Fleas are tiny blood-sucking insects that latch onto dogs and can even spread into your bedding and furniture.Because fleas transmit disease including plague, it is vital to know effective, natural flea remedies.
Use a flea comb
This comb is a nifty accessory to have if you have a dog, especially a long-haired breed. A flea comb is just like a regular comb, but the teeth are much finer and are made of stainless steel.
To avoid pulling the fur excessively which can be painful to your dog, try to get a two-sided comb so that you can first remove the tangles with the broader teeth and then work on the fleas (including eggs and larvae) with the finer teeth.
Grooming your dog with a flea comb is also an excellent bonding activity for you and your pet.
Make your own anti-flea shampoo
There are several anti-tick and anti-flea shampoos available in the market.
But if you want to stick with natural flea remedies, you can easily make your own.
Just add freshly-squeezed lime juice to the shampoo you already use in a 1:1 ratio before applying it to the dog’s fur.
If you are using a store-bought shampoo, try to use one that contains natural ingredients.
Consult your vet to ensure you aren’t using a shampoo that will dry or irritate your dog’s skin.
Try a little apple cider vinegar
Add a small quantity of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s drinking water daily, about one teaspoon to a liter of water.
The result is that the animal’s skin becomes slightly acidic, which will get rid of any fleas that are latching on to the surface.
Never apply vinegar directly to the skin as this can cause irritation and pain if there are any open wounds.
Here again, you would be well-advised to seek advice from your vet, who will be able to recommend the safe dosage of apple cider vinegar that can be used based on the dog’s body weight.
Regularly wash and dry bedding
Washing the bedding and other areas where the dog is likely to lie or sit upon is one of the most surprisingly effective natural flea remedies. The water and heat eliminate fleas, eggs, and larvae.
Try to use a reasonably powerful detergent while washing the fabric.
Since all these infestations depend on humidity for survival, after washing, use the dryer on the hottest setting to ensure that any traces of larvae or eggs get killed.
These will wash off during the next washing, leaving the dog’s bedding sterile.
Make your own flea collar
Rather than put a plastic flea collar on your dog that releases chemicals that kill fleas, consider making one of your own using essential oils.
Use a few drops of lavender or cedar essential oils mixed with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Squirt a few drops on a bandanna and tie it around your dog’s neck. Apply essential oil mixture as needed.
Cindy Grant is a crazy fan of dogs, cats and other cute in-house pets. She’s also the founder of NolongerWild.com where you can read more about pet breeds, training and behavior.