Homemade Flea And Tick Prevention For Dogs

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Izzee and dog mom in waterIzzee, my loyal and trusted sidekick and licensed therapy dog, and I go everywhere together. Her unconditional love is astounding. In return, I want to give her the best life possible including top-notch food and chemical-free products. There are so many ill-fated side effects from the chemical-based flea and tick prevention medicines. So, I don’t want to take that risk with Izzee.

This led me to research and create a homemade flea spray and homemade tick repellent for dogs that anyone can make at home.

DIY Natural Flea And Tick Treatment For Dogs

How to make the best homemade flea killer for dogs:

  1. Pour a quart of boiling water over a large thinly sliced lemon and let steep overnight
  2. Drain the lemon water and pour into a large glass spray bottle
  3. Add 10 drops each of Lemongrass oil and Citronella oil
  4. Add 1 cup of vinegar (white distilled or apple cider vinegar)
  5. Add a few drops of Cedarwood oil
  6. Keep refrigerated and shake well before applying to your dog’s coat

Additional Natural Tick Treatment

For an added natural tick treatment for dogs, I use Rose Geranium oil (different than plain Geranium oil), by placing several drops (undiluted) on the inside of Izzee’s collar and on the base of her tail. I also use it on my wrists and ankles when I am in the woods. (Keep in mind that Izzee weighs about 80 pounds, so be sure to adjust the amount of oil according to your dog’s size.)

How To Use Natural Flea Treatment For Dogs

After spraying the mixture on Izzee including her belly, I spray some on my hands to wipe on her face so that none of it goes in her eyes. Then, I run my fingers through her fur to ensure full coverage. Also, Izzee LOVES the water so I often reapply after her fur dries from her most recent water adventures.

How often you apply the natural flea and tick prevention is dependent on your dog and your lifestyle. The more frequently your dog gets in the water, and the more time the two of you spend in the woods, the more often I recommend applying the natural flea and tick treatment. If those two things are at a minimum, then once a week is enough.

Don’t Feel Like Making Your Own?

There is also a great product that you can buy called Dr. Mercola Spot On Topical Herbal Flea & Tick Repellent for Dogs. The main ingredient is Geraniol, found in Geranium oil, and the product is pet-friendly, with no man-made chemicals. There are mixed reports on how well this product works for fleas but it has proven to be effective against most ticks.

Video: Checking Your Dog For Fleas

This two-minute video from Banfield Pet Hospital shows how to properly check to see if your dog has fleas or not. Learn more about getting rid of fleas in your home and on your pet. You may also want to check out some non-homemade prevention products you can buy.

Flea Prevention Infographic

Check out this infographic we created that summarizes how to prevent fleas and ticks, how to remove ticks and our DIY natural flea and tick treatment.

Flea Prevention Infographic

To share this infographic on your site, simply copy and paste the code below:

My hope is that someday we can eliminate the chemical-based products that are used so frequently on our pets as well as on us. Just like our bodies were not made to process and get rid of such toxins, our dogs were not either. The better we care for our dogs through high-quality food, exercise, love and fewer chemicals; the healthier they will be, the longer they will live and lower the vet bill will be.

What are you using for flea and tick prevention for your dog?

This guest post was written by Deanna Dzybon. Want to follow Deanna’s dog Izzee’s adventures? Check her out on Instagram: @Izzee Talk.

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Does anyone know a safe essential oil I can add to make attaching the hose water to it. My dogseat grass. Ty
Apiffany Gaither Billings (Admin)
Here is an article about essential oils for dogs. Are you wanting to use the essential oils on your dog or on your grass?
I see so many people asking about the oils harming their dogs. Do you know what the flea and tick preventive on the market are doing to your dogs and cats? These chemicals I believe are much more harmful to your pet than this natural spray. I am going to give it a try this spring. My dogs are like tick magnets so they will be a good test for this. Thank you so much for this recipe.
Osunde Osazee
Does rubbing garlic on a dog remove ticks and lice
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
We haven’t read that rubbing garlic on a dog removes tick and lice.
Hi…thank you for sharing your DIY recipe.
I am wondering if it can be used on cats?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
From my research it seems to be safe for cats, but as always, it’s always best to confirm with your vet first before you begin any new regimen.
This recipe does not have an emulsifier so the essential oils will not mix. This results in the essential oils being sprayed directly on the dog which is harmful.
I’ve been doing something similar to this for years and never had any issues. The amount of oil is so small that it gets spread and absorbed with the water. My dogs have never had a reaction, never irritated skin or spots. I actually use more oils than what they mention above and have a spray bottle by the front door I grab, shake and spray before we go outside. Just thought I’d share.
I have 2 small dog under 6 LBS how do i adjust the dose?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
You don’t put the entire solution on your dog’s coat. Just spray it over your dog’s coat once a week.
Is this safe for a puppy?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
We suggest asking your vet or trying out this online vet service to see if it’s safe for your puppy.
Becky Benham
Just wondering about the dogs licking there fur with the homemade spray?
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
Becky, If you let it dry, it will soak in. I have used it on my dogs in the past and it dries quickly, especially in the hotter months when fleas and ticks are more of a concern.
Cindy Stani
are these essential oils safe for dogs? Was reading up on them and it says clove is toxic to dogs.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Thank you for mentioning this to us. Upon further research, we discovered clove can burn skin, so it is best to not use it on dogs. We will be sure to remove that from our content.
When you apply rose geranium oil to the dog collar to help repellent ticks do you dilute or use full strength drops on the collar?
Michelle Schenker (Admin)
You can use the Rose Geranium oil full strength on your dog’s collar BUT be sure to adjust for your dog’s weight. Izzee is about 80 pounds so the amounts mentioned in the article are for a dog around that size.
I was told by Dr Axe that clove essential oil should never be used on any animal.
Louise Tardy
I use seresto by Bayer. And!It is terrible. I changed the collar about three weeks back thinking the first Seresto collar was not working. Lo This one does not work either. I discover Up to about ten (10) fleas every time I bathe her in the tub.
Annemarie Eckstrom
Same here, awful product and expensive lesson learned
Mary Ann Jacob
I am reading that Clove Oil and Citronella oil are dangerous to dogs
Mary sorolla
It is important that we know whether this is a fact that citronella and clove oil is dangerous for my dog.
this remedy calls for citranella oil ? so what up with that?
Karen Steele
If they ingest it maybe. I wouldn’t spray near face as vinegar alone would hurt in the eyes and nose So much safer than pharma.
Karen Steele
Essential oils that contain phenols are particularly toxic to cats and cause liver damage. … Some herbs and essential oils with this component include cedar leaf, sage, hyssop, Cyprus, lavender, eucalyptus, mint, caraway, citronella, clove, ginger, chamomile, thyme, and rosemary.
How Natural Flea and Tick Repellants Work | petMD
Love this, going to make at home this weekend and see if it actually works, my poor pup has terrible fleas and I’ve tried everything! All about a natural remedy.