Using Garlic to Prevent Fleas

Category Fleas
The presence of garlic can repel fleas if used safely. This page is about using garlic to repel fleas.


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I've responded to questions and tips several times regarding giving garlic to pets for flea control or assorted other reasons, but maybe it will be more helpful if posted as a tip that might reach more folk? Please consider reading up about Heinz-Body anemia before you make the decision to give garlic in any form, or anything in the alliums family for that matter, to a pet. Personally, I wouldn't risk the health of my pet when there are other safe alternatives available. Here are two really good links to begin your homework with:

By Deeli from Richland, WA

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October 7, 2013

Can I give my dog garlic power?

By Margo from wilm dem


October 8, 20132 found this helpful

Garlic and onion can cause hemolytic anemia in animals. I wouldnt take the chance.

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December 29, 2010

I was wondering how much garlic I can use on my dogs that weigh approximately 10-17 lbs? They have fleas.

By Brenda from Ontario, CA


December 30, 20100 found this helpful

And will you or the dog enjoy the odor of garlic if you decide to try it?

Garlic does not work and any member of the onion family is a no-no for dogs as it can be toxic, along with chocolate and raisins. It doesn't repel them and it certainly doesn't kill them. Feeding the dog a natural good quality diet does make a dog less likely to be tempting to a flea as they do prefer unhealthy dogs for some reason. Fleas and other parasites got for the unhealthy, weak and young, those with immune systems not up to par. SO making your dog as healthy as possible is the best flea remedy.


There are a few natural or herbal ways to keep fleas away but they don't work totally. They work some of the time, for some dogs and cats. You can mix cut-up lemons with boiling water and let it sit overnight. Now you can use it in a spray bottle. Spray your dog around his ears and neck, not in his eyes of course. And spray all along his back to his tail dock area and don't forget his armpits and belly. Anywhere you'd expect to find fleas.

Shake some tea tree oil and almond oil with 10 drops of lavender oil and 5 drops of cedarwood oil. Put a few drops where you'd put Frontline like around the neck and tail dock area couple times a week. If your dog is of collie mix don't use tea tree oil as they ae a bit sensitive to it. Just use the almond oil. You can also make a tea tree oil and water spray for non-collie dogs.


Crumbling pennyroyal or placing some in in his bed is a good idea, too. You can sprinkle pennyroyal on your carpet and then vacuum up a few hours later. Plant it around your yard or kennel as fleas don't like it.

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December 30, 20100 found this helpful

With all due respect to "foxrun41" I'm not convinced this debate is settled: I know several people who use garlic powder to successfully inhibit fleas and all of their dogs are healthy.

Brenda, I would suggest doing more research on this issue yourself, since the consensus is not unanimous, and use your best judgment with your own dogs.

"foxrun41" I'd be happy to review your source that claims garlic and/or onions are entirely toxic to dogs, but I don't know what source you are citing from. You are the only one I've ever heard state this, but that doesn't mean you are incorrect.


Maybe it has more to do with amounts than actual consumption?!?! Or whether it is cooked, raw, powdered, etc. Again, I know several that use powdered garlic to control fleas on dogs with zero health problems in those dogs. I also know that my own dogs have consumed cooked onions (minimal amount) in human leftovers with no ill effects.

Again, no disrespect intended at all to "foxrun41". I'm just suggesting to Brenda that for things not written in concrete, continued research is a responsibility we each have for our own.

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January 2, 20110 found this helpful

I have to add a bit more here. Anything in the Allium family (garlic and onions of any sort) have high concentrations of thiosulphate, a compound that causes damage to red blood cells and leads to 'Heinz factor anemia' where the red blood cells burst. Dogs and cats do not have the enzymes to properly digest thiosulphate. This is a more serious problem with cats than with dogs but serious for both species nonetheless.


Raw garlic or onions should never be given to your pet. Alliums in any form can be harmful to your pet's health and can easily build up toxic levels depending on the pet's size, breed and health (a big no no for a pet with diabetes). This build up can occur over periods of time and can lead to the accidental poisoning of your pet.

Garlic can indeed be toxic and especially when it's combined with chocolate and/or raisins so if you decide in your heart of hearts to use garlic to get rid of a pet's fleas you really need to keep raisins and chocolate out of your pet's diet. (Raisins and chocolate in and of themselves can have serious effects all by themselves as well).

Personally, I would call a few vets in your area and ask their advice and the advice you hear most often, and your heart/soul, will give you the answer. As for myself, I wouldn't risk giving anything in any amount to a pet that could potentially be dangerous. There are other alternatives with some research for your particular situation. You just have to do some leg work.

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April 26, 20110 found this helpful

Do not use pennyroyal around any pets and certainly not around anyone that is pregnant. It was used as a "natural" abortion product. It will cause pregnant dogs or cats to abort, it can also cause pregnant women to abort.


I have used garlic in my dogs food for years, and I have Border Collies now, and Shelties in the past. None were adversely affected by the garlic. I have also used "wettable" sulfur powder in my dogs water to help control fleas.

Do your homework on pennyroyal before considering having any of it around, dried or fresh. You certainly don't want to plant it in your yard, it is in the mint family, and will take your yard over. You don't want your dogs, cats or any other animals walking across it and taking a chance on it harming them.

