Apple Cider Vinegar Flea Treatment for Dogs

Last Modified on Dec 03, 2014

Safe, Effective, and Natural Flea Control
Regular apple cider vinegar treatments can be the safe and effective way for you to get natural flea control for your dog and for the health of your family. Fleas can be a real pest, causing your pet to itch woefully and carrying infections into the animal's blood. So everyone is looking for an effective flea treatment for dogs. Unfortunately, most of the standard measures are toxic for our pets and family. This includes your standard flea collars, flea and tick treatment pills, and topical treatments as well. No such health warnings come on a bottle of apple cider vinegar (ACV), and this health supplement has been used for people and animals throughout the centuries!

Natural Flea Control with Apple Cider Vinegar

Applying apple cider vinegar to your pet's skin can make your dog seem unsavory to fleas and ticks. You can rub a bit of it into your dog's fur or dilute ACV with water in a sprayer and spray your pet whenever he or she is going outside (cover their eyes!). Alternately or in addition, adding a splash of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to your dog's water bowl can act as a flea repellant as well while also improving your pet's overall health. The amount of apple cider vinegar you'll want to use against fleas will depend on your dog's weight and breed. Check out the tips below for guidelines, but start small and work your way up to an effective dose.

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Most Popular Fleas - Apple Cider Vinegar Remedies:

Fleas17 YEAS

User Reviews





Flea Allergies   1  0   

Posted by Linda (Miramichi, Canada) on 07/10/2008

[YEA]  My little Venus has been going nuts with itching and biting..had 2 spots size of toonies on her rump..one with a scab, one with hair off and bald. She is on a regime from vet for fleas etc. In desperation, one hot day I sprayed apple cider vinegar and water {half and half}all over her skin and especially on those 2 spots. She stopped scratching for about an hour and a half. So we now put 5 ml/ 1 tsp. mixed with a tsp/ water in a 5 ml. syringe and shoot it into her mouth once a day. She wouldn't eat if we put it in food or drinking water. VOILA!!! NO MORE ITCHING AND BITING

Replied by Caren
Munroe Falls, Ohio
04/22/2014
hi Linda

I read online that Apple Cider Vinegar is used for flea control and I was just wondering what is the correct dosage for our shihtzu?

Replied by Suseeq
Sydney Australia
04/23/2014
Caren, you can use white vinegar... dilute it by half.
Replied by Deb
Hamilton Ont Canada
04/24/2014
Hello can pregnant dogs use this vinegar and water solution? I have a shih Tzu due for puppies may 5th, shes digging like crazy.
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
04/24/2014
Hey Deb!

You can absolutely give your prego girl the vinegar diluted with water - HOWEVER for oral usage use only the raw, unfiltered, live cultures/'with the mother', organic Apple Cider Vinegar as this is the type that provides health benefits.

Replied by Kristina
Carrollton, Ga
06/25/2014
What is best to use on a dog that just had puppies? We want to get rid of her fleas
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
06/25/2014
Hey Kristina!

If the dog has fleas, the puppies have fleas too. My approach would be to clean out the nest area well and install new bedding, in conjunction with giving the dam and pups flea baths. I would use a dish soap like Dawn - this will break down the oil barrier on the flea's body which will cause it to drown. While Dawn is strong and repeated baths will cause dry skin, one time bathing will not hurt them. You can add 1 teaspoon of ACV to 1 liter of your dog's drinking water to help change her PH to deter the fleas.

