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How to Get Rid of Dog Fleas

The best way to get rid of fleas, is to prevent your pet from getting them. If you’re not keen on using the traditional chemical flea remedies or preventatives, there are some natural solutions that may provide your pet with some relief.

DIY Flea Spray

A mixture of apple cider vinegar diluted 1:1 or 1:3, depending on the flea activity and your tolerance for the vinegar smell, with water can be sprayed around the house to discourage fleas from setting up camp in your home. Areas that fleas may find especially appealing include carpets, furniture, pet bedding, and blankets. Before applying your DIY flea spray, vacuum or wash those areas to remove any eggs or flea dirt.

Baking Soda

Baking soda has many more uses than making your baked goods rise. It is a powerful deodorizer and can help lift fleas and flea dirt from carpets and other fabric household items. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before vacuuming to remove dirt and pet odor from high traffic areas. When dealing with a flea infestation, always empty your vacuum immediately and dispose of the contents in an outdoor trash bin to prevent reinfestation. 

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is microscopic remains of fossilized algae, called diatoms. It is a very fine non-toxic powder that can be purchased at many local farm stores in a human safe food-grade option. The diatoms work to kill fleas at all life stages by dehydration. Its use is similar to that of baking soda, but for maximum effectiveness, it is recommended that you sprinkle the powder and leave it for 2 days before vacuuming. Due to the nature of the powder, it is recommended that the applicant wear a face mask to avoid throat or nose irritation. 

Rosemary Extract

Rosemary extract can be found in many natural pet solutions, and is a common ingredient in pet treats. Fleas and other pests are repelled by the smell of rosemary, so adding some to your DIY flea spray or feeding it to your pet in small doses can aid in flea control. It is extremely important to understand that rosemary essential oil and extract are very different. Rosemary essential oils in high volumes have shown to be toxic to humans and pets, rosemary extract has a different molecular structure and is non-toxic. 

NatrixOne Camelina Oil is another household item with multiple uses, it can be used on pets of all ages to soothe itchy skin and slow the spread of a flea infestation. One pump of NatrixOne should be applied to the high flea activity areas to soothe sore skin and repel flea activity. 

Protect your Yard from Fleas

Fleas don’t just magically appear inside your home, they hitch a ride on you or your pet from the outdoors and then make themselves comfortable inside. The simple act of keeping up with yard care can greatly reduce the chance of fleas finding their way into your home. Fleas like tall grass and weeds, so mowing often and spraying for weeds are both highly recommended. If you have a green thumb, plants such as lemon balm, sage, rosemary, basil, and mint can deter fleas and other pests. If you’re still struggling to get your flea problem under control, Diatomaceous earth in pet potty and play areas can also be helpful.

"Fleas don’t just magically appear inside your home, they hitch a ride on you or your pet from the outdoors and then make themselves comfortable inside."

My Pet Has Fleas, Now What?

  • Weekly flea baths in dawn dish soap and an apple cider vinegar dilute.
  • Wash beds and blankets in HOT water 
  • Vacuum often with baking soda or D.E.

Repeat these steps and the suggestions above until the infestation is completely gone, the flea life cycle can be several months long. If the infestation persists and your pet is uncomfortable, consult with your veterinarian.

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About the Author

Rich Coleman

Rich Coleman

Dr. Rich Coleman grew up in Fairfield, Ohio and began his journey into veterinary medicine as a kennel attendant at the age of 15. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati before graduating from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Dr. Rich took over Plum Veterinary Clinic in December 2006, changed the name to Four Paws Animal Hospital in 2007, built a new facility in 2012 and began a remodel in March 2019 to allow for more growth and opportunities for our community. Dr. Rich Coleman is the Chief Veterinary Officer for NatrixOne™ and completed our 100 dog study in 2018. After seeing results firsthand, he joined the NatrixOne team!