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May 3, 20110 found this helpful

Garlic is safe for dogs. While the onion has thiosulphate, the garlic of the same family does not contain any thiosulphate.

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July 8, 20112 found this helpful

I don't buy the advice you should ever use home remedies on yourself or pets. I eat garlic regularly, as did my mother and father. My father passed at age 108 and my mother was in good health until Alzheimer's took her at 83.

I'm 68 years and strong as a bull. You can repel fleas on cats by rubbing garlic and vinegar water into their fur a couple of times a week with no adverse effects. I had two cats which I used this remedy on and one lived to 21 years and the other to 11. It would have lived longer if it had been born with two kidneys instead of one.

Most vets and doctors are honest but they are still in business to make money. They will often have you coming back for mostly un-necessary treatments and test. Unless you or your animal have some apparently serious illness or injury, let time heal it.

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November 13, 2011

How much and how often do I give raw garlic to my 60-70 pound dog?

By Jan N

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April 2, 2013

If you put garlic in dog food will it keep fleas off your dog?

By Mike H.

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March 12, 2013

At what age can I give a puppy garlic for flea protection?

By Eliot

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August 22, 2012

I bought some garlic gel-caps, 1000mg. I was wondering how much to give a 7lb dog?

By Brandice

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November 11, 2010

Is it true that you can use garlic as a flea treatment for dogs? I was told that you give the dog a little bit of garlic every day and it gets into the bloodstream which helps keep the fleas away.

By kac from Bennington, VT


November 11, 20100 found this helpful

I read on a website, that garlic is poisonous to dogs.

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November 11, 20100 found this helpful

No garlic; no onions. Sorry, but you can buy reasonably priced flea treatment through this link.

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November 11, 20100 found this helpful

Best check with your vet or a vet school and do more research on this one. I've also read that it is dangerous (anonymous source) but, my sister has been adding garlic powder to her dogs' food with great results in eliminating fleas. And they live in a very warm, humid climate where fleas thrive. All three of her dogs (three different breeds) are healthy and without fleas.

Sometimes, home remedies are shunned by those with a vested interest in promoting other products. NOT SAYING that this is the case in this situation, just that it's important to research these things carefully and thoroughly. Just because someone wrote something on the web doesn't necessarily mean it's true. Verify the authority of the source before making your decision to try or not.

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March 15, 2019

Is it safe to rub garlic on the back of my dog's neck (where he can't lick it) to repel fleas?

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I bought a bottle of garlic in gel cap form (500 mg) for fleas on my dog, but I am hesitant about giving my 12 lb. Dachshund her first dose. Anyone else using the garlic gel-caps for fleas and how many mgs. do you use?

By Luann DeLuca from NY


June 21, 20110 found this helpful

You can see for yourself by doing a Google search on people foods for dogs about what is alright and what isn't to give a dog, sorry, but onions and garlic are harmful and can cause health issues. Please avoid using garlic for flea treatment.

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June 22, 20110 found this helpful

Garlic And Pets
Please consider reading up about Heinz-body anemia before deciding to give garlic in any form, or anything in the allium family for that matter, to any pet.

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June 24, 2013

Is brewers yeast with garlic tablets good for them?

By Kato from Mobile, AL

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March 22, 2013

If you put garlic powder on your dog/cat and they lick it off, when it's in their blood will it stop fleas and ticks from biting? Or will it harm your best friends (pets)?

By C dub from Wichita Falls

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September 26, 2012

I have a 60 lb. Husky and Dalmatian mix. I want to know how much garlic to give her and how often. Can I give her fresh garlic? Thank you.

By kt

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July 29, 2011

If I boil up some garlic cloves in water and spray the residue on my dog, do you think it would get rid of fleas?

By Tracey B


July 31, 20110 found this helpful

It might! My mom used to buy garlic powder (I think from the vitamin section). She'd sprinkle about a tablespoon full over their food and mix it in. They never seemed to notice, and it was supposed to help repel fleas (also easier & less stinky!).

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August 1, 20110 found this helpful

There are a lot of remedies on I have found lemon juice sprayed on the ferrets and rubbed in keeps a lot of fleas off of them. I put about a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar per four cups of water for the dogs in the really bad part of flea season. Also we do advantage and one of the dogs does comfortis. Fleas are really bad t his year. Salt put under sheets and on carpet for a few days and then vacuumed up off the carpet kills flea eggs. and vacuum all the time to get the fleas and kill them.

That is a really good idea. Here is the link to the natural remedies for fleas, and dont forget the flea comb~


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July 10, 2009

Can I use garlic for flea control on my cats?

By Tammy Wagerman from Fairfield, PA


July 10, 20090 found this helpful

According to this website, new research shows that raw garlic can cause a dangerous form of anemia and even lead to death in cats.

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July 13, 20090 found this helpful

No, never give garlic to a cat or dog. Please consult your Vet for a safe flea control. Read what the ASPCA Poison Control Center says about garlic:

Northern Virginia

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May 17, 2011

I buy garlic pills (the gel-caps) and poke a hole in one gel-cap with a needle and squeeze the oil into my dogs food about 5 days a week.

Not only is it good for their coat and health, but it does wonder to deter fleas and ticks. Living in the woods, we have a lot of wild animals running through our yard at night, and I have not seen a flea or a tick on my dog.

By eddas from Ellsworth, ME

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