Dealing with a flea infestation on your puppy can be overwhelming. Most flea medications and flea shampoo are not safe for puppies under 8-12 weeks of age. So, what are you supposed to do? Luckily, there are some natural and safe ways to get rid of fleas quickly and easily. We'll go over your options in this article.
Ways to Get Rid of Fleas on a Puppy
When we first brought home our newest puppy, he was covered in fleas! We didn't realize this until we had driven halfway home and saw them crawling all over his fur. To our dismay, we discovered that the flea treatments we found at the store that night weren't recommended for puppies as young as he was.
So, we had to turn to natural flea treatments instead. We ended up using coconut oil with great success. However, there are some other natural options including apple cider vinegar and dish soap. Let's look at how to use natural ingredients to get rid of your puppy's flea problem.
Coconut oil is a great natural way to get rid of fleas on a puppy. It's effective, safe, and affordable. It works by trapping adult fleas and their larvae by suffocating them. This method worked for us in under a few hours.
- Start by giving your puppy a bath with warm water and some gentle soap. This will help to loosen the fleas and eggs from his fur.
- Next, apply some coconut oil to your puppy's coat. Make sure to get the oil into his skin as well as saturate his fur.
- Leave the coconut oil on for at least a few hours before rinsing it out. This will give the fleas time to drown.
- Use a flea comb to comb the dead fleas out of your puppy's coat. This will help ensure the oil gets spread more thoroughly as well.
- Rinse the coconut oil off of your puppy in warm water. You can use mild puppy soap or a small amount of dish soap to get the oily residue off of him. You should see the remaining dead fleas fall off into the water as you rinse him off.
- Repeat this process if necessary until the flea problem is gone.
You can also add a few drops of essential oils to the coconut oil to help repel fleas. Some good options include lavender, cedarwood, and lemongrass. Just make sure that you do your research and check with a veterinarian if you have questions about the safety of essential oils and your puppy.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Another great natural way to get rid of fleas is with apple cider vinegar. The acidity of the vinegar helps kill the flea larvae and flea eggs. Plus, it's safe for your puppy if he accidentally ingests it by licking his fur or the mixture.
- Start by diluting apple cider vinegar with water in a 1:4 ratio (1 part vinegar to 4 parts water) and place it in a spray bottle.
- Spray the diluted apple cider vinegar all over your puppy's body. Be sure to get his skin as well as his fur so that you can reach any hidden fleas and eggs.
- Leave the vinegar on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing him off with warm water.
- Use a flea comb to comb off the dead fleas from your puppy's coat. This will help ensure that you get them all and that the vinegar mixture reaches through his coat.
- You should see the remaining dead fleas fall off when you rinse your puppy. If the process does not work completely the first time, you can repeat it again. However, you might try one of the other options as using too much vinegar repeatedly can irritate your puppy's skin.
Dish soap is a great option for getting rid of fleas on your puppy. It works by breaking down the outer layer of the flea's exoskeleton, which causes them to suffocate and die.
- First, give your puppy a bath with warm water and dog-friendly shampoo. This will help get any remaining fleas off his fur as well as loosen up eggs that may be stuck in his coat.
- Next, mix some gentle dish soap into water and fill up a spray bottle. You can add about 1 tablespoon of dish soap for every cup of water that you use. Spray the mixture all over your puppy's body, focusing especially on areas where fleas are most likely (such as around his neck, tail, and behind his ears). Alternatively, you can apply a small amount of dish soap mixed with water into a lather directly onto your puppy's fur.
- Use a flea comb before rinsing to ensure the soap coats all parts of your dog's coat.
- Leave the dish soap on for about 5 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
- When you rinse him off, you should see the fleas fall off into the water as a sign of success.
- Repeat these steps if necessary.
You can use any of these natural methods on adult dogs as well. We like to use natural methods as often as we can to avoid an allergic reaction and keep chemicals away from our pets. If none of these methods work for you, you'll need to visit your veterinarian for help. Now, let's take a look at how you can keep the flea problem away by getting rid of them in your home and repelling them in the future.
Get Rid of Fleas in Your Puppy's Living Space
Luckily, when we brought our puppy home, we didn't have fleas in any areas of our home. We took his blanket off along with the clothes we had on and put them in the clothes washer and washed with vinegar and hot water.
If fleas have gotten into your home and your dog's bedding and belongings, you'll need to take extra steps to get rid of them or they won't stay off of your dog for long.
Vacuum Your Floors and Furniture
The first step is to grab your vacuum cleaner and go over your floors, rugs, and any upholstered furniture thoroughly. This will help remove any fleas or eggs that are present and make it harder for them to survive. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag immediately so that the fleas don't escape back into your home.
Baking soda can make this step more effective. If you lay down a layer of baking soda before vacuuming, it can help kill the fleas before they get sucked into the vacuum.
