Fleas on dogs can be a nuisance. Luckily, experts have come up with some remarkably effective ways of getting rid of them and stopping them from coming back. There are a variety of solutions available, including store-bought medications and products that you probably already have at home.
We love our dogs, they are family to most of us. So, when your beloved pet is miserable, and the biting fleas are jumping on your ankles, too, there is little else we think about other than eradicating them. But, where do we start? What are the best products, or are there natural ways to get the job done? What are the best methods to use for your home, yard, and pet? The questions are endless, but the information you need is all here.
Welcome to your comprehensive flea removal and prevention guide.
Prevent Fleas on Dogs Before They Start
As in many things, the best offense is often a good defense. You can save yourself and your canine a lot of stress by stopping fleas before they even start. You can use a number of home remedies to prevent fleas on dogs, and most require few tools and little time.
Rid the house of fleas
The biggest reason we find fleas on dogs is that dogs are always exploring the places where fleas hide. The most common flea hiding place is deep within your carpet, though they can also hide in pet beds, crevices of hardwood floors, and the folds of furniture. You can prevent fleas in these areas by trying these prevention methods.
Raid your kitchen
You may not realize it, but many of the tools that you can use to fight off fleas are sitting in your kitchen cabinets.
One tool that can really do wonders to stop fleas is baking soda.
Baking soda works well to rid the area of fleas, their eggs, and their larvae. One of the places that fleas like to hide is in the fibers of your carpets. Using baking soda is simple. Just sprinkle it over your carpets and your furniture. Once you have covered all of the areas, take a hard brush and rub the baking soda into the surfaces. Then vacuum it away.
If you don’t have baking soda, you can use salt in much the same way. Salt dehydrates the area, creating an environment that is a deterrent to fleas. Sprinkle the salt onto your carpets and let it sit there for a day or two. Then, simply vacuum it up and discard the waste.
These pests can lurk in any corner of your home, and if left unbothered, they can multiply uncontrollably. Simply vacuuming regularly will do wonders for avoiding fleas.
Have any rosemary in your kitchen? You can use that too! Rosemary is a natural flea repellant and is a great way to keep from having fleas on dogs.
To do this, mix two pints of rosemary with two cups of boiling water. Once it cools, you can apply it to your dog. After a regular bath, apply the rosemary wash to the dog's coat. No need to rise it out. Just let it dry naturally. Now, you have a fresh smelling and flea free dog.
Rid the Yard of Fleas
Now that the inside of your house is flea free, it's time to tackle the area around your home. If not properly prepared, your yard can be a breeding ground for fleas and other pests. But if you follow these tips, then your property can be flea free.
One of the easiest ways to protect your yard and avoid getting fleas on dogs is with diatomaceous earth. Also known as diatomite, diatomaceous earth is a natural product that is made up of fossilized remains of tiny organisms. When sprinkled on your yard, it absorbs into any organisms that have an exoskeleton. The product dries out the fleas, killing them. It is not harmful to you or your dog.
Nematodes are microscopic, multicellular insects that are a natural parasite to fleas. Available at your local garden store, nematodes quickly kill fleas and any existing larvae. Simply spray the substance lightly across your yard and garden to launch a proactive attack against potential or existing fleas.
Plant an herb garden
As we learned from the rosemary trick, herbs are a good way of preventing fleas on dogs. Some of the other most effective herbs include peppermint, basil, lemon balm, and lavender. As an extra level of defense, place herb gardens around doors and windows. They will produce lovely scents and vibrant colors while keeping your flea problems at bay.
While flea collars can do wonders against fleas on dogs, they're also a great preventative measure. Flea collars can actively repel fleas by releasing a frequency or a gas to keep potential fleas away and kill any existing fleas on dogs.
Frequency collars are electronic devices that emit an ultrasonic wave that works to “scare” the fleas away. The other, more popular type of collar emits a gas that is fatal to fleas but non-toxic to everyone else. The fleas cannot detect the gas until they come in contact with it, and by then, it's too late.
There are many different flea collars on the market. Do your research and try a few to find the most effective collar for your pooch.
Make your own flea collar
If you prefer to keep your flea prevention in-house, then you can also create your own flea collar. To make one, dilute between three to five drops of lavender or cedar oil in three tablespoons of water.
