Fleas on a dog are like white on rice if you’re not proactively using dog flea treatments on your dog, yard, and home.
While fleas are a part of life as a pet owner, getting rid of fleas on dogs can be as simple as preventing your dog from getting fleas in the first place.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of dog fleas, then continue reading the following guide to learn more about the impact of fleas for dogs and natural ways to get rid of fleas.
How Do Dogs Get Fleas?
Dogs with fleas may have gotten them in one of many ways.
They can get fleas from:
- Other animals
- Your home
- Doggy day care or pet boarding
- Being outside during the summer
- Dog houses
- Under the porch
- Neighbor’s yards
Essentially, dogs get fleas just by being happy, social, active animals. There’s no way to avoid fleas. So, if you’ve ever had to say “my dog has fleas”, it’s okay. It happens to everyone. But the prevalence of flea in dogs is also why it’s so important for dog owners to know how to repel them.
How to Repel Fleas
If you’re wondering how to get rid of fleas on dogs, you should know the best course of action is prevention. Here are a few flea removal tricks to keep fleas at bay.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar repels fleas by making their environment incredibly unpleasant. The smell and taste of apple cider vinegar is unpalatable for fleas, so they’re willing to move on quickly whenever they encounter it.
You can use apple cider vinegar a few ways. One option is adding it to your dog’s drinking water. One teaspoon per quart of water is a good measurement. However, dogs aren’t often fans of this method at first.
Bathing your pet is another option. If you choose this option, be sure to bathe them with a diluted form to protect their hair and skin.
DIY Flea Collar
Make your own flea collar to keep fleas at bay.
Choose a well-fitted soft nylon collar to treat. Then, combine 1 teaspoon of vodka, a drop of rosemary essential oil, a drop of thyme essential oil, and garlic oil.
Soak the collar in the mixture. Then, let it dry until it is comfortable to wear.
You’ll need to soak the collar again once a week.
DIY Flea Shampoo
Flea treatments for dogs don’t need to be prescription strength. DIY flea shampoo is an effective way to repel fleas without visiting the vet.
Simply mix together a quart of water, a cup of apple cider vinegar, and a cup of nontoxic dish soap. Wash your dog’s fur as normal but try to let the shampoo soak in for at least five minutes.
If your dog already has fleas, spend that time combing dead fleas out of their fur.
DIY Flea Repellent
You can make a spray using equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. Spray your dog before it goes outside to prevent picking up any fleas. But always be sure to avoid spraying their eyes, ears, and nose when you’re spraying.
Raw Amber Resin
Amber is a natural product made from tree resin that takes 30 to 50 million years to make. It has a specific smell that fleas tend to avoid.
Amber flea collars are a natural way to repel fleas. When amber is warmed up, as it is when it is warmed by a dog’s body temperature, it releases its natural odor. The release of the odor tells fleas (and ticks) to stay away.
How to Protect Against Fleas
As you know, dogs can pick up fleas anywhere. While you’re not in control of doggie day care, your neighbor’s yard, or the park, you can make sure fleas don’t make your home and yard their favorite hangout spot.
Here are some of the best ways to avoid dog fleas from living in your house.
Wash and Dry Bedding
You won’t find adult dog fleas in your pets bedding. But you will find the next generation of pests living there.
Adult fleas lay their eggs on your dog. If your dog has fleas, the eggs and larvae fall off your dog and onto wherever he likes to spend his time and roll around, usually the dog’s bedding.
Once the flea eggs hatch, the larvae don’t move. Instead, they’re comfortably hidden away in the dog bed while also being able to feed on adult flea excrement off your dog when he lies down. Here they can grow into adults and wreak havoc on your house.
Flea larvae aren’t very big, but you can see them. They look like little black and white specks all over your dog’s bed.
To prevent the fleas on dog bedding from getting the best of you, you’ve got to get rid of them before they grow up. That means washing and drying the bedding to kill the fleas.
Before you throw them in the washer, vacuum them first. Vacuuming will get rid of most but not all the larvae and eggs, so you’ll still need to wash them. But vacuuming is important because it prevents you from dumping a dog bed full of fleas all over your carpet.
Launder the bedding at the highest temperature possible without doing damage to the bedding. It’s also a good idea to wash and dry anything your dog often touches. Throw in sofa covers, throw pillows, rugs, and anything else your dog loves to roll around on.
If you can’t put those things in the wash, consider renting a steam cleaner. These devices can get rid of larvae without damaging fragile fabrics or materials.
Once washed, tumble dry these items at a high temperature as well for extra killing power.
Use Cedar in the Yard
Cedar chips are commonly recognized for the ability to repel fleas from the yard, and they’re a low maintenance landscaping option if you choose them. They work well around flowerbeds and other outdoor areas.
Consider putting them around your dog’s house or kennel for extra protection for your pet.
Alternatively, use a cedar oil spray in the yard. Cedar oil spray also repels fleas and doesn’t require any serious landscaping. These sprays are useful because they’re non-toxic for both humans and animals while still having the staying power to deal with pests. Cedar oil also doesn’t harm other insects, like bees, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your local ecosystem.
Pennyroyal is espoused as useful flea repellent on some parts of the internet. The key theme is that because it’s natural, it should be safe.
Pennyroyal does repel fleas. However, it is incredibly toxic for dogs. Ingesting even a small amount can cause their organs to shut down. While you might not give it to the dog to ingest and have considered putting it on their fur, it’s important to remember dogs lick their fur.
You can use pennyroyal in your yard or even topically on your dog, but there is no risk-free, 100% safe way to do so.
Don’t Over-Water Your Lawn
Fleas love dark, wet places. Over-watering is like creating a flea wonderland, particularly if you let your grass grow.
Mow Your Lawn
Your lawn is your first line of defense against dog fleas.
Maintaining your lawn by mowing it on a regular basis keeps the grass short enough to prevent fleas from moving in. Fleas prefer to be out of the sun, and short grass exposes them to direct sunlight as well as foot traffic, both of which kill them.
Prune and Trim Hedges and Shrubs
Trimming shrubs is essential for preventing a flea infestation on dogs because it removes hiding spots in the yard. As previously mentioned, dog fleas like to hide places out of the sun with slightly higher humidity.
Overgrown shrubs and hedges provide the perfect accommodation for fleas because not only is it shady and humid, but they provide a place for fleas to grab passing animals or humans.
DIY Flea Repelling Lawn Spray
Lawn spray can be made from the same materials you spray your pet with. Combine half a gallon of water with a gallon of vinegar and shake it well. Then, add 8 ounces of witch hazel and 16 ounces of lemon juice to the mix.
Be sure the mixture is combined well, then pour it into a sprayer. Use it on your lawn, porch, and around your doors and windows to kill fleas and prevent them from getting into the house.
If you’ve been desperately searching for information on how to get fleas off dogs, you’ve now got a few ideas about how to get rid of fleas natural.
Pet fleas and flea removal in general isn’t a fun process, but it’s not that difficult either. It simply requires diligence and a practical approach.
Do you have any tips on how to kill fleas on dogs? What works best in your neighborhood?