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:

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  • 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.

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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) DIY Homemade Flea Spray for Dogs (3 Cheap, Natural Recipes)

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.

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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.

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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 home remedies? ›

Apple Cider Vinegar

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.

How do I get rid of fleas on my dog when there's nothing works? ›

Just lukewarm water, or water and a mild soap, can help get fleas off your pet's fur and skin. The dish soap can help to drown adult fleas. If you're thinking about using a flea shampoo or something similar, talk to your veterinarian first. It can strip oils from your pet's fur and dry out their skin.

What will kill fleas immediately? ›

Prescription flea medication

The fastest options for killing fleas with prescription medication are Comfortis or Trifexis, which also work as effective preventative medications. “Both products contain the active ingredient spinosad, which will begin killing fleas within 30 minutes of ingesting the tablet,” Dr.

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? ›

Create a flea spray by mixing 4 liters of vinegar, 2 liters of water, 500 ml of lemon juice and 250 ml of witch hazel in a large spray bottle. Before applying the product around your home, you should vacuum properly, emptying the contents into an outside bin, and wash any bedding/cushions that could be infested.

What is the fastest way to get rid of fleas cheap and easy? ›

Take a look at some of the effective ways you can get rid of them in your home:
  1. Use baking soda. ...
  2. Sprinkle salt. ...
  3. Lemon spray. ...
  4. Wash all bedding in hot, soapy water. ...
  5. Use rosemary. ...
  6. Hire a steam cleaner. ...
  7. Use a powerful vacuum. ...
  8. Use a pet-safe flea spray.
20 Jul 2022

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

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

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.

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 instantly kills fleas on dogs? ›

Commercial Products from Your Veterinarian

The most common product used to kill fleas on dogs instantly is Nitenpyram, more commonly known as Capstar. This single-use tablet is administered orally and kills fleas within 30 minutes. It is recommended that you contain your pet in a small area when using Capstar.

What kills fleas in 30 minutes? ›

CAPSTAR® (nitenpyram) oral tablets start killing adult fleas in just 30 minutes. Watch the dead fleas fall off your pet.

How do you get rid of fleas overnight? ›

Lemon juice

Here's a natural flea dip for dogs or cats: Slice up a lemon and add it to a pot of boiling water. After adding the lemons, remove the water from heat and cover the pot. Leave the water overnight, and the next day dip your pet's comb or brush in the water and run it through their coat.

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.

Does Vicks repel fleas? ›

Deter Insects

It is also an insect repellant and kills fleas," says Jose. "This is the major substance in Vicks, aside from Vicks use in upper respiratory infections, that can be used to repel mosquitoes and even fleas."

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.

How do you make homemade flea and tick spray for dogs? ›

Pour a quart of boiling water over a large thinly sliced lemon and let steep overnight. Drain the lemon water and pour it into a large glass spray bottle. Add 10 drops each of Lemongrass oil and Citronella oil. Add 1 cup of vinegar (white distilled or apple cider vinegar)

How often should I spray my dog with apple cider vinegar for fleas? ›

Once every 2-3 days will be fine. Apple cider vinegar is an effective flea repellent for dogs, and it's very inexpensive. It's also 100% safe for your dog. In fact, I add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to my dog's water bowl every day for an added boost in preventing a flea infestation.

How does Dawn get rid of fleas? ›

Work the soap into its fur with your fingers or a brush and make sure it gets all the way down to the skin. Let the dish soap sit for about 5 minutes, then rinse your pet thoroughly with clean water and rub it dry with a towel. If you still notice fleas on your pet after the bath, repeat the process.

What chemical kills fleas and their eggs on dogs? ›

The most effective ones contain ingredients such as permethrin, imidacloprid, or dinotefuran that are lethal to the biting adult stage, and an “insect growth regulator” (e.g., methoprene, pyriproxyfen) that halts development of flea eggs and larvae.

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.

How do you use baking soda to get rid of fleas? ›

Make an equal mixture of salt and baking soda liberally on your carpet or affected area, and leave it overnight to dehydrate the larvae and eggs. Vacuum the carpet thoroughly and then clean your canister or bag carefully so you don't accidentally let the fleas out again.

What are 3 remedies for killing fleas? ›

14 Home remedies to get rid of fleas
  • Flea trap. The easiest and simplest way to catch fleas is by placing a trap within your home. ...
  • Flea spray. ...
  • Pet Spray. ...
  • Homemade flea shampoo. ...
  • Rosemary flea spray. ...
  • Salt remedy. ...
  • Flea comb. ...
  • Boric acid remedy.

