Are you here because you’re looking for home remedies to get rid of dog fleas?
Flea infestation is probably one of the most annoying issues a pet parent could face. This is especially true if the pet parent has been very attentive to his dog’s well-being.
Did you know that fleas do not only affect dogs but also humans?
In some places, fleas contribute to 50% of dermatological cases in small animal clinics .
Although dog fleas like their furry hosts, still, they can bite humans. If you have sensitive skin or are allergic to flea bites, the bites can feel extremely itchy. You will notice red bumps in clusters. In extreme cases, a person will have difficulty in breathing .
Enough about you. What about your fur baby?
Fleas on dogs cause severe skin itching and irritation. Since fleas suck blood, your dog could become anemic due to long-term blood loss . You don’t want that to happen, do you?
Now, you’re wondering: “What kills fleas on dogs instantly?” In this article, you’re going to learn some helpful home remedies to get rid of and prevent fleas.
But before that, you should learn how your pooch got its fleas.
For you to get rid of fleas, first, you need to know how your dog acquires them.
A 2010 study showed that flea infestations are highest during summer, autumn, and spring. Meanwhile, winter has the lowest flea infestation rate .
This goes to show that fleas survive depending on the temperature and humidity. Fleas like warm climates and may live in a cool temperature. But with temperature extremes (high heat or below freezing), they die.
Here is a list of ways a dog gets fleas:
- Outdoor animals. Do other animals access your yard? Raccoons and other rodents may carry these parasites that transfer to your dog’s fur. If you have a cat at home that has fleas, it could also be a factor.
- Dog facilities. Vet clinics, doggy day cares, and indoor environments where other pets go to can be a source of fleas.
- Warmer climates. As mentioned earlier, fleas flourish in warm temperatures. Traveling to a warm climate with your furry friend can result in a flea infestation.
The next question to ask is this: How will you be able to tell that your pet has been infested with fleas? Check out these telltale signs:
- Unusual scratching – If your dog has been scratching or biting its fur excessively, you could suspect fleas. Fleas live in hard-to-reach spots such as the head, neck, groin, and armpits.
- Flea dirt – “Flea dirt” is actually the feces of fleas. Look out for round specks that look like pepper. These are often found on your dog’s back, around his tail, and groin area .
- Small red bumps – Along with your dog’s abnormal scratching, watch out for tiny raised red dots. They can be difficult to detect, so you have to look carefully at your dog’s skin.
- Pale gums – A dog with anemia as a result of flea infestation will have pale pink or whitish gums. Anemic dogs also tire easily and may not have the appetite to eat .
Overall, a flea infestation decreases the quality of a dog’s life. In the next section, we’re going to explore options on home flea treatment for dogs.
7 Home Remedies For Dog Fleas
Now that you know how your dog acquires those pesky fleas, it’s time to get rid of them. Below is a list of flea home remedies you can try right away!
1. Apple cider vinegar
“Can apple cider vinegar kill fleas on dogs?”
No, it does not kill fleas. However, it effectively repels fleas since these parasites hate the smell and taste of apple cider vinegar .
All you need to do is prepare a DIY flea spray of apple cider vinegar and water (50/50 solution). Spray it onto your pet’s fur before going outdoors or during bathtime. An alternative would be to add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s bath water .
2. Coconut oil
You may have heard about coconut oil for fleas. But still, you’re wondering, “Does coconut oil kill fleas?” Coconut oil contains antibacterial and antiviral properties. It relieves itchiness and heals irritated skin. It does kill and repel dog fleas, thanks to its lauric acid ingredient.
There are two ways to use coconut oil. One method is to add a teaspoon (per 20 pounds of body weight) to your dog’s food twice daily. Another method is to rub it between your palms and apply it to your dog’s coat .
3. Diatomaceous earth
If you observe diatomaceous earth under a microscope, it looks like shards of glass. So, if fleas ingest it, they die. Diatomaceous earth also has a drying effect on fleas .
Some people warn against the use of diatomaceous earth for pets, while others approve of it. If you go for this option, it’s very important to choose food grade diatomaceous earth.
Sprinkle DE to your carpets and your dog’s bedding. Leave it for three days then vacuum the powder .
