Fight Fleas Naturally: 4 Home Remedies for Your Dog

Can dogs eat it

The Can Dogs Eat It Team

Fight Fleas Naturally: 4 Home Remedies for Your Dog
Reading Time: 7 minutes

joana garridoReviewed By Joana Garrido DVM

Natural home remedies for fleas on dogs are an effective way to tackle the early stages of a flea infestation. Unlike conventional treatments, these remedies are free from harsh chemicals that could potentially harm your canine companion.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar as a Home Remedy for Fleas on Dogs

apple cider vinegar as a home remedy for fleas on dogs infographicThe acrid taste and scent of apple cider vinegar are repulsive to fleas. Although it will not eliminate them, this home remedy works well in repelling fleas from your dog’s coat.


  • 6 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups distilled water


  1. Pour the apple cider vinegar and distilled water into a large glass spray bottle.
  2. Shake well until both liquids are thoroughly mixed.
  3. Spritz the natural flea repellent on your dog’s coat and underbelly.
  4. Do this once a week to provide your dog with additional protection against fleas.
  5. Alternatively, you can mix 6 cups of apple cider vinegar into your dog’s bathwater before washing him to drive out fleas from his fur.

Additional information:

  • The acidity of apple cider vinegar makes your dog’s fur an inhospitable place for fleas to stay.
  • Anecdotal claims state that apple cider vinegar can help soothe itchy skin in canines.
  • Apple cider vinegar can be used as an ear cleaner to prevent yeast infections.


  • Avoid spraying the natural flea treatment on your dog’s face and open wounds.
  • If your dog does not like getting sprayed on, dip a clean washcloth in the apple cider vinegar mixture and then apply it to his coat.

2. Baking Soda and Salt as a Home Remedy for Fleas on Dogs

baking soda and salt as a home remedy for fleas on dogs infographic

Flea infestations in your home can be minimized with the help of baking soda and salt. They possess dehydrating properties that help eliminate fleas and prevent these critters from invading your dog’s fur.


  • 1 cup active baking soda
  • 1 cup finely ground table salt


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the baking soda and table salt until they are well mixed.
  2. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt mixture evenly on all flea-infested surfaces in your home.
  3. Use a brush to ensure the powder is properly implanted on carpeted areas.
  4. Allow the powder to sit overnight before thoroughly vacuuming all areas where you applied the antiflea remedy.
  5. Carefully unload the contents of the vacuum into a tightly sealed ziplock bag and discard it.
  6. Repeat this process for a week or two until your home is flea-free.

Additional information:

  • Baking soda dissolves the cuticle of adult fleas, causing dehydration and death.
  • The abrasiveness of salt breaks the exoskeleton of these parasites, and its moisture-absorbing properties dehydrate them.
  • Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that prevents foul doggy odor from persisting in your home.


  • Baking soda may cause stomach upset in canines if consumed in large amounts. Ingesting too much salt can lead to salt toxicity, renal problems, and other health issues.

    With this in mind, make sure that your dog has no access to all areas where you have sprinkled baking soda and salt.

    You can place baby gates to keep him out or put him in a securely locked room to prevent accidental ingestion.

3. Neem Oil as a Home Remedy for Fleas on Dogs

neem oil as a home remedy for fleas on dogs infographic

The neem plant has exhibited insect-repelling abilities and one of the pesky bugs it can deter is dog fleas.

An experiment carried out on pooches showed that the application of neem leaf extract on their coats for 21 days decreased 12% of live fleas on the participating canines.


  1. Choose pure, cold-pressed neem oil to get the most out of its antiflea properties.
  2. To offset neem oil’s off-putting odor, combine it with your dog’s shampoo. For every 2 tablespoons of the shampoo, add a teaspoon of neem oil.
  3. When bathing your dog, massage the DIY antiflea shampoo on his coat.
  4. Leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing it off.

Additional information:

  • Neem oil addresses the flea problem in dogs by interfering with the nervous system function of these parasites. It reduces their instinct to copulate, lessens the production of flea larvae, and disrupts their life cycle.
  • The antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal qualities of neem oil allow it to mitigate skin problems in dogs.
  • Neem oil houses good amounts of vitamin E and omega fatty acids, promoting better skin and coat health.


