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How to Get Rid of Fleas – Home Remedies for Dogs

Long haired chihuahua and a pomeranian sitting side by side outdoors

There are many home remedies for getting rid of fleas on dogs. From diatomaceous earth to a good old fashioned flea comb and bath you can get rid of fleas without using chemicals and pesticides.

But if you go the home remedy route then you need to know that it will take longer and be more work to get rid of fleas than if you are using insecticide based routes.

Insecticides typically kill fleas through their whole lifecycle, including flea eggs. Home remedies often kill fleas once they reach maturity as adults, but don’t often kill the eggs, pupa and larvae as well.

There are several methods to killing fleas on dogs instantly and naturally.

The quickest and easiest route is giving your dog a bath using regular dog shampoo. You need a shampoo rather than just water, because fleas can swim in plain water and the shampoo will actually kill the fleas.

Some people use Dawn for this, and Dawn can work in a pinch, but it is very drying to your dog’s skin so a regular dog shampoo is a better bet in most cases. If you don’t have regular dog shampoo on hand then you can use human shampoo as well if you need to get rid of fleas fast.

You can follow up the bath with a flea comb to remove any clumps of eggs and larvae or pupa that are left on your dog’s coat to help minimize future outbreaks.

Flea eggs are sticky and don’t always wash off with soap and water. Flea combs have very fine teeth and will pull flea eggs and flea debris off of your dogs coat.

After the dog’s coat dries you can sprinkle them with diatomaceous earth or baking soda and salt and rub it into their coat. This will help to kill fleas that jump onto your dog after their bath.

Just make sure your dog doesn’t have any open wounds before you use these homemade flea powders.

How do you make homemade flea spray?

Person spraying a pomeranian with a small spray bottle against a blue background

Making a homemade flea spray is easy and can be effective as well. There are several ways to do this.

The easiest way is to mix 1 part white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with 1 part water and put it in a spray bottle. Fleas don’t like vinegar and this acts as a natural repellent.

If you want the flea spray to smell better you can add a few drops of tea tree oil, peppermint oil, or eucalyptus oil all of which are natural flea repellents.

Don’t apply natural oils directly to your dog’s skin though. They can be irritating if not diluted properly.

Spray this flea spray on and rub it into their coat. Avoid their genitals and eyes and pay particular attention to the dogs’ tail area – where fleas love to hang out.

Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs Without Bathing

Dead fleas on a white background

Some dogs hate baths and you can’t get them near water without a fight. But there are ingredients you might already have on hand that can help to tame a flea outbreak – even without a bath!

My favorites are baking soda and raw (not refined) coconut oil, both of which are easy to use and effective. For details on how to use these home remedies for fleas on dogs without bathing, please see this post!

Home Remedies for Puppies with Fleas

Jack Russell Terrier puppy laying on the edge of a deck

You have to be careful when you are treating puppies for fleas, especially if they puppies are under 12 weeks old. Small puppies shouldn’t be exposed to medicated flea shampoos that contain insecticides.

A plain bath and a flea comb is usually your best bet to treat really tiny puppies with fleas, and I go into detail on the best practices in my post Home Remedies for Puppies with Fleas.

Quick Home Remedies for Fleas

Person vacuuming hardwood floors

If you have fleas in your house, then you probably want to get rid of them FAST. There are some quick home remedies for fleas both in your house and on your pets.

One of the ones that I’ve seen work very well is baking soda and salt. Another trick that really works is frequent vacuuming.

The surprising combination of baking soda and salt works quickly and can help a lot. I go over how to use this in my post Quick Home Remedies for Fleas.

The Bottom Line on Getting Rid of Fleas on Dogs with Home Remedies

Person holding a chihuahua's cheeks back into a smile

If you prefer an all natural approach to getting rid of fleas or you just want to get rid of fleas fast with things you might already have at home, there are many methods you can use. I’ve gone over several in this post and linked to details on more.

You can build your own flea spray, give your dog a bath and use a flea comb, or make a homemade flea powder. All of these work, but you do have to keep up on it if you aren’t going to use pesticides to get rid of fleas.

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