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Natural Cures

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Fleas in Pets

Aug 26, 2016

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Posted by Elise (Sydney, Australia) on 02/23/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Thank you earth clinic for this site. I was going out of my mind with my poor dog's itchy skin and odour For the past 2 years. I tried everything. Yesterday I sprayed a solution of equal parts of Apple cider vinegar- water and baking soda all over her, instantly she seemed better for it. I also have amother dog, sister to the other, who shakes her ear, so will give the apple cider diluted a go and coconut oil. What a relief not to use those horrid flea control sprays anymore, thanks again. Elise.

Replied by Marla
Can I substitute white vinegar for Apple Cider Vinegar?
Replied by Wendy
Depends on what you use the vinegar for.

1. For cleaning your countertops, toilet bowl, mirrors, you can use white vinegar.

2. For your own health or for the health of your dog, ONLY use organic Apple Cider Vinegar (also known as OACV). This is because the OACV contains nutrient-rich sediment called "the mother" at the bottom of the bottle. Just shake the bottle before using.

For your own health, put 2 Tablespoons of OACV into a 16-33 ounce bottle of filtered or distilled water, and add a 1/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda.

For your dog, add 1 Tablespoon mixed in with dog food at each meal. If you feed your dog dry food, you might want to add a tablespoon of canned dog food to make the meal more enticing to your dog.
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Wendy!

I LOVE your posts! I just wanted to clarify on 'the mother'/'nutrient rich sediment'.

In unfiltered ACV you have a nutrient rich sediment - this is NOT the 'Mother'. The 'Mother' can often be seen as a strand or stringy thing, and it quite literally is a strand of enzymes and connected protien molecues. Some purists will recommend you do NOT shake the Mother or scramble it up when you are pouring from your bottle of ACV.

Replied by Susan
No. It must be Organic apple cider vinegar.

Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 02/21/2015
5 out of 5 stars

ACV works to prevent fleas in two ways; topically in a spray or after bath rinse it helps balance the PH of the skin and smells not attractive to the fleas. Internally in the diet be it food or water it helps balance the ph of your dog's system to make them less appetizing to the fleas -and also has proven helpful in many other ways when taken internally.

For a spray, I use white vinegar and save the expensive for food use; 1 part vinegar into 5 or 10 parts water. In the water bowl it is 2-3 tablespoons per quart or same amount in the food am and pm.

If you are sure you are dealing with a bad case of fleas, consider a simple flea trap made with a small desk lamp and a white plate. Put the lamp on the floor in the area where your pet sleeps or spends a lot of time, and the plate under the lamp. Add water to the plate and then put a few drops of dish soap. Turn the light on at night and check for black specks in the morning. This simple trap can be moved from room to room and can quickly halt an infestation.

Replied by Nancy
Bakersfield, Ca
I need something for my dog for fleas. Anything plz I have spent so much money on the over the counter stuff and it does not work or it coats way to0 much. All my baby does is scratch all day... I need something fast, can you help?
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Nancy!

Are you sure it is fleas you are dealing with? If they won't leave your dog alone, are you being bit? If you have seen fleas, are certain it is in fact fleas, I would set up a simple flea trap in each room using a small table lamp set on the floor, and under the bulb place a white plate and have dish soapy water in the plate. Just turn it on at night and then look for black specks in the water in the morning. The lamp trap is an effective way to eliminate a flea infestation in your home or dog area.

If this were my itchy dog I would first consider diet; if any of the first 5 ingredients on the ingredient label on the dog food are corn or grain, it is time to upgrade to a premium grain free kibble.

Changing the diet helps immensely but the results take time. In the mean time I would alkalize my dog's drinking water by adding baking soda - 1 teaspoon per 1 liter of water and this as the only drinking water available. After 1 week I switch doses to 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to 1 liter of water, and after another 7 days switch to 1/4 teaspoon baking soda for another week or as a long term maintenance dose.

Does your dog smell funky? A yeasty smelling dog would warrant borax in the water per Ted's borax protocol for dogs.

For the itchy skin I would use either Ted's mange remedy, or Ted's Anti-fungal/Anti-staph dip; this brings immediate relief that lasts about 24 hours, so must be repeated frequently. After bathing you can mix up the second remedy and keep it in a spray bottle to spot treat particular areas.

