Homemade fly repellent for dogs

Not only do flies irritate a dog trying to rest by continuously buzzing around and attempting to land on the dog, but some types of flies may also resort to biting. Stable flies, blackflies, deer flies and houseflies are some types of flies that may cause an annoying condition known as ''fly strike.'' This condition is mostly found in farm dogs living near livestock. These flies bite the tips of a dog's ears, causing painful bumps, bleeding and visible crusts. These bite wounds also make a good place for flies to lay their eggs, which will hatch as maggots.

Start by testing a small area of your dog's skin with the citronella oil. Some dogs (and even people) may develop allergic reactions to it, according to

Watch the area carefully. Look for signs of skin irritation, itching, scratching and redness. If an allergy occurs, wash the area with diluted Dawn dish detergent, the product of choice often used to gently clean aquatic birds affected by oil spills.

Mix all the ingredients together, replacing the 28.4gr. citronella with 2 tbsp of lemon-scented dish detergent if signs of allergy developed earlier. Place in a spray bottle.

Shake the spray bottle well. Call your dog to you and spray on the coat making sure to avoid eyes, nose and mouth.


Keep the dog inside during the day to prevent excessive exposure to flies. Keep the trash covered. Clean up dog poop, which attract flies. If your dog's ears have signs of fly strike, go to your vet for proper treatment.


Stop using the mixture immediately should an allergic reaction occur. Do not apply mixture on open sores or irritated skin. Always consult with a vet before using home remedies for dogs.

Things You'll Need

  • 29.6ml. citronella oil or 2 tbsp lemon scented dish detergent
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 basil leaf
  • 1 bay leaf
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About the Author

Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.