6 homemade flea repellents you can make with stuff you have at home

Festive socks on legs and a cute golden retriever dog on a carpet in tent

If you’re searching for a homemade, non-toxic flea repellent option for your dog, you probably have good reason. Perhaps you’re concerned about the adverse side effects of chewable prescription flea medications like Bravecto or Nexgard, side effects that include stomach upset and vomiting. Or maybe you’re put off by the toxicity of topical ones, especially if used incorrectly. Not only that, but most flea medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, can be pricey. So finding a preventative flea treatment that’s kind to your pet’s health as well as your wallet can make a lot of sense.

We should note that if your dog is already suffering from a flea infestation, you may have no choice but to opt for a traditional flea treatment. If you’re looking for a treatment that can help prevent fleas, however, you might want to consider giving one of these homemade or natural flea repellents a try!

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Spray

Apple cider vinegar has a lot of uses, including keeping fleas at bay. If you’ve ever taken a whiff of apple cider vinegar, you’ll know it has a strong scent that fleas are reportedly not a fan of. That means they’ll be likely to avoid your dog if he smells and tastes like it. Vets recommend diluting the vinegar and incorporating it into your pet’s bath, or adding a small amount of it to your dog’s drinking water. You can also make an apple cider vinegar spray by mixing equal parts vinegar and water and lightly spraying it on your dog’s coat, being careful to avoid his eyes, nose and ears.

BRAGG Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

2. Lemon, Lavender and Witch Hazel Spray

If you prefer the smell of lavender and citrus over vinegar, you might appreciate the ingredients in this homemade flea repellent spray. The effective ingredient in the spray is witch hazel, a natural astringent that has a bitter flavor. In addition to repelling fleas, witch hazel is also said to help soothe inflammation caused by flea bites. However, you might want to test a small amount of this spray on your dog’s skin before using it all over, as some canines are allergic to lavender.

MORE: Dogs who have a canine companion at home may be healthier, study says

3. Listerine Shampoo Treatment

Some people swear by Listerine as a flea treatment. The mouthwash’s ingredients — which include eucalyptus, alcohol and thyme — are thought to keep fleas away while also being non-toxic to dogs. You can mix Listerine with a gentle dog-friendly shampoo to create an inexpensive flea bath treatment.

Listerine product displayed at supermarket

4. Brewer’s Yeast and Coconut Oil Flea Prevention Dog Treats

While many dogs hate getting wet, you’d be hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t love treats! So instead of struggling to give Fido a bath, you could feed him this flea prevention dog treat made of Brewer’s yeast and coconut oil. Brewer’s yeast is thought to help repel fleas because its sulfur compounds are unattractive to the insects and give your dog a yeast-y odor.

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5. Dawn Dish Liquid and Vinegar Flea Shampoo

You could shell out money for a flea shampoo at the pet store, or you could mix up a DIY version using a combination of distilled white vinegar, Dawn dish soap and water. Supposedly, the dish soap penetrates the pests’ exoskeletons and kills them on contact, while the scent of the vinegar works preventatively to keep them away in the future.


6. Baking Soda And Salt Furniture Powder

In addition to treating your dog for fleas, it may also be necessary to treat your home and, specifically, the places where your dog likes to curl up. To keep fleas from invading your carpets and furniture, you can mix together baking soda and table salt and sprinkle liberally on any areas your pup frequents, as fleas can jump off your dog once he’s indoors. Then vacuum or sweep the treated areas. The mixture is said to work by dehydrating the fleas and interrupting their life cycle.

What do you do to keep your dog flea-free?

MORE: This festival in Nepal celebrates dogs in a wonderful way

Animals, DIY & Improvement, Health, Home, Pets

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About the Author
Margeaux Baulch Klein
Margeaux Baulch Klein is a freelance writer and digital strategist based in Los Angeles. She has written for publications like the Huffington Post, New York Daily News, Bustle, and HelloGiggles, among others.

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