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9 Essential Oils for Fleas on Dogs

Overhead view of a box of essential oil bottles with some bottles outside of the box on the table

When it comes to controlling fleas on your dog, you need to be thorough. Essential oils can help you to repel and kill fleas if you know how to use them correctly. Never use essential oils directly on a dogs skin! Always dilute them. (Keep reading for detailed instructions).

Some essential oils that work for fleas on dogs are:

  1. Pennyroyal
  2. Cedarwood
  3. Lavender
  4. Lemon/Lemongrass
  5. Peppermint
  6. Rosemary
  7. Clove
  8. Basil
  9. Thyme

The adult flea can live for up to 24 hours once they are outside and the pupae stage can last several weeks. These factors make it nearly impossible to get rid of these annoying parasites with just one single treatment. Instead, pet parents need to treat their home environment as well as their dog at least once a month to prevent new flea generations from forming.

The key is treating the right places to suppress the population. Follow this guide on how you can use essential oils for fleas on dogs and keep them under control!

How to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs with Essential Oils

Essential oils have become like vinegar and baking soda. It is seen as a natural miracle cure that heals everything from stress to infertility to killing fleas. Yes, you read that last part correctly.

There are some essential oils that do repel and possibly kill fleas. The key is to find the right ones. Not all essential oils are healthy for dogs, and you must be careful in which ones you use on them and around the house.

You have to keep in mind that your dog’s sense of smell is far stronger than a human’s. Too much of these oils can cause your dog some smelling issues. There are simple steps to follow to help guide your use of these fragrant oils.

Step #1: All you will need is about 5 to 6 drops of the oil into a cup of water and place the mixture in a spray bottle. Mix well to keep the oil from separating too quickly.

Step #2: Spray on your dog’s coat. You want to make sure the oil does not separate before spraying. if it does you would be spraying undiluted essential oils on your dog and that is not good.

Some people have said you should mix 5 to 10 drops of the essential oil with carrier oils (a 10 to 90% dilution, the former with the latter). These carrier oils are:

  1. Coconut Oil
  2. Jojoba Oil
  3. Avocado Oil
  4. Grapeseed Oil
  5. Evening Primrose Oil
  6. Sweet Almond Oil
  7. Castor Oil
  8. Olive Oil

You should let your dog sniff the undiluted oils first. That way you will know if it is a good mixture to use or not. Watch your pet’s reaction and if they do not like what they smell, they will retreat from it. That is the oil you should not use.

Also, those essential oils that are good for dogs, may not be good for your cat. You would have to do some further research on which essential oils are good for cats. Your feline is not the same as a canine, so you need to be prepared to do this selection more than once.

The essential oil may smell nice to you, and many are quite fragrant but keep in mind it is not just the odor that counts. The oil may smell good but still be toxic to your beloved pet. Be cautious when selecting the essential oil for fleas.

What Essential Oils Kill Fleas?

Brown essential oil bottles surrounded by basil and rosemary

When you do some research on this topic, you will notice that different websites have different lists. Those differences are not just in which oils are good for killing and repelling fleas but also in how many can be used.

Not all essential oils kill, and most should repel. keep in mind the following information is for dogs only. Here is a table to help you decide which essential oils are good to use:

Essential OilKillsRepelsUse
PennyroyalNo YesUse as a spray but do not get on your or
your pet’s skin
CedarwoodYes YesDilute with coconut oil and use in a
diffuser or spray. Should be okay
to put on your dog’s skin
LavenderNo YesRub directly on your pet’s skin
NoYesUse it as a spray but do not get
it on your dog’s skin.
PeppermintNoYesUse as a spray and dilute it with
coconut oil. Can go on your
dog’s skin.
RosemaryNoYesDilute and use in his or her bath
CloveYesYesAdd to their bedding or collars
BasilNoYesUse as a spray
ThymeYesYesUse as a spray

Honorable mentions

Blank metal award on a red white and blue ribbon on a yellow background

Eucalyptus– Very strong smelling and both repels and kills fleas. With its antibacterial properties, it may heal any flea bites on your pet

Citronella– Similar to lemongrass and can help reduce swelling, as well as help heal wounds with its antibacterial ingredients

Rose Geranium Oil– Can be applied undiluted. Just place a drop behind each shoulder blade and at the base of the skull

Frankincense Essential Oil– Not as potent as other oils but it too comes with antibacterial elements, and it is very safe to use.

Neem oil– Dilute 1:10 with a light carrier oil and this will help soothe your pet’s wounds, etc. Massage into their skin for best results. Can be added to your dog’s shampoos as well.

There may be more that will work as there are hundreds of essential oil. However, you would have to research those yourself to see which ones are effective and safe to use on your dog. You may find some suitable to put on your cat.

