dog itching and scratching

What are the best natural treatments for fleas and ticks?

No one wants parasites on their pets. Internal parasites only bother your pets internally but external parasites like fleas and ticks not only bother your pets by causing allergy and skin infections but they can also trouble you by biting you and causing a skin infection. Consider yourself lucky if you haven’t had to deal with fleas and ticks.
Fleas and ticks both can transmit diseases and health issues. Fleas transmit tapeworms, while ticks transmit Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. They can jump from your pet onto your furniture, carpets, etc. making them their homes. So, if your dog is excessively licking and scratching itself and there are hot spots on its skin or you can see fleas or ticks directly, surely, he needs treatment for fleas or ticks.

Prevention is the best measure against fleas and ticks. We recommend following the advice of your vet if your dog has been attacked, but here are some natural remedies that can help you get rid of the nuisance created by these pests:

1. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth, a naturally occurring sedimentary rock, is one of the best curing and preventive measures for fleas and ticks.
It can easily be crumbled into a fine white powder which is an excellent flea and tick killer. It is completely harmless to your dog. So, sprinkle this powder on your dog, on its bedding, and around its favorite areas of the house and your fur baby will be free of the troublesome fleas and ticks. Diatomaceous earth takes around 4-5 hours to kill adult fleas and is also effective for flea larvae. You can also apply DE on your dog, before a walk, hike, or other potential exposure as a preventive measure.

If you are looking for a natural, easy and cheap method of treating your dog from fleas and ticks Diatomaceous earth is the remedy to use.

2. Apple cider vinegar

It is always a good idea to have a good stock of apple cider vinegar at home because of its extensive uses. It is not only great for your health but it can also be very useful for the health of your dog. It improves their digestion, combats yeast infections, and supports joint health. Its acidity helps naturally repel biting insects. It is also a great flea and tick repellent for your dog.
You just have to spray a mixture of apple cider vinegar, salt, and water on your dog, but avoid the face and eyes. The spray is natural and non-toxic so you can use your hands to massage into the fur so it can reach the skin beneath.
After 20 minutes, you can use the flea combs to brush out the remaining dead fleas. For lasting effectiveness, you can repeat this every week. You can also add apple cider vinegar to your dog’s drinking water to keep it healthier and healthy dogs are less likely to host fleas and ticks.

Thus, if you want to eliminate the flea and tick infestation on your dog and also keep it healthy by a cheap and homemade remedy apple cider vinegar can help you in this regard.

3. Essential Oils

Critters like fleas and ticks are highly sensitive to certain scents. So, to kill fleas and ticks and keeping them far off your dog, one of the following essential oils can be used:

  • Cedar
  • pennyroyal
  • citronella
  • eucalyptus rosemary
  • tea tree
  • peppermints
  • lavender

They also soothe your dog’s skin and prevent infection. Some essential oils can also heal wounds and can also be used for antibacterial healing.
Just add six or seven drops of the essential oils to a cup of water and spray directly on the coat of your dog. To keep these nasty parasites away long term just keep spraying these oils on your dog and its belongings but avoid overdoing.
To keep fleas and ticks at bay from your dog, using essential oils is one of the best methods out there.

4. Lemon Juice

Lemon is among the most used fruits for medicinal purposes. It is not only used for your common colds and flu but it can also help your dogs in a lot of ways. Lemon water baths not only make your dog smell fresh; they are also a very effective remedy against ticks and fleas.
Lemon juice contains a citrus extract called D-limonene which kills fleas and ticks and also repels new ones. Add half a cup of lemon juice into your dog’s bathing mixture and bath your baby to get it free from fleas and ticks. Alternatively, you can make a spray by adding one-part water and one-part juice.
Moreover, you can also dip your dog’s regular comb or brush into lemon juice and apply it to its hair normally. For a short-haired breed, a cloth dipped in lemon juice is also enough. To get rid of fleas and ticks from your house you can spray your entire house with lemon juice after washing and vacuuming. For lasting effectiveness, continue spraying after 2-3 days.

Thus, grab lemon juice and free your dog from fleas and ticks by giving it a lemon bath as it is a cheap, easy, and natural remedy for fleas and ticks.

5. Flea and Tick sachet

If your dog doesn’t like being sprayed or having products applied directly to their coat, you can make a sachet at home which reaps the same benefits. You just need to buy a small bag of breathable fabric such as hessian or muslin and fill it with lemon peel, dried lavender buds, and cedar chips. Tie up the top of the bag and place it near your dog’s sleeping area or tie it with its collar. The scent of the sachet will get rid of the fleas and ticks agitating your dog. To keep them at bay permanently keep replacing the ingredients of the sachet with fresh ones every month.
So, if you want to stay away from the hassle of spraying or applying anything on your dog’s coat just make the flea sachet and eliminate any risk of flea or tick infestation on your dog.

6. Garlic

Garlic, often called the “wonder herb” if used in the right amount, has a long list of benefits for your dog. It is antiseptic, antibiotic, antifungal, and antimicrobial. It can lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, and improve digestion. It can also be one of the best remedies for fleas and ticks.
Fleas and ticks detest the smell of garlic and by feeding your dog garlic you can protect it from these pests. Garlic is anti-parasitic and makes the blood of the dog less tempting for fleas and ticks. Using fresh cloves of garlic is essential to ensure proper dosage and effectiveness. You can safely give your dog ¼ clove of a normal-sized garlic per every 10 pounds of body weight but don’t give them more than 2 cloves of garlic and your dog will become a walking flea repellent.
Thus, garlic is one of the best corrective and preventive measures for fleas and ticks on your dog.

