Prevention is the best cure -- especially when it comes to combating fleas in your home and on your dog. But if your dog happens to pick up a few of these bloodsuckers, you need to take immediate action to prevent the fleas from spreading to your home or fully infesting your dog.
Apple Cider Vinegar Wash
To mix up an at-home flea wash for your pup, you'll need a cup of apple cider vinegar, a cup of liquid dish soap and a cup of warm water. Add the ingredients to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well. If you have a large dog, or if your dog's hair is exceptionally long or thick, double or triple this recipe.
How to Apply
Wet your dog thoroughly with warm water from head to tail. Work from the highest point on your dog's body to the lowest to ensure that fleas get washed away. Carefully apply the flea wash in the same way, from head to tail, being careful to avoid the eyes and mouth of your dog. Lather thoroughly, then rinse from head to tail to remove any soap residue.
How It Works
Vinegar has been proved to be an effective flea repellent. Some pet owners add a dash of apple cider vinegar to their pet's daily drinking water. Apple cider vinegar changes the way your pet's blood tastes to fleas, so they stay away. A wash works in the same way -- fleas are not attracted to the smell of the fur and will look for another host. Adding dish soap to the flea wash makes it an effective cleanser as the dish soap suffocates, picks up and removes fleas that are already on your pet.
Treat the House
Make sure you've properly treated your home, especially fabrics such as carpet and upholstery, so fleas do not infest your freshly washed dog. This wash is suitable for use only on pets, but you can use other methods of natural flea repellent on the rest of your home. Many natural solutions exist. Many owners sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth on pet bedding and furniture to repel fleas, or leave shallow dishes of a mixture of dish soap and hot water under night lights, since fleas are attracted to heat and moisture.
Olivia Kight is an experienced online and print writer and editor. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2012, and has worked on education, family life and counseling publications. She also gained valuable knowledge shadowing a zoo veterinarian and grooming and socialize show dogs, and now spends her time writing and training her spunky young labradoodle, Booker.