Fleas are an absolute nuisance for both dogs and humans. They can carry diseases, cause pain and irritation, and even affect you. However, in some cases, using an unnatural or chemical repellant can cause even more issues, such as gastrointestinal complications, lethargy, and even more severe symptoms such as seizures. While you can still use non-natural methods – just be careful and do your research – sometimes it’s best to use a natural approach. If you’re unsure of where to start, here are 7 ways to naturally get rid of fleas on your dog.
One of the best ways to treat your dog’s fleas, and to keep them gone, is to work directly with your dog. By working to keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy, and using natural methods, you’ll find that the fleas disappear, leaving your dog healthy, happy, and itch-free.
Use an Apple Cider Vinegar
Thanks to its potent smell and less than pleasant taste, apple cider vinegar is one of the best methods for treating fleas directly on your dog. Whether you allow your dog to ingest it directly (speak to your vet to see exactly how much you can give your dog) or a spray, apple cider vinegar will create an acidic environment within your dog and on their skin that will repel fleas. For a spray, simply dilute apple cider vinegar in water and spray along your dog’s coat.
Use a Citrus Spray
Much like apple cider vinegar, a citrus spray will create an acidic environment to repel fleas. Citrus spray, unlike apple cider vinegar, should only be applied once or twice a week, though, as it tends to dry out your dog’s skin. To create a citrus spray, dilute lemon juice in water and apply to your dog’s coat.
Use Neem Oil
Not only does neem oil repel fleas, but it will also repel mosquitos. To use neem oil, you can either add a few drops to your dog’s shampoo or dilute it with a natural carrier oil like coconut oil and apply generously to your dog’s coat. If you choose the second method, be sure to use caution – some dogs are more sensitive to essential oils than others.
After you have treated your dog for fleas, it’s important to make sure that there are none left within your home that could jump back onto your dog, starting the cycle over. Here are some natural, pet friendly methods to use within your home.
Use a Flea Trap
This isn’t just a great way to remove fleas from your home but also a good way to judge how many fleas are in your home at a given time. Simply fill a dish with a sticky liquid – dish soap is a good choice – and place a tealight candle in the center. Fleas will be attracted to both the heat and the light, and, while attempting to reach the candle, they will get stuck in the dish soap, which will kill them.
Use Cedar Wood Chips
Cedar is a natural flea repellant, but it is also a good insulator. If your dog spends a large amount of time outside, try scattering cedar wood chips in their doghouse. You can also mix cedar wood chips within your mulch to help repel fleas in your yard.
Not a lot of people know about nematodes, but they’re actually natural predators to fleas. Nematodes are microscopic worms that are beneficial, and, due to the fact they’re generally harmless, you don’t have to worry about them hurting you or your pet. You can buy nematodes at your local gardening store. Simply add water to the packet and spread them around your yard. Anytime that your yard gets dry, however, you will have to water it to keep the nematodes alive.
Use a DIY Flea Powder
Most of the flea powders sold now contain harsh chemicals that can cause a variety of adverse effects in your dog. Thankfully, it’s easy enough to create your own natural flea powder. Mix baking soda and table salt together and sprinkle the mixture around your home. After letting it sit for a few minutes, vacuum or sweep it up. The mixture will dry out the fleas, killing them and keeping your dog pest-free and happy.
There are plenty of ways to treat both your dog and your home for fleas to provide a happy and pest-free environment for you and your dog. The methods on this list, though, aren’t the only options for flea control. Whether you choose a natural or chemical style, a dog flea and tick collar is also a great way to keep help repel and prevent fleas. No matter what method you choose for pest control, your dog will thank you for taking the time to make sure that they are as healthy as possible.