When your dog gets fleas, you may hesitate to use a harsh pesticide treatment on him, especially if he is a young puppy. For a more natural solution than a pesticide for your flea problem, try a mixture of Listerine mouthwash and water. Listerine gets rid of fleas on the dog and can also be used to kill fleas on the household spaces where they may have spread. The diluted Listerine is even safe to use on a dog's skin when rinsed away afterward.
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Why use Listerine for dogs?
The main ingredients in Listerine antiseptic mouthwash include eucalyptol, menthol, and thymol. These ingredients are derived from the essential oils of eucalyptus, menthol, and thyme. All three of these essential oils have flea-fighting properties and are safe to use with dogs. Plus, thyme may help soothe the itch of flea bites.
Another ingredient in Listerine is alcohol, which can also kill fleas. Because large amounts of alcohol are potentially toxic to dogs, it's best not to soak your dog's fur with the Listerine because he may lick it off and it may soak into his skin. Instead, dilute it with water before spraying it on your dog's skin to kill fleas.
Listerine dog bath spray
Using a diluted Listerine and water spray solution during a bath will help rid your dog of fleas. First, bathe your dog using warm water and dog shampoo. Dog shampoo is best for your pup's skin, but if you don't have any dog shampoo, you can use dish soap or baby shampoo. Rinse the soap thoroughly from the dog's fur.
Fill a spray bottle halfway with Listerine and top it off with warm water. Spray the diluted Listerine solution all over the dog's coat, making sure to apply an even layer. Avoid the dog's face, as the solution could sting his eyes.
Allow the Listerine solution to soak in for about five minutes and then rinse the dog completely. Comb through the dog's hair with a fine-tooth flea comb to remove dead insects. Bathe the dog once a month using the Listerine treatment to keep fleas from returning.
Listerine for ticks on dogs
If you're dealing with a tick infestation on your dog, amber-colored Listerine for ticks can help get rid of those pests. After arriving home from a walk through the woods, where ticks are most common, check your dog's skin.
For any ticks you find on your dog, mix up nine parts amber-colored Listerine with one part water. In an outdoor area to prevent the ticks from escaping into your home, spray each tick with the solution to encourage the tick to jump off the coat before drowning the tick with several sprays of the solution to kill it. Then, rinse your dog with water to remove the Listerine from his coat.
Spray your home with Listerine solution
Spray the Listerine solution on any surfaces the dog may have contaminated with fleas, such as her bed and stuffed toys. The menthol, eucalyptol, and thymol will help kill any fleas on these items and continue to repel the fleas. Prior to vacuuming, spray your carpets with the Listerine solution and allow it to dry to kill any fleas. Then, vacuum the carpet to remove the dead fleas and any remaining flea eggs.
Continue to treat the household items several times a day until all evidence of the fleas vanishes. You can also spray the outdoor areas that your dog frequents to kill fleas in these areas as well.
Listerine cautions for dogs and cats
Cats are very sensitive to essential oils and their derivatives, so it's best to avoid using a Listerine-based solution on them. You'll also want to ensure that all household items sprayed with Listerine are dry before allowing your cat near them. Never use diluted Listerine on a dog who has very sensitive skin or is prone to allergic reactions. If the dog develops a rash, dry skin, or any other condition, cease treatment immediately and go to the veterinarian.
Original-formula Listerine works best for this treatment. Don't use Listerine that contains teeth-whitening ingredients or fluoride, as they may be harmful to your dog and may irritate his skin.
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