Fleas are the nemesis of dogs but also affect so many other animals, including chickens, hamsters and humans. Recently I have had several people asking what kind of flea treatments should they use on their dog. A few have mentioned that their dog had a bad reaction to the usual flea products.
After learning about GME and how our fur babies are being over medicated, I have been rethinking my flea prevention strategy. So far my Chihuahua hasn’t had any ill effects from flea meds I have used in the past but she’s getting older and has some health problems so why push it if I don’t have to?
There are several different things you can try to get the fleas off your dog:
- Bathe them using Dawn dish soap (the blue kind). This will get any existing fleas off your dog but will not prevent more from jumping on so be sure to do the things for your home and yard to get rid of them everywhere.
- Spray them with one part white vinegar and one part water. Be sure to not get any vinegar into your dog’s eyes and if your dog has any open sores where he has been scratching, you might want to skip this as it will be painful.
- Make a mixture of equal parts water and apple cider vinegar (raw and unfiltered vinegar if possible). Put it in a spray bottle and spray your dog before he goes outside. You can also pour this mixture over him (avoid his eyes) as a final rinse after a bath.
- Spray the vinegar mixture (listed above) on your dogs bedding.
- Mercola has a great line of natural flea products (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
- Many people have had luck using a spray of lemon grass and cedar essential oils with some distilled water. You can make this yourself or buy it pre-made here.
- Use a flea comb daily. When you comb your dog, if you see any fleas in the comb prongs, immediately dip the comb in a bowl of warm soapy water to kill the fleas. After you are sure the fleas are gone, you can switch to weekly combing with the flea comb just to make sure they haven’t come back.
- Another option is the Pet Protector (not sure if it’s safe for dogs diagnosed with GME though).
- Wondercide.com is a natural option developed by someone who’s dog had bad reactions to chemical flea meds. I have personally used Wondercide products with great results.
How to Get Fleas Out of Your House:
- Use table salt. It works best if you run it through your blender to make a powder. Spread it in a thick layer all over your floors, on baseboards, behind and under furniture, under the couch cushions, anywhere fleas can hide. Work it into your carpet and cracks in your floor and baseboards with a broom. Leave it on for 3 days, then vacuum and immediately throw the vacuum bag away outside in the trash or empty your bagless vacuum in the trash outside. Repeat this cycle 2 more times for a total of 9 days. The salt kills fleas and dries dries out the flea eggs and you are repeating this cycle to get any new eggs.
- Wash any bedding , throw blankets, pillows and anything else that is washable in the hottest water possible.
- Some people do a 50/50 mixture of baking soda and the salt but most people who tried just the salt said it worked well all by itself.
How to Get Fleas Out of Your Yard
- There are several plants and trees you can plant to discourage biting insects (including fleas) such as Citronella, Peppermint, Lemon Grass, Rosemary, and Eucalyptus trees (yes they will grow in the U.S.).
- Use Diatomaceous Earth in your yard. It’s natural, won’t hurt you or your pets but will dry up those pesky fleas. You can get it on Amazon here. (You can also use this in your house on your carpet but if you use it inside, be sure to use the food grade kind here).
- Keep your lawn mowed. Fleas love tall grass.
- Use cedar chips in your flower beds. You can even spread throughout your yard if you want. Fleas and cedar don’t get along.
- You can raise chickens or guinea hens. They will eat the fleas. An added benefit is fresh eggs and free fertilizer.
- You can also spread Nematodes. They are microscopic worms that feeds off of fleas, termites and other harmful insects but they are harmless to people and animals. You can get them on Amazon here.
You don’t need to do every single thing listed above, these are just options of things to try. You do need to make sure you treat your pet, yard and home though to get rid of fleas for good.
These steps may seem more labor intensive than simply slipping on a flea collar or squirting a insecticide on your dog. But they are much healthier alternatives for both you and your pets.
So do you use natural flea treatments or chemicals to get rid of fleas? If you use natural, have you tried any of the things I mentioned above? Or do you have any tried and true remedies not shown above? I’d love to hear about them so leave a comment!
Saturday 29th of July 2017
Great information! Thanks Debra.
Thursday 27th of July 2017
I am so sorry for your loss. My Chi is my soul pet. We are connected through pain. I got her, to help me get through spine pain. And a year later, she got a spine injury, with a collasped disk. We understand each other so much. I would like to see more articles about the health problems Chi's have. I just took my 3 1/2 year old chi to vet to get teeth cleaned. To my surprise, she had to have 5 teeth removed due to severe dental disease. The front bottom ones, one back and one side tooth. I couldn't believe her disease was so severe. Dr. says, its in some of the family lines. Down to the bone, the infection spread. I brushed her teeth a couple times a month, but now, I have to do it more often. She eats raw, clean food only. I make her dog treats with coconut oil and flour, and sweet potato or squash. I feed them carrots, and apples. They get little bones for there size, which is chicken feet. I chop the toes, cut off nail tips, so they won't get scratched by it. They get one little toe each day. They just love them. Vet also says, enlarged hearts are a problem. Anal glands are another issue. I use cell salts for this along with extra fiber on there raw food. Also, lots of health conditions, when I fed store bought foods. Allergy, itchy skin, loose stool, coughing, chronic Bronchitis. Since, getting bad food out of diet, everything as cleared. Olive leaf is great to sprinkle on food a few times a week for immune support. Colloidal silver works great for ears, eyes, Bronchitis. Stomach enzymes for tummy issues. Rhus tox, cell salt, for knee arthritis. Works Great! Dogs can take most cell salts for same conditions humans have. I use Arnica for dogs spine pain. Mag 8 for muscle spasms from spine injury. Bryonia for join pain and cold. My sickly dogs and now thriving!
Friday 28th of July 2017
That's fascinating Debra. I'd like to get into more natural stuff for my dogs (and myself too). I have never heard of cell salt. What is it? Also what are you using for their main source of protein since you aren't feeding them store bought dog food anymore?
Friday 3rd of June 2016
Tried the vinegar don't work ,I always bathe them in dawn and it kills the fleas but I can't bathe 12 dogs every day
Friday 3rd of June 2016
No with 12 dogs, you need something stronger than vinegar. I'd try the Diatomaceous Earth in your yard and house to get rid of where the fleas are coming from and then the flra flicker or the natural sentry products on your dogs.