleas in 24 hours? ›

Home Pest Control : How to Kill Fleas in 24 Hours - YouTube

Whats the fastest way to get rid of fleas? ›

How to get rid of fleas in your home
  1. Use a powerful vacuum on any floors, upholstery, and mattresses. ...
  2. Employ a steam cleaner for carpets and upholstery, including pet beds. ...
  3. Wash all bedding, including your pet's, in hot water and detergent.

Does hydrogen peroxide get rid of fleas? ›

Outdoor Flea Removal

A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution may just be your answer. Peroxide is a common insecticide used in gardens and other agricultural sites. Not only does it kill fleas due to its toxic nature, but it can also eradicate other pests from your foliage as well.

What dish soap kills fleas? ›

Dawn (and other soaps like it) creates a kind of surfactant, or surface tension, that will compromise the exoskeleton and make adult fleas sink,” he says. So essentially, the soap drowns the fleas.

Does Dawn dish soap get rid of fleas? ›

Yes, dawn dish soap does kill fleas and they will die within minutes, making it a very time effective way to deal with these pests.

Do dryer sheets repel fleas? ›

So far, the creatures that seem to be repelled by dryer sheets are- certain mites, food-infesting beetles, weevils, German cockroaches, and fungus gnats. However, in our research, we did not find one study or test that claimed these dryer sheets repelled fleas.

Why is nothing killing my dogs fleas? ›

Not treating often enough. Fleas go through a life cycle of egg, larvae, pupae and adult. Most flea treatments just kill adult fleas, but fleas can continue to emerge for months after you think an infestation has ended. When a newly emerged female flea finds a host, she can lay eggs within one day.

How do I get rid of stubborn fleas on my dog? ›

Here are a few remedies and treatments you can use to get rid of fleas.
  1. Give Your Pet a Bath. One of the first solutions to get rid of fleas is to bathe your pet. ...
  2. Comb Your Pet's Hair Using a Fine-Tooth Flea Comb. ...
  3. Kill the Fleas. ...
  4. Spray an Apple Cider Vinegar Solution on Your Pet. ...
  5. Do Regular Checks. ...
  6. Let Your Pet Groom Itself.
21 Oct 2021

Why does my dog keep getting fleas even after treatment? ›

If your dog is constantly being reinfested with fleas after treatment, it is most likely there is an environmental infestation in or around your house. The adult fleas we see on pets represent only 5% of the total population. The other 95% are immature stages in the environment.

What do fleas hate? ›

Strong odors like eucalyptus, lavender, clove, citrus, peppermint and citronella work as effective repellents. Cedar beds for dogs are so popular because of their ability to repel fleas. The scent won't kill fleas but it does effectively repel them.

How did they get rid of fleas in the old days? ›

In the past, alum was used, both in the powdered form sprinkled over carpets and rugs and by dipping papers in an alum solution and placing them under the rugs (Bishop 1921). Riley and Johannsen (1915) suggested the thorough sweeping of houses at frequent intervals, and keeping the floors as bare as possible.

Does lemon juice get rid of fleas on dogs? ›

Lemon Juice

Citrus juice will kill fleas and repel new fleas. To make a mix to get rid of fleas, poke small holes in a lemon and then slice it, but do not peel. Set the lemon slices in a bowl, pour a cup of boiling water over the slices, and allow to sit over night.

Can you use baby powder on dogs for fleas? ›

Yes, baby powder is one of the best ways to get rid of fleas on your dog. When you apply the powder, its fine dust kills the fleas through suffocation.

What does lemon do to fleas? ›

Fleas don't care for the scent of lemon ,or the limonene in lemons, so applying it to your pet's coat can deter fleas. Take 6 organic lemons and chop them in half. Place in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.

Where do fleas hide on dogs? ›

To inspect your dog, turn her onto her back and check the areas that allow fleas to hide best. The armpits and groin are two areas that tend to be warm and protected, making them preferred spots for large flea populations. Check the ears carefully for signs of scratching, redness, blood, or dirt.

What time of day are fleas most active? ›

During the day, fleas avoid the sun so they are most active at sunset and least active at sunrise. At dusk, the pests would lay more eggs, respire more, and move around in the yard more. Although the fleas are not completely inactive at any time of the day, they have increased activity at dusk and night.

How do you find a flea nest? ›

Check shady, moist areas outside for fleas with the sock test. They tend to hang out in areas the sun doesn't shine, as well as under porches, shrubs, and around trees. Once you find out where the fleas are hiding, you can start to treat your house and your yard to rid yourself of the pests.