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.

What smells attract fleas? ›

Contrary to popular belief, fleas are not attracted to most smells or scents. The only scent that's has proven to be attractive to fleas over and over again is the scent of their hosts (animals and humans). Fleas do not attack plants because they do not release attractants that are appealing to them.

How does salt get rid of fleas? ›

How does salt kill fleas? Because of sodium's moisture-absorbing qualities, it acts as an abrasive that can easily damage and penetrate through fleas' exoskeleton. As a result, when salt is sprinkled onto a flea, it dries out the flea's body, leading to no chance of survival.

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.

Is apple cider vinegar good for dogs fleas? ›

Apple cider vinegar can't kill fleas, but it can help to repel them. Fleas don't like the smell or taste of it, so they're likely to avoid your pet if they have it on their fur.

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.

What detergent 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.

What can you put on dogs for fleas? ›

7 Top Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs
  1. Coconut Oil. Coconut oil contains a fatty acid called lauric acid, a component that kills fleas. ...
  2. Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has a high pH level, and it works as a natural flea repellent. ...
  3. Citrus Bath. ...
  4. Essential Oils. ...
  5. Diatomaceous Earth. ...
  6. Baking Soda and Salt. ...
  7. Nematodes.

What kills fleas instantly in carpet? ›

Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth

Once the diatomaceous earth attaches to the flea's body, it absorbs all moisture causing the flea to dry up and die. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth on your carpet is a highly effective way of killing fleas, and it's safe to use around humans and pets.

How do you make homemade flea killer? ›

DIY Homemade Flea Spray for Dogs (3 Cheap, Natural Recipes)

What home remedy kills fleas in the house? ›

It does not have the capacity to kill flea larvae. Dish soap: This particular home remedy requires you to create a flea trap using dish soap and little water. Simply fill a bowl with a mixture of Luke-warm water and dish soap and place it in all the rooms that experience the most flea activity at home.

How do you Deflea a house? ›

Steps
  1. Vacuum your home. ...
  2. Steam-clean carpets and furniture. ...
  3. Wash bedding in hot water. ...
  4. Spot-treat your home with insecticide spray. ...
  5. Set up some flea traps. ...
  6. Apply essential oils to problem areas. ...
  7. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in corners. ...
  8. Comb your pet with a flea comb.

Can I spray vinegar on my dog for fleas? ›

Apple cider vinegar can't kill fleas, but it can help to repel them. Fleas don't like the smell or taste of it, so they're likely to avoid your pet if they have it on their fur. Dilute apple cider vinegar in water and add it to a spray bottle.

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.

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 Natural kills fleas? ›

Natural Remedy: Diatomaceous Earth

This talc-like powder is made from silica, the same stuff that makes up sand. 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.

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.

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.

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.

Can you drown fleas on a dog? ›

Have a bowl of soapy water nearby so you can drown the fleas as you remove them. They can't be squashed with your fingers and will jump quickly away. When combing, concentrate on areas on the dog's body where fleas like to hide, like the groin, armpits and base of the tail.

Why do fleas jump into soapy water? ›

Fleas are so light weight that they can bounce right off the surface of the water because the surface tension of the water prevents them from breaking through. Adding the dish soap reduces the surface tension so the fleas slip through and drown.

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 is the best anti itch for dogs? ›

Keep reading to learn more about them so that you can find the best option to ease your pup's scratching, biting, and licking.
  1. Pupper Omega.
  2. ZYMOX Topical Cream. ...
  3. NaturVet Aller-911 Allergy Aid. ...
  4. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet Cod Liver Oil. ...
  5. Espree Natural Tea Tree & Aloe Medicated Spray. ...
  6. Skout's Honor Probiotic Itch Relief Spray.
6 days ago

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 essential oil kills fleas instantly? ›

Peppermint oil is one such essential oil that is sometimes recommended for use in pets, specifically for killing fleas.

How does salt get rid of fleas? ›

How does salt kill fleas? Because of sodium's moisture-absorbing qualities, it acts as an abrasive that can easily damage and penetrate through fleas' exoskeleton. As a result, when salt is sprinkled onto a flea, it dries out the flea's body, leading to no chance of survival.

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.

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2. How to Get Rid of Fleas Guaranteed (4 Easy Steps)
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4. 7 Home Remedies For Fleas in The House
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