Flea infestations are definitely not fun and they can wreak havoc on your home. They can be annoying, itchy, and painful for your dogs, and if you are allergic to the fleas, they will be just as bad for you. There is also the fact that heavy flea infestations can be clearly visible in a home, which is obviously not very attractive for you or potential guests.
Fleas can also carry various diseases, with the much feared plague being the worst one. Luckily, there are many ways to get rid of fleas on your dog and in your home, both naturally and chemically. So, how can you get rid of fleas on a dog?
How To Naturally Get Rid Of Fleas On A Dog
There are a multitude of natural and non-chemical ways in which you can get rid of fleas on your dog, so let’s go over the most effective methods right now.
The Flea Comb
One of the best and easiest ways to get rid of fleas on your dog is to use a flea comb. Flea combs are usually pretty inexpensive, plus there are no chemicals involved, which is a great thing no doubt. Before you use the flea comb, if your dog has long hair, you need to groom the dog to make sure that the hair is not tangled.
The flea comb needs to be able to get through the hair with its fine teeth. Get right down to the skin of the dog in order to remove as many fleas, eggs, and larvae as possible. This will not kill other fleas that are not on the dog, but it will get rid of those already on the pooch.
Powering Up The Dog Shampoo
There are ways in which you can enhance your dog shampoo so that it kills fleas and helps keep them at bay without chemicals. Take half a cup of your regular dog shampoo, add in half a cup of lemon juice, and finish it off with 2 cups of water. If you have a larger dog, you will need to increase the amounts of each of the 3 parts.
Use this mixture to wash your pet thoroughly once per week. This will kill most existing fleas and discourage new ones from coming on board. After you do this, do not let the dog go to areas where fleas are known to be and don’t let it go rolling around in grass.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Something you can do to repel fleas is to add a teaspoon of fermented apple cider vinegar into your dog’s drinking water. The smell and chemical composition of it, especially when ingested by your dog, will help to repel fleas. However, many dogs will not drink this vinegar water as it is not exactly appetizing.
You need to wash everything made of fabric that your dog comes into contact with. This includes carpets, towels, doggy beds, and anything else of the sort. Getting rid of fleas, larvae, and eggs is actually fairly easy with hot water and a strong laundry detergent. Even better is putting everything in the dryer after it has been washed. Make sure to set the dryer to the highest setting as heat is a big killer of fleas.
Borax is a brand name of boric acid powder. This stuff is also used for cockroach and other pest control. It will usually not kill adults, but it dehydrates the eggs and cause the larvae to suffocate. Dust down any areas that are not in direct sunlight where you suspect eggs and larvae to be.
Don’t let your dog lick or eat the power though, as your dog may not tolerate it. After a few days, vacuum up all of the debris and repeat the process if you deem it to be necessary.
Making A Flea Collar
Natural flea collars are great chemical free ways to keep fleas at bay. Simply use some lavender oil an tea tree oil and apply it to your dogs collars. This will effectively repel fleas. (we have reviewed some flea/tick collars on this article).
This is key to getting rid of fleas and keeping it that way. Anywhere your pet goes in the home is a viable candidate for flea infestation. Make sure to vacuum the whole house every single day.
Sticky Flea Pads
These are your classic sticky pads that can be used for flies, cockroaches, wasps, and even mice. They do make special ones for fleas. These pads attract fleas and cause them to stick to the glue pad, sometimes even killing them on contact. It’s a great way to contain an outbreak for the time being.
Other Tips For Getting Rid Of Fleas
There is a lot that goes into getting rid of fleas on your dog and in your home. These buggers can be very persistent and resilient, so following all of these tips is essential to success.
You need to know where the infestation came from. If the infestation starts with your pet, use any of the above measures to get rid of them, or better yet, all of the measures. If the infestation is on your dog, use the above measures or even go more extreme.
You can take them to a vet for a flea bath, use prescription flea medications, and specialized flea shampoos too. If the infestation is coming from a carpet or piece of upholstery, you need to chemically treat the item and use a heat treatment too. This might mean a simple washing and drying, or it could mean full out dry cleaning. If the infestation is really bad, you might want to just through it out.
You absolutely need to get rid of the fleas on household items before you can begin treating your dog. If you treat your dog for fleas, but they are still present in the home, your efforts will be futile. Everything that can be washed with detergent and dried with high levels of heat needs to be. You need to thoroughly vacuum everything that can be vacuumed, which includes hard floors and surfaces as well as soft ones. You may even want to apply flea killers to areas in your home where the infestation is bad.
If the flea infestation is in your home, and does not stem from your dog, you need to follow the above steps and procedures before bringing your dog back in. Getting rid of the fleas on your dog is useless if they are present in your home. The same thing goes the other way around. If you clean your home of all fleas, but they are still present on the dog, they will quickly re-infest your home.
The Chemical Flea Solution
Now, we know that people would way rather use natural methods to get rid of fleas. However, sometimes those natural methods are just not enough to deal with a big and heavy infestation. In this case there are some chemical killer methods you can use to solve the problem. These methods may not exactly be the safest or least expensive, but if you have no other choice, you may need to resort to them.
Chemical Grade Flea Collar
We aren’t going to get into all of the basics here, but there are many flea collars out there with chemicals in them designed to repel fleas. Some of the chemicals may actually kill fleas on contact, while others just repel them. This is a good way to keep them off your dog.
Flea baths are most often performed by vets as they can be dangerous to your dog, especially when the liquids used for bathing are ingested. Generally speaking, this method is fairly safe, but as everything is with vets, it will cost you quite a bit. There are some flea baths you can do by yourself at home, but you will need to be careful.
If the infestation is really bad and you can’t put a dent in the flea population, you can always resort to prescription medications. Some medications will kill the fleas when they bite your dog, while others simply repel them from the entirety of your pet.
Using chemical flea killers found and gardening, pet care, or hardware stores can be another solution. However, this should be a last resort and poison, even the ones that say they are healthy for people and pets to use, should probably be avoided. If you are going to resort to some expensive aerosol can that claims to kill fleas, be very sure to follow the directions to a tee. You don’t want to poison your dog, your kids, or yourself.
Any and all of the above steps can be great ways to get rid of fleas. Be sure to keep doing what you are doing even after you think the fleas are gone. It only takes one flea to start the infestation all over again. Keep washing, vacuuming, and using other preventative measures for several weeks after you think the infestation is gone.