What dish soap kills fleas? ›

Dawn (and other soaps like it) creates a kind of surfactant, or surface tension, that will compromise the exoskeleton and make adult fleas sink,” he says. So essentially, the soap drowns the fleas.

Does salt water get rid of fleas on dogs? ›

More good news: salt baths have been reported to kill fleas by dehydrating the pesky critters. Although they may not completely resolve your dog's flea problem, a salt bath can be part of a treatment regime to combat fleas on your dog.

Can I put baking soda on my dog for fleas? ›

Baking soda does not kill adult fleas and will do nothing to protect your pets. It is excellent at absorbing smells and has been suggested by some online pet sites for use as a flea killer because it “may” dry out flea eggs and larvae. But there is no evidence that using baking soda to kill fleas is effective at all.

Does lemon juice get rid of fleas on dogs? ›

Lemon Juice

Citrus juice will kill fleas and repel new fleas. To make a mix to get rid of fleas, poke small holes in a lemon and then slice it, but do not peel. Set the lemon slices in a bowl, pour a cup of boiling water over the slices, and allow to sit over night.

What kills fleas instantly? ›

The most common product used to kill fleas on dogs instantly is Nitenpyram, more commonly known as Capstar.

What human shampoo kills fleas? ›

Some of the essential oils present in Dr. Bronner's liquid soap are peppermint, lavender, tea-tree, and lavender – all known for their effectiveness against lice and fleas. Research shows that the combination of eucalyptus and tea-tree oil kills lice and fleas by suffocating them.

What is the best homemade flea shampoo? ›

Ingredients for homemade dog wash: Water, white vinegar, and Dawn Dish Soap. Using Dawn is recommended because it works best for killing fleas where other brands may not, and it's the safest for your pet. If your dog has a strong odor, rinse him with white vinegar to remove the stink.

Can I put salt in my dogs water? ›

When a dog ingests salt water, the excess salt draws water from the blood into the intestines, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. Salt water also disrupts the fluid balance in your dog. Dogs with toxic levels of sodium in their systems have a mortality rate higher than 50 percent, regardless of treatment.

Why can't I get rid of fleas on my dog? ›

Not treating often enough

Fleas go through a life cycle of egg, larvae, pupae and adult. Most flea treatments just kill adult fleas, but fleas can continue to emerge for months after you think an infestation has ended. When a newly emerged female flea finds a host, she can lay eggs within one day.

Can't get rid dog fleas? ›

Control the environment – Adopt control strategies including: Vacuum the carpet 2-3 times a week to remove eggs, wash pets blankets weekly (in the washing machine), spray the house, kennels and yards with an adult flea killer, fog the house to prevent larvae developing.

What kills flea eggs on dogs? ›

The most effective products to kill flea eggs include insect growth regulators (IGRs). These compounds, called isoxazolines, are safe for pets. They work by mimicking a hormone that stops fleas from maturing into adults—including preventing eggs from hatching.

Can you use baby powder on dogs for fleas? ›

Yes, baby powder is one of the best ways to get rid of fleas on your dog. When you apply the powder, its fine dust kills the fleas through suffocation.

What does lemon do to fleas? ›

Fleas don't care for the scent of lemon ,or the limonene in lemons, so applying it to your pet's coat can deter fleas. Take 6 organic lemons and chop them in half. Place in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.

What is a natural way to treat fleas on dogs? ›

Combine 1 quart of water, 1 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and 1 cup of baby shampoo or liquid dish soap. Use this mixture to bathe your dog once or twice a month. Vinegar kills fleas and ticks on contact and can prevent future infestations.

How do you make lemon flea spray? ›

Lemon spray

To make this flea spray, slice a lemon thinly and add to a pint of water and bring to the boil. Let the citrus solution sit overnight and pour into a spray bottle. The next day take the citrus solution and spray it on the infested areas in your home – sofas, pet bedding, chairs etc.

Is lemon juice safe to spray on dogs? ›

With such a strong sense of smell, lemon is capable of deterring many nipping behaviors. Also, while dogs do tend to eat almost anything, they have a strong distaste for lemon. And because lemon is natural and safe, spraying it on your socks or other items is not going to leave behind any chemicals or toxins.

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1. How to Get Rid of Fleas Guaranteed (4 Easy Steps)
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4. Fleas? Inexpensive, effective holistic option
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