You might have heard the German proverb, “The fatter the flea, the leaner the dog.” Fleas can make your furry friend weaker by sucking its blood and causing allergies.
Fleas have infested dogs and other animals since time immemorial. They are stubborn and difficult to eliminate.
But with proper efforts in the right direction, you can remove them. If you want to know how, then you are at the right place.
In this article, you will get to know about the different products and techniques to get rid of fleas from your dog’s fur and your home, and the precautions that you need to take while eliminating fleas.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs?
Firstly, you need to ensure that the problem you are dealing with is fleas. You can use a fine-tooth comb to comb your dog’s fur. You can also look for flea dirt or their eggs.
Once you are sure that there is flea infestation in your home, you need to take steps to get rid of them.
You might think that what is the need of investing your precious time and energy in removing fleas. Well, you have to eliminate them because fleas are parasites, and like other parasites, they harm their hosts, that is, your dog.
They are also the causative agents of diseases like Murine typhus, Tularemia, Tungiasis, and even Plague.
In this section, you will learn the ways to eliminate them.
Natural Flea Repellents
The natural flea repellents include essential oils, vinegar, lemon, salt, and many more. These are non-toxic products that usually pose no threat to your dog’s health.
Essential oils are extracted from different parts of plants. These have a unique and characteristic odor that is usually pleasant for us and intolerable for fleas.
The essential oils include citronella, peppermint, catnip, lavender oil, and many more. It is recommended to dilute them before using because concentrated oil might cause allergies.
Different oils are used by mixing different proportions of water and oil. Usually, you have to mix a few drops of oil with a cup of water.
You have to mix it in a spray bottle, and then shake it well. The flea spray is ready to use.
You can also grow these plants in your garden. One more way to use it is by soaking cotton balls in essential oils and keeping it in corners of your home.
Some of these essential oils like citronella oil is a well-known mosquito repellent. So, essential oils have multiple uses.
Vinegar is one of the most commonly used insect repellents. It is effective against fleas, mosquitoes, and even spiders.
Remember that all types of vinegar are not equally effective against fleas. It is advised to use distilled white vinegar. It is the one commonly found in your kitchen, and is most effective against fleas and other insects.
You have to take a spray bottle and mix equal parts of water and vinegar in it, before your spray is ready to use.
Usually, people keep orange peels in the solution for a day to remove the smell of vinegar. Remember to spray it near your dog’s bed and in cracks.
Be extra careful while handling vinegar as it is acetic acid and can harm your skin if it is concentrated.
Apple cider vinegar is also effective against fleas. You need to take one part of vinegar and mix it with two parts of water before using.
You can also dip cotton in vinegar and put it in corners. It will repel fleas and other insects due to its strong odor.
You can use salt to kill fleas. It kills fleas and flea eggs by acting as a dehydrating agent and absorbing moisture.
You have to take salt and crush it properly. It is now ready to use and sprinkle. Make sure to prepare a lot of powdered salt.
It will be required in large quantities as you will have to sprinkle it in all cracks and crevices of your home as well.
We recommend you not to sprinkle salt on your dog directly as it might cause irritation and further itching. Also, remember to repeat the whole process after a few days.
Mix one part of lemon juice with four parts of water. And congrats! Your DIY lemon bath is ready to use.
Use it along with shampoo to bathe your dog and you will soon observe the results. It will not only remove fleas, but will also freshen up your mood by its fragrance.
Diatomaceous earth is fine powder obtained from the remains of algae. It is a natural flea remedy for dogs.
Using diatomaceous earth is not widely accepted because it is extracted from algae. But it is indeed an effective product against fleas.
Sprinkle the powder on carpets and other probable hiding spots of fleas and leave it for 48 hours.
Make sure that your dog does not come in that area. Use a vacuum cleaner after 48 hours to remove the powder and dead flea bodies.
You can also use Rosemary to get rid of fleas. Take some Rosemary leaves and soak them in boiling water. Then strain the mixture. Add some water in the strained mixture and dip your dog in it.
Let your dog dry naturally without the use of a towel. Use a comb later to clean the fur. Rosemary Dip will kill fleas and also make you and your dog feel fresh and better.
Cornstarch powder is a safe non-toxic product that is used to get rid of fleas by sprinkling it on your dog’s fur. It is a component of dog food and is thus, mostly harmless for dogs.
Sprinkle cornstarch powder on your dog’s fur and leave it for at least half an hour. Brush it off using a comb after 30 minutes.
This method is effective only for removal of fleas from the dog’s body. But there are a lot more fleas present in your home. Thus, it is advised to use it along with other methods for maximum benefits.
Organic Soaps and Shampoos
Nowadays, a lot of organic soaps and shampoos are available in the market. They have extracts from certain natural plant products that make them effective flea repellents.
You have to use it the way you use your normal soap and shampoo for bathing your dog. It will not only kill fleas but also make your dog smell good.
Planting Flea Repellent Plants
A lot of fleas thrive in your lawn or garden because they love damp and moist places. It is favorable for their growth.
You can plant trees that are effective against fleas like peppermint, spearmint, chrysanthemum, and lavender in your garden.
Fleas get away from these plants naturally as they hate the smell of these plants. It is thus a natural and non-toxic way to eliminate fleas.
Flea Repellent Collar
You can prepare a DIY flea repellent collar for your dog. For that, you have to get a collar for your dog. You can prepare it yourself too.
Now take a few drops of cedar or lavender oil and dilute it. Apply this diluted oil on the collar and make your dog wear it. It can prevent the fleas from parasitizing on your dog.
