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Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Fleas on Dogs?

Bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar isolated against a white background.

Apple cider vinegar is a natural flea repellent and can be used on dogs without causing any harm to them. Fleas hate the smell of this household product and will try their best to avoid it. Although this vinegar can’t kill fleas, it is quite effective in forcing them away. Similarly, it can be combined with some other ingredients to make a fatal mixture (for fleas). Keep reading to know how you can use apple cider vinegar for killing fleas on dogs.

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Flea Repellents

The following are some of the best recipes to make an effective flea remedy at home.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Water

White spray bottle being sprayed against a black background.

This is the simplest way to use apple cider vinegar against fleas. Simply mix equal portions of water and apple cider vinegar and spray the mixture on your dog. The water will dilute the acids in the vinegar and the solution will become safe for canines.


  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water


  1. Pour the water into a spray bottle.
  2. Then, add the apple cider vinegar into it and shake well.
  3. Now, you can apply this solution to all the hiding spots of fleas, like your dog, his/her bedding, carpets, and furniture. Make sure that you don’t spray close to your pup’s eyes.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Dish Soap

White bottle of dish soap with a red cap with white dishes behind it.

In this recipe, we will be using dish soap to kill fleas, rather than washing dishes. This method will require you to bathe your pooch to remove these irritating pests. Here’s what you need to do.


  • 1 cup Dawn dish soap
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Warm water


  1. Fill the tub with warm water and pour in the Dawn dish soap.
  2. Soak your dog in the soap and water for at least five minutes.
  3. Use the Dawn to lather and clean your dog.  Start at the ears and work your way to the tail.
  4. Once the dog is dry, use a flea comb to groom and find fleas attempting to abandon ship.
  5. Drown any fleas on the comb by placing them in a bowl with soapy water.

Thank you to Cuteness for this recipe.

Does apple cider vinegar and baking soda really work to kill or repel fleas? Check out our post “Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda for Fleas” to learn more.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda

Box of Arm and Hammer Baking soda isolated against a white background.

This recipe is very easy and convenient because all of its ingredients are available in most homes. Likewise, it is extremely effective at eliminating fleas due to its dual-action approach. Apple cider vinegar acts as a repelling agent to force fleas away while baking soda and salt dehydrate them. In this way, the population of fleas on your dog (and inside the home) will decrease, significantly.


  • 8 oz. apple cider vinegar
  • 4 oz. warm water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda


  1. Start by putting the dry ingredients (salt and baking soda) into a spray bottle.
  2. Then, slowly add the liquids (water and apple cider vinegar. It’s highly recommended to do it over the sink because you’re going to get a reaction.
  3. Don’t forget to note the shelf life of your apple cider vinegar so you can mark the spray bottle with an expiration date.
  4. Store the flea repellent in a cool, dark area.

Thank you to Dogtime for this recipe.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Fleas on Dogs?

Bull Terrier mix scratching the back of its neck while sitting in grass

The entire method of using this homemade flea repellent can be divided into two phases. The first one of them is the precautionary phase in which you ensure that your dog won’t be harmed. The second phase is the process of applying the solution. Let’s discuss both of them to make things easier for you.

Precautions before Applying Apple Cider Vinegar

Once you have prepared the apple cider vinegar remedy, it’s important to use it without harming your pooch. Therefore, you must observe a little bit of caution and ensure that the spray never goes into your dog’s eyes, nose, and ears. Similarly, check your dog carefully to find any open wounds because vinegar stings on damaged skin. If there are such wounds, make sure to cover them while spraying to avoid the discomfort (to your dog).

Application of Apple Cider Vinegar Flea Repellent

Person spraying a long haired chihuahua
  • Spray the mixture directly over your dog’s coat and rub it (with your hands) so that it could reach the skin.  
  • Give special attention to the neck, armpits, and groin area because fleas like to hide in these spots.
  • Allow the vinegar solution to dry. It will take around 15-20 minutes.
  • Now, use a flea comb to brush away the fleas from your dog’s fur.
  • You will need to repeat this exercise every couple of days until the comb stays clean (after brushing).

Other than that, you can also make an apple cider vinegar solution with equal parts of water and vinegar and spray it around the house. For example, furniture and carpets are ideal locations for fleas to hide. Spraying this mixture can be helpful to prevent a re-infestation due to these hidden parasites. Your pet’s bedding is another spot that must be sprayed with apple cider vinegar to keep fleas away.

How Often Should I Spray My Dog with Apple Cider Vinegar for Fleas?

7 blocks, 5 yellow, one blue, one red, with the days of the week abbreviated on them.

The general rule of thumb is to spray your dog once or twice a week. The exact frequency will depend upon the severity of the infestation. Apple Cider Vinegar doesn’t kill fleas but can keep them away from your pooch because of its nasty smell. However, you will need to apply it regularly to get the desired results, especially if you have fleas in other places, like carpets and furniture.

This is because these pesky parasites are always looking for an animal host and would jump onto your pup. Likewise, they could be hiding on your dog’s coat (and bedding) and repeated sprays of apple cider vinegar will ensure that they are removed. Make sure that the vinegar reaches down into your dog’s skin to eliminate the maximum number of fleas.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for Dogs to Consume?

An apple sitting next to a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar/

Large quantities of apple cider vinegar can be harmful to your pooch. The acid in the vinegar can damage the lining of the dog’s digestive tract. Similarly, it can cause wear and tear to the enamel of your canine’s teeth. However, spraying a dilute solution of apple cider vinegar on dogs is completely safe and won’t cause any trouble, even if consumed.

Some people believe that adding a teaspoon of this vinegar to your dog’s food can be beneficial. However, there isn’t enough research to back these claims. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to consult your veterinarian before introducing apple cider vinegar into your pup’s diet.

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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.