Natural Dog Flea Remedies Get Your Dog Healthy

All Pet's Life is reader-supported. When buying products through links on the site, we may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you).

A flea infestation can be hard on your dog.  Fleas can make your dog’s life excruciating as their constant bites irritate dogs enormously.  On top of that, fleas can also transmit various diseases such as typhus, tapeworms, and even the plague.  Yep, you read that right.  Getting rid of fleas is not only vital to your dog’s health, but as an owner, it’s about your health too.  As with most things, though, natural dog flea remedies are the best way to cope with this problem.  Let us explain.

natural dog flea remedies

natural dog flea remedies

Today you can buy many different products to help you fix your dog’s flea problem.  There are remedies of all kinds, from foggers to powders, all the way to oral medication for your dogs.  However, many of these solutions contain chemicals that can be harmful to your dog and, potentially, to you.  Oral medications can have unpleasant side effects, often giving your dog gastrointestinal troubles.  Powders can irritate your dog’s skin, which could make the itching worse.  Lastly, foggers will affect your entire living space, putting all residents at risk.

Natural dog flea remedies eliminate fleas without the potential side effects we discussed.  Not only are they harmless to dogs and people, but they can also be very effective at killing adult fleas and their larvae.

The Best Home Remedies for Dog Itching From Flea Bites

Fortunately, there are several natural remedies for dog flea treatment that work.  Some you apply to your dog’s coat, and some need to be mixed into your dog’s food.  Of course, a flea infestation affects more than just your dog’s coat.  For this reason, we will also tell you how to get rid of fleas living in your furniture, rugs, etc.

It’s important to note that not all dog flea treatment natural remedies work in the same manner, nor are they all equally effective.  There are quite a few differences, mainly regarding potency, ease of use, and potential harm to your pet.  Yes, even though these are all-natural dog flea remedies, not all of them are without potential side effects.

Without further ado, let’s get into the remedies themselves.

1.  Baking Soda and Salt

Baking soda and salt act as desiccants, or, put simply, drying agents.  Like most living organisms, fleas need water to survive.  This means that a mixture of baking soda and salt will kill fleas by dehydrating them.  You can use these natural dog flea remedies in many ways.

How to Use Baking Soda and Salt as Natural Dog Flea Remedies

●     Anti-flea Powder

The first and most effective way to use these natural remedies would be to rub them on your dog’s coat.  To do this, make a mixture of finely ground salt, baking soda, and sea salt.  Work the mixture deep into your dog’s coat.  Both of these ingredients are harmless to you as well as your dog.  This means that you can use your hands and not even need gloves.  Leave the powder on your dog and let it work its magic.

You can also use the mixture to make a thick paste, which you would then rub onto your dog’s coat as usual.  Try both, and see what gets you the best results.

●     Baking Soda and Salt Bath

Prepare a bath for your dog using your choice of shampoo.  Next, add 3-4 spoonfuls of salt and baking soda each.  Once they’ve dissolved, you can bathe your dog like you usually would.

We have to mention, though, that neither baking soda nor salt kills fleas instantly.  Natural dog flea remedies need some time to succeed in dehydrating the fleas.  For this reason, a bath might not be as effective as a powder or a paste made from baking soda and salt.

Develop your dog's "Hidden Intelligence" to eliminate bad behavior and create the obedient, well-behaved pet of your dreams with the help of a professional CPDT-KA certified dog trainer. Check out the dog training system that took 10 years to perfect.

●     Killing Fleas in Your Furniture

A full-blown flea infestation means that fleas will spread everywhere around your apartment, not just on your dog’s coat.  Baking soda and salt are some of the most effective natural dog flea remedies you can use around your living space.  They can be very effective at killing larvae nested in your rug and couch.  They are also completely non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about any harm coming to your dog or, worse still, one of your family members.

Flea larvae will mostly nest in rugs, sofas, and, of course, your dog’s bed.  To use this remedy in your apartment, you need to liberally sprinkle a mixture of salt and baking soda all around your apartment.  Please leave it to sit for a day or two, after which you should thoroughly vacuum your entire apartment.  Empty your vacuum immediately afterward.  You don’t want any remaining fleas to come out.

