How to Get Rid of Fleas on Dogs with Natural Home Remedies
May to October is typically the season when dogs and puppies are most prone to getting fleas. It’s important to get rid of fleas on dogs as soon as possible as the parasitic pests could cause a number of health conditions including irritated skin and skin allergies. If your dog is suffering from a major flea problem then we would suggest bypassing the home remedies altogether and calling the vet. Otherwise, here are our top suggestions.
1. Start with a Flea Bath
The first step to getting rid of fleas on dogs is by giving them a proper flea bath with lukewarm water and soap. There are dog shampoos specifically for tick and flea control but we would suggest confirming with the vet first before you use such products. The reason you need to be careful with using flea shampoo on dogs is due to the fact that they might have very sensitive skin as a result of the flea bites.
Some people will suggest using dawn dish soap to wash dogs that are old enough to tolerate it but we would again exercise caution on this. According to PetMD, dish soap may cause further irritation on a dog that’s already suffering from skin irritation. In some cases, it may be better to skip this step and come back to it later depending on your dog’s condition.
2. Use a Flea Comb
Nothing is more effective than a flea comb to get rid of fleas on dogs and puppies. Flea combs typically have fine metal tooth which are tightly packed together in order to effectively scrape out the adult fleas and flea eggs hidden in your dog’s fur. When using a flea comb, we suggest starting from your dog’s head and working your way downward to his tail. This is to prevent fleas from jumping towards your dog’s neck area, which is where fleas like to commonly feed.
3. Apply Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth to Your Dog’s Coat
Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic powder that does an excellent job of killing soft-bodied pests. You could try patting and gently rubbing your dog’s coat with a light amount of powder. While it is non-toxic, we would recommend not using this regularly as the porous nature of diatomaceous earth could cause the skin to dry out.
Food-grade diatomaceous earth is also quite dusty so you need to be careful not to let your dog breathe in a large amount of it while the powder is being applied. Also, it can take a bit of time for the effects of the powder to kick in so don’t expect dead fleas to fall off your dog’s body immediately after the powder is applied.
4. Controlling Fleas in the House
The real battle is not the fleas in your dog’s coat, but the ones that are in and around your house. We suggest a number of home remedies that can be used to eliminate fleas, such as by using a steam cleaner regularly and by creating a simple candle trap. Please note that fleas don’t disappear overnight. You shouldn’t stop the treatment once you no longer see any adult fleas jumping around. You need to continue until you are absolutely certain the flea eggs are dealt with as well.
Getting rid of fleas on dogs and puppies is no easy battle but it can be done with patience and persistence. We would, however, like to remind you again that it is always best to call the vet for advice, especially if you see that your dog is already suffering from a lot of irritation. Make sure your dog is prescribed on the right flea medication in order to prevent future infestations.