Being a dog owner is one of the best things you can experience, but owning a flea-infested dog isn’t fun at all! Besides being a real nuisance, fleas can cause health problems for you and your pooch.
As a dog parent, you know that there are countless chemical treatments and collars that can kill these annoying pests. However, you may not be comfortable exposing your dog to these chemicals.
If you want to avoid these treatments at all cost, opt for a more natural way to get rid of fleas on your dog. Here are a few natural flea treatments you should try!
1. Use A Flea Comb
A good flea comb will not only help you get rid of fleas, but it will also keep your dog well-groomed and his coat healthy. Ideally, you should get a narrow teeth comb that will remove fleas of all sizes, including larvae and eggs.
Before you start using the flea comb on your dog, make sure that he doesn’t have any mats and tangles. This way, you will be able to get close to the skin as possible without hurting your dog in the process.
2. Make Lemon Spray
Lemon contains limonene which is a chemical that kills and repels fleas, but it completely safe for dogs. To make this lemon spray, cut one whole lemon in half and add it to a pint of near boiling water.
Leave the mixture to steep overnight, strain and pour it into a spray bottle in the morning. Sprinkle the spray over your dog’s coat, but be careful that none of it ends up in his eyes or mouth. Let the spray air dry instead of rinsing it off the coat, and repeat the treatment if any fleas are still alive.
3. Use Apple Cider Vinegar Spray
Apple cider vinegar will balance your dog’s pH and create an acidic environment that fleas don’t like. To get rid of and repel fleas mix 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water and pour the mixture in a spray bottle.
Sprinkle this solution on your dog’s coat daily to get rid of and repel fleas. Vinegar will soothe your dog’s skin and relieve itchiness caused by flea bites, but you shouldn’t use it if your dog has any open wounds.
4. Make Natural Flea Collar
If you don’t want to buy chemical flea collars, you can make a natural version in your home. Mix two drops of lavender or cedarwood essential oil in a tablespoon of water. Apply this solution to your dog’s collar or fancy bandana you can tie around his neck.
This natural solution also works as a flea repellant. Just apply the mixture to the collar once a week and your pooch will remain flea free.
5. Make A Rosemary Dip
While effective chemical flea dips are effective, they might not be the safest option for your dog. As a safe alternative, you can make a gentle flea dip using fresh rosemary.
Steep two cups of fresh rosemary in boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid to remove any remaining leaves, and add up to a gallon of warm water. Depending on the size of your dog you can double the amount of water, but in that case, double the amount of rosemary too.
Once everything is mixed, wait until the solution is lukewarm and pour it over your dog until he is completely soaked and rub the mixture so it reaches the skin. Don’t rinse this flea killing solution, instead use a towel to remove any excess and leave the coat to air dry. If necessary, you can repeat this treatment daily until all fleas are dead.
6. Use Diatomaceous Earth
To get rid of fleas on your dog, you will need to get food grade Diatomaceous earth, since other types are used for gardens and won’t kill fleas. While Diatomaceous earth powder is completely safe for both you and your dog, you might want to use a mask, so you or your pooch won’t inhale it.
Apply the Diatomaceous earth on your dog and work it into his coat so it reaches the skin. To kill eggs, larvae, and adult fleas repeat this treatment every 3 days for a month.
Additionally, you can use this powder to dust your furniture and your dog’s lounging areas if you suspect that they are also infested with fleas. Leave the powder to work for 3 days and then vacuum everything.
7. Make Flea Shampoo
Instead of using a chemically based flea shampoo, you can use essential oils to transform your dog’s regular shampoo into flea killing one. Just add a few drops of lavender or lemon essential oil into your dog’s shampoo and you will be ready to start killing fleas.
Once your dog is soaked and ready to be lathered, start by creating a lather ring around his neck. This way the fleas won’t get the chance to run and hide on his head once they get the taste of the shampoo. Make sure that you rub the shampoo thoroughly and try to reach the skin if you have a long-haired dog.
When you are done, rinse thoroughly and dry your dog with a towel or use a low heat setting on a blow drier. Use this shampoo once a week to create a barrier and prevent further flea infestations.
These natural flea remedies offer a safer alternative to chemical-based flea treatments, but they aren’t a cure-all. While effective, you will need to reapply them frequently in order to keep your dog flea free for any amount of time.
And if your dog is under a huge flea infestation you might need to reconsider a natural approach and use regular dog flea and tick collar. Even if you dread the idea of exposing your dog to chemicals, sometimes, this is the only way to effectively kill fleas and get rid of them in a short time.
BIO: Alex Saunders is an avid hiker, a father of 2, and a devoted Pomeranian owner. You can find most of his work at DoggieApproved.com a site that does in depth reviews on dog products.