Next, use an eye dropper to apply up to ten drops of your oil mixture to a bandana or your dog's current collar. Then attach the accessory to your dog's neck, and you have an easy, and effective flea collar. Reapply the mixture once a week to ensure continuous flea-ridding protection.
Removing Fleas That Already Exist
While many of the flea prevention methods mentioned above can do wonders to keep fleas out of your home, there is always a chance that your dog will still be affected by the fleas. If you notice that your canine has been invaded then try these methods of removing fleas on dogs.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people consider ACV to be a miracle cure for a plethora of ailments, including upset stomachs, sinus problems, and arthritis. Some also find it effective for removing fleas on dogs. There are multiple ways that you can remove fleas on dogs using apple cider vinegar.
Have your dog drink it
The first method of using this solution to remove fleas on dogs is to add a little to their water bowl. For every 40 pounds that your dog weighs, add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to one quart of your pooch's drinking water.
Spray it on
Another way to use apple cider vinegar to remove fleas on dogs is to create a homemade flea spray. To make the spray, take one cup of apple cider vinegar, or white distilled vinegar if that is all you have. Next, add one quart of fresh water and three drops of cedar or lavender oil and put it all in a spray bottle.
Next, take your pooch and give them a light spritz. Focus on your dog's fur, avoiding the eyes, nose, and ears. Still, you will want to get around the neck and behind the ears. So spray some of your flea formulae on a soft cloth and gently wipe it in those areas.
The great thing about apple cider vinegar is that not only will it deter or eliminate fleas, but it is also great for improving the dog's skin and creating a more vibrant coat.
If you really want to do a thorough job of ridding your dog’s coat of fleas then consider getting up close with a flea comb and lemon juice.
Lemon juice contains limonene, which is a natural deterrent for fleas but is not dangerous to humans. To make a lemon flea comb, get a bowl and add one freshly sliced lemon to one quart of water. Mix it in and then boil the water. After the water has been boiled, cover the pot and let it sit overnight.
The next day, dip a pet-friendly comb into the lemon juice and run it through your dog's hair. Be sure to get all of their hair so that the fleas have nowhere to hide. If you have a short-haired dog, you can use a sponge to apply the treatment.
If you're short on time, then you can boil your lemon water for five minutes and then safely comb it into your dog's hair. But if you're serious about flea removal and prevention, then it’s better to take your time.
You also have the option of giving your dog a bath. Regular water and shampoo bath may not be adequate for removing fleas on dogs, so you might have to modify your dog's bathing habits.
Store-bought flea shampoo
Your dog isn’t the first one with fleas, and it certainly won’t be the last. So, to help the many pet owners, there have been medical shampoos created to fight fleas.
A flea shampoo will work to kill existing fleas and stop future fleas. However, it's not a one-and-done deal. You will have to continue to use flea shampoo as time goes on to keep the pests at bay. Also, always use the proper shampoo for your pet. Don’t use cat shampoo to try and remove fleas on dogs or vice versa.
When applying a flea shampoo to your dog, start at the head and make your way down to the tail. Once you lather the shampoo in from head to toe, leave it there for five minutes to ensure eradication of any existing fleas. After that, just rinse and let your dog free. It is recommended that you give him a flea collar for an added level of flea prevention.
Make your own flea shampoo
If you want to keep your pest prevention in-house, then you can make your own form of flea shampoo to remove fleas on dogs. Creating flea shampoo only takes one primary flea-killing ingredient. You guessed it: vinegar.
All you do is mix one quart of water, one cup of white or apple cider vinegar and one cup of your choice of baby shampoo or nontoxic dish soap and use it to wash your dog. If you have a smaller puppy or dog, then you can reduce the ingredients to a half cup of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar and a 1/4 cup of dish soap.
See Your Vet
If flea problems persist or become more intense, then it may be best to visit the veterinarian.
The fact is, vets are the ultimate experts on pet health. And if you can’t shake your flea problem, then a vet can recommend specific medications for your problem. Plus, they know about the most updated preventatives and treatments and which of these are safest for your specific dog.
Say Goodbye to Fleas Forever
As dog owners, none of us likes to see our pooches tormented by fleas. But with all of the flea prevention methods available and the many treatments you can try, it is possible to keep your dog free of fleas permanently.