When you have a dog, fleas are just a part of life. However, your method for treating them can have a serious impact on you, the environment, your family, and your canine.
Today we’re discussing why dogs get fleas and some natural solutions for treating dog fleas. But if you’re in a hurry and just want a quick recommendation, check out our quick picks below!
Natural Flea Treatments: Quick Picks
- #1 Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray — Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray enjoys some of the best reviews in the product category, and most owners have found that it killed their pup’s fleas quickly and effectively.
- #2 Wondercide Natural Flea, Tick and Mosquito Control for Dogs — Made without DEET, pyrethrins, pyrethroids or other synthetic pesticides, this natural flea treatment received glowing owner reviews.
- #3 MDX Concepts Zuba Dog’s Flea and Tick Control Spray — Another all-natural flea and tick spray that received very positive user reviews, this product uses cedarwood oil, peppermint oil, and lemongrass oil to keep your dog free of fleas.
The 101 On Fleas
- How Does My Dog Get Fleas? Have you ever wondered how your dog manages to acquire so many fleas? Dogs and cats often get infested with fleas through contact with other animals or contact with fleas in the environment.
- What’s the Deal With Fleas? The strong back legs of this insect enable it to jump from host to host or from the environment onto the host. Fleas do not have wings, so they cannot fly.
- Why Fleas Needs to Be Treated. If a dog with fleas goes untreated, it may develop anemia, skin problems and parasite infestations. You may even start suffering from flea bites too!
Treatment is essential for your pooch. However, chemical treatments are far from ideal.
Owners: Be Wary of Chemical Flea Treatments
According to the Humane Society’s website, in 2008, at least 1,600 pet deaths related to spot on treatments with pyrethroids were reported to the EPA over the last five years. The EPA assigns risk levels to all pesticides for their potential dangers to humans and some flea and tick products contain chemicals, specifically permethrins, that are “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
Furthermore, the center reported that pyrethroid spot-ons also account “for more than half of ‘major’ pesticide pet reactions reported to EPA over the last five years”—that is, those incidents involving serious medical reactions such as brain damage, heart attacks, and violent seizures.
In contrast, non-pyrethroid spot on treatments accounted for only about 6% of all major incidents.
The Center For Public Integrity’s study said pyrethroid-based flea and tick treatments are approved for sale by the EPA, and they are readily available in powders, shampoos, dips, sprays, and other forms, “but they are also linked to thousands of reported pet poisonings, and they have stirred the ire of pet owners, the concern of veterinarians, and the attention of regulatory agencies.”
Natural Flea Treatments For Dogs: The Better Option
Keeping all of this mind, you might be persuaded to try natural flea treatments for your dog. It would certainly lessen your chances of going through these effects.
The good news is that there are plenty of natural flea treatments for dogs. Accordingly, many owners prefer to try natural flea treatments first, before resorting to potentially dangerous chemical treatments.
Here are a few natural dog flea treatment we recommend:
1. Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Pet Spray: Best-In-Show Award
About: Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray is made with natural extracts and ingredients specially formulated to kill and repel pests rather than synthetic chemicals.
- GENTLE PROTECTION: Vet's Best Flea & Tick Home Spray uses certified natural ingredients to kill...
- PROVEN EFFECTIVE: Whether facing an active infestation or are applying for routine prevention, our...
- CERTIFIED NATURAL OILS: Each steam-distilled essential oil is selected for its potent pest-fighting...
- TOTAL HOME DEFENSE: Applies easily on surfaces, indoors and out, including dog bedding, crates,...
Features: Using a combination of peppermint and clove oils, Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray kills fleas, ticks, and eggs on contact and protects against future occurrences. Plus, not only does it kill fleas, flea eggs, and ticks on contact – it also repels mosquitoes.
This natural flea and tick spray uses absolutely no chemical pyrethrins, permethrins, or cedar oil. This makes it safe for the whole family, as it will not endanger children.
The non-staining formula is great for home surfaces like furniture, bedding, carpets, flooring, and countertops, so it can be used everywhere you need it. It’s also safe for use on or around dogs and cats 12 weeks or older.
This formula also features a new bottle design with an induction seal cap and detached trigger sprayer to prevent leakage during shipment.
Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray received the best user reviews of any natural flea treatment we examined. Most owners were extremely happy with the spray, reported that it was easy to use, and — most importantly — effective.
Some customers complain that it doesn’t work for cats, even though it is claimed to work. Other customers complain of skin irritation.
2. Wondercide Natural Flea, Tick and Mosquito Control for Dogs
About: Wondercide Natural Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Control for Dogs is an alternative to monthly chemical spot drop treatments like drops and pills. It is a natural flea and tick treatment for dogs that is a repellent and kills on contact with no toxic effects to pets or children.
- KILLS & REPELS. Using natural essential oils, this spray is proven to kill by contact, repel and...
- TREAT NATURE WITH NATURE. A safe and effective alternative to collars, pills, chewables, and drops...
- SAFE FOR DOGS, CATS OF ALL AGES. Gentle enough to use on puppies, kittens, and senior pets as often...
- 3-IN-1 PLANT-BASED SOLUTION. For dogs, cats, and home! A home remedy that kills fleas throughout the...
In addition to eliminating fleas and ticks, this natural dog flea treatment also claims to stop itching and scratching, comforts dry skin and hot spots, plus leaves your dog’s coat smelling fresh and shiny.