A quick word of warning should you decide to use baking soda and salt in your apartment.  We mentioned previously that these natural dog flea remedies are desiccants – they will attract moisture.  So be extra careful in humid areas, as you don’t want your furniture to become damp.

Pros

  • Kill fleas by dehydration
  • Can be used around your home
  • Mostly harmless to you and your dog

Cons

  • Doesn’t work instantly
  • Can irritate the skin of dogs

2.  Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is among the dog flea remedies that work the best.  It is one of the most potent dog flea remedies, natural or otherwise.  The anti-flea properties of coconut oil are due to its ingredients, lauric acid.  These properties are very pronounced—studies show that coconut oil can do a better job at repelling insects than commercial insect repellents.

Coconut oil has a mechanism of action that is slightly different from other natural dog flea remedies.  First, the oil coats the flea’s exoskeleton, making movement difficult.  This essentially traps the flea.  Next, lauric acid comes into play.  Lauric acid is toxic to fleas, which means that any flea that becomes coated in coconut oil will quickly die.  The whole procedure only takes a few minutes, if not seconds.

dog scratching

How to Use Coconut Oil as Part of Your Dog’s Flea Allergy Remedies

The way to use coconut oil on your dog is simple: use your hands to rub some on your dog’s coat.  Take care to get it into the hair and the skin underneath.  After you’re done, you can leave it for a couple of hours or more.  The fleas will be dead, and you will be able to remove them with a comb.

Aside from its apparent effectiveness at killing fleas, coconut oil is also a very effective flea and tick repellent.  This means that the fleas that don’t die will run away from your dog.

Coconut oil is completely harmless to dogs and humans.  If you use food-grade oil, you can be sure nothing harmful will happen to your dog if it licks it.  The only drawback to this dog flea remedy is that your pet will be oily for a couple of hours.  You should keep your dog away from your furniture during this time; otherwise, it may make a mess.

Pros

  • Kills fleas and their eggs almost instantly
  • Totally harmless to dogs and humans
  • Effective flea repellent

Cons

  • Dog’s coat will be oily

3.  Dish Soap

For a quick fix to your dog’s flea problem, try bathing your pet with some dish soap.  Dish soap is effective at killing adult fleas.  To understand why dish soap is an effective natural dog flea remedy, we must examine the flea’s biological characteristics.

First, you must understand that fleas are naturally resistant to water.  Their exoskeletons have a waxy coating that repels water, preventing it from entering their bodies.  Another way fleas repel water is by being tiny: they are so small that they won’t break the surface tension of water.  Hence, fleas don’t easily sink.

As one of the natural dog flea remedies, Dish soap works in a way that makes fleas sink and suffocate.  It does this in two ways.  First, when you mix dish soap with water, it lowers the mixture’s surface tension.  As a result, fleas no longer float on top of the water and sink instead.  Next, dish soap breaks down the fleas’ waxy coating so that it can no longer keep water out of the flea’s respiratory system.  The result of these effects is that the fleas suffocate and die.

Please note, however, that dish soap will only kill adult fleas.  It does nothing to kill flea eggs and doesn’t act as a flea repellent.  So, as we said, it’s a good quick fix but not a complete solution to your flea problem.

How to Use Dish Soap as Dog With Flea Allergy Home Remedies

As you’d expect, one way to kill fleas with dish soap is to bathe your dog.  Because of the way dish soap drowns fleas, it would be best to have your dog in a tub full of soapy water.  Start by lathering your dog’s coat and brushing it thoroughly.  A bath and a brush will physically remove the fleas from your dog’s fur, and they will fall into the tub.  Once there, they will sink and quickly suffocate.

The dish soap flea remedy can be useful around your home as well.  To do this, you need to make a flea trap: a bowl of soapy water under a light source should do the trick.  Fleas are nocturnal creatures, so leave your trap out during the night at a place where the infestation is prominent.  The fleas will be drawn toward the light, which will lead them into the soapy water and, hence, certain death.

