You don’t have to spend a lot of money or make a big environmental impact to get effective, natural flea treatment solutions for your dog’s pesky problem.
Though the strong chemical products you’ll find on the shelf of your local pet store may do the trick of ridding your canine of their flea friends, it can cause them to become sick in other ways. That is because conventional flea products for dogs contain toxic, unnatural pesticides like these:
- Carbamates (carbaryl, porpoxur, fenoxycarb)
- Dichlorvos (DDVP) (Duokill™, No-Pest®, and Duravos®)
- Organophosphates (chlorphyrifos, dichlorvos, phosmet, naled, tetrachlorvinphos, diazinon, and malthion)
- Permethrin (pyrethroid or pyrethrum)
These chemicals can cause convulsions, respiratory distress, nausea and vomiting, cancer, neurotoxicity, and even death not only in your pets, but also in children. Flea collars and sprays create a cloud of these pesticides that you and your pet inhale. They’re also consumed by your pet as it licks and breaths naturally throughout the day.
Here are seven organic, all-natural flea remedies for dogs:
Homemade flea collars
Make your own flea collar by taking an average collar and adding some drops of essential oil mixed with 2 tablespoons of almond oil (use dilute solutions when applying to cats as they can be very sensitive to essential oils). Some great flea-repelling essential oil options include cinnamon, rosemary, wormwood, clove, peppermint, pennyroyal (don’t use this if your pet or human in the home are pregnant), and cedar wood.
Neem seed and coconut oil rub
Prepare a mixture of 20% neem seed oil and 80% coconut oil, place it in your palms, and apply it directly to your dog’s fur. Massage it in gently and leave for a couple of hours or overnight. Not only does this natural mixture help keep fleas away, but neem oil has also been found to help with ticks and mosquitoes.
Natural flea sprays with essential oils
Mix 10-15 drops of your favorite oil (try neem oil, eucalyptus, tea tree or peppermint) with 1-2 ounces of mild, organic soap and water. Pour into a spray bottle and spray your pet periodically throughout the day during a flea outbreak.
Lemon flea wash
Citrus is a natural flea deterrent and will condition your pet’s skin. Make this wash by combining 4 sliced lemons, 1 tablespoons of salt, and 6 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil for two minutes, then turn off and let steep 24 hours. Wash your pet with soap, comb out to remove dead bugs, and then apply the lemon water generously over your pet. Repeat the lemon wash portion of this daily until your pet’s skin improves. Can also be used as a spray and applied daily.
Natural flea shampoo
Combine 6-10 drops of essential oil (see list above) with two ounces of organic, biodegradable, mild shampoo or soap. Use this to shampoo your flea-infested pet (don’t forget hard-to-reach areas like their armpits, between toes, and under tails) and let the shampoo sit on their fur for five to ten minutes. Then rinse thoroughly to avoid skin irritation. Repeat daily until the problem leaves.
A simple and effective flea treatment solution with a complicated name, diatomaceous earth is a natural rock powder that is a fantastic flea killer. To use it, buy some of this product and dust it over your pet (lightly), just like other flea treatments. Also, use it to dust your pet’s sleeping and playing areas – just don’t overdo it.
Herbal flea powder
Crush together dry herbs including rosemary, fennel, yellow dock, wormwood, and eucalyptus in equal portions and then apply to your dog’s fur as you would conventional flea powders.