Note that Wondercide kills the full flea lifecycle. Only 5% of flea lifecycle is adult, which means 95% are in egg, larvae, and pupae stages on your pet, in your home and in your yard. Pets + Home kills adult fleas, eggs, larvae and pupae as well as ticks, mosquitoes, mites, mange and more.
This products also contains no DEET, pyrethrins, pyrethroids or other synthetic pesticides. Plus, it’s non-staining on pets, bedding, furniture, and flooring.
Most owners who tried Wondercide were very happy with the results. It appears easy to use and several owners were surprised at just how quickly it killed fleas.
Some buyers complain of unpleasant odor, but others found the scent quite nice. As with many other natural flea remedies, Wondercide didn’t appear to kill fleas and ticks in all cases.
3. Sentry Natural Defense Flea & Tick Squeeze-On for Dogs
About: Sentry Natural Defense Natural Flea and Tick Squeeze-On for Dogs and Puppies kills fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes for up to four weeks, yet it’s safe to use on your dog or puppy and around your family.
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Sentry Natural Defense Flea and Tick Squeeze-On works like typical one-spot flea treatments. You simply dispense a tube between your dog’s shoulder blades. Over the next few days, the oils will spread out around your dog’s body.
Each carton contains four monthly applications that feature natural active ingredients such as peppermint oil, cinnamon oil, lemon grass oil and thyme oil.
Each package of Sentry Natural Defense contains four applications. The oil is waterproof, but the manufacturer recommends not bathing your pet for about 24 to 48 hours following application.
Most owners who tried Sentry Natural Defense were pleased with the way it worked. It appeared to kill fleas quickly and many owners noted that their dog remained flea-free for a long time following treatments.
Some customers complain about the clover odor being overwhelming and about stains on their dog’s fur. A few others mentioned that it wasn’t as effective as they hoped, but such reports were relatively rare.
4. MDX Concepts Zuba Dog’s Flea and Tick Control Spray
About: Zuba Dog’s Flea and Tick Control Spray uses organic, “toxin-free” ingredients to kill and repel fleas on your dog. The spray-on nature of this product makes it easy to apply to your dog and get him some relief.
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Features: Instead of pesticides, Zuba Dog’s Flea and Tick Control Spray utilizes cedarwood oil, peppermint oil, and lemongrass oil to kill and repel fleas and ticks. Note that peppermint oil not only helps to eliminate fleas, it also gives the product a very pleasant scent.
The manufacturer recommends brushing your dog’s hair against the grain while applying the product. This will help ensure that the spray penetrates your dog’s hair and gets down to his skin where fleas may hide.
All ingredients used in the manufacture of this product are eco-friendly and safe for both canines and kids.
Most owners who tried Zuba Dog’s Flea and Tick Control Spray were very pleased with the results. Most owners found it easy to apply and effective. Additionally, many owners seemed to enjoy the product’s fragrance.
The only common complaints (which were pretty rare) were that the product simply didn’t work well. Some owners found that it did kill some fleas, but it didn’t completely eliminate their pet’s infestation.
5. MASOLD Dog Flea and Tick Control Collar
About: MASOLD Flea and Tick Control Collars gives owners the chance to treat their pet’s fleas quickly and easily, as it is manufactured in collar form.
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Features: MASOLD Dog and Flea Tick Control Collar uses 100% natural ingredients to kill and repel fleas, mosquitoes, lice and ticks. The collar is waterproof, fully adjustable, and eco-friendly.
According to the manufacturer, this flea dog collar provides 1 full year of protection from external parasites. It is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
The MASOLD Dog and Flea Collar appears to have worked very well for the majority of owners who tried it. The collar-style design is also very convenient to use, and the notion of year-round protection is certainly appealing.
Complaints were generally pretty isolated, as most owners found this product effective. However, we’re disappointed that the manufacturer doesn’t disclose the substances used to make the collar.
6. Natural Care Flea and Tick Spray for Dogs and Cats
About: Natural Care Flea and Tick Spray uses plant extracts rather than pesticides to keep your dog (or cat, according to the manufacturer) flea-free. In addition to killing and repelling fleas and ticks, this spray is also designed to repel mosquitoes (who may transmit heartworms to your pooch).
- A WORKING SOLUTION - Natural Care Flea & Tick Home Spray works with you to kill fleas, flea eggs,...
- NO HARSH CHEMICALS - The formula uses the natural power of plant extracts, like peppermint oil and...
- NO STAINS - It’s safe to use on pet bedding, pillows, blankets, carpets, rugs, dras, upholstery,...
- SAFE TO USE - You can use it on your dogs and cats, 12 weeks and older, as directed. Since it’s a...
Features: Natural Care Flea and Tick Spray is made with several different plant extracts, including peppermint oil and eugenol. Accordingly, it is safe to use on dogs and cats over 12 weeks of age. It is safe to use around your family too!
This spray will not stain your pet’s skin or your furniture, and it is very easy to use: Simply spray down your pet (using care not to get the spray in his eyes, nose, or mouth) and then massage it through his coat. You can also use this spray on your pet’s bedding to eliminate any lurking fleas.
Natural Care Flea and Tick Spray is manufactured in the United States.
A lot of owners who tried Natural Care Flea and Tick Spray reported that it worked well. A few also mentioned that they liked the product’s scent.
This product simply didn’t appear to work in all cases. Additionally, despite the manufacturer’s claims that it is safe to use on cats, some owners reported that it made their feline friend very sick.
Do you have any favorite natural flea treatments for dogs that you recommend? Share your favorites in the comments!