DIY Flea & Tick Spray for Dogs -

DIY Natural Flea & Tick Spray – Natural Pest Control For Dogs

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We are in the dead of summer and the bugs are at their fiercest! We love to take our dog Sirius (named after the constellation not Harry Potter THANK YOU VERY MUCH…can you tell that I get that a lot? lol) on hikes through the nature preserve that we live right next door to and the first thing I do before we leave the house on our family hikes, is to spray him down with my Hippy Housepets Flea & Tick spray. With frequent use of natural methods around your home, you can help keep the pests at bay without leaving a toxic trail all over your house.

Many flea & tick products contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs, cats, and your family

Many of the flea control products on the market today contain highly toxic ingredients in them. Not only are these ingredients toxic to our animals, but if brushed off onto our human family members they can be potentially dangerous. The most at risk is children as they are highly suseptible to the amount of toxic ingredients in these flea collars and sprays. According to the Peta website:

The most popular kind of flea control products on the market is the “spot-on” variety, sold under brand names like Frontline® and Advantage™. The active ingredients in these solutions include chemicals such as imidacloprid, fipronil, permethrin, methoprene, and pyriproxyfen, all of which have caused serious health problems in animals in laboratories. Even some of the inert ingredients can be hazardous to your animal companion’s health. In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency received more than 44,000 complaints of “adverse reactions” ranging from skin irritation to seizures and death, and has since been “pursuing a series of actions to increase the safety of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control for cats and dogs.”

Natural flea & tick control for your dog

Flea control can be very difficult once an infestation has started to take over, but if you work dilligently and frequently you can erradicate the flea population within your home and yard. There are many natural options that are very effective in flea, tick, and pest control, some of them are:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – The smell of vinegar alone, is enough to repel a mosquito, but apple cider vinegar is more than just a repellent. It is a natural conditioner to the skin and hair. It is also great for adding shine and luster to the coat. A really great way to utilize ACV to repel bugs, is to steep apple cider vinegar in rosemary, lavender, neem leaf, and/or other bug repelling herbs for two weeks, shaking the jar daily. Strain herbs from the ACV and spray onto your dog. Allow to dry and do not rinse! Works great on people too and is safe on and around children as well.
  • Essential Oils – There are many essential oils that help repel all sorts of bugs and are safe to use in dog sprays! You can substitute these essential oils into your dog’s homemade Flea & Tick spray, based off of what you have on hand. PLEASE REMEMBER – dogs should be thought of like babies when it comes to essential oils and the amount to use. Not only do they have sensitive noses but they also have smaller organs than we do. Some of the essential oils you can safely use on dogs for flea and tick prevention are: lavender, lemon, citronella, sage/clary sage, bergamot, cedarwood, lemon eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, geranium, sweet orange, and rosemary.
  • Herbs – There are quite a few options that you can utilize herbally for your pets. You can make a great flea dip with a strongly steeped herbal bath tea! Simply pick your bug repelling herbs, steep them until the water is cool and either pour or spray all over your dog, saturating his coat. Let air dry without rinsing! You can also steep some olive/coconut oil  in these herbs just like you would for healing salves and dab this herbal oil behind the ears and on other pressure points. Some of these herbs that you can use to repel bugs from your pup – peppermint, eucalyptus leaf, clove (it is safe to use clove like this but NOT SAFE to use clove essential oil), citrus (lemons/oranges), neem leaf, rosemary, garlic (this is safe for external application when steep in oil, but not safe to give to dogs internally), sage, lavender, and lemongrass.
  • Regular Baths with real soap – One of the most important steps in flea control and prevention in your own home is to regularly bathe your dogs and to use real soap when you do it, rather than synthetic detergents. Real soap, like castile soap, is made with oils and fats and when it gets on a bug (this is true in your garden and on people too!) it disrupts the insect’s cell membranes, causing then to die from dehydration. Don’t forget to dilute if using castile soap, it’s highly concentrated and shouldn’t be used straight up.
  • Regular Vacuuming – Regular vacuuming helps to pick up fleas and eggs from your carpets, floors, and furniture. It is important to flea control to empty the vacuum cleaner immediately after vacuuming, and remove it from your home to prevent re-infestation. For an extra flea killing oomph (that also helps to repel them too) add a few drops of bug repelling essential oils to 2 cups baking soda and sprinkle all over your carpet before vacuuming. Let sit 15-30 minutes before vacuuming. Not only does it leave a lovely scent to your home, but it also helps to kill and repel those pesky fleas! This is also great to do all over pet bedding and furniture that your dog frequently lies on.
  • Maintaining Your Yard – Flea problems outdoors can be managed by maintaining your lawn and shrubbery and keeping it short wherever your pet frequents. You can also make soap sprays
  • Wash Bedding Weekly – Though you can wash some bedding in the washing machine, others are more difficult to do so frequently. I am lazy and have big dog bedding so I like to sprinkle the bedding with baking soda and essential oils at the same time that I am sprinkling my carpet, let sit 15-30 minutes, then vacuum up.
  • Make your own flea collar – You can easily make your own flea collar if you get a plain cotton pet collar and add a few drops of bug repelling oil to the collar (10-15 drops any combination of bug repelling essential oils to 1 Tbsp. carrier oil. Do not apply essential oils to the collar neat as they could accidentally transfer to your dogs skin and cause irritation without a carrier oil).