Replied by Suzie
Dallas, Tx
07/29/2014
The absolute best home remedies for killing fleas on dogs and even pregnant dogs and pups is a bath in pure liquid Castile Soap, unscented. This soap alone kills fleas and it's completely safe for your dogs coat and skin! You can also mix it up in a sprayer to spray your yard. I also use Apple Cider Vinegar to spray on my dogs and in the home to kill the Fleas. Use 1/4 cup ACV with 3/4 cup water. You can also squeeze some lemon in the bottle in addition to the ACV. Spray the dogs, furniture, bedding, rugs, etc. these remedies work and do not harm your pet.
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
07/29/2014
Liquid castile soap is made up of lye and olive oil; I wonder if the lye component is what kills the fleas. I always thought the soap broke down the flea's oil barrier which in turn allowed the flea to drown. In any event, I have had great results bathing dogs in Murphy's Oil Soap- the kind for wood floors, as well as any of the Dr. Bronner's products.
Replied by Peggy
Niles, Ohio
12/03/2014
Hello there, I have 2 11 month old beagles and they have fleas like crazy! I gave them a bath earlier with flea and tick shampoo, a boat load of fleas went down the drain, dead but there's still living fleas on them! Do I use straight apple cider vinegar or dilute it and put it in a spray bottle?
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
12/03/2014
Hey Peggy!

You can dilute the vinegar with water 1 part vinegar to 5 parts water.

If they got live fleas on them after a bath, sounds like you need to redo the bath. Start at the NOSE and work your way back. Get the nose and muzzle wet, either with the vinegar solution or Dawn dish soap for shampoo. Work around the eyes, and make sure you have all of the fur saturated. Work slowly over the head and when you get to the ears make sure you get inside - not the ear canal but the entire ear leather on both sides. Work your way around the neck - get it nice and saturated. Once you get the head out of the way the rest is much quicker and easier to do. If you use the dish soap as shampoo, make sure you rinse with vinegar to neutralize any soap and to balance the PH of the skin.

What may also be of help to you is a simple flea trap. You will need a small desk lamp, dish soapy water, and a white plate or shallow tray. Put the lamp on the floor in your pet's sleeping area and put the sudsy water under the bulb - just turn it on at night and then look in the morning for black specks. You can move this trap all over the house to trap newly hatched adult fleas and rid your house of an infestation.

Fleas   17  1   

Posted by Marianne (Toronto, Canada) on 10/22/2014

[YEA]  Hello!

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 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
Mpls., Mn
07/25/2014
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:

http://www.animalcareonwheels.com/

Replied by Suseeq
Sydney, Australia
07/25/2014
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
10/06/2014
I wanted to know do I add water with the vinegar or just the vinegar by itself?
Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
10/07/2014
ACV for flea spray needs to be diluted. Some dogs can't hack the smell. So try 50/50 w. water.

Namaste , Om

Replied by Mage
Australia
11/04/2014
[YEA]   Just add the apple cider vinegar to the dogs bath water. This is all I do, my pets have not had fleas in 4 years

Posted by Daisy (Los Angeles Ca) on 02/23/2014

[YEA]  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

[YEA]  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 Betty (San Antonio, Texas) on 03/23/2009

[YEA]  ACV- is what I use...I wouldn't be writting if I didn't see results for myself...I have been putting a TBSP. daily in dogs food and also spraying him with water/ACV mix every other day....I must say that it is working great...My dog Zeek (Sharpei mix) was tearing his legs and back side by his tail up!!!! His Vet had me try the prescription diet to rule out food allergies...it wasn't working...so before I spent more $$$$ on allergy tests I researched and came across the uses of ACV for possible flea allergy etc...I prayed that this would help...guess my prayers are being answered...he no longer has sores on his legs and back side by his tail....I'm so happy and feel so great that he is no longer mutalating himself...he has an occasional itch or scratch here and there...but nothing compared to before I started using ACV...I also give him a TBSP. or two of plain yogurt or cottage cheese ever so often in his food...Tuna in oil and sardines...I do bathe him with Medicated shampoo but it was the ACV that I truly feel has healed his sores and has prevented him from biting and scratching himself as before...I hope it continues to work and for others as well!!!

Replied by Christina
Effingham, Sc
07/01/2010
My dog has the same problem with tearing up the backs of his legs, behind and his tail. He has spots that are really red and look raw. Also his tail is the worst he just naws at it all the time and it has sum broke skin and is raw and he doesn't want me touching it. Anyway reading about the acv has got me VERY excited and happy that it my help my baby because I feel so sorry for him. One flea bite for him is like 100 at once. I want to try the acv but my concern is will it burn or sting, I don't want to hurt him. The itching and allergies are bad enough. So does anyone know if it will burn?

