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How to Get Rid of Fleas on a Dog?

Tan dog sitting in grass, scratching

Fleas are tiny and quick, and it can be quite tricky to remove them from your dog. This is because they reproduce at a rapid rate and can cause a re-infestation if they are not eliminated completely. This means that you will have to take care of adult fleas, flea eggs, larvae, and pupae. Fortunately, we can use both pesticides and natural alternatives to get rid of fleas on a dog. Keep reading to know more about these options and learn what you can use for fleas on your dog.

How to Remove Fleas from Dog?

It can be very difficult to choose the right product for dealing with a flea infestation, especially for new owners. This is because a plethora of flea sprays are available in the market, and they can create confusion. The following list can make your decision a little easier as we have gathered some of the best commercial sprays to kill fleas on your dog.

Topical Flea and Tick Spray from Adams

Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray for Cats and Dogs, 16 Oz

Topical Flea and Tick Spray from Adams (found here on Amazon) (paid link) is a true all-rounder as it can be used on pets, furniture, carpets, and flooring. It will kill the adult fleas and larvae on contact and will keep working even after it dries. This means that it can also kill new fleas (emerging from the eggs) on your dog. It usually lasts for about 2 months. After that, you will need to reapply this spray to keep your pup protected against fleas and ticks.  

NOTE: This flea spray can only be used on dogs that are at least 10 weeks old.

Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs from MDXConcepts

Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs from MDXConcepts is an ideal product for those owners who are looking for a natural flea spray. It is made from vinegar and essential oils and is free from all kinds of harmful chemicals and toxins. The refreshing scent of this spray keeps your pooch (and home) fresh while killing all the fleas and ticks. It is also safe for families with small children because it won’t cause any harm to them.

Dog Flea Spray from Frontline

Dog Flea Spray from Frontline contains (Found here on Amazon) (paid link) fipronil and is extremely effective against adult fleas and will kill them within 24 hours. It can prevent a re-infestation for up to 30 days and will be effective even if your pooch goes for a swim (waterproof). Other than fleas, this amazing spray can also be used to kill various species of ticks, including deer ticks. Hence, it minimizes the chances of Lyme disease that is often transmitted by these ticks.

NOTE: This flea spray can only be used on dogs that are at least 8 weeks old.

Ultra Guard Flea Spray from Hartz

Hartz UltraGuard Flea & Tick Dog Spray, 032700106232

Ultra Guard Flea Spray from Hartz (Found here on Amazon) (paid link) is designed to kill fleas on contact and will continue to do so for up to 7 days. In addition to that, you can also spray this product as a preventative measure to keep your pooch safe. Applying it once a week is generally considered safe and proves very beneficial for your pet. The extra aloe in this flea spray will keep the coat and skin of your dog smooth and healthy.

This product might not be suitable for some canines as they can develop an allergic reaction. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to test the Ultra Guard Flea Spray on a small section of your dog’s skin. If all goes well, you can spray it throughout the fur of your canine friend.

NOTE: This flea spray can only be used on dogs that are at least 12 weeks old.

Flea and Tick Home Spray from Vet’s Best

Vet's Best Flea and Tick Home Spray | Flea Treatment for Dogs and Home | Plant-Based Formula | 32 Ounces

Flea and Tick Home Spray from Vet’s Best (found here on Amazon) (paid link) is particularly designed for indoor use and offers protection against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects. It can be used to kill fleas on a dog or to prevent an infestation. In either case, this natural product (made from essential oils) has proven to be effective. This home spray doesn’t cause any damage to your dog’s skin and is also safe to use on and around kids. Hence, you can use it without worrying about any toxins.

NOTE: This flea spray can only be used on dogs that are at least 12 weeks old.

How to Get Fleas Off a Dog Without Medicine?

Hand using an eye dropper for a bottle of essential oils with a full box of essential oils behind it

Fleas are very irritating for dogs because they can cause itching, hot spots, hair loss, and even heartworms and tapeworms. Hence, it is critical to take all the necessary steps to keep your pooch safe from these blood-sucking parasites. Let’s see how we can do that without using any medication or flea treatment.

Check Your Dog

It is much more convenient to prevent a flea infestation than to treat one. Therefore, dog owners must make it a habit to comb their pets once a week and look for fleas. This exercise is particularly important if your pooch has a history of getting infected by these pests. Early detection will make things a lot easier for you and your canine companion.

Like mites, can fleas burrow and lay eggs under a dog’s skin? Check out our post “Do fleas get under dogs’ skin?” to learn more.

Use a Fine-Tooth Flea Comb

Green fine tooth comb isolated on a white background

Fleas are tiny and quick insects, and it can be difficult to grab them with regular dog combs or brushes. However, flea combs serve as a perfect alternative because they are designed specifically for catching fleas. You can dip the comb in the dish soap solution to increase the efficiency of the process. This is because the dish soap compromises the exoskeleton of adult fleas and will make it harder for them to escape and they will sink in the water.

The fine teeth of flea combs are also effective for removing flea eggs and flea dirt. Hence, it offers a more complete eradication of these pests. Just make sure to give special attention to the neck, genital and tail regions of your pooch first. They are among the favorite hideouts of fleas as these parasites can stay there for quite some time hidden from sight.