We’re sure you’re already aware that dish soap has a drying effect on the skin.  This is as true for dogs as it is for humans.  For this reason, we wouldn’t recommend using this remedy too often.  Doing so can dry out your dog’s skin and coat, which can worsen itching issues.

Pros

  • It kills adult fleas quickly
  • You can use it around your home
  • Simple to use

Cons

  • It does not kill flea eggs
  • It can be harsh on the skin and coat

4.  Vinegar and Lemon Juice Remedies

Many pet owners recommend using lemon juice or vinegar as natural dog flea remedies.  The idea is that the acidity of these remedies will kill the fleas infesting your dog and will act as a repellent to all others.

Using acids against fleas can be very effective.  For example, pest control is one of the primary uses of boric acid.  However, note that boric acid is not a harmless natural remedy – it’s a powerful chemical compound that can harm your dog as well as yourself.

The natural dog flea remedies made from vinegar and lemon juice follow the same logic as boric acid.  In other words, they rely on their acidity to poison the fleas.  However, the acidic properties of lemon juice and food-grade vinegar are much weaker than those of boric acid.  For this reason, there is no clear consensus on the effectiveness of vinegar and lemon juice as natural dog flea remedies.

You can, of course, buy ultra-strength industrial vinegar, but that would defeat the point as it’s too harmful to use.

dog with fleas

How to Use Vinegar and Lemon Juice as Natural Dog Flea Remedies

Should you still want to try these two natural dog flea remedies, you’ll be happy to know that it’s a straightforward procedure.  You only need to buy food-grade vinegar and pour it into a sprayer bottle.  With lemon juice, of course, you first need to squeeze the lemons.  Pour the juice into the bottle only after you’ve strained it, though.  You don’t want to block your sprayer.

You can probably guess where we’re going with this: spray your dog’s coat with either vinegar or lemon juice.  The procedure is the same for both.  As with other natural dog flea remedies, try to work the stuff inside your dog’s skin.

However, there is no scientific proof of the effectiveness of these natural dog flea remedies.  Because of this, you’ll have to try them out and see if they work in your case.  The good thing is that they’re harmless to your dog and you, so you won’t risk anything by giving them a try.

Pros

  • Completely natural and harmless
  • Readily available
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No scientific proof of effectiveness

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.   What are the symptoms of fleas in dogs?

If your dog has fleas, the first symptom you will notice is unusual scratching and biting.  Flea bites irritate your dog’s skin, making them scratch the affected areas vigorously.  The scratching and biting can lead to them developing wounds and scabs.  Over time, bacterial and yeast infections will start to develop.

More often than not, if your dog is infested, you will be able to see fleas on its body.  So if you notice even a single flea, know that it will soon become a problem for your dog.

2.   Is ONE flea a problem?

Yes, it is.  One flea is the beginning of an infestation.  An average female flea will lay 20 to 30 eggs per day.  From there on, you can probably do the math yourself.  If left unchecked, fleas will reproduce exponentially.  It will only take them a few days to reach the stage of a full-blown flea infestation.

If you see even one flea on your dog or in your home, you need to come out with all guns blazing.  Treat your dog and your home as if it was already infested.  This is the only way to prevent an otherwise inevitable infestation.

3.   What is the best flea treatment for dogs?

If we’re talking about natural dog flea remedies, coconut oil is unequaled.  It’s natural, completely harmless, and very effective at solving your flea troubles.  You can use coconut oil as part of your effective flea infestation on dog home remedies.  This means that it battles fleas on all three fronts: killing adult fleas, their eggs, and repelling new fleas.

Aside from fixing your dog’s flea problem, coconut oil has a couple of added health benefits.  Whereas other natural dog flea remedies dry out the skin, coconut oil can act as a moisturizer.  It will leave your dog with supple skin and a shiny coat.

4.   Can humans get fleas from dogs?

Humans can’t catch fleas the way dogs can.  This is because fleas like to live in areas covered with a lot of thick hair, and your dog has plenty of that.  Fleas choose these spots because they offer good protection from the outer world.  In translation, it means that the hairier the spot a flea has burrowed into, the more difficult it is for you to get the flea out.

