Just do a quick Google search for home remedies for dog fleas and you’ll find endless results. It’s as if everyone and their mothers have a natural, inexpensive, miracle solution for your itchy pouch.

The problem, of course, is that the vast majority of these flea remedies don’t work. And when your little guy is suffering like this, you really – really – need an effective remedy. Statistics.

Why use home remedies for fleas on dogs?

A dog can add a lot to your life. Smooth kisses. Accompanying on long walks. Endless hugs. And all of these things have a way of overcoming the more negative aspects of dog ownership. No one likes to pick up poop, but we do it because we have to.

Likewise, fleas are one of those unfortunate facts of life that come with pet ownership. These bloodsucking creatures stay outside where they can easily pounce on our pets and take a trip.

And once indoors, fleas have the perfect environment in which to raise their young and build a small flea community.

They don’t even have the decency to ask permission – probably because they know what the answer would be. They just move and won’t go away no matter how many hints you give them.

These vermin are the bug equivalent of that battered cousin who shows up every now and then with a sob story about borrowing money and sleeping on the sofa. Or is it just me?

However, fleas are bad news. These bloodsuckers can drive you and your dog crazy. So if you’re infested with these pests, it’s tempting to go straight for the most powerful pesticide you can get your hands on.

But fleas present a challenge from a pest control perspective because they spend so much time on your beloved pet. Adult fleas never want to leave their host unless they have to, and will do anything in their power to cling on.

Meanwhile, you don’t want to treat your furry friend to something that will make them sick. And that’s where natural, home remedies for fleas come into play.

What home remedies for fleas on dogs actually work?

It can be tricky to find that balance between what is effective and what won’t harm pets. But here are some tried and tested home remedies you can use to get fleas off your dog – safely.

Keep in mind that some work well to kill fleas and some are just flea repellants. Stir and stir as needed.

Lemon juice

Have you ever wanted your dog to smell like a delicious lemonade? Now is your chance. Citrus juices, such as those from oranges and lemons, can kill fleas on contact.

Simply squeeze some of the fruit and pour the juice into a spray bottle, then spray it on your pet’s coat and rub it into the fur. Be sure to work the solution deep into the hair to kill the fleas hiding inside. And be careful not to get any liquid in your dog’s eyes.

Be careful, though. While citrus fruits work to kill fleas, citrus extracts can actually be harmful. Extracts often come from the rind of the fruit, which contains a chemical called d-limonene. D-limonene is harmful to dogs, so you should avoid it and any products containing it.

Herbal shaker

This method can make you feel a little like you’re preparing your dog for Thanksgiving dinner, and not in a good way. Hopefully, they won’t think anything strange is going on as you dust them with a selection of aromatic herbs.

Rosemary is especially good as a flea repellent. The little critters hate the stuff, which is why you rarely see them sitting on a Sunday roast. However, eucalyptus, fennel and wormwood are also useful. Use any or all together in equal measure.

You can apply these herbs by grinding them into a fine powder and then using a shaker, such as a saltshaker, to administer the product to your dog. It will smell amazing and look amazing. But as with citrus juice, be sure to work this mixture deep into the pet’s coat to reach all the fleas hiding inside.

Apple cider vinegar

If you’re the type of person who often looks for home remedies and non-toxic solutions, you’ve no doubt come across billions of uses for apple cider vinegar before. And you probably already have some in your home. This product is fantastic for cleaning all types of household objects. And I’ve been told you can use it in cooking too!

Well, add one more use to the list. Vinegar kills fleas with its acidity.

To prevent your dog from smelling too strongly of vinegar, mix half and half with water in a spray bottle and then spray your dog down.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which both repels and kills fleas. And it is completely harmless to dogs. You can rub the oil on your dog’s fur and it will not only kill the fleas but also help improve the pet’s skin and soothe existing flea bites.

Some people also recommend feeding dogs a little oil, at a rate of 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight mixed with their regular food. The idea is that as your dog digests the oil, the active ingredient will be absorbed into his blood and kill any biting fleas.

Is it true? The science is still out on this. But at least it won’t do any harm.

Comb and wash

Sometimes, the most obvious solutions are the best. As far as home remedies for fleas go, they don’t get much simpler or more effective than this. Bathing your dog, even in nothing but water, will help remove and kill many fleas.

And a fine-toothed flea comb is an excellent weapon for removing fleas and their eggs. Yes, it takes time. But it is infinitely preferable to the itchy bites caused by fleas. Besides, there’s something incredibly satisfying about physically killing fleas yourself.

What home remedies for fleas on dogs DO NOT work?

Home remedies can be a bit of a minefield on the Internet. A product that some people swear by will be labeled pure poison by someone else. It’s hard to know who to trust.

Before starting any course of treatment for your pet, first talk to a qualified veterinarian and tell him what you are planning to use. Since they know your dog, they should be able to give you the best advice on its treatment and care.

However, there are some drugs that you will hear about on the internet that you should definitely stay away from.


Garlic and similar herbs, such as onions, are toxic to dogs. Now, it’s true that the dose makes the poison, and small amounts of garlic won’t harm your pet, as you can tell if your dog has managed to get into your leftover pasta.

However, numerous laboratory studies, including this one, have found garlic to be ineffective against fleas anyway.

Essential oils

Essential oils can make your pet sick. While you will hear many people touting their benefits, it is best to stay away.

Although essential oils can be effective against many insects, it is not worth risking your pet’s health to get rid of fleas when there are other, less harmful options.

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