Natural Ways To Kill and Repel Fleas and Ticks on Your Dog

essential oils for fleas and ticks

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There are tons of different essential oils out there that all have lots of beneficial uses. Did you know there are even essential oils for fleas?

That’s right, there are oils perfect for keeping pests out of your house, garden, and most importantly, away from your family and your dog.

However, it’s important to know which ones are safe for your dog.

Read on to learn which essential oils help eliminate pests, specifically when it comes to keeping them away from your dog while keeping them safe and healthy.

There’s also a great recipe for an all-natural essential oil flea and tick repellent recipe down at the bottom!

Essential Oils To Prevent Pests

Which Essential Oils Eradicate Pests?

Home pest control services are very effective at eliminating pests like ants, spiders, earwigs, fleas, cockroaches, wasps, etc., but what they can’t do is completely keep them out of your home and yard.

Every time your let your dog out of the house, there’s a chance that they might come back with an unwelcome hitchhiker to infest your home.

Plus, those pest control services often use chemicals that could be harmful to your dog, or at the very least not ideal.

One way to keep pests off your dog is with essential oils. Even though there are hundreds of essential oils that can be used effectively to ward off all sorts of pests from gnats to roaches, there are only a small number of essential oils that can accomplish this without harming your dog.

Which Essential Oils are Dangerous to My Dog?

Are all essential oils safe for dogs? In a word, no. But are all essential oils bad for dogs? Also no! There are some wonderful oils for dogs, and some that are not recommended for use around pets. 

Since essential oils are very strong, especially in their undiluted pure form, certain ones have been found to be harmful to dogs.

While humans have around 5 million olfactory smell receptors, dogs have over 220 million smell receptors! 

This is one reason why some essential oils can cause allergies, skin irritations, and more for dogs. The oils to keep away from your puppy include:

  • Garlic
  • Clove
  • Horseradish
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen
  • Juniper
  • Anise
  • Most citrus oils
  • Tea Tree
  • Ylang ylang
  • Cinnamon
  • Pennyroyal
  • Sweet Birch
  • Pine

Keep in mind that the above list differs for other types of household pets and animals. Cats are especially sensitive to essential oils.

Please check with your vet before using any essential oils on your dog if you have a cat in the same home.

Did you know diatomaceous earth is also fantastic at getting rid of fleas, ticks, and worms? Read all about the benefits of diatomaceous earth here!

Which Essential Oils are Safe For My Dog and Get Rid of Fleas?

So, now we know which oils to avoid when having the best of intentions in keeping your pup pest free. Now let’s break down which essential oils are beneficial for your best friend while also being a natural foe to pests:

Cedarwood: Cedarwood oil is by far one of your best options for essential oils to get rid of fleas for all-around pest control.

Cedarwood eliminates ants, aphids, beetles, caterpillars, chiggers, cutworms, fleas, flies, gnats, mosquitoes, head lice, plant lice, moths, roaches, slugs, snails, spiders, ticks, and weevils. 

In other words, it pretty much helps you keep virtually every pest under the sun away from your dog.

Cedarwood is one of the few essential oils to both repel and kill fleas, while many others only repel them away. That makes this wonderful to use you’ve already spotted fleas on your dog.

Peppermint: Another essential oil similar to cedarwood, in that it is safe for dogs when diluted and is able to kill a wide range of pests.

Ants, aphids, beetles, caterpillars, fleas, flies, gnats, mosquitoes, head lice, plant lice, moths, and spiders will all be wary of peppermint oil.

It’s important to only use this oil when it’s diluted well.

Lavender: Soothing lavender will not only calm your pup, but work to keep away fleas, chiggers, flies, mosquitoes, head lice, moths, spiders, and ticks. Plus, your dog will smell like it’s had a spa day!

Myrrh: Myrrh is great for dogs, myrrh will help combat those dreaded ticks that tend to be attracted to dogs.

Sweet Orange: Although citrus oils are said to be unsafe for dogs as they are photosensitive and can cause skin irritation, sweet orange is an exception if diluted and used when your dog is not in direct sun exposure. 

