Why talk about home remedies for fleas on dogs? Summer’s coming. For us humans, that means sun and fun. For our furry friends, that means fleas and ticks. Over-the-counter treatments are pricey and sometimes they don’t even work. Luckily, you can save money and stay flea and tick-free with these methods.
Flea season is fast approaching. Meanwhile, global climate trends mean longer pest seasons and hotter summers overall. There’s a very real danger that your pets may start scratching sooner than you think.
As the weather gets warmer cats stay outside longer, while dogs join us on our outdoor excursions. All of that time outside may be great for your pet’s overall health and well-being. Too bad the fleas and ticks they may begin to contract are less beneficial.
It’s no secret that vet’s offices can charge high premiums for their solutions to the common pest problem. After paying to spay and neuter your pet, finding the funds to control this solution with the veterinarian may not always be possible.
Five Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs That Really Work
Fleas and ticks are some of the most common problems for any dog owner to deal with, so there are tons of remedies you can try out at home that will cure your dog’s pest problem without having to visit the vet.
We’ll be going over several techniques and home remedies for fleas on dogs, and finding out the best way to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
By far, the most common home remedies for fleas on dogs is apple cider vinegar. The trick is to make a solution that drives pests away without making your pets miserable.
Please note that we won’t use the apple cider vinegar directly. So don’t simply pour the solution on your dog during a bath to combat the problem. Before your dog’s bath, we’ll need to make a solution.
Now, add some soap. Dawn dishwashing liquid is safe for pets and kills fleas.
If you’ve mixed everything correctly together, you’ll find a solution that won’t smell and retain every bit of its effectiveness.
How to Give Your Dog and Apple Cider Vinegar Flea Bath.
- Mix apple cider vinegar into warm water to dilute the mixture so it’s easier on your pet’s senses.
- Be sure to keep the water-to-vinegar ratio as equal as possible.
- Wear gloves and a long-sleeve shirt to keep your exposed skin to a minimum.
- If you’re bathing them outside, keep on closed-toed shoes and cuff your pants tightly against your ankles.
- Lather the solution in deeply with some soap, and make sure you cover the hair from tip to end.
- Missing a spot can often mean chasing the fleas into that specific region of your dog’s coat, so be thorough.
By now, the fleas or ticks should have dislodged themselves. If some remain, apple cider vinegar also makes a great flea repellent.
These home remedies for fleas on dogs are effective and cheap. But in order for them to work, you’ll need to do them at least once a week.
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2. Flea Combs and Tweezers
Flea combs and tweezers are also effective home remedies for fleas on dogs.The use of a flea comb will help you pull out the majority of ticks and fleas, but the more stubborn will require the use of tweezers.
After you’ve sufficiently treated your dog with the apple cider vinegar solution, Comb (gently) through your pet’s hair to pull the ticks away from the coat. Be careful not to pull too quickly—as you might begin to rip the hair completely off of your dog, or miss the fleas entirely.
Don’t dispose of the fleas just yet. After you’ve placed them aside in a plastic bag or otherwise, we’ll need to use tweezers.
Tweezers are great for removing the most stubborn of ticks in hard to reach or sensitive areas. Make sure that you grab the tick by the head, and be careful not to crush it. Smashing or otherwise destroying the insect will often make a clean removal far more difficult.
After you’ve sufficiently removed the tick, dispose of them in a plastic bag to make sure they don’t make their way back to your animal. Or, if you’re concerned about disease, take the ticks into your local vet’s office for further testing.
Here’s a video on how to remove a tick from a dog safely.
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3. Landscaping & Indoor Cleaning
While we bathe and groom your pets, let’s take a look at your outdoor space.
Regularly cut the grass in your yard, and consider cutting your glass as short as possible for the duration of the treatment of your animal.
Want to go the extra mile? Invest in some new plants that will release oils and ward off future infestations. Other plants that repel insects are:
- Citronella Grass
Finally, move indoors and begin to cull your place of any tick-friendly locations. Vacuum often and consider steaming your carpets seasonally to pull out any excess dirt and hiding spots. Don’t undercut your efforts by tossing the vacuum debris in the kitchen trash—instead, head outside and dump everything out in the outside garbage.
Here’s a video with four organic pesticides for your yard that you can make yourself.
4. Sprays, Smells & Oils
Finally, after combating the problem both directly with the outdoor and indoor work alongside baths, we can round off our home remedies with some strong scents and smells.
Before allowing your dog outside for a restroom break or to play with the kids, spray them down with flea repellent. Different versions of flea repellent can be purchased at the store, but to make some at home, you’ll need a lemon, rosemary, and sage.
Cut the lemon into small pieces and add it with rosemary and sage into a bowl. Soak in hot water for several hours, and load up into a spray bottle. Coating your dog with this scent (being careful not to spray any eyes) will ward off ticks before they attach themselves to your dog’s body.
If making flea repellent at home sounds a bit too exhaustive for you, many pet shops have flea collars that can help you keep your dog smelling as horrid as possible, as far as the pests are concerned.
On top of sprays, keeping your pet’s coat as clean as healthy as possible may involve adding a little bit of oil to their coat. The safety of oil is highly dependent upon the breed of the dog, so we’re talking in generalities for this one.
You can also use home remedies to kill or drive away the fleas that escape. We cover them in “12 Home Remedies for Fleas.” But Remember—do not assume that what’s safe for humans will be safe for your pet. Do your due diligence and research the items you intend to use before doing so.
5. Keeping Healthy
Finally, keeping your dog strong and healthy can help deter fleas and ticks.
Check in with what you’re feeding your dog, and see about purchasing food that’s of premium quality and designed to help you ward off ticks. Go for daily walks (on concrete, if necessary) and make sure your dog is as healthy and as exercised as possible.
From constant combing to just general love and attention, any way you can get your dog healthy, try it out.
Ultimately, working against fleas and ticks on your dog is a two front issue. First, you must remove the problem as you discover it. Then, you must work to prevent future ticks and fleas from latching on.
That means that any treatment plan is going to require hard work and dedication. Slacking on either front could render any treatment you’re attempting inert, so if you’re skipping the veterinarian’s office, you’ll need to attack the problem with force.
Similarly, if you’ve gone for flea and tick treatment and haven’t seen results in several weeks, you may need to make an appointment. Healthy dogs that continue to contract fleas are often showing symptoms of a greater problem, so don’t ignore the signs and get your dog the help he or she deserves.
We hope that we’ve given you a few home remedies for fleas on dogs, and a few new ideas that you may not have previously considered. Treat your dog early, treat your dog often, and see about removing those ticks and getting back to regular life with your pet as soon as possible.
Featured image: CC By SA 2.0 Lee Haywood via Flickr.