Essential oils that you should AVOID using on your dogs

It is important to note that there are essential oils that are toxic to dogs. Some information that floats around the internet makes it sound like the culprit is simply the quality of essential oils that you use, but the fact of the matter is, though quality essential oils is something we should think about for ALL applications human or not, the reason is because specific chemical compounds are toxic to dogs, no matter the quality of the essential oils.  According to the book  Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals, some of these essential oils to avoid using on your dogs are:

Anise Mugwort
Birch Mustard
Bitter Almond Oregano
Boldo Pennyroyal
Calamus Thyme
Camphor Rue
Cassia Santalina
Chenopodium Sassafras
Clove Leaf and Bud Savory
Crested Lavender Tansy
Garlic Terebinth
Goosefoot Thuja
Horseradish Wintergreen
Hyssop Wormwood
Juniper Yarrow

DIY Natural Flea & Tick Spray

DIY Natural Flea & Tick Spray For DOGS ONLY



  1. Combine all ingredients in an 8 oz. spray bottle and store in a cool dark place.
  2. TO USE: Safe for dogs 12 weeks and older. Shake well before each use. Lightly spray dogs entire coat until damp, but not dripping. Brush through. Repeat if necessary. Do not spray on the face.
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All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.

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  • Susie Baranski

    What about straight eucalyptus, is that okay? I have used diluted ti-tree and lavender for a long time but still get fleas. The ti-tree is meant to repel ticks and she hasn’t had any ticks. I would like to mix these with peppermint, rosemary and apple cider vinegar. I use the oils and not the fresh herbs. Hope that’s alright.

  • Nancey Selin Maher

    I would love to know what I can use on my goats. Goats are notarious about getting flees. I use Ground Lavender and Eucalyptus sprinkled on their bedding – is there any spray I can use on them for when they are out to pasture?

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  • I wouldn’t use essential oils on puppies under 12 weeks! after that, you can spray this every day before going out!

  • stacie

    do you sell this product?

  • Kirstin

    I have everything but the lemon eucalyptus oil. Still effective without it?

    • yeah it’ll be totally fine! You can replace the lemon eucalyptus with geranium or patchouli too if you want to add another bug repelling oil safe for pups!

  • I use it before each walk/hike, so a daily application during grooming is usually just fine. If it’s just for using on your dog around your home, once a week is totally fine, unless you are dealing with a crazy infestation, then I would suggest once daily until you have that under control!

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  • Helen Langlois

    My dog suffers from flea bite dermatitis – one fleas bite can create a systemic reaction which causes him to itch all over for weeks! I have been using the drop-on flea control product Advocate, but I am concerned about the exposure of my daughter to toxins when she hugs the dog. How often would we need to spray your natural remedy to get continuous protection from fleas and ticks?

  • Thanks for sharing this! I’ll share with my dog friends – and will be tuning back into to see your solution for cats! My outdoor-loving Bello needs it. This is very timely since we have no budget for the vet right now, too.

  • Pets are really man’s companion so we also have to protect them from fleas and other parasites and thank you for sharing a wonderful product that will help readers to know what will they do to prevent that.

  • Joanna

    I know that my dog will appreciate this. Any suggestions for essential oils that I can use in this recipe for my cat? I have just found your site and I am enjoying it very much. Going green for better health. Thank you for all the information you provide.

    • Christina

      Hi there Joanna! My next post, will be on the flea/tick prevention for cats! I do not suggest using essential oils on your cat as they excrete their toxins completely different than dogs/horses/humans and because of this many essential oils are toxic to cats. I will go over all of this in my next post too! 🙂

  • Great timing on the natural flea & tick spray. Have you seen the news that the EPA has pulled the plug on the worst of the chemicals for the flea & tick collars. Unfortunately that means they’ll still be on the shelves for a couple years. Here’s the blog post my wife wrote on it:

  • Nice list. I don’t have pets, but I’m sure a lot of my readers do! And why shouldn’t our pets have the same natural wellness that we do? Thanks for posting!