  • Avoid premixing neem oil with your dog’s shampoo, as it will reduce its efficacy.
  • Thoroughly wash the neem oil shampoo off of your dog’s fur every bath time. This will prevent him from licking the oil, which can cause gastric distress and hypersalivation.

4. Essential Oils as Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs

essential oils as home remedies for fleas on dogs infographic

Some essential oils work as antiflea treatments for dogs.

In one study, rose-scented geranium essential oil showed insecticidal activity against both immature and adult flea stages. The compounds citronellol and geraniol were identified to be responsible for this positive effect.

Another research found that hemp oil also exhibited the same ability, but more specifically for fleas in the egg and larval stages.



  1. Mix the essential oils and carrier oil in a small bowl.
  2. Make simple DIY flea collars for dogs using essential oils by placing at least 5 drops of the diluted essential oils along the outer side of each collar.
  3. Allow the collars to dry completely before using.
  4. Reapply every 2 weeks or when the essential oils’ scent fades from the collar.

Additional information:

  • In general, the scent of geranium essential oil aids in minimizing stress and anxiety in dogs.
  • The topical application of hemp essential oil moisturizes dogs’ coats and keeps them healthy
  • Ingesting hemp oil promotes better appetite and eases inflammation in dogs.


  • Rose-scented geranium essential oil is not safe for internal use, so keep them out of your dog’s reach.
  • Never apply undiluted forms of rose-scented geranium essential oil topically on your dog as it can cause skin irritation and potentially poisoning.

Signs of Flea Infestation on Your Dog

a dog is scratching his neck

Fleas are tiny and fast-moving parasites. It is understandable why many pet parents have a hard time spotting them on their dogs.

However, there could be telltale signs that they are beginning to infest your canine companion such as:

  • Relentless itchiness around the neck or shoulder area
  • Persistent scratching and biting
  • Inflamed skin
  • Small red bug bites on the skin
  • Hair loss due to excessive biting or licking

If you have a flea comb, run it through your dog’s coat and look for flea dirt. This is another term used to refer to flea feces, which look like specks of black pepper. Wetting them turns their color red because they are undigested blood.

If your furry pal displays many of these symptoms, start administering natural flea treatments for dogs on him before the infestation goes out of hand.

FAQs About Home Remedies for Fleas on Dogs

What Is a Good Home Remedy for Fleas on Dogs?

a person is applying flea solution to a dog's neck

Baking soda and salt is a good home remedy for fleas on dogs for pawrents on a tight budget.

If you are willing to shell out a little bit more, apple cider vinegar, neem oil, and dog-safe essential oils are also good options.

To get better results, use a combination of these natural flea treatments to increase your dog’s protection against flea infestations.

2. How Do I Make Homemade Flea Treatments for My Dog?

Making homemade flea treatments for your dog is an easy task once you have done your research. It only requires combining ingredients with antiflea properties.

Depending on the type of home remedy, you may need to leave it on your dog’s coat or wash it off after a few minutes.

In other cases, you have to apply it to flea-infested areas in your home or place it on his collar to keep fleas at bay.

3. Can I Spray Apple Cider Vinegar on My Dog?

Yes, you can spray apple cider vinegar on your dog but always dilute the liquid with water to reduce its acidity.

Also, be careful when spraying. Check your dog’s body first for any open wounds or sores. Make sure to avoid these areas, or else the apple cider vinegar will cause excruciating pain.

Do not spray it on your dog’s face, especially his eyes and nose, to prevent irritation.

4. What Smell Do Dog Fleas Hate?

The smell dog fleas hate is the scent of apple cider vinegar, neem oil, rosemary, and lavender essential oils. Because of their unpleasant scent to fleas, they make great flea repellents for your canine friend.


Natural home remedies for fleas on dogs help curb flea infestations on your canine friend before it becomes full-blown. It will save you time and money from spending on more costly vet flea treatments.

External parasites are not the only harmful critters you should be protecting your dog from. Be on the lookout for intestinal worms too.

If your dog is experiencing this problem, we have 5 Natural Home Remedies for Worms in Dogs that you should check out.

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