I HATE it when I find fleas on my dogs. They are such gross little critters and I don’t want them in my house! But I want a solution that is all-natural dog flea and tick control!
But… finding solutions for natural flea and tick control for dogs can be a real problem!
So many commercial flea and tick treatments are full of irritating chemicals. Plus, a lot of people have concerns about how toxic the chemicals are…
I mean you have to keep your dog from licking the site where you applied the chemicals because it’s toxic.
That toxin soaks into your dog’s skin and gets into their bloodstream – that’s how the fleas and ticks die or are repelled. This isn’t a good system!
And pharmaceutical quality treatments are expensive and often still have toxic chemicals.
Are Natural Flea Treatments for Dogs Safe?
Now, in the case of anything that you put on your dog, please first consult your veterinarian. Some breeds are more prone to allergies to certain compounds.
We’re going to give you options that are safe for most dogs in most circumstances, but not all dogs in all circumstances. There are many healthy flea and tick control options for dogs. You don’t have to resort to chemical treatments if you don’t want to!
Natural Flea Spray for Dogs
I’m sure you’ve seen the dozens of options in the store for topical treatments. You’ve probably used a few different types. Or, you’ve dismissed them all as chemical treatments.
Well, there are topical treatments made entirely of natural components. Most of these use essential oils, so they have a strong smell. The strong odor helps to repel fleas and ticks. Some of the oils even kill the pests.
These treatments will often contain oils like pennyroyal, cedar, and peppermint, plus others, in some combination.
The very best rated flea and tick spray that I’ve found online is the Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray on Amazon. (paid link)
With over 34,000 ratings and 4.5 stars this is a winner! As you can see on the label, peppermint oil is the #1 active ingredient. I’ve also used this on my dogs and it smells great and works.
This isn’t quite an organic tick spray, but it IS plant based and much better for dogs than most chemical products.
I have a recipe for an excellent anti-itch spray here that does somewhat repel fleas as well.
The Best Natural Flea Collar For Dogs
This one isn’t topical, but it uses the same principles. There are flea and tick collars on the market that use the same essential oils as the treatments and sprays. The primary active ingredient in the ShenKou flea collar (paid link) is citronella oil.
This collar currently has an impressive 4.5 star rating and lasts for 12 months. Another great feature of this all natural flea collar is that it’s water resistant. So, if your pup loves to swim it should still last you a long time.
As a bonus this package also comes with a flea comb and a pair of tweazers to remove those little buggers.
Natural Flea Powder for Dogs
When people say “natural flea powder for dogs” what they usually mean is diatomaceous earth. This stuff is amazing. It will kill both fleas and ticks.(paid link)
This works “mechanically” instead of chemically to kill fleas and ticks. What this means is that instead of poisoning the parasite, the compounds in the powder dry the pests out by drawing the moisture out of their bodies.
They die from dehydration – extreme dehydration.
One of the reasons I’m thrilled to see these mechanical style methods is that pests can’t become immune to them.
Over generations, fleas and ticks can become immune to many of the chemical and even natural compounds used in treatments. But you can’t develop an immunity to drying out.
You can easily use diatomaceous earth as natural flea powder. It won’t hurt dogs or any other mammals. J
Most dogs don’t have any reaction to it at all. All you need to do is rub it gently into their coat on a regular basis.
Harris Diatomaceous Earth from Amazon (paid link) even comes with a duster! It’s also a 100% natural product and has no artificial anything or any types of fillers.
How to Use a Flea Comb On a Dog
Combing is one of the simplest natural methods for flea and control.
It’s hard to bead a daily comb with a fine-toothed grooming comb for getting rid of stray fleas and ticks. I recommend you keep a zip-top plastic bag and a piece of white paper with you while you’re combing.
If you already have a flea infestation I do recommend that you use a specific flea comb like this one from Amazon. (paid link)
Anytime you find a flea or tick in the comb, slip that comb into the baggie fast and zip it shut. Lay the baggie on the sheet of paper and look for the pest.
Then you can just squash the flea or tick in the baggie with the handle of your comb and resume combing your dog.
