Exploring natural flea and tick remedies for dogs How to use cedar oil and diatomaceous earth to kill fleas and ticks

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If your dog is sensitive to topical flea treatments then you may be at your wit's end. Fleas and ticks are no fun, and in this article, we'll explore some natural alternatives for dogs that can't handle harsh flea killers.

If your dog is sensitive to topical flea treatments, you may be at your wit's end. Fleas and ticks are no fun, and in this article, we'll explore some natural alternatives for dogs that can't handle harsh flea killers.


There are tons of effective and affordable flea and tick medications for dogs on the market, but sometimes these solutions are not ideal. These products are not natural, and it's possible that your dog could react poorly to them.


Allergies and sensitivities can manifest themselves in many ways, and unfortunately, a good percentage of dogs can't use topical flea treatments at all.

Dogs sensitive to these medications' ingredients could experience a variety of symptoms such as hives, itching, red skin, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, etc.


While most dogs will be fine using these products, if you're worried about your dog having an adverse reaction, there are some more natural flea preventatives that you can try. In this article, we'll discuss those options, rate their effectiveness and tell you how to use them on your dog.


At the end of the article, we'll also talk about some popular "natural flea treatments" that are toxic to dogs that you should avoid.


Cedar Oil

The first option on our list is cedar oil. It is an excellent and all-natural product that is safe to use around dogs, cats, and children. It's safe to use around the good insects in your yard, believe it or not.


That's because cedar oil works by blocking natural processes in the bodies of fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. It eventually causes them to die, but other more beneficial insects like bees and butterflies don't function using quite the same processes.


It allows cedar oil to be our top choice because it doesn't have any harmful environmental side effects, and it's safe for everyone in your home. It's a much better choice than products containing peppermint, which is toxic for dogs and cats. Cedar oil is a good replacement for flea medications for dogs like Bravecto Chews for Dogs, Frontline Plus for Dogs, Revolution for Dogs, Simparica for Dogs, Advantage Multi for Dogs, and more.


How well does cedar oil work on fleas and ticks?

Cedar oil can kill insects in less than a minute, and many pet parents report great results using this product for natural pest control. You can use it directly on your pets, the house, and the yard making it highly versatile.


How do you use cedar oil on your dog?

Most of these products come in a flea spray bottle, and you'll need to mist your dog's entire body lightly. After you've achieved even coverage, you can gently massage it into their coat and between their toes.


Spray a bit in your hands to carefully apply it to their face, being careful not to get anything in their eyes. Make sure to get their ears and tail as well.


You should re-apply for cedar oil every 7-10 days to ensure your dog stays protected. However, if you bathe them or use flea shampoo for dogs, you'll need to apply them again to offer them good protection.


Diatomaceous Earth

This all-natural substance can help you to get rid of not only fleas and ticks but also mites and internal parasites like worms. It's made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms, and it works by dehydrating fleas and ticks until they die.


While it does not impact dogs or cats, the powder makes tiny abrasions in parasites, destroying their protective membranes. It causes them to dry up and die without causing any ill effects on your pets.


Cedar oil is more convenient to apply, but diatomaceous earth has more applications and uses. Both seem to be pretty good at killing pests, so it's really up to you which one you want to use.


How well does Diatomaceous Earthwork on fleas and ticks?

Many pet parents are thrilled with this solution; some say it works even better than commercial flea products like a flea collar for dogs, flea meds for dogs, a flea pill for dogs, and more. It should begin working within 4 hours to kill fleas and ticks.


Similar to the cedar oil, you can also use it in your home, such as applying it to your carpets, but it's much messier and might not be ideal for this compared to cedar oil.


How do you use Diatomaceous Earth on your dog?

Diatomaceous earth needs to be applied to the fur, like cedar oil. Wear some gloves and gently begin rubbing them into their coat. Be warned that it's pretty dusty, and you don't want to breathe it in, so be careful.


When it's first applied, your pet's coat may look a little duller and feel sort of tacky. It will eventually wear off, and you won't notice it. You'll want to re-apply this possibly once a month to ensure the fleas and ticks don't come back.


Be careful when applying this product around your dog's eyes and mouth, though, because it can irritate their mucous membranes. Just use it slowly and gently, and you'll be fine.


If you want to treat your dog for worms as a bonus, you can add one tablespoon of it per day to their food if they weigh more than 55 pounds. If your dog is smaller than that or a puppy, go with one teaspoon instead.


While a few other options are available for natural flea and tick treatment, many are sub-par at best. Most contain ingredients like garlic or peppermint, which are poisonous to dogs.


While some people argue that these ingredients are fine in small doses, that doesn't change the fact that your dog doesn't like these things and stresses them out.


These ingredients don't kill fleas or ticks; they only repel them. If you already have a flea problem, you likely won't get rid of it this way.

Your best bet is to use the diatomaceous earth or the cedar oil, which attacks the root of the problem. While these methods aren't as convenient as topical treatments or collars that you only need to replace every 3-6 months, they are great for sensitive dogs.


If your animals have adverse reactions to commercial medications, then cedar oil or diatomaceous earth is your best bet. The good news is that these products are pretty affordable.