Wash Your Dog's Bedding and Belongings
Washing your pet's bedding and belongings in hot water is a great way to get rid of fleas. Throw everything you can in the washing machine. Wash other items by hand.
Be sure to add vinegar to the wash as well to help kill the fleas. You can add 1 cup of white vinegar to a regular load of laundry.
Launder Your Belongings
Fleas may have gotten into your clothes and bedding as well. Be sure to wash anything you've recently worn or slept in on a hot cycle with vinegar added to the load.
Wash all sheets, blankets, and pillowcases in your home as well. Again, add 1 cup of white vinegar to the load to ensure you kill the fleas. Dry items on high heat if possible. This is an extra safety step to make sure the fleas don't live on through the wash.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a great way to get rid of fleas in your home as it's safe for pets and humans. It works by dehydrating the fleas and causing them to die.
You can find this at most hardware stores or online. Be sure you're getting food-grade diatomaceous earth as this is the only kind that is safe for pets.
To use it, you'll want to sprinkle it around areas where fleas are present or have been seen. This could be in your puppy's bedding area, on carpeting, rugs, or furniture. Vacuum it up once you've seen the flea problem cease.
Use a Flea Bomb
If you have flea eggs and larvae in your home, a flea bomb is an effective way to get rid of them. Flea bombs release chemical fog that penetrates deep into all cracks and crevices in your home, killing the eggs and larvae as they go.
When using a flea bomb, be sure to follow all instructions carefully and keep the room well ventilated. We don't love to use chemicals, but if your problem is severe, you may need to take this action to get rid of them once and for all.
Insect Growth Regulators
Insect growth regulators are a safe way to get rid of fleas as they don't contain any harmful chemicals. They work by preventing the fleas from being able to reproduce, eventually leading to their demise.
There are many products available containing insect growth regulators as active ingredients. You can find them online or at your local pet store. Be sure to follow all instructions for the best results.
Hire an Exterminator
If you can't seem to get rid of the fleas in your home on your own, you may need to hire a professional exterminator. They will be able to identify where the fleas are coming from and help you get rid of them for good.
Take Preventative Measures
Flea infestations can be such a pain to pet owners. Once you've gotten rid of fleas in your home, you'll want to take steps to prevent them from coming back. The best way to prevent fleas in the future is to stop them from coming in the first place. You can prevent fleas by taking a few steps including cleaning often and using things like diatomaceous earth and flea treatments.
Keep Your Dog's Living Area Clean
Keeping your dog's living area clean and full of debri will help keep fleas away. This will help by removing any food sources fleas are relying on to survive.
Don't Let Your Dog Roam Flea-Infested Areas
If you live in an area with a lot of fleas, don't let your dog roam. This includes letting them play in parks or other public areas where fleas may be present.
Invest in a Good Quality Flea Collar or Treatment
There are a few good quality flea collars on the market that can help prevent your dog from getting flea bites and infestations. They work by releasing chemicals into your dog's fur, keeping them safe and preventing fleas from attacking.
Preventative Dog Shampoos
Once your puppy is old enough, you can start using flea shampoo that will help deter fleas from his fur. You can use these regularly to keep them from coming back.
Other Flea Products
You can also get topical treatments or treatments that go in their food to help control them as well. Talk to your veterinarian about all of your options.
Vacuum Regularly and Wash Your Dog's Bedding Often
This is an easy way to prevent fleas. Vacuuming will help get rid of any eggs or larvae that may be present and washing their bedding will help prevent any fleas that are currently on your dog from getting comfortable in their environment.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a great way to keep fleas away. To use it as a preventative measure , sprinkle it on your dog's bedding area, in carpeting, rugs, and furniture. This will help kill any fleas that are there and prevent them from coming back.
Spray Lemon Juice or White Vinegar
Fleas hate the smell of lemon and vinegar, so spraying these around your home will help keep them away. You can also add a few drops of these to your dog's bathwater to help prevent fleas in the future.
What are the signs my puppy has fleas?
Some signs that your puppy may have fleas include excessive scratching, chewing, and biting. Or you may see the actual fleas themselves crawling around on your pet's fur. They may also have flea feces, or what's called flea dirt, in their coat or on their bedding. This will look like black specks that appear on your pet's skin and fur.
How can I prevent my dog from getting fleas?
There are a few things you can do to help prevent your dog from getting fleas. These include keeping their living area clean, using diatomaceous earth, investing in a good quality flea collar or treatment, and vacuuming and washing their bedding regularly.
What are the best home remedies for getting rid of fleas on my puppy?
The best home remedies for killing fleas that are on a puppy include using coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, or dish soap.
There are many different ways to get rid of fleas on a puppy fast. Hopefully one of the natural options works for you before you have to call in a professional. Remember to act quickly to remove the fleas from your puppy and home. Use some of the preventative measures to keep them away for good.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2022 Sadie