Fleas and ticks are not only annoying to dogs, but they can also carry disease. We know fleas and ticks on your dog can cause a lot of stress in a family’s household. Discover some valuable information on how to prevent fleas and ticks on dogs naturally.
Does Your Dog Have Fleas?
You see your dog persistently scratching, licking, and biting its skin. You’ve noticed red spots on your dog’s skin and maybe some bare patches in its fur. Uh-oh. There’s a good chance your dog has fleas!
If you’re still not sure, there’s an easy way to find out whether your dog has fleas. Put a moist white bath towel on the ground and get your dog to stand on it. Next, brush your dog and look for spots of red or brown on the towel. If you see these specks, then your dog has fleas.
Should You Get Flea & Tick Treatments from Your Vet?
Once you determine your dog has fleas, the next step is to get rid of them. Your veterinarian can offer you several types of flea and tick treatments made by various companies. However, many of these treatments are made with harsh chemicals that travel into your dog’s bloodstream while killing fleas and ticks. Not surprisingly, many dog owners want to know how to prevent fleas and ticks on dogs naturally so they can avoid exposing their pets to strong chemicals. Fortunately, there are DIY treatments that get rid of fleas and ticks using natural ingredients.
Natural Flea & Tick Remedies
A Flea Bath
Give your dog a bath using Castile soap. Castile soap has the power to kill fleas and ticks. especially one using peppermint essential oils! Once you’ve thoroughly worked the soap into your dog’s fur, rinse with a combination containing one-part apple cider vinegar and ten parts water. Both the apple cider vinegar and peppermint scents will help keep any future fleas away.
Make An Herbal Flea & Tick Spray
For a quick and easy every day flea deterrent, we love making this herbal spray with herbs right from the garden. It’s been super effective at keeping fleas away for both of our pups over the years and we hope it can be just as helpful for you and your fur baby!
The ingredients for our recipe include:
- 1 organic lemon
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig of garden sage (Salvia officinalis)
- 1 quart of filtered water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 sprig of lavender
Now, to make the recipe:
- Slice the lemon into thin rounds
- Place the lemon, rosemary, lavender, and sage in a large stainless steel or glass bowl
- Add a quart of almost boiling water
- Cover and let steep overnight
- In the morning, strain the liquid and mix it with apple cider vinegar
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle
Refrigerate the mixture and it will last for about two weeks. An extra bonus to this spray is that it makes your dog smell really good!
Flea & Tick Care For the Home
Along with using natural flea and tick remedies on your dog, there are things you can do to discourage fleas from taking up residence in your home.
Vacuum the Carpet
Vacuum your carpet a few times a week paying special attention to the areas where your dog likes to play and sleep. If you’ve seen fleas in your carpet, sprinkle some table salt all over the floor. Leave the salt in the carpet for a day, then vacuum the floor. Salt dries out fleas and their eggs, so they’re easy to remove with the vacuum. Be sure to empty the vacuum bag or canister immediately after vacuuming.
Clean Hardwood and Tile Floors
Would you be surprised to know that fleas and ticks can hang out on the hardwood and tile floors in a home? Probably not. Fill a spray bottle with warm water and sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of salt into it. Spray your hardwood and tile floors with this mixture, wait 20 minutes, then dust mop the floors.
Wash the Dog Bed
Chances are, there are a lot of fleas and flea eggs hiding in your dog’s bed. So, it’s a good idea to wash its bed in hot water on a weekly basis.
Spray Your Sofa, Chairs and Other Furniture
A mixture of lemon and water can be an effective tool for homemade flea and tick prevention. To make this mixture, cut a lemon into thin slices and add it to a pint of boiling water. Let the mixture sit in a bowl on the kitchen counter overnight and pour it into a spray bottle in the morning. Spray a light mist over the furniture around your home to kill fleas and ticks.
Caring for Your Yard
In order to have fleas, your dog has to get them from a canine friend or bring them in from the outdoors. So, why not do what you can to discourage fleas from entering your yard where your dog can quickly pick them up?
One way to keep these pests away from your yard is to plant flowers and herbs in your garden that are repellent to fleas and ticks. Lavender, chrysanthemums, garlic, spearmint, and Penny Royal are examples of plants that fleas and ticks stay away from.
Planting these items in your garden serves a double purpose. They repel fleas and ticks in your yard while giving you some of the ingredients to make natural flea and tick remedies for your dog.
Maintaining Your Pet’s Health
Foods for Your Dog
Did you know there are certain foods you can give to your dog to repel fleas? Yes, there are! Cut up ¼ of a clove of garlic and mix it into your dog’s food each day. The odor of the garlic coming through the skin of your dog acts as a repellent to fleas.
The rule is to give a dog ¼ of a clove of garlic for every ten pounds of body weight. So, if you have a dog weighing 30 pounds, it will get ¾ of a clove of garlic. If you have a small dog weighing less than 10 pounds, then give it 1/8 of a clove of garlic.
Keep in mind that you never want to give any dog, regardless of its weight, more than two cloves of garlic per day.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Put a ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into your dog’s food each day. This balances your dog’s pH level which makes their blood uninviting for fleas and ticks. The rule is a ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per 25 pounds of body weight. In addition to being a flea and tick repellent, apple cider vinegar contains nutrients that can further contribute to your dog’s good health.
A Healthy Dog is Uninviting to Fleas and Ticks
A healthy dog that eats a balanced diet is less inviting to fleas and ticks. Unfortunately, fleas and ticks prey on dogs that are ill or generally unhealthy. Some of the nutrients your dog needs to keep it in healthy condition include:
- Omega fatty-3 and Omega fatty-6 acids
- Vitamin A, D, E and K
- B-complex vitamins
Find crafty ways to incorporate foods in homemade treats that contain the above nutrients or check with your local pet food store on what is available to supplement with if you feel your pup isn’t getting enough nutrients.
The power of Mother Nature truly is amazing. Solutions for whatever problem may arise (like fleas in the house) with no toxins needed, just pure unadulterated nature love to keep your fur babies smelling fresh, as well as flea and tick free!