Grooming and hygiene practices
Regular grooming and hygiene practices can go a long way in your attempts at natural flea prevention. Brushing/combing your dog daily will allow you to spot if there’s anything unusual about their fur immediately, such as flea dirt, bites, or even visible fleas. You might even take it a step further and groom your dog with a flea comb once a week, which will catch any evidence and allow you to be sure your dog is flea-free.
Another helpful way to prevent fleas naturally is to bathe your dog with a natural flea shampoo once a month, particularly during the warmer times of the year. This leaves them with a natural scent that fleas aren’t attracted to, giving them the best chance at avoiding infestation. Our Itchy Dog natural shampoo contains eucalyptus oil, a natural insect repellent.
Natural flea repellents
Thankfully, there are plenty of options for repelling fleas naturally, both homemade and pre-prepared:
DIY flea repellent
- 1 organic lemon, sliced into thin rounds
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 sprig garden sage
- 1 quart filtered water
- Optional: 1 sprig lavender
- Place lemon, rosemary and sage into a large glass or stainless steel bowl
- Add hot, almost boiling, filtered water
- Cover and let steep overnight
- Strain liquid into a glass bottle
- Refrigerate for 1-2 weeks
Spray this on your dog daily before going out, paying special attention to the groin, armpits, and base of tail.
Apple cider vinegar
ACV is also a fantastic natural flea deterrent and can be used internally and externally. As mentioned above, diluted 2:10 with water can be used as a rinse or spray for natural flea defence. See below for internal use.
Organic, cold-pressed coconut oil is another excellent option for natural flea prevention; rub it into your dog’s coat before heading out on their daily adventures. Be mindful, though, that many dogs love the taste! Also, more frequent baths may be to prevent oil transfer onto bedding/furniture.
Conversely, purchasing a ready-made, natural flea repellent for your dog is also a great option. Healthful Pets have many natural flea prevention products for dogs, including topical treatments, supplements, and natural flea collars.
A word on essential oils
Whilst it’s a great idea to use essential oils for flea prevention, it’s important to use caution: not all essential oils are safe for dogs, and some can even be harmful. Neem, citronella, lemon balm, rosemary, cedar, and rose geranium oils are generally considered safe and are naturally offensive to fleas, but should be diluted in safe carrier oils, so if unsure better to purchase ready made natural oil repellents such as Dermadog Insect Defence Spray
We don’t recommend using essential oils on puppies under 20 weeks, and it’s important to remember that less is more when utilising these natural flea repellents; dogs’ noses are far too sensitive to handle the human dosage and too much can make them feel unwell.
The importance of diet for effective natural flea prevention
As mentioned earlier, a healthy dog will be less vulnerable to flea infestations. The parasitic nature of fleas makes them more likely to take advantage of weak or unhealthy hosts, so deterring them starts at the core of dogs’ health; their diet.
Feeding your dog a raw, meat-based diet of high-quality proteins, healthy fats, bone, offal, and plant fibre allows them to maintain optimal health, strengthen their immunity, and boosts their defences against parasites, including fleas.
Learn how to get your dog started on a raw food diet in our beginner’s guide.