These home remedies for fleas on dogs are a great choice if you’re wanting to look for a natural alternative to the chemical flea treatments that are on the market.
While some pet parents find the best flea treatments for dogs to be a convenient and hassle-free way to keep their pooch protected, others would prefer to forgo the tablets and topicals and look for a gentler alternative.
Regardless of whether your hound has a current flea infestation or you’re looking to prevent future outbreaks, we recommend having a chat with your vet about the best course of action for you and your pup.
If you decide that you’d like to give a chemical-free option a try, these home remedies for fleas on dogs are all great non-toxic options that require limited ingredients and are super affordable to make.
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1. Coconut oil
If you’ve ever slathered your skin with coconut oil, then you know how silky soft the results are. And while this magic beauty treatment will do the same for your dog’s skin and coat, it has the added benefit of helping to eradicate fleas. Seriously, is there anything this stuff can’t do?!
Coconut oil has high levels of a saturated fat known as lauric acid which naturally repells fleas. It also has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial qualities that can help treat intestinal parasites when it’s added to your dog’s food.
To use coconut oil as a remedy for fleas, you can either give it orally or rub it through your dog’s coat. For the oral option, simply add 1 teaspoon per 20 poinds of body weight to your dog’s food twice daily. To apply it to their coat, melt the coconut oil by rubbing it between your hands and smoothing it through the fur.
2. Lavender oil
You may have heard that essential oils are dangerous for dogs and while it’s true some are toxic, there are many essential oils that can be very beneficial when they’re prepared correctly.
Fleas and ticks hate the scent of lavender and it also prevents their eggs from hatching, so if you’re looking for a safe and gentle way to get rid of fleas or prevent them, this essential oil is well worth a try.
It’s important to always use a carrier oil to dilute essential oils before applying them to your dog’s skin - coconut oil is great for this, so why not try mixing a few drops of lavender in with some coconut oil and rubbing it into your dog’s coat.
3. Brewer’s yeast
Quite possibly the best kept secret when it comes to natural flea remedies, brewer’s yeast does a standout job of repelling fleas and ticks on most dogs.
Scientists aren’t quite sure what it is about brewer’s yeast that makes it so effective, but it’s likely the combination of B vitamins and other minerals that come together to form a reaction that parasites don’t like.
Brewer’s yeast is available in both powder and tablet form and we recommend speaking with your vet to see if one would be more suitable for your dog than the other. The general recommendation when used as a powder is to mix half a teaspoon in with your dog’s food.
4. Rosemary, lemon and sage spray
If you love a good woody fragrance, then you’ll love spritzing your pup with this divine smelling rosemary and sage spray. The aroma given off by these two strong herbs are detested by fleas, so they’re the perfect pairing to protect your pooch.
To make the spray, take a quart of hot water and add the juice of a lemon and a bunch each of fresh rosemary and sage. Don’t have fresh herbs on hand? No worries, add 10 drops each of rosemary and sage essential oils and you’ll get the same effect.
Leave the hot mixture to steep overnight before straining and pouring the solution into a spray bottle. Spritz your dog all over, paying special attention to prime parasite hot spots - their belly, tail, legs and ears.
5. Make a natural flea collar
It’s time to open up the liquor cabinet and pull out the vodka because it turns out this spirit makes a great base for a natural flea collar. There are several essential oils that you can mix with the vodka, but here are our favorite three:
- 1 teaspoon unflavored vodka
- 1 drop rosemary essential oil
- 1 drop thyme essential oil
- Garlic oil from one small capsule
- 1 teaspoon unflavored vodka
- 1 drop eucalyptus essential oil
- 1 drop cedarwood essential oil
- 1 drop lemongrass essential oil
- 1 teaspoon unflavored vodka
- 1 drop rose geranium essential oil
To make any of these collars, the first step is to grab a soft nylon or cotton collar from your local pet supply store. Then, add the vodka and essential oils to a small bowl and stir to blend. Lay the collar on a baking sheet and pour the mixture over until the collar has fully absorbed it. Leave to air dry and then use immediately. Resoak the collar each week to recharge it.
Do not use on dogs under the age of one year and never apply any essential oil directly to your dog’s fur or skin - always make sure to dilute it first.
6. Lemon bath
One of the best natural flea fighting remedies is a good old fashioned lemon bath. Next time you’re giving your pup a bath with the best dog shampoo, add a cup of fresh lemon juice to the bath water as citrus is a great repellent. Lather your hound up for a good 10-15 minutes to get the maximum effect.
Just a word of caution - be careful not to get any of the water in your dog’s eyes as citrus can sting, and always use fresh lemon and not a lemon essential oil as this can cause an adverse reaction in some pets.
7. Flea sachet
Do you remember those drawer sachets that used to be a really popular way of making your clothes smell sweet? Well, it turns out you can make a similar version to help keep the fleas away from your furkid.
This is a really good option if your dog doesn’t like having anything applied to their coat or skin and it’s nice and easy to make. Simply get some breathable material, like hessian or muslin and fill it with lemon peel, dried lavender buds, and cedar chips.
Once you’re done, tie it up into a little sachet and place it near where your dog sleeps. You’ll need to replenish the ingredients once every 30 days or so to ensure it remains effective.
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.