You might find this part a bit satisfying since every squish is a bug that is NOT biting your dog!
Using a Tick Scoop for Dogs
This is an amazing little device (paid link) that I’ve used on both dogs and people and works so much better as a natural tick control for dogs than trying to get those buggers out with a tweezer. It’s also safer because you are more likely to remove the whole tick.
That little v on the end of the scoop is what you wiggle the tick out with, and then you can just kill it and throw it away.
We prefer to flush ticks down the toilet.
I also really like this brand because it has a hole where you can hang it on your keychain. I like to keep one of these with me when I’m walking dogs in the woods. The sooner you remove a tick the better it is.
Homemade Tick Bath for Dogs
Another piece of grooming advice for preventing infestations is to give your frequent dog baths with shampoo that really lathers. You’ll leave the lather on the dog for a bit.
Baths can be drying for some dog breeds so you may need a sensitive skin shampoo (paid link), or this method may not be right for your dog.
You can also try adding some essential oils like cedar, eucalyptus, or citrus to the bath water. Not only will your Pup smell fantastic, but we’re back to the strong smells repelling future pests!
As a cheat we like to add essential oils to an already prepared shampoo to make our own homemade tick killer for dogs. This shampoo by the Natural Dog Company (paid link) is extremely gentle and has all natural ingredients.
Natural Anti Tick for Dogs Foods
So does garlic. Now, you have to be careful with garlic. Too much can make your dog sick… so I’d check in with your vet to see how much your dog can tolerate.
Another trick I’ve tried and had some success with is vinegar.
Add about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to one gallon of water. It increases your dog’s blood acidity just enough to make them unappealing to parasites. Consider it souring the milk.
I’ve used the vinegar method along with some of the methods in our next section, which focuses on your home and garden.
After you get your dog flea free they may still be itchy. If that’s the case you may want to use this really easy 3 ingredient homemade anti-itch spray for dogs.
Natural Flea Control for Home
A lot of people will tell you that treating your pet can only go so far to help flea and tick control efforts. We’re going to say it, too.
If you don’t treat your home and yard, you create an environment where fleas and ticks are just waiting to re-infest your dog.
Daily Vacuuming Can Help with Healthy Flea and Tick Control for Dogs
You’ll need to vacuum all your carpets, upholstery, and even hardwood floors each time. Fleas can lay their eggs on each of these surfaces. I know it’s gross, but that’s the reality of it.
The best thing to do is to treat each of these surfaces before you vacuum. This will help to get rid of fleas in the house fast.
To treat your carpets and floors, dust your floor with Borax powder. You can find it in the laundry aisle of your grocery store. Let the Borax sit for at least fifteen minutes, then vacuum.
A little tip – you want to keep fleas from reproducing or eggs from hatching in your vacuum bag. All you need to do is add some borax or mothballs to your vacuum bag. Either of these will kill adult and young fleas, larva, and eggs.
Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas in the House
You can treat your yard and garden by spreading something called diatomaceous earth, also called diatom earth. We already talked about how you can use this on your dog, but it also makes a GREAT treatment for your house that is completely nontoxic and safe for dogs and humans.
Diatom earth is basically dirt that has a high concentration of the fossilized remains diatom, a single-celled creature with a silicone-like outer shell.
Diatomaceous earth is used a lot in insecticides since it dries out pests.
Wear a dust mask when you’re spreading this around your entire yard. It is a fine dust, and you don’t want to breathe it in.
It’s best to keep your dog out of the treated area for at least a couple hours after you spread the dust, so they don’t kick it up and breathe it in. This is especially important if your dog likes to lounge in the grass.
You can also use this to sprinkle around your house and both in and around your dog’s bedding, too. I’ve used it around edges of rooms and in places like wall outlets and it can really help.
The Bottom Line on Natural Flea and Tick Control for Dogs
Controlling fleas and ticks in a natural and non-toxic manner isn’t hard, but it does take more work than using pesticide chemicals.
You have to be diligent about it if it’s going to work, but the strategies in this post will give you a great start!
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