Replied by Cheryl
I'm so clueless but what's one part ACV and Water? I want to get it exactly right two dogs and one is suffering so bad and he has issues with wax and shakes his head and scratches all day everyday. The vet ear cleaner is $20!! Help!

EC: One part of each means equal parts of each. For example, 1 cup water plus 1 cup ACV.

Replied by Tmiko
Houston, Tx
I only have white distilled vinegar on hand. Can I use it? Mild case of fleas on 7lb maltese.
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hello Tmiko!

The white vinegar is safe to use topically -so yes, you can use it.

Replied by Mary
Whatever amount of water use the same amount of organic acv. Example 1 cup water 1 cup acv.

If you use 1gal of water use 1gal of acv.

Posted by Lisa (US) on 02/15/2015
5 out of 5 stars

For fleas, I soaked chicken liver in ACV and then cooked it with it. Mixed it up with rice and my dogs loved it. Good way to get it into their system.

Posted by Mage (Australia) on 11/04/2014
5 out of 5 stars

For fleas, just add the apple cider vinegar to the dog's bath water. This is all I do, my pets have not had fleas in 4 years

Posted by Marianne (Toronto, Canada) on 10/22/2014
5 out of 5 stars


I was given your website by an employee of Global Pets here in Toronto Canada. I have a Shih Tzu who has had a terrible summer of scratching due to fleas and allergies. She specifically mentioned using Apple Cider Vinegar to help rid the fleas. I have used it on Max for the first time today, but wanted to contact you to say how happy I am to have found your site! I'm sure I'll be visiting it often as I really don't like to give Max anything that has toxins/chemicals and am always looking for a natural way of curing his ailments.

Thank you so much for the info and don't ever stop what you're doing! Cheers.

Marianne and Max

Posted by Denise B (Georgia, US) on 08/18/2014
5 out of 5 stars

White vinegar for fleas.

I just had my pug and toy poodles dipped for fleas last week. The pug is already scratching again, rubbing his back on furniture, chewing his tail, and keeping me up all night with his whining. A friend told me about vinegar killing fleas, but I wasn't sure, so remembered to check this site.

I combed the pug out and found a couple of fleas, so I grabbed a spray bottle and filled it with white vinegar. I soaked him down, spraying him from his neck to his tail.

It hasn't even been five minutes, and he is now laying calmly at my feet! Tomorrow, I'll spray the poodles, the bulldog that lives outdoors (that sleeps inside on the sunroom), and the house. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Posted by Virginia (Ponca City, Ok) on 08/03/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I came home from work one day and my legs were black from the knee down with fleas. Somewhere I heard I could spray ACV full strength all over my carpet and anything else in the house. It was hot in Los Angeles at the time so I shut the house up, turned off the A/C and let it bake for three days while I was gone to work. I continued spraying for about 3 days just to be sure they were all killed. Amazing how this works, but it does!

Grease cutting blue dish detergent works for bathing my dog. Also, I have used diluted ACV which works too.

Posted by Toni (Jacksonville, FL) on 07/25/2014

Hi, my dog Peddie scratches so much, I need to get some more ACV and I need to be putting it in his water. He is 3 years old. I don't have transportation to take him regularly to vet. Please, tell me what can I do. I love my dog, he's been a life saver for me.

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Toni!

If you feel you need to add ACV to your pet's water then that is what you should do.

You might also want to bathe him if he has fleas on his body.

Another way to combat fleas and itching is to alkalize your dog's drinking water; put 1 teaspoon of baking soda into 3 liters of water and have that as your dog's only drinking water for 1 day; increase to 2 spoons per 3 liters for the 2nd day; on the 3rd day add 3 teaspoons of baking soda to 3 liters of water -and do this for a total of 5 days. After 5 days drop it down to one half teaspoon of baking soda per 1 liter of water - this is an ongoing maintenance dose. This helps to change your dog's PH so he is not so attractive to fleas. You can add the ACV to this baking soda water when it is at the maintenance dose.

Also there are mobile vets now - you can have the vet come to you if you have no transport:

Replied by Suseeq
Sydney, Australia
Just put some vinegar in a spray bottle and spray dog every day until fleas are gone. Only needs about three days, then spray when necessary, I haven't sprayed my dog for over 6 months.
Replied by Fulu
Nevada, US
I wanted to know do I add water with the vinegar or just the vinegar by itself?
Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
ACV for flea spray needs to be diluted. Some dogs can't hack the smell. So try 50/50 w. water.