3 Natural Flea Remedies and Tips for Savvy Shopping

Is your pet suffering from fleas, and you'd like to find natural remedies to help relieve your cat or dog? Whether you're worried about exposing your pet, yourself, or your family to the chemicals in flea treatments or because your pet has had an adverse reaction to traditional treatments like spot-on in the past, there are natural ways to tackle the problem of fleas in cats and dogs. Here are some tips for using natural flea remedies and alternatives to flea treatments containing chemicals.


Alternatives to Chemical Treatments

  • Groom pets using a metal flea comb: To remove adult fleas from your pet's coat and, as a result, help prevent further flea eggs from being laid, use a specially designed metal flea comb. Dunk any fleas you find in soapy water to kill them. Comb regularly to keep an eye on the flea situation and keep it in check.

  • Do damage control at home: Suspect an infestation? Wash all the rugs, bedding, and towels your pets have come into contact with—vacuum upholstery and carpets. Keep vigilantly clean like this for up to two weeks to eradicate fleas—due to eggs; there may be a few cycles of flea populations to combat. Don't forget to throw the vacuum bags away. It's also a good idea to get into the habit of washing animal bedding weekly.

  • Prevent fleas in the yard: If you have a pet that can access the outdoors, remember that fleas love shady, grassy areas. If you have a backyard, frequently mow the grass where your dog or cat likes to hang out. The more sunlight gets down to the soil, the less likely fleas want to hang out.


Helpful Tips for the All-Natural Shopper

  • "All-natural" flea products do not necessarily mean they're safer for pets: According to a study published in the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, pet owners should be cautious about so-called remedies made from essential oils extracted from plants that have not been regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). More than 90 percent of animals in the study who used such products had adverse side effects to using the product, including drooling, lethargy, vomiting, panting, fatigue, and even seizures. Always talk to your vet before trying out a new treatment.

  • Don't (always) buy the hype: Products marketed as "all-natural remedies," including powders, shampoos, and alternative treatments, are not likely to have been as thoroughly vetted and therefore may not be as effective as the product claims. Contrary to what you might read elsewhere on the Internet, studies have found that neither Vitamin B1 supplements, brewer's yeast, herbal collars, nor ultrasonic devices work to combat flea problems.

  • Be a savvy shopper: The Natural Resources Defense Council has a flea and tick products directory that reviews the safety of both chemical and natural flea treatments, proposing safer alternatives where relevant.


No matter what treatment you try, always consult a vet first and be patient—a female flea lays dozens of eggs daily and can live anywhere from four to 25 days. Never use products intended for cats on dogs or products meant for dogs on cats, as what is beneficial to one animal could be toxic to the other.


Why Do We Need Flea and Tick Remedies for Dogs?

If you have a dog, you are probably aware that fleas and ticks can be an issue. While they do not present any immediate health risks for humans, they can cause many problems for your dog. Fleas and ticks irritate your pet's skin and are itchy, which causes them to scratch constantly. 


Flea-and-tick dog remedies are available over the counter at pet supply stores such as PetSmart or Petco. However, there are also home remedies that you can use if you don't want to spend money on these products but still want something natural that will work just as well.


Does It Matter What Breed of Dog You Have in Terms of Being Prone to Fleas and Ticks?

If you're wondering whether your dog's breed is more likely to be affected by fleas and ticks, we can help. The answer is yes and no. Some breeds of dogs are more likely to be affected by fleas and ticks than others, but that doesn't mean that other dogs don't have them.


For instance, Schnauzers are considered one of the breeds most susceptible to flea infestations because they have thick coats that can hold on to excessive amounts of debris. But even if your furry friend isn't a Schnauzer (or another breed with a similar coat), they could still get bitten by a tick or an insect carrying an infectious disease like Lyme disease.


How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Fleas or Ticks?

Knowing how to tell the difference between a flea and a tick is essential. A flea is brown, small, and jumps from host to host. It may also bite you or your dog. A tick is larger, brown, and stays on one host for its entire life cycle (usually, it takes several years). Ticks are more dangerous than fleas because they transmit diseases like Lyme disease, while dogs with fleas can cause allergies in owners with sensitive skin.


You may notice that your dog has an itchy rash around the neck, armpits, or groin area if either type of parasite has bitten them. Another sign would be excessive scratching at a particular spot on their body. It can be caused by either parasites or skin conditions like hot spots or allergies.


What Are the Pros and Cons of Natural Versus Man-Made Flea and Tick Remedies for Dogs?

Examining the pros and cons of natural and artificial remedies is essential to determine which treatment is suitable for your dog. For example, one advantage of natural remedies is that they are safe and effective; however, these products can take a long time to work. In contrast, manufactured treatments tend to be more fast-acting, but they may cause side effects like vomiting or diarrhea in some cases.


Other factors you'll want to consider include how much money you're willing to spend on your dog's flea treatment plan. Natural treatments tend not to be as expensive as their synthetic counterparts, and whether or not your pet has any allergies that might react negatively to certain chemicals in some treatments.



If you're unsure which flea and tick remedy is best for your dog, consult your vet. They will be able to recommend the best course of action based on the severity of your pet's infestation and their breed. Also, remember that many natural remedies don't contain dangerous chemicals like pyrethrins or permethrin – these are just two examples. We hope this information has helped you decide whether or not it's worth investing in a natural solution before turning towards harsher treatment options like prescription medications or pesticides.

More on Fleas

How to Kill Fleas in the Backyard
Get Rid of Fleas in 8 Steps - Infographic
How Do Cats Get Fleas?

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis, or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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