7. Prevention is the best Remedy

As already mentioned, prevention is the best remedy against fleas and ticks. Keep your dog’s environment clean and tidy. Wash all of your dog’s bedding in hot water once or twice a week and your beloved dog won’t get any fleas or ticks. But if due to any reason your dog does get them to make sure you free your fur baby from this nuisance by any of the above-mentioned methods. All the afore-mentioned treatments are effective natural remedies to protect your dog from fleas and ticks.
After you get your dog cleaned using any of the above remedies you should also clean your home and backyard properly to avoid any further attacks of fleas on your dog. You can kill most of the adult ticks and fleas using sprays but the larva would be left and once the larva becomes adult, you and your dog would be in trouble again.
To remove eggs, larva, and any adult fleas, you should completely clean your home and one of the best methods is vacuuming your home.

8. What is vacuuming for fleas?

Vacuuming is one of the most effective weapons against fleas. It destroys fleas in all stages of life. Vacuuming your home regularly removes 96% of the eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults from your home. Vacuuming also stimulates fleas to emerge sooner from their insecticide-resistant cocoons, thus hastening their exposure to treatments.

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Before starting vacuuming, pick up all the stray items like clothes, toys, shoes, boxes, papers, etc. from all the carpet areas of your home. Clear your home from any pets be it dogs, cats, or any bird. Vacuum the carpet areas of your home thoroughly, especially the areas where your pet sleeps or spends a lot of time. If you are unsure of their sleeping area, look for areas that accumulate a lot of pet hair.
After vacuuming the carpets and rugs, turn to hardwood floors, linoleum, and tiles. Then, vacuum furniture, upholstery, cabinets, cushions, pillows, and even your bed. Vacuum under beds and any other furniture. Use corner attachments for baseboards, heat vents, floor cracks, carpet edges, and room corners. If you have a disposable vacuum bag, seal it tightly, and throw it out safely.
Instead of just killing fleas, the vacuuming will address the much bigger problem that is the eggs. Getting rid of only fleas is useless because your house will be invaded again in sometime when the eggs of the fleas turn into adults. Vacuuming also eliminates blood and feces, thus removing the food source of fleas.

There is another method named “Flea bombing” in the market to kill fleas indoors, you may have heard of this method. Let’s see if this method works and is it safe for your dog.

9. Does Flea bombing work and is it safe for your dog?

Flea bombs are one of the most advertised indoor flea treatments. They are designed to be left alone to release pesticides into the room and kill the fleas. Flea bombs are similar to cockroach bombs and are also known as foggers.
Flea bombs work by pressing a button on an aerosol can and letting a pesticide infused fog cover the space. This fog falls on the ground and sticks to the surface. All fleas would be killed that will directly come in contact with the fog and chemicals released from the ‘bomb’.
These pesticides are known to kill fleas. But the pesticides are dangerous for your pets. They can contaminate your pet’s belongings. Even if you remove all the toys, beds, etc. of your dogs or cover them with sheets they still pose health hazards.
Flea bombs can not penetrate the carpets or other fibers where flea eggs and larvae are mostly present. Their chemical often does not reach hidden or sheltered areas, such as the spaces beneath furniture or the interiors of closets or cabinets. These spaces can often be a habitat for fleas. Fleas in these areas are unaffected by flea bombs. They are also ineffective in case of outdoor or animal infestation. So, it is a dangerous and ultimately ineffective method of flea control.

By now you know how to get rid of fleas and ticks from your dog and your home using natural remedies and cleaning. If you want to know some medical treatments and effective products that can keep fleas away from your dog, here are a few of them that you may like.

10. Best medicinal treatments for fleas and ticks

Here are the best medicinal treatments for fleas and ticks for your dog:

Seresto 8 Month Flea and Tick Prevention Collar for Large Dogs:

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“Seresto 8 Month Flea and Tick Prevention Collar for Large Dogs” is a breakthrough in tick and flea control for your precious pup. It is a vet-recommended treatment specifically formulated to repel fleas and ticks on contact with no painful biting required. It contains imidacloprid to control fleas and flumethrin to repel and kill ticks. It can work for up to 8 months.

Bravecto Chews for Dogs:

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Bravecto chews provide up to 12 weeks of protection against fleas and ticks. They kill adult fleas and ticks; help treat and prevent flea and tick infestation. It also comes in a topical solution for dogs.

Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Large Breed Dog Treatment

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This water-proof flea and tick treatment are specially formulated for dogs eight weeks or older. It works for a full 30 days to help kill adult fleas and ticks, eggs, larvae and even chewing lice. The two active ingredients in this treatment are fipronil and Methoprene which break the life cycles of fleas and ticks and prevent further infestation.

NexGard Chewables for Dogs:

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NexGard Chewables for Dogs helps prevent flea infestations by killing adult fleas. It is vet-recommended and FDA approved to help prevent infections that cause Lyme disease in dogs. It comes beef-flavored, so it is easy to give to your dogs.