According to the United States Federal Drug Administration, most commercial dog flea products can harm your pet. The agency admits that they can cause loss of muscle control and seizures. These problems can occur in pets because of toxic load buildup. If you have these products in your home, then find the ingredient list. If you cannot pronounce most of the ingredients, chances are they’re potent pesticides.
The Problem With the Isoxazoline Class of Drugs
You may see these ingredients listed when you look at your dog’s flea products:
- Bravecto (See our story on Bravecto side effects)
They are all part of the Isovazoline class of drugs, and they are the troublemakers. While most dogs have no adverse reaction, some may experience diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, wobbliness, and momentary weakness. Dogs may also experience seizures and complete loss of muscle control . Some dogs have also experienced respiratory distress. Dogs who have a history of having seizures are, particularly at risk. While the Federal Drug Administration has not made a statement, some owners have even reported their dogs dying shortly after giving them flea treatments containing this class of drugs.
What Are Common Signs That Your Dog Has Fleas?
You may see the fleas jumping while grooming your dog. If you do not groom often, then there are other signs that you may notice first, including:
- Increased itching
- Rubbing constantly on carpet or objects
- Red or swollen skin
- Hair loss
- Raw sores
The Cost of Flea Protection in Dogs
The second problem with commercial flea products is that they are very costly. Assume for a minute that you are using flea drops from a big-box store. You are probably paying about $15 a month if you are using drops. Multiply that by 12, and you are paying $180 annually.
If you are using a flea collar for dogs, then you are paying about $4 per collar. While that would only be $48 annually, remember that you have to replace it anytime it gets wet. Additionally, you must replace it when your pet manages to get it off, and you cannot find it.
Is Flea Treatment for Dogs Necessary?
Yes, flea and tick treatment for dogs is essential. Fleas can cause skin irritations, which make your dog miserable. They can also carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which can be deadly.
How Does a Flea Infestation Occur?
One female flea can lay up to 200,000 eggs in her lifetime. Even if your dog accidentally carries one home from a walk, the problem can quickly spread. Once inside your home, they give family members flea bites that could cause them to get sick.
Are There Natural Flea Sprays on the Market?
Yes, there are many natural flea repellent sprays on the market. Keep in mind that the government sets no regulation on using the word natural in dog products, so you need to do your research.
Are There Alternatives to Dog Commercial Flea Products?
There are several products you can use that will stop your dog from having fleas. The great news is that you may already have these items in your home.
Not only will giving your dog brewer’s yeast help keep fleas away, but it will also help them have a healthy coat because of the amino acids and the B vitamins in it. The sulfur compounds in it make your dog less appealing to fleas, so give them ½ teaspoon for every 10 pounds they weigh.
Coconut oil is a great way to repel fleas. You can give 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight. It can be rubbed onto them or combined with their food. You can also make homemade dog treats with it. Coconut oil may also help prevent yeast infection in dogs’ paws, cracked paws, and hot spots.
Fleas hate the smell of vinegar, and they will do their best to avoid it. Therefore, using vinegar on your dog can be a great way to prevent fleas. Apple cider vinegar and white vinegar work best. Use an equal amount of vinegar and water. If your dog does not mind spray bottles, then you can spray them down. Otherwise, you can wipe them down with a cloth saturated with it.
Many essential oils work as natural flea repellants. These include:
Always choose essential oils that are tested and pure. Use them by putting 3 or 4 drops in a carrier oil and rubbing on your dog, or put them in a spray bottle and spray it on them. The great news is that once you kill the fleas on your dog, you can diffuse these essential oils in your home to keep them away.
Dishwashing soap is one of the best ways to kill fleas. Choose a soap that does not create a lot of suds, or the fleas will jump on top of the suds and survive.
Can You Make Your Own Homemade Flea Spray?
Yes, you can easily make homemade flea spray by combining these products.
Ingredients for Homemade Flea Spray
- 2 teaspoons brewer’s yeast
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dishwashing soap
- 10 drops essential oil
Instructions for Making Homemade Flea Spray
- Put lukewarm water in a 16-ounce clear spray bottle.
- Add brewer’s yeast and let sit until yeast dissolves.
- Add apple cider vinegar.
- Put the lid on the bottle and shake vigorously.
- Add essential oils and dishwashing soap.
- Shake the mixture again.
- Spray the dog with the mixture.
The great news is that you have now treated your dog for fleas at less than $0.10, and you are not going to cause any health problems. In fact, your dog will be healthier than ever before.
Can You Make a Flea-Killing Shampoo at Home?
Yes, you can easily make a flea shampoos for dogs at home. The same ingredients used in the spray can be used during your dog’s bath. Just be careful always to choose a low-sudsing dishwashing soap so that the fleas cannot jump on top of the suds and survive. In particular, consider choosing a product that is free from:
- Phosphates – Exposing a dog to too many phosphates can lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, calcium deposits, and hardening of the arteries in the heart.
- Sulfates – These ingredients can irritate your dog’s skin. This is especially true of sensitive areas, like their eyes and mouth.
- Phthalates – This type of chemical can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system.
- Dyes- Many dogs can suffer an allergic reaction to dyes.
Is Using a Homemade Flea Spray Enough to Treat Fleas?
If you have noticed fleas on your dog, they’d have already spread to your yard and home. Therefore, you must be aggressive in treating your dog and his environment to take care of the problem.
Killing Fleas in Your Yard
You can kill fleas in your yard naturally by combining ½ pound diatomaceous earth and one gallon of water in a garden sprayer. This will treat 1,000 square feet, so you can adjust the amounts according to the size of your yard. The mixture will not stay suspended, so make sure to shake the sprayer often. You will need to repeat the process every 12-to-14 days until you no longer see fleas.
Killing Fleas in Your Home
You need to clean your home thoroughly when your dog has fleas. Start by washing your dog’s bedding. Then, vacuum your house and scrub your counters. As with your yard, you will need to repeat the process at least every two weeks until you are sure there are no more fleas. Diffusing flea-killing essential oils in your home can encourage them to stay away.
Frequently Asked Questions About Homemade Flea Sprays?
1. What is the best homemade flea spray?
The best homemade flea spray is the one that combines products you already have in your home, including brewer’s yeast, apple cider vinegar, and essential oils. Using these products can also help your dog get a healthier coat and experience fewer health challenges.
2. How do you make homemade flea spray?
Combine 2 teaspoons brewer’s yeast, ½ cup apple cider vinegar, 10 drops of essential oil, and ½ cup of water. Shake vigorously and spray your dog. This mixture can also be poured on a cloth and wiped on your dog if he does not like spray bottles. The best essential oils to use are basil, cedarwood, clove, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, or geranium.
3. Does vinegar kill fleas instantly?
No, vinegar does not kill fleas. Instead, it repels them. Therefore, using vinegar alone is not a solution if the animal already has fleas. Combining vinegar and dishwashing soap will kill fleas and keep them away. The dishwashing soap works by breaking the cuticle on the flea’s outer body. Then, they drown.
4. How to get rid of fleas on dogs?
Getting rid of fleas requires a two-prong approach. You need to kill the ones that are currently alive by using the homemade flea spray, cleaning the inside of your home thoroughly, and treating the outside area. Then, in 12-to-14 days, you need to repeat the process until you no longer see any fleas, or you will have another flea infestation.
Now that you know the harmful effects of most commercial flea sprays and how easy it is to make your own, go into your kitchen and grab these ingredients. You probably already have them on hand. Then, get ready to get rid of fleas and keep them away from your dog, yard, and home.