Even though humans cannot get infested with fleas, a flea infestation in your home can be a severe issue.  For example, fleas can bite humans without actually infesting our bodies.  These bites can irritate the skin, trigger allergies, and even transmit terrible diseases like the bubonic plague.  It sounds crazy, but it’s true – in the 14th century, fleas spread the Black Death epidemic around Europe.  Yersinia pestis, the bacterium responsible, is harmless to fleas but life-threatening to humans.

dog with fleas in the ears

5.   Can you put baking soda on your dog for fleas?

As we showed in this article, yes – there are several ways to put baking soda on your dog as a flea remedy.  However, we think that the most effective use of baking soda against fleas is not by putting it directly on your dog.  Instead, baking soda is the best at controlling the flea infestation in your home.

Spread baking soda all around your living space and let it sit for a while before vacuuming.  While baking soda kills the fleas nesting in your home, use other treatments on your dog’s skin and coat.  Out of all the natural dog flea remedies, coconut oil is the safest and most effective to use on your dog.

6.   Can I put lemon juice on my dog for fleas?

There is no harm in trying a lemon juice-based concoction to kill fleas.  However, there is also no scientific evidence that lemon juice has such an effect on fleas.  The only thing we can say for certain is that it will make your dog smell nice.  Vinegar, on the other hand, won’t even do that.

If you decide to use acidic compounds to rid your dog of fleas, take care to avoid any open sores or previously irritated skin.  It will hurt if you spray lemon juice on your dog’s wounds.

7.   Is tea tree oil effective against fleas?

Tea tree oil is an excellent flea repellent and can be found in several store-bought flea remedies.  However, it is vital to note that this oil can be hazardous to pets.  This is especially true when it comes to flea infestations.

Since dogs tend to lick and bite irritated body parts, they may accidentally consume the oil, resulting in poisoning.  Moreover, while many other essential oils can be good flea repellents, they don’t actually kill them.

8.   Does apple cider vinegar work for dog fleas?

Apple cider vinegar has several health benefits for owners and their pets alike.  But when it comes to fleas, it’s essentially the same as any other form of food-grade vinegar.  As previously stated, there is no convincing evidence of its effectiveness.  So while you may feel free to give it a try, don’t get your hopes up.

9.   Can flea repelling plants be used as a natural dog flea remedy?

Some plants emit aromas that are repulsive to fleas and keep them at bay.  These plants include fleabane (the name says it all), eucalyptus, catnip, lavender, and mint.  You can place them in strategic locations, such as the entrance and other areas where your dog likes to hang out.  As a result, they will help you control the flea infestation in your house and garden.

But while flea repellent plants can be of use, don’t count on them to completely solve your flea problem.  Instead, treat them as if they were just another tool in your armory.

dog scratching it's skin

Now, You Are Ready to Eliminate Your Flea Problem Using Natural Remedies

We hope that this article taught you everything you need to know about natural dog flea remedies.  They can be as effective as chemical and medicinal alternatives while being easier on the side effects.

There are many natural dog flea remedies, but coconut oil stands above the rest.  It is a very effective cure for your dog’s flea infestation.  Coconut oil is the complete package—it kills adult fleas and their eggs.  On top of everything else, it’s a flea repellent, so fleas won’t even want to go near your dog.  Importantly, all these effects are backed up by science.

Since a flea infestation doesn’t end with your dog, you need to take care of your home as well.  Here, a combination of salt and baking soda comes into play.  By dispersing this mixture around your house, you’ll kill any remaining fleas nested in your furniture.  Taking care of fleas inside your home is a critical step in managing an infestation.  Leaving even one flea alive can undo all your hard work.

We’re confident that this article provided you with an adequate understanding of natural dog flea remedies.  As we’ve shown, these remedies require only straightforward, readily available ingredients.  You probably even have some of these remedies lying around the house.  If not, you can head to your nearest grocery store today and buy them.  With the help of knowledge and simple household items, the fleas will be no match for you.

Leave a Reply