Essential Oils to Avoid

Essential oil bottle in a red circle with a slash through it

As we have said before, not all essential oils should be used on dogs or cats. They are toxic and your pet could get very sick. Again, the following list applies to dogs only and you need to be careful about which ones you use with your cat.

Some of these may be okay to use with your cat but you would need to research each one individually:

Anise Mustard Birch Oregano Bitter Almond Boldo

Calamus Rue Camphor Santolia Cassia Sassafras

Chenopodium Savory Tansy Garlic Tea Tree Oil

Goosefoot Terebinth Horseradish Thuja Hyssop

Wintergreen Juniper Wormwood Mugwort yarrow

You should double-check this list as we found some oils on here that are on our good oils to use list. We edited those out. Be careful as everyone is going to have their own idea of what is good or bad.

That is okay as different breeds may respond differently to the same oils. if you are not sure which oils to use, then talk to your vet. They will have a good idea of what you should use and which ones to avoid. You may also find that different vets will disagree on both lists.

Also, be careful about how much essential oil you use at one time. Your pet should only be exposed to a minute amount of the good oils and none of the bad ones.

How to Use Essential Oils on Your Pet

Jack Russell Terrier and a cat under a blanket

Not every essential oil should be used, nor can it be used, in the same way. Here is a list of guidelines to help you apply the right amount in the right way:

1. Some essential oils need to be diluted and applied directly to their skin. others should not come close to your dog’s body.

2. Those that can’t be put directly on your dog should be sprinkled on their bed, doghouse, and around your home.

3. Some essential oils can be mixed in with vinegar and water and then used as a spray. Those can be sprayed in the same areas as listed above

4. There are some essential oils that can be diluted with carrier oil. Just make sure the carrier oil is safe for your pets.

5. You can also brush on different essential oil mixtures. Cedar oil is good for this and all you have to do is before you begin to brush them, dip the brush in the oil and spread it around evenly.

6. or, you can cut a hole in a sock, put some essential oil on it and then pull the open sock over your dog’s head and place it around their collar

If you search hard enough, you should find more tips to follow. Those extra tips should help you apply the essential oil mixtures safely on your pet or around your home.

How To Buy the Essential Oils

2 boxes of Guru Nanda brand essential oils on a store shelf

Essential oils come in different packages, and some are easier to apply than others. There are several key features you should look for to get the best results and the best potency.

1. Glass Bottles- You need to find them in very dark glass bottles. This style of bottle protects the oils from UV rays and helps them last a long time.

2. Droppers- This is the best way to apply these oils. You stay in control and the droppers let you add the exact amount of the oil every time. Since you are diluting the oils, you need to make sure you get the right amount every time. It is also just easier to use a dropper than anything else.

3. Go Natural- If you are going to go this route, you need to find those oils that have been extracted from the different fruits and plants naturally. You are trying to avoid any chemicals that may harm your pet. The exclusion of the chemicals means your dog is in safe hands and it is safe to apply those essential oils.

What essential oils can you used to repel fleas on humans? Check out our post “Essential oils for fleas on humans” to learn more.

Easy Essential Oil Application Methods

Brown glass spray bottle

There are different ways to apply these essential oil mixtures. here are a few of them:

1. Create Your Own Anti-Flea Spray- This spray should be applied every two or three days. All you need will be between 5 to 6 drops of oil and a cup of water. Then you can safely spray your pet.

If this method is not working, you can add more oil, but it would be best to add a different one. That will make the spray stronger.

2. Use the Same Spray- But make it stronger. Then spray your carpets, bedding, mattresses, furniture, and so on. This essential oil spray can easily repel fleas and get them out of your home.

3. Massage Therapy- Add a few drops to water and mix thoroughly. Then dip a clean cloth into the bowl and massage the mixture into your dog’s skin. Not every essential oil can be applied in this manner.

4. Make an Anti-Flea Shampoo- If you are not using an anti-flea shampoo, just add 6 drops of essential oil and make it one. Then bathe your dog like normal. The best essential oil for this option would be eucalyptus oil.

To make sure you do a good job, make sure to mix those drops of oil completely into the shampoo. Pick the option you like best and use it regularly to help your dog stay flea free.

Some Final Words

Brown essential oil bottle with an eyedropper, surrounded by sprigs of mint

Essential oils are a very exciting way of adding therapeutic and soothing properties to your home. Now you know that these oils have some important benefits when it comes to fighting off fleas. But that is not all that they can do.

They are also great for skincare, diabetes and even weight loss. You can use them in many ways, such as:

-Using them in homemade cleaners

-Rubbing them into your skin

-Mixing them in your dog’s shampoo

If you’re feeling creative, you can even create your own DIY essential oils using just a few drops of your favorite essential oil and some tea-tree oil. We hope you now know that these oils are a great addition to your home and can help give your dog natural flea control.

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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.