While topical or oral monthly flea preventives effectively get rid of these biting pests, they're expensive and you might not want to introduce these powerful chemicals into your dog's system. Homemade remedies can help keep fleas off your pet, but you must use a holistic approach. That means treating the dog and his entire environment. If an animal, especially a puppy, suffers from a severe flea infestation, take him to the vet.
Fleas don't like citrus products. Try fresh lemon or orange juices on your pet to repel fleas. After squeezing out the citrus juice, use a sieve to weed out the pulp. Rub the juice into your dog's hair, down to the skin. You also can sprinkle boric acid powder on your pet's bedding for deterrence, but don't put it directly on your dog.
Wash That Dog
Giving your dog a good bath gets rid of the fleas on his body. If you don't want to use a shampoo specifically formulated for flea treatment, use a dishwashing liquid, preferably with a citrus base. Leave the lather on for at least five minutes to trap fleas. While frequent bathing keeps the flea population in check, it can dry out your dog's skin, causing other issues.
Feeding and Watering
Feed your dog a high-quality dog food, as top nutrition helps keep pests off him. You might want to add brewer's yeast powder or tablets to the food, which might deter fleas. Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to every quart of your dog's drinking water as another deterrent.
During flea season, run a fine-toothed flea comb through your dog's hair once or twice daily. Have a cup of soapy water handy in which to drown any fleas. The soap keeps them from climbing out and escaping. Even if you don't see fleas, look for flea dirt. That's actually a polite term for flea excrement, made up of your pet's blood. It resembles pepper specks in the dog's hair. The presence of flea dirt means the insects recently were snacking on your canine.
Interior and Exterior Work
To get rid of flea eggs and the next generation of pests, vacuum your dog's bedding, carpets, floors and upholstery daily. Launder your dog's bedding a couple of times a week. Outdoors, sprinkle boric acid or diatomaceous earth around the exterior of your home. These substances act as desiccants, drying up flea bodies. The Old Farmer's Almanac recommends spraying screens with water mixed with orange oil, which keeps fleas from entering your house via that route.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.