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Does Vicks Repel Fleas?

Canister of Vicks Vapo Rub resting on a piece of burlap

In one word, yes, Vicks repels fleas and can keep you and your family safe.

Vicks VapoRub is one of the most popular household items on the planet. It’s a popular staple in every home, especially if you have pets and have to keep them all warm and snug. But even if you don’t, it’s still a great product to have around. That’s because this little lotion not only keeps your nose nice and warm during the cold season but also repels almost any animal that comes near it.

The trick to understanding why this works is in understanding how fleas work. The little blood-loving parasites latch onto animals by sending out pheromones that lure them in for feeding and breeding purposes. If you have pets or even just want to keep your family safe from fleas and other pests, then Vicks is a good thing to have around. As such, we’ll quickly discuss some common questions about this product so you can make an informed purchase before investing in a tube of your own.

Is Vicks Vapor Rub Harmful to Pets?

We all know why humans use this product. It provides relief from a stuffy nose, sore throat, and symptoms of a cold or flu. This product is very healthy and safe for humans.

However, the story for dogs and cats is not so good. This is true for many medicines for humans. What is good for us is not good for them. Vicks vapor rub contains camphor products, menthol, and nutmeg oil.

These ingredients are toxic to both dogs and cats. It doesn’t matter the delivery system, rubbing it one, or using a vaporizer, this product should not come anywhere near your pets.

This goes for Vicks vaposteam, Tiger Balm, and Efficascent Oil, to name a few. You have to be careful when using any product that has camphor ingredients inside. Even inhaling this ingredient can cause respiratory illness in your pets.

While you may think that these products are great for protecting your pets from fleas, it is harming them at the same time. You cannot rub any Vick’s or similar products on your pet. It is very dangerous to do so and your dog or cat will get very sick.

Then you may feel tempted to put Vick’s on rocks, sidewalks, chairs, and other areas where you do not want your dog or cat to be. people do this as it is a very good pet repellent.

However, inhaling or licking the product can poison your pet and you will need to make a trip to the vet.

Did you know that there are a lot of plants the repel fleas? Check out our post “Plants that Repel Fleas” to learn more.

Does Menthol Kill Fleas?

Menthol crystals in a wooden bowl

We have seen this product as an ingredient in other flea-killing products. It is a part of the anti-flea defenses that do not just repel fleas but kills them as well. The key is how to use those menthol-containing products safely.

One of those products is Listerine. Great mouthwash but it has menthol inside. While the mouthwash can kill fleas, it can also be dangerous or toxic to your pets.

You should never put any Listerine directly on your dog or cat. Even if it has been diluted, it is still a health problem for both of them. The flea-killing ingredients menthol, eucalyptol, and thymol are also dog and cat poisoning agents.

If you do use these ingredients and Listerine to kill fleas, spray your pets’ toys, blankets, etc. and let the mouthwash dry before letting your pets get them back.

We may even suggest washing those items first before giving them back to your dog or cat. That way you know those ingredients are gone and your pets should be safe again.

Also, avoid using any products with teeth whitening or fluoride in them to fight fleas. These products can also be harmful to your dog or cat and may irritate their skin at best.

Stick to approved flea treatments that way your pets will always be safe and healthy.

A lot of mosquito repellents contain deet. But does deet also repel fleas? Check out our post “Does Deet Repel Fleas” to learn more.

Can I Use a Vicks Vaporizer Around My Dog?

Vicks brand humidifier isolated on a white background

No. That is the blunt and best answer that can be given here. Any version of Vick’s products is not healthy for your pets, and you should refrain from using them. Even if your dog wants to be in the same room as his favorite human, you need to be strong and not let them in until the Vick’s treatment is over.

The products have a severe side effect or two when your pets inhale the product in steam form. This version of Vick’s product lineup still contains menthol, camphor, and nutmeg oil.

No matter what form it is delivered, your pet can get sick, contract respiratory diseases, and more. To be on the safe side of flea treatment keep the human medications, etc. on humans, and the pet-friendly anti-flea products on your pets.

If you have problems deciding which of the latter to use, talk to your vet. They will recommend their favorites, but they should be able to tell you about cheaper safer options.

Play it safe and check first instead of relying on what a friend or Facebook or other social media say. Do not take their word for it as you may be harming your dog or cat unknowingly. Always double-check with the right professional before administering any anti-flea product.

Did you know that some essential oils repel fleas? Check out our post “Do Essential Oils Repel Fleas?” to learn more.

Some Final Words

Store shelf full of jars of Vicks VapoRub

Flea treatments are good for your pets but bad for your wallet.

That’s where Vicks comes in. You can protect your pet, as well as protect your wallet, by using this brilliant product. Vicks repels and kills fleas, plus it helps you keep your nose nice and warm all winter long.

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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.