Another way to make flea repellent collar is to take the collar and dip it in vodka. Let it dry itself. This collar will be particularly helpful if your dog easily gets annoyed with the smell of essential oils.
Coconut oil has numerous benefits. You can use it to kill fleas by taking a spoon of it and rubbing it on your dog.
It will not only kill and repel fleas, but also make the fur shiny and suppress any bad odor. It can also kill bacteria and fungi if you use it as a food product for your dog.
You can use Neem oil to bathe your dog by mixing a few drops in water. You can also dilute it and then spray it to repel fleas.
Eating and Drinking Habits
You might be surprised to know that certain food products can kill fleas when consumed. It also makes your dog stronger and its fur shinier.
You can mix a spoon of apple cider vinegar in almost 4 cups of water and make your dog drink it. It will kill fleas from inside the body.
Do it only if your dog is not allergic to vinegar. You can know it by making your dog taste a cup of this water. You can also make your dog eat yeast. It is also known to be an effective flea remedy.
Chemical Flea Repellents
It is recommended to use these only in extreme conditions as they are harmful for your dog’s skin. These include dish soap, baking powder, and bleach.
Dish soap can also cause death of fleas by removing their exoskeleton that helps them in swimming and floating in water. When their exoskeleton is removed, they are simply drowned to death.
Mix a few drops of dish soap in your water and lather it. Use this lathered water to bathe your dog. Protect their eyes from lather.
Use a comb after bathing your dog to remove dead fleas. It is effective only against fleas present on your dogs.
Baking powder kills fleas by dehydrating them. You have to take finely powdered baking powder and sprinkle it on carpets, in cracks, on floor, and every possible site where your dog chills.
Sprinkle it at night and leave it for the whole night. Clean the house next morning using a vacuum cleaner.
Bleach is a quick and effective product for flea treatment. It kills fleas instantly by burning them.
Be very careful while using bleach and dilute it properly. Mix one part of bleach with 10 parts of water in a spray bottle.
Spray the prepared solution on your dog’s collar, its bed, on carpets, and other places. This solution can also be sprayed in the yard to get rid of fleas present there.
Spray the solution in cracks so that fleas present there are also killed. Clean the home a few hours after spraying bleach. You can also mix bleach in water and use it to mop the floor of your home.
Never spray bleach on your dog. Also, do not clean house immediately after spraying bleach even if fleas are killed instantly because bleach can cause burns and skin irritation.
Cleaning is one of the most effective yet ignored methods of flea control. You might wonder why it is not given much importance.
It is ignored because it does not show effects instantly. But it is the most helpful method of flea control in the long run.
We all know that prevention is better than cure. Cleaning your home is the prevention. It helps you by removing not only dirt and dead flea bodies, but also fleas and their eggs.
It is also the last step after using flea repellents and killers. You would not like to be surrounded by dead flea bodies.
Also, never forget cracks and crevices. The fleas and their eggs sometimes hide there and are not found by you. They later cause nuisance.
Bathing your dogs regularly is also included in cleaning. Some shampoos contain flea repellent properties. They can also be helpful.
It is best to wash all the clothes and your dog’s bed once every week. It will ensure that there are no more fleas on or near your dog.
Some Other Techniques
The most effective method of cleaning your dog’s products is tumble drying it for approximately 15 minutes. The high temperature will kill adult fleas, young fleas, and flea eggs.
Thus, this method will help you to get rid of all life forms of fleas by disrupting their life cycle.
Flea trap sounds effective, doesn’t it? It indeed is.
You can catch those nasty fleas that irritate your pets with relative ease.
All you need to do is take a container and put some water in it. Mix a few drops of any liquid soap so that the solution becomes viscous.
Put this container near a light source at night. Fleas will come near light and will fall in the container.
It is now not possible for them to go out as they will get stuck in the viscous liquid soap solution. And now my friend, it is the execution time. Get rid of them in any way you want to.
You can use a comb with fine teeth to remove fleas from your dog’s fur. But do you know how you can increase the effectiveness of this method?
You can do this by dipping the fine-tooth comb in lemon juice and then using it. You can also dip a cloth in lemon juice and rub it on your dog’s body if you have a short-haired dog.
It is important to eliminate fleas by the most effective and quick method from your home. But it is equally important to take care of safety measures. Some of them are:
- Always wear a mask and gloves before using the spray solution. Spray the solution away from you.
- Remember to dilute the spray solution before applying it to reduce the chances of irritation.
- Do not use vinegar on sensitive surfaces. It can corrode them as it is nothing but acetic acid.
- Never inhale the spray solution directly. It might lead to irritation and in extreme cases, allergies.
- Do not spray the solution on your dog’s eyes and face.
- Consult a vet before using any chemical substance on your dog. Take your dog to the vet if itching and related problems are serious.
- Visit a doctor if you are experiencing allergic reactions due to use of any flea repellent.
- Use only natural products and that too after diluting them when you are treating fleas on puppies. Their skin is far more sensitive than adult dogs.
- Do not procrastinate and take the required steps quickly. It will help you in the long run.
- Clean your home and bathe your pets regularly. It will help you by inhibiting the growth of the flea population.
- Always use fine powder of salt and baking powder so that its surface area is increased and it is more effective.
There are many ways to get rid of fleas. Choose the one suitable for you depending on the flea population.
Use natural flea repellents and switch to chemicals only if they don’t work. Remember that all natural products are also not completely safe to use.
Pay a visit to a vet if any of these products cause allergic reactions in your dog. Contact the exterminators if home remedies are not helpful in getting rid of fleas.
That is it for now. We hope you got the desired information about removal of fleas on your dogs in this article.