Vinegar as a Treatment for Fleas

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Vinegar as a Treatment for Fleas
Vinegar is an effective natural treatment for repelling fleas. (dog image by Ramona smiers from Fotolia.com)

There are various conventional and natural treatments for fleas. Traditional flea treatments can be costly and sometimes cause adverse reactions. Accordingly, many pet owners consider natural flea treatment options, such as vinegar. Vinegar is a natural remedy that repels fleas and helps to prevent an infestation.

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Description

The smell and the acidity of vinegar make your dog's skin uninhabitable to fleas and, therefore, a good repellent. It is suggested that vinegar not only repels but also kills fleas. This may depend on the way it is used. In any case, it has been shown that the consumption of vinegar does repel fleas. Apply it directly to your dog's fur, bathe him in it or mix it into his food. The method you choose will determine which type of vinegar to use. Only use apple cider vinegar for consumption. For bathing and topical applications, any type of vinegar is acceptable.

Bathing

Bathing your dog in vinegar can help bring fleas to the surface. You can also add Dawn dish soap to the water to bring fleas out. Massage the soap and vinegar water into your dog's fur thoroughly. Avoid her face and head area. While bathing, you will see fleas heading toward the head area to escape. You can use a flea comb to remove the fleas from the dog's head, then dunking the comb in soapy water to kill the fleas. Alternately, use tweezers, removing fleas as they surface and dropping them into a cup of soapy water. If your pet is infested, this process is time consuming, but it is effective if you complete the steps correctly. This method can be used on cats as well, though you should check with your vet before bathing your cat in a vinegar solution.

Consumption

Fleas do not like the smell or acidity of vinegar. If your dog consumes it, fleas will smell it in her skin and stay away. You can mix it into her water or food. Your dog may not want to drink it because of the smell, so mixing it into food may be a better option, or putting only a few drops of vinegar in her water to start until she gets used to the taste. Make sure you only use very small amounts of apple cider vinegar in your dog's food or water. Do not use other kinds of vinegar, such as the white distilled type. Talk to your vet before giving your dog vinegar to consume.

Topical Application

Mix vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply it to your dogs fur to repel fleas. Use approximately 50 per cent water and 50 per cent vinegar. Add a little less vinegar if your dog's skin is sensitive or really dry. Completely wet your dog's fur with the mixture, avoiding his face, and let it dry. You can also use a towel to apply the mixture. Mix the solution and dip the towel into it. Wipe your dog with the towel, but do not get any on his face or in his eyes.

Precautions

Vinegar is very acidic. If your pet drinks an excessive amount, it may result in a drop in her pH levels. This can cause calcium deposits to form in her urine. Older and sick dogs are especially susceptible to this. Before you give your dog vinegar, consult with a vet to make sure it is safe for him. Regular use of vinegar on your dog's skin can cause dryness. If you notice that your dog has any reactions or skin problems after applying vinegar, stop using it. Your pet may be allergic to it.

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