Kill the Fleas

Dead fleas isolated on a white background

It is necessary to kill the fleas once you have caught them through combing. Drowning them in a soap water solution is one of the easiest and best ways to kill them. It’s not recommended to kill them by hand because these pesky creatures are small and fast. Hence, they can evade your grasp and may jump back onto your dog.

Where do fleas come from? Can you give your dog fleas? Check out our post “Can I give fleas to my dog?” to learn more.

Bathe Your Dog

Hands scrubbing the ears of a Schnauzer

Bathing is often presented as the best solution for removing fleas from a dog. However, that’s not always the case as you need to consider several factors. For example, you must know how your dog will react and the frequency of baths that will be needed. Similarly, you need to consult your vet to figure out the best flea shampoo (if you want to use one). Many owners prefer to use mild soap and water for removing fleas from their dog’s coat. I myself have used blue dish soap with great efficacy.

How to Get Rid of Fleas on a Dog Naturally?

Plenty of natural ingredients and methods can help you to get rid of fleas on a dog. Some of the most common techniques among them are as follows.

Essential Oils

Eucalyptus oil being dripped into a wooden bowl  with sprigs of eucalyptus in the background

This is an excellent remedy for fleas on dogs, provided you chose a dog-safe essential oil. Many commercial flea sprays use essential oils as an ingredient because their strong smell will force fleas away. You can also make a homemade flea spray by adding a few drops of dog-safe essential oil to water. Pour this solution into a spray bottle and apply it to your pup’s fur.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt

Crate of apple, a bottle of apple cider vinegar, and random apples, resting on a white counter

Apple cider vinegar is an amazing household ingredient with several different uses. Keeping fleas away from your pooch is one of them as they can’t tolerate the strong odor of the acid. Dilute the vinegar by mixing it with water and spray the mixture onto your dog.

Some people like to add some salt to this solution because it adds to the efficiency. Salt breaches the exoskeleton of fleas and acts as a dehydrating agent. This offers a dual-action approach where apple cider vinegar is repelling fleas while salt is killing them.

Lemon Juice

Lemons cut up on a cutting board with a small bowl of lemon juice sitting next to it

Fleas hate the smell of citrus and will try their best to avoid it. Hence, spraying a lemon juice solution on your dog’s fur can be an effective remedy. You can also use this mixture to bathe your pup by adding a dog-friendly shampoo in it.


Bunch of rosemary isolated on a white background

It is one of the best organic products for dealing with light flea infestations. You can either use it in powder form to keep fleas away from your home or make a dip for your dog’s fur. Rosemary powder can be spread to all the affected areas, including your pet (but it might not stay).

The better alternative will be to boil some rosemary leaves and strain the mixture. Dilute the mixture with some warm water and apply it to your dog once it cools down.

Baking Soda

Box of arm and hammer baking soda, isolated on a white background

There’s a lot more you can do with baking soda than making cakes. Killing fleas is certainly one of the uses that a dog owner can use it for. Baking soda works by dehydrating fleas and their eggs. This will bring a significant drop in the fleas on your pet and in the house. Baking soda is often used in combination with apple cider vinegar to increase its effectiveness. This process will take a while but it’s worth the wait.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Fleas Cheap and Easy?

Chemical bug spray on a store shelf

Using a pesticide is the fastest and easiest way to kill fleas. Most of these chemical products will kill fleas within 24 hours of contact. They contain a special chemical (called Pyriproxyfen) that is extremely effective against all life forms of fleas. It affects the reproduction rate of fleas by stopping larvae and pupae from becoming adult fleas. Hence, the number of adult female fleas will decrease which will decrease the number of eggs (and new parasites). 

How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs?

Teal colored mechanical clock isolated on a white background

Although a majority of flea sprays kill adult fleas within 24 hours of contact, it can take 3-4 months to get rid of fleas on a dog. This is because flea eggs can cause a re-infestation during this period. Flea eggs are not only limited to your dog and can be scattered around the house. Hence, the preventative measures must continue for the entire lifecycle of these parasites to prevent them from re-emerging.

What Kills Flea Eggs on Dogs?

Flea treatment being applied to the back of a dog's neck

According to an estimate, flea eggs make up more than half of the flea population. All the flea sprays in the market are effective against adult fleas, but that’s not the case with flea eggs. A lot of products can’t kill flea eggs and will only provide temporary relief until a re-infestation happens.

For this reason, it’s highly recommended to consult your vet and select the right product to get the desired results. Insect growth regulators (IGRs), such as Isoxazolines, are ideal for killing flea eggs because they prevent them from hatching. Some of these regulators are also known to sterilize female fleas. This will bring a massive decrease in the number of fleas on your dog (and in the house).   

Do Flea Collars Actually Work?

Human hand holding up a dog's head to reveal the flea collar around it's neck with the other hand

Yes, they do, especially when used appropriately. They work by spreading active ingredients on your dog’s body, and they will kill or repel fleas. Traditional collars were not very effective because they used to release too much of the active ingredients. Hence, they would damage the skin and hair of your pooch.

Modern flea collars have innovative designs that allow them to work in a controlled manner. Hence, they release the required amount of active ingredients and keep your canine friend safe and keep the fleas off of your dog.

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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.