The Best Natural Flea Treatments for Dogs
Hopefully you’ve already read or know about the dangerous effects of flea treatments such as Frontline or Frontline Plus, Advantix and many other well known products. Now that you know that these products are not safe, you are probably wondering what is the safest and best natural flea treatment for dogs?
I’ve researched and found the answers for you (below) but first a few things to be aware of…
Don’t just pick something because it says it is natural and organic, I’ve read of dogs having very similar reactions to that of frontline plus when using organic neem oil. Any strong chemical that affects the nervous system of fleas can also harm the nervous system of your dog and even you and your children and I will provide a list of products to avoid below. Luckily I recently discovered diatomaceous earth for fleas and some other safe and natural products you can use and I will tell you more about it after some general flea treatment tips.
How to eliminate fleas and ticks from your dog safely
As well as using a safe natural product to de-flea your dog you will need to take a few extra measures such as flea combing. It takes more effort than flea collars, shampoos and spot on flea treatments for dogs, but is safer and if done right effective too.
All products containing pesticides and poisons are potentially harmful for you and your family.
If you feel that you really must use one of these products because you cannot manage the fleas and ticks with any other method, then the Natural Resources Defense Council recommend using Frontline rather than Frontline Plus or Revolution (selamectin).
Having said that, many of the dog owners I have communicated with have experienced the same problems with Frontline and other ‘safer’ flea treatments, so be aware that the risk is still present, especially if you have small children and in this case it is highly recommended that you stop using these products immediately and find a natural flea treatment for your dog.
If you want a fully safe method of flea and tick control for your dogs there are some simple steps you can take.
- Bathe your dog frequently, (ideally once a week).
- While bathing him or her, wash your dog’s bedding in hot water, rolling it carefully to avoid dropping flea eggs.
- Brush them often with a flea comb, particularly after walks. If your dog currently has fleas then do this twice a day.
- Vacuum regularly
- Keep grass in your garden short
- Use safe natural treatments on your dog such as correct essential oils (see below for what I use)
- Use Food grade Diatomaceous Earth (Amazon.com) in your home, furnishings, garden and even on your pet.
Dangerous Herbal and Natural Flea Treatments for Dogs
Avoid citrus, cinnamon, clove, d-limonene, geranium, tea tree, lavender, linalool, bay, neem oil and eucalyptus and rue oils as these products can even have bad reactions on people, unless used very sparingly, and severe reactions similar to those from chemicals have been seen on cats and dogs.
GreenPaws (organised by by the Natural Resources Defense Council) recommends natural flea treatments for dogs that contain cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary and thyme, but even with these products do test a bit first. I use a spray with cedarwood and peppermint oil (see under the Diatomaceous Earth section).
Some people advocate adding brewers yeast and garlic to your dog’s diet to make him or her not tasty for fleas. Brewers yeast works for a small percentage of dogs, but be aware that it is not safe to repeatedly give garlic to a dog as it is a strong natural antibiotic and causes them to get anemia.
Diatomaceous earth – Best Natural flea treatment for dogs
While searching for a good natural flea product for my dogs, I came across Diatomaceous earth for fleas and found that this treatment is the best, when used in conjunction with a natural essential oil spray treatment. This intriguing sounding stuff is actually a fine powder made from the skeletons of microscopic algae from millions of years ago!
Make sure you get the type which is suitable for pets (get food grade, not the glassified kind which is for pool filters).
How to use Diatomaceous Earth
You can put it outside in your garden if you currently have an infestation and also blow a bit into your soft furnishings and pet beds and mats, and your dog’s coat. It will quickly kill fleas, ticks, lice and also other pests like cockroaches, silverfish, bed bugs and more, as the skeletons cut the insects, but is completely safe for humans and dogs. You can put this in your home an don your dogs at any time, but be aware that it will kill good insects as well so only use it in your garden when necessary.
DE can even be eaten for various health purposes (including killing internal parasites) but do be aware that it should not be breathed in when dusting your house. So do cover your mouth and nose while applying, and cover your dog’s face when putting it on his or her body.
Many bottles of DE come with a puffer but I’ve found these often seem to come off, so the easiest way to dust over things like carpets and furnishing is to put it in a sock and tap it.
In flea season you can use diatomaceous earth one a week, hoovering three days after applying. Try to get the product in all the little nooks and crannies in your house.
I’d advise covering up any computers or other electrical equipment with gaps (just while you are dusting, once its down its fine) as this stuff gets around.
Where to buy Diatomaceous Earth
I buy mine from amazon, the brand I get is Nature’s Wisdom, and the product is food grade D.E which means it’s safe to use around your pets and it works beautifully.
Other natural flea treatments to use with Diatomaceous Earth
You might find the DE solves your flea problem, but if you like me live in an area with lots of fleas (damn those beautiful but flea ridden deers!) then the best way to control these parasites naturally is to use a combination of methods. I’ve already covered keeping your house and pet extra clean and using diatomaceous earth, but if you combine that with these extra techniques below your dogs have the best chance of staying flea free!
Cedarwood & Peppermint Oil Spray – good choice
This is one of the oils approved by the NRDC and smells great too – much better than Frontline Plus or Advantix! I’ve been using it on my three dogs for several months now and so far it has kept them flea free and smelling lovely!
It’s been proven to be effective in actually getting rid of fleas as well as preventing future ones, and I have used it with great success and found it to be up there with the best flea treatments for dogs. Even with this make sure to spray lightly on your dog and not get it into their eyes.
Many dogs aren’t keen on an enforced shower, but one dog owner recommended using a shower chair (often used for the elderly) to make bathing much easier!
Fleas actually need a relatively high level of moisture to survive and breed and so a dehumidifier is one of the best natural and safe flea treatments for dogs. For the eggs to hatch it must be about 75% and for the flea larvae to survive it is 50%, therefore using a dehumidifier can work wonders on preventing dog fleas.
Best Natural Flea Treatments for Dogs – Summary
I wish you the best of luck in your search to make your doggies and your home flea free! I used to use Frontline Plus for Dogs all the time but now am too scared to which is why I have sought a safe alternative. Although the methods above take more time and effort in the long run it is worth it! Please feel free to share your experiences and recommendations for the best natural flea treatments for dogs below.