Let’s face it: fleas really are pests. There’s certainly nothing cute about them despite their tiny size.
When these agile blood-suckers attack, they can drive your dog crazy itching and scratching, and gleefully infest your home before you even realize that your dog has a problem.
By then, it may be too late to avoid a major infestation. If that’s the case with you and your dog, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of fleas on dogs — fast!
If you’re ready for a full-scale battle, simmer down; it might not be as bad as all that. Listed below are the three steps you should take to eliminate these unwanted and decidedly rude house guests.
1. Learn About The Flea Life Cycle
Fleas undergo four basic life cycle stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
The adults thrive by taking up residence on animals such as your dog, where they proceed to lay their multitudes of eggs.
You can’t see them, but these eggs are being sown throughout your home and backyard every single time your pup scratches, romps about, shakes, snuggles up to you, or lies down.
The fleas just love it when these invisible eggs find a nice soft haven in the coziness of your sofa, carpet, or even your bed. Once this is accomplished, they hatch into larvae.
Next, the larvae form cocoons for the pupa stage, when they hatch and turn into adults feeding on their host, your dog.
The reason you should be aware of all this is because various flea treatments for dogs treat various parts of this life cycle, so it’s best if you read the label on any flea medication and carefully follow the directions that are spelled out for you if you want to have success.
2. Treatment & Prevention
You’ve likely heard the saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Well, this is especially true when it comes to fleas.
The ideal way to handle fleas is by prevention. You see, flea and tick preventatives will kill fleas that have any contact with your dog, keeping it from bringing them home. If it’s not there, you won’t have to deal with it.
There are quite a few choices out there, ranging from flea collars to pills and liquid applicants. It’s important to discuss with your vet what the right flea preventative for your dog is.
Even if your dog already has fleas, there’s no need to worry. These preventatives will still act to kill them, but you may need to also get a prescription for a preventative from your vet.
Furthermore, you can utilize a flea shampoo or a chemical treatment with fast-acting properties, like a flea pill which only takes hours to kill your dog’s fleas.
3. Get Fleas Out Of Your House
Eliminating the fleas that are directly on your dog is just half the problem. You also require a plan to rid your home of fleas.
Now, don’t expect a complete eradication right away. It takes some time and patience to completely rid your home of fleas. We’re talking 3-4 months, because this is the amount of time it takes for the fleas to go through their various life stages.
The following is a list of five steps you should take to permanently eliminate fleas from your home:
- Thoroughly wash all bedding in soapy, hot water.
- Thoroughly vacuum all carpets as well as hardwood, tiled and linoleum floors, and don’t save the vacuum bag; just throw it away.
- Apply some type of environmental flea control such as methoprene, or call an exterminator.
- Apply a spray, pellet, or some type of non-toxic flea treatment in your yard.
- Continue to use a monthly preventative to treat your dog and any other pets you may have. Examine closely the thickest parts of the fur, particularly around and inside the ears, to see where the little critters may be hiding out.
If you’re determined to use a natural method of treatment, that’s just fine. There are many ways to treat fleas on dogs naturally without involving any chemical ingredients.
Sprays, Washes, Rubs & Dips
Whether you’re interested in a home-made collar, dip, comb, scrub, etc., we can help.
Essential Oils Flea Spray
Quite a few essential oils out there make wonderful flea remedies for your dog. Citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, and tea tree are excellent flea repellents.
Assuming your dog isn’t upset by a spray bottle, just dilute several drops of whichever oil you prefer into a 300ml-400ml water-filled spray bottle and then spray right onto your dog’s coat.
It’s vital for the health and well-being of your pet that you do not use a homemade essential oil mixture on them until you have verified that it is safe either by speaking with your vet, or by using an authoritative online source.
Apple Cider Vinegar & Salt Flea Spray
The great thing about apple cider vinegar is that it is a very effective natural way to treat fleas on your dog by balancing its pH levels. It greatly benefits your dog’s health while creating an unsustainable environment for fleas.
All you have to do is to dilute six cups of apple cider vinegar by adding four cups of water to it, toss in a bit of sea salt, then spray the mixture right onto your dog’s coat.
You’ll love the fresh, clean, citrus scent of this simple-to-make solution.
Just add half a cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice into two cups of water, along with a bit of the pet soap or shampoo you’d normally use.
Wash the head, legs, ears, and entire body. This is a great natural method of getting those fleas to leave your dog alone.
Cedar Oil Or Lavender Flea Collar
There’s nothing like a homemade flea collar to provide your dog with constant flea protection minus the work of having to rub or spray them with a special mixture.
Just take an ordinary dog collar or bandanna, add a few drops of cedar or lavender oil directly to it, then rub it in for long-lasting effectiveness.
You can also purchase flea collars.
Nowadays, lemon is famous for its ability to both kill and repel fleas while having no ill effects whatsoever on canines or humans.
Take your dog’s regular comb, dip it in fresh lemon juice, and then use it to comb through their coat just as you normally would. If you own a short-haired dog, you can use a cloth dipped in lemon juice and it will work just fine.
Food & Drink
Vinegar Or Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
To get rid of any fleas your dog may have, and prevent further attacks, try putting a little vinegar or apple cider vinegar into your pet’s drinking water.
Give this a taste run first to be sure that they like the taste, or they could stop drinking their water even when thirsty.
Use one teaspoon of vinegar or apple cider vinegar for every four cups of water. You will be successful at keeping fleas away, and your dog’s skin and coat will look wonderful.
It is essential that you get fleas off of your dog and out of your house as soon as you possibly can. Otherwise, they will multiply and fill your home, furniture, carpet, and more.
Note that there are a lot of essential oils mentioned in the above home remedies for fleas. This is because natural essential oils are very effective on fleas, and there are many pleasant aromas you can choose from.
While this is all well and good, keep in mind that dogs have extremely sensitive noses. That’s why we highly recommend that you first test a tiny amount of an essential oil around your dog and observe their reaction.
Dogs are exactly like humans in that they will love some scents and be repulsed by others. In your desire to keep your dog and home free of fleas, you should also remember your dog’s preferences and not spray their bedding and surrounding areas with a scent they hate.
Thanks for reading this article. Are you trying to get fleas off your dog? Feel free to share your experiences or ask questions in the comments below.