This is How to Stop Your Dog From Getting Fleas With Apple Cider Vinegar (and other remedies!)

6-1-copyWhile the weather has been pretty up and down lately, I’m looking forward to the summer. One of my favorite things about the summer is the annual family trip to the cottage.

Of course, no family trip is complete without my two dogs! They love adventure, but with any adventure there’s a risk your dog might get ticks or fleas. Not only do these pests pose a health risk for your furry friends, they also pose a health risk for your family.

But wait! Think twice before you pull out the tick and flea repellent. Commercial repellents are packed with harmful toxins that not only harm your dogs but your family as well. For one, in a 2010 report the Environmental Protection Agency found that popular flea and tick treatments contain chemicals that can cause negative reactions in your pet’s skin, GI tract, and nervous system. Furthermore, many of these repellents are helping these pests build up their resistance to these very chemicals. Yikes!

But in the end, you can’t avoid treating them. When my first dog had fleas, the itchiness was agonizing! The problem with flea shampoos is that you don’t want to be giving your dog weekly baths. It’ll strip their coat of natural oils making it dry and likely to irritate the skin.

As much as these flea shampoos say they’ll do it all, there’s much more to treating fleas than that! When my little ones got fleas, it was a whole ordeal that involved treating them, the house, and the yard. To save you some trouble, here are some of the best natural repellents and preventative measures you can try out!

Natural Repellent for Dogs

Herbs

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A few years ago I invited my pups’ veterinarian over for dinner to thank them for their help in treating our eldest dog after an injury. When she saw the herbs I was growing in my home, she was pleasantly surprised. According to the vet, many of the herbs I use are effective at warding off fleas. Some of the best herbs for bug repelling are: peppermint, clove, citrus, neem leaf, eucalyptus leaf, rosemary, lemongrass, sage, and lavender.

To prepare a flea dip, simply steep your chosen herbs in hot water until cool. Pour or spray the flea dip on your dogs. Make sure you’re using these in their herb form and not as essential oils. Essential oils can be harmful if applied to your dog directly.

Apple Cider Vinegar

When we had a fruit fly problem, vinegar and a bit of oil in a bowl was just the solution. But when it comes to vinegar for the hair, or in this case fur, there’s nothing better than apple cider vinegar. If you’re like me, you swear by ACV. It’s great for keeping hair healthy in both humans and dogs. I suggest steeping some of the bug repelling herbs above in ACV for two weeks. Make sure to shake it daily and strain the ACV into a spray bottle. Spray your dog and allow to dry.

Control and Prevention Treatment for Fleas and Ticks

Regular Baths with Diluted Castile Soap

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To begin to control insect pests that plague our furry friends, you need to start with prevention. One of the most important measures you can take is to bathe your dogs regularly.

Normally, you wouldn’t bathe your dog more than once a month but desperate times call for desperate measures. Castile soap is much better for your dog than the synthetic detergents available at pet stores. The oils in castile soap will kill off most insects, but take care to dilute it first as it can be harmful in full concentration. Aside from pet shampoo, try these other 7 uses for your castile soap.

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning Around the House

Cleanliness is a great way to deter pests from infesting your house and yard. Vacuum your carpets, floors, and furniture regularly with an emphasis on the rooms your dog spends their time in. When it comes to cleaning inside, I like to add a few drops of lavender essential oil to baking soda and sprinkle it on carpets and appropriate couches. Let this sit for about half an hour before vacuuming and voila, not only do you kill fleas you leave your house smelling great.

Wash Bedding Weekly

I can’t emphasize this enough. Your house can be as spick and span as possible, but if the bed your dog goes to every night is dirty all your work will be for nothing. If your dog’s bedding has a removable cover, wash according to the instructions. If not, do the same thing you would do using baking soda and lavender essential oil above.

Flea comb

This flea comb recipe makes use of lemons which contains a naturally occurring chemical called limonene. Found in the peel, limonene is found in many non-toxic flea repellents.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Water
  • A comb, sponge, or brush

Instructions:

  1. Boil the water in a pot and add the lemons to it.
  2. Turn off heat, cover and let steep overnight.
  3. Dip the comb, sponge or brush into the cool steeped mixture and brush your pet’s hair.

This summer, instead of trying a harmful repellent try these pup-friendly natural remedies instead!


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