Ants, aphids, beetles, flies, caterpillars, chiggers, cutworms, fleas, gnats, mosquitoes, head lice, plant lice, moths, roaches, slugs, snails, spiders, ticks, and weevils won’t bother your dog with the help of sweet orange oil.

Clary Sage: Clary Sage repels chiggers, cutworms, flies, mosquitoes, and ticks.

How to Safely Use Essential Oils on Your Dog

There are three steps you should take every time you use these essential oils on or around your dog:

  • To test how your dog is going to react to a particular essential oil, first put 1-2 drops in an oil diffuser and let it run, filling the room with the aroma in 15-minute intervals. 
  • Always leave a door open so that your dog can get out if the smell is too much for them. Watch your pet closely to see how they react. Do this with every new oil you introduce.
  • Never topically apply an undiluted, straight-from-the-bottle essential oil on your pet. Always dilute them beforehand with a carrier oil like coconut oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil.
  • Store your oils on a shelf or locked cabinet where your pet cannot get into them.

Use Coconut Oil for Fleas

Coconut oil is wonderful for your dog’s health. It’s also a great carrier oil for essential oils to ward against fleas, ticks, and other pests. Coconut oil boosts the condition of your dog’s skin and coat when applied directly to their skin. 

It does need to be applied liberally to be effective against fleas and ticks. You may want to consider putting a shirt on your dog until the oil is mostly absorbed, or keep them off any furniture that could be damaged by the oil.

How Should I Apply Essential Oils To My Dog?

There are several methods you can implement when using essential oils with your dog:

  • You can mix a carrier oil with your safe-for-dogs essential oil of choice, and rub it on your pup.
  • You can put a few drops of hydrosol to their water bowls. Hydrosol is the aromatic water left over from steam distilling (diffusing) essential oils. This keeps away particular pests, depending on which oil hydrosol you use.
  • You can make an insect-repellent lotion for your dog by mixing a few drops of essential oil with unscented aloe vera gel, and then thinning the aloe vera gel to a lotion consistency with some filtered water.
  • Spray some hydrosol spray, made with 50/50 distilled water and hydrosol blend.
  • In a bug-infested area, try spraying a handkerchief with water-diluted bug repellent lotion from above and tie it around your dog’s neck. Remove the kerchief when you get back home.

Essential Oil Flea Spray Recipe

Ready to treat your dog to a homemade flea and tick repellent? Follow the simple recipe below. Don’t forget to pin it for later!

Although you can now feel confident in using essential oils for dogs to rid your fur baby of many varieties of pests, be aware that every dog is different.

It’s always a good idea to consult your dog’s veterinarian or a holistic vet about their medical history to find out the best way to incorporate essential oils into their life.

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  1. Hi Natasha,
    I’vebeen thinking to ise oils on my satos, but fear of allergic reactions always stopped me. Your post is very informative and I will try the methods.
    My Q is: what brands are safe to use?
    : when you say rub it on your dog, where is it safe? Behind ears, back etc…?

    Thanks, Andrea

  2. Hi Natasha,

    Very informative post. I have been toying with the idea to use oils on my dogs. I will try your methods to make sure they have no bad reactions.
    My Qs are: What brand is safe to use, and where on the pup is safe to rub in the oil? Behind ears, on the back etc.

    Thanks, Andrea

    1. omshantipups says:

      Hi Andrea! I started with using Young Living oils on Rico when he was a puppy. I used cedarwood mixed with coconut oil, and rubbed it along the back of the neck and down the spine a bit. Pretty much along the same line as where topical flea treatments are applied. Applying it there keeps them from being able to lick it off, and it drastically improved his ability to sleep. I totally get your worry about allergic reactions! Rico had mange when we rescued him and using lavender oil helped with that as well.

      To start, I would apply a single drop mixed with a teaspoon of coconut oil, and apply a dab to an area you can watch to ensure no allergic reactions occur. The most important thing is to use pure essential oils. Young Living oils are great, and I recently started using Plant Therapy and really like them, plus they’re nice and affordable! I particularly appreciate that they’re 100% pure essential oils, and that they send their oils for 3rd party laboratory testing to ensure the quality. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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