Namaste , Om

Posted by Daisy (Los Angeles Ca) on 02/23/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I had just about had it with my dog trixies scratching. I felt so bad for her, she would scratch and bite her vagina. Her hair was shedding like crazy, creating black marks and her belly was red and dry. I thought maybe it was the detergent, smog, house cleaners, or her love of swimming. I've never seen a flea on her so I never suspected it to be fleas.

Yesterday I poured half ACV and half water into a spray bottle and sprayed her down. Half an hour later I bathed her with Dr bronners baby shampoo. It worked!!! Thank god for earth clinic!

Posted by Lynnie (Columbus, Ohio, Usa) on 10/06/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Went online this morning to research a "natural" remedy to rid my Miniature Schnauzer of a few fleas. She currently is on flea medication from the vet, but it just wasn't working, also was very pricey. Found this wonderful site & used the 50/50 Apple Cider Vinegar in a spray bottle. As soon as I sprayed her, the fleas came to the surface of her fur and died. She was so relieved, she laid down for a nap. So nice to have my baby dog not scratching & chewing herself raw. Will also start adding to her water. Thank you so much!

Posted by June (Winfield, Kansas) on 07/18/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I never bathe mine in ACV. If they are infested I guess you should bathe them to get the fleas off, probably with soap so it kills the fleas, but you can also just put a few drops of ACV on their fur and rub it in. Also put a few drops in their food every day. You will see the number of fleas decrease within a day or two. All my cats are outside and none of them have fleas. I have been using ACV for several years now. I put a few drops of ACV (organic with the mother) in their food every day. It works like a charm.

There is also this stuff called bug arrest you can buy online. It's non-toxic and contains no pesticides. It has enzymes in it that eats the exoskeletons off bugs. It will get rid of mange, scabies, earmites and all other bugs.

Good luck.

Posted by Mrsg (Jupiter, FL, USA) on 06/13/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I have a 10 month old Maltese. I add ACV to my dog's food and water, also use it as a rinse after shampoo and I think I helps keep fleas and ticks away.

Posted by Sandee (Huntington Beach, Ca) on 08/19/2012
5 out of 5 stars

(YEA) My Husband & I came home from a two week vacation to a unhappy flea infested cat and house... Yikes... We had our two Scotty's with us and they showed no signs of fleas till our return... It was misserable for all of us, we were ready to go to a hotel... We took both dogs and our cat to the groomer to get defleaed (with Frontline) while our home was being sprayed... It did not solve either problem... Still we had fleas... For three weeks we treated our dogs & cat with flea shampoo and pest control, still fleas... By now our dogs have soars on them one was getting an ear infection... Yikes... I took the advise of ACV put it full strength into a spary bottle sparyed everything in the house (including pets with 1/2 Water 1/2 ACV solution) no more fleas! I will continue with this natural remedy from here on... Yeaaaaaaaaa! :)

Replied by Alicia
Mart, Tx
05/28/20131 out of 5 stars
I must be doing something wrong. I have 7 dogs and 2 cats. I have been trying ACV to get rid of their fleas and its just not working. I have bathed them all with dawn and then used the ACV / water mix. The next day they are covered with fleas again. What am I doing wrong?

Posted by Tiffany (Los Angeles, California) on 08/25/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I have a small dog who was miserable with fleas I bathed him with dawn dish soap and rinsed him with a 50/50 mix of Apple Cider Vinegar and water after, he was dry I massaged organic olive oil in his skin which was red and inflamed. He finally stop scratching! And the fleas are gone for now I'm sure I will have to repeat this process until all the fleas are gone.

Posted by Dianec (Los Angeles, California United States) on 07/14/2011
5 out of 5 stars

My dog Maggie a chihuahua/terrier mix had a problem with FLEAS! And her body would smell like a fish. After a bath is the only time she smelled good. The next day she would smell bad again. Well I read that dogs with this condition have too much alkaline in their system.

And that about 1 cup to 1 cup and a half of Apple cider vinegar in a pail of warm water might help.

I bathed Maggie using commercial dog shampoo and rinsed her in warm clear water and then I used an apple cider vinegar rinse, WELL IT WORKED! Maggie no longer has fleas and she doesn't smell bad. I also dip her in the apple cider vinegar rinse about twice a week. In the past even with Frontline she would have a few fleas. And her skin would get pink to red.

She is now normal. And no fleas! For me this apple cider vinegar rinse was a miracle.