Natural Flea Treatment for Dogs

December 8, 2014

Natural Flea Treatment for DogsBefore I share my recipe, I want to mention that I have an 8 pound Pomeranian who is hyper-sensitive to fleas. We recently moved into a new-to-us home that was obviously a home to fleas. In desperation, I took my Pom to the vet who gave him a Capstar that did not help, by the way, and has caused him to chew himself raw ever since we gave the pill to him! She also sold me an $80 flea collar which was basically a complete waste of money. Frontline makes my Pom aggressive and since he already has aggression issues, and the fact that it is highly toxic to dogs, I steer clear of the stuff.


Through this process, I learned several things:

  1. Boost the dog's immune system. Fleas won't bother a healthy dog. Our groomer recommended NuVet Plus vitamins to restore my Pom's coat and it made a huge difference.

  2. Eliminate fleas from inside/outside of house. Our vet recommended Beneficial Nematodes for outside. They are microscopic worms that eat flea eggs. We bought a batch and sprayed in October. We'll do another application in the spring. For the inside, I plan to start using Cabin Cove's recommendation (the recipe posted in this topic) to treat our carpets starting today!

  3. Eliminate fleas from pets. In my pursuit of natural alternatives, I found a spray at the local farmer's market that worked like a charm. Unfortunately, the folks who sold it have not been back to the farmer's market so I searched online for a recipe that included the same ingredients. Below is very close, and I believe, even more effective than my original purchase.

The flea spray consists of essential oils that work beautifully. Here's my recipe:



  • 1/2 cup witch hazel
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 12 drops of lemon tea tree* (kills fleas and ticks)
  • 4 drops of eucalyptus* (flea repellant)
  • 4 drops of cedar wood (flea repellant, skin and coat conditioner)
  • 10 drops of lavender** (anti-bacterial, anti-itch, and calming)

*Palo Santo is also an excellent essential oil. One drop kills ticks dead. My Boxer had a blood-filled tick latched on to him and my husband wanted to pluck it out. I suggested we try the Palo Santo. We put one drop on the tick and it died and fell off our dog. My husband was blown away. In the recipe above, you can replace the lemon tea tree and eucalyptus with 10 drops of Palo Santo instead.

**Lavender is the best oil to use for about all common animal ailments. It is a great first aid oil soothing to skin irritations, such as rashes and hot spots.

We also bathe our pooches with Animal Scents Shampoo by Young Living (I am not a Young Living distributor so I buy it on Amazon) and I add a couple of drops of lemongrass essential oil to the shampoo. I squirt about half a tablespoon into my hand and then add 2 drops of the EO, rub my hands together and the shampoo the dog.

Oh, another thing to mention. I dry shampoo the dog. In other words, I lather him up while he's dry - starting from the top and working my way down - so that the fleas can't climb up to his head or around his ears. I then massage the shampoo for as long as he'll let me - usually around ten minutes to kill the fleas - then I start to rinse slowly, massaging to make sure I get all through his long Pom fur.

The battle to find a natural flea killer for our dogs has been won; however, the battle to kill the fleas in and outside of our house is another story, and this is crucial. I'm trusting that Cabin Cove's recipe will be the winner. (Fingers crossed!)

Good luck yall!

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Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

August 29, 2018

I have seen a lot of recipes for sprays on pets. How often do you spray your pet? How much do you spray on them?


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August 29, 20180 found this helpful

Talk to your vet and get his/her input. Some vets are ok with holistic, homemade solutions, some are not. I personally would not use anything on my fur kid without getting the vet ok. There are plenty of natural things that are dangerous to pups, which is why I would check to make sure the components are not only safe, but effective.


I know many of the big pharma solutions are poison so I get it that you want the best for your pup. We use sentinel for our boy. It took much research and thought before we selected it. We did it after he had some serious flea bites a few years ago that led to an infection. We had refused to use Frontline and none of the natural solutions I read about seemed safe for him (he has a lot of allergies) so we went without which was a huge mistake.

Let us know what your vet says and if it works, please share the recipe so I can readdress it with our vet.

Wishing your pup a flea-less time!!!


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August 30, 20180 found this helpful

Hopefully not more than once a week. I have heard of people who use apple cider vinegar and citrus peel homemade sprays and you always have to be careful with the eyes.


The main testimonial of success I've heard is fighting fleas by spreading diatomaceous earth on the outside garden area of the home, or beneficial nematods. Then you don't have to bother about sprays and so forth


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August 31, 20180 found this helpful

Remember whatever you put on the dog will be ingested when he grooms himself. Check with your Vet.

September 28, 20190 found this helpful

A lot of vets will put down natural stuff to get you to buy their new expensive chemicals!

June 7, 20220 found this helpful


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May 7, 2018

I have 3 outdoor Chihuahuas, of one is a mommy of 3, 3wk old males. So 5 Chihuahuas. The poor babies are infested with fleas. I mean covered! The yard has been treated several times, bedding area is cleaned, I know I can't use toxins on any pet if around mama and especially the babies. I've bathed them with Dawn and combed them all many times.

As soon as I put one pup down and when I'm done with the second, it is covered again. I'm combing all 5 dogs at least 4-5 times daily. It's taking a lot of time and I'm sure they are getting tired of it. But I can't let the fleas be biting on them. I can't afford a vet. I'm considering letting the new owners of the pups take them like now at 3wks and care for them. I don't want them to get sick.

So I guess I'm asking for any suggestions. The mama is gonna get spayed after she stops nursing. That's a must. I have saved up the money for that when she got pregnant. Please help me help my pets. This infestation has never been like this in the past. Home remedies, OTC, anything, please!


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May 7, 20180 found this helpful

You need to treat the kennel, yard, and then spread out cedar chips. Complete instructions are here:


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May 7, 20180 found this helpful

I have a friend who just swore by garden nematodes. These are critters that eat fleas. She put a few in her yard and her flea problem just dissappeared!

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May 9, 20180 found this helpful

It sounds like your yard treatment did not work. You need to call them back and have it redone. Can you take mom and puppies in the house for awhile? It is very difficult to control fleas outside. You are right to be concerned. Heavy flea infestations can kill small puppies. Check their gums for anemia (pale color). 3 week old puppies cannot leave their mother. They are not weaned yet. Weaning can begin at 3 to 4 weeks and is usually completed at 7 to 8 weeks. Then they can go to new homes. I think your best bet is to bring these puppies and mom into the house , bathe them and give them new bedding. Watch the gums for loss of pink color. Your local Vet may have other suggestions.

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