4. Dish soap
Dish soap is another natural flea killer. When giving Fido a bath, use dish soap instead of shampoo. According to most veterinarians, Dawn dish soap destroys the exoskeletons of fleas, making them drown.
However, take note that dish soap as a flea killer is only a temporary solution.
Also, dish soap can be irritating to your pet’s skin. If Fido has had a flea infestation for a very long time now, it’s possible that his skin is severely irritated. You could damage it further by using dish soap.
5. CBD oil
CBD oil is beneficial in the sense that it relieves excessive itching and inflammation as a result of flea infestation. It helps with a lot of skin and fur problems due to its therapeutic properties. If your pet has poor appetite due to anemia, CBD oil will stimulate his appetite as well.
To use CBD oil, add 1 dropperful or 1 mL to your dog’s food if he is less than 10 pounds. For dogs that weigh 10 to 50 pounds, they will need 2 dropperfuls or 2 mL. Check out RestoraPet products right here.
6. Baking soda
How about baking soda? Is it effective in getting rid of fleas too?
Yes, baking soda kills fleas by dehydrating flea larvae and eggs. If there’s a flea outbreak in your home, you’ll be able to control it with baking soda.
Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1.5 cups of warm water. Shampoo the mixture on your dog’s fur and leave it on for about a minute. Rinse off with cool water.
Another way to use baking soda is to sprinkle it (along with salt) over your carpets. Be sure to keep Fido away from the treatment areas. Leave the treatment on overnight and vacuum thoroughly the next day.
7. Use a flea comb
Finally, the flea comb. Metal flea combs have fine teeth that catch the fleas and their eggs while you brush your dog’s fur.
Start combing at your dog’s ears and slowly move towards his tail. Focus more on areas where fleas are likely to hide. Pause often to check the comb for the presence of fleas. If you see any, dip the comb in soapy water to take them off.
The best time to use a flea comb is when you’re giving Fido a bath. That way, fleas can easily be flushed with water down the drain.
Preventing Dog Fleas
Despite the best interventions to kill fleas, there is no better strategy than to prevent them from thriving in the first place. Be sure to follow these preventive home remedies for fleas.
- Vacuum regularly. Make your home less welcome to fleas by doing daily vacuuming. This is especially useful if your pet often stays indoors and for high-traffic areas.
- Grow garden plants that repel fleas. Some plants act as natural flea repellents. These include citronella, catnip, eucalyptus, and sweet bay. But since these plants can be toxic to dogs and cats, keep them out of your pet’s reach!
- Don’t create shady, moist areas. Fleas also love staying in the shade but they dislike the hot sun. You need to make sure that your grass receives direct sunlight.
- Wash your pet’s bedding often. Clean Fido’s bedding at least once a week to eliminate not just fleas, but also other allergens that may accumulate in it. Use hot water temperature and a perfume-free detergent.
- Consider flea collars. Flea collars contain active ingredients that repel and may kill fleas. Such ingredients will spread throughout your pet’s body. Some collars provide long-lasting flea control, up to 6 or 8 months.
When Should I Take My Dog To The Vet?
When it’s tick season and you notice excessive scratching and all the signs of a flea infestation, contact your vet right away. Remember that the best flea treatment for dogs is the one that’s recommended by your vet.
Your vet will confirm the presence of fleas and may prescribe an oral and topical flea medication. You may also take the opportunity to ask about home remedies like the ones we mentioned above.
It is true that prescription medications are the fastest way to treat fleas. Your vet is the best source of flea information. We hope you can take a trip to the vet as soon as possible!
We hope you gained something valuable from today’s topic about dog fleas. Preventing and killing fleas should be easy now that you know how.
Watch out for the warm weather, and observe your pet closely for signs of an infestation. Flea infestation may not sound serious to you, but it affects your pet’s health and happiness. Don’t let it happen!
Last but not least, take Fido to the vet to get professional advice and treatment.
Here at RestoraPet, we care about your pet’s well-being. If you have any comments or thoughts about fleas on dogs, please share them with us!
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- Morgan J. 5 natural solutions for flea and tick prevention. 2016 April 6 – https://www.foxnews.com/health/5-natural-solutions-for-flea-and-tick-prevention
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- The Spruce Pets. Diatomaceous Earth for Flea Control. 2019 September 22 – https://www.thesprucepets.com/diatomaceous-earth-for-flea-control-3385244