EC: Yes, apple cider vinegar will absolutely burn and sting on raw skin if not diluted with water 50/50!

Replied by Laura
Mansfield, Oh
07/06/2010
So I have a question?? if ACV works so well on pets themselves would it work on carpet and furniture??? I have a dog and 2 cats.. And I found one flea and now all 3 have them.. Not completely infested but I don't wanna be either. Please HELP!!!

EC: Hi Laura,

Many more suggestions on our flea remedies page here: http://www.earthclinic.com/pets/fleas.html

Replied by Ruth R
Chesapeke, Va
11/03/2013
Does regular apple cider vinegar that you get from Walmart work?
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
11/04/2013
Hey Ruth!

If you are taking the ACV internally, the most effective kind is the one that is raw/unpasturized and unfiltered/contains the active culture or the 'mother'.

The best way to make sure you have the right kind is to read the label and look at the contents - the *right* stuff will be cloudy with sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

Replied by Robert
Reading, Pa
11/14/2014
Look up " Reel Raw " dog food and feed your dog species appropriate raw food. Prescription foods are named that to make you think they are medically necessary. They are low grade foods sold at twice the price and have nothing to do with medical prescriptions. Just another scam perpetrated by your unscrupulous Vet and the dog food companies, like heartworm medication and flea and tick topical treatment which are all NEUROTOXINS which will eventually ruin your dogs health If you wouldn't give it to your child, don't give it to your dog . Please, look these things up, the danger of all the shots and toxins your friendly Vet wants to sell you. Love my dog Amber, Robert

Posted by Maribel (Detroit, Michigan) on 11/15/2008

hi everyone but i have a question... i see that some people reccommend the acv and some don't but is it safe to use it on pregnant dogs or lacting dogs, and or on the pupies??? I have a 1yr. 11 month old chihuahua that has been now itching badly and we hav seen fleas on her. we have not been putting any flea products on her since sh'e 6 weeks pregnant. we usually put something on her every month or was her once a week. but like i said she's pregnant and their isn't much we can do. even though now that shes been pregnant for these 6 weeks my children, husband and i ahve been getting bite by these fleas. so i was wondering if someone can tell me if it is asafe to use the acv and the borax for here and my children in the house??? please help i'm going crazy with this..,.. and my children are getting bit all over...

Posted by Virginia (Cushing, OK) on 08/07/2008

[YEA]  FLEAS/TICKS and ACV: Full Strength ACV on dog that was scratching constantly. His hair under his tail and on his abdomen had a red tint to it (he is white) and I am not sure it wasn't some kind of mange problem too since it had a terrible odor which wasn't helped by bathing. After spraying him down with full strength ACV the odor dissipated and his scratching has stopped. I sprayed him for 3 consecutive days at first but skip a day or two now. Thank you for saving me a vet bill...

Posted by kim (sebring, florida) on 03/01/2008

[YEA]  I got my german shepard from wretched people, they had taken him off his mother at 3 weeks old, the feeding and watering was horrific. I immediately began him on mothers milk for 4 weeks.

Later when he was 4 months old, i bathed him and treated him with flea treatment. IMMEDIATELY he broke out in a terrible rash with lesions and such. The odor made me physically sick. My dog is allergic to flea treatments, AND fleas. It was so bad, that i considered putting him down, it broke my heart to see him suffer so much. what kind of life is that? always constantly itching and bleeding. I found this site, i bathed him in acv and sprayed him down three times a day. all gone. now he is 9 months old. my son flea treated him for me while i was out of town. BAM, horrible, and i do mean horrible rash blood red, lesions, sores, constant itching and crying. I immediately sprayed him down with the acv solution and he fell asleep in about ten minutes, relief from the itching. I began just two days ago adding it to his water, and I can not believe the difference. A dog that is allergic to the chemicals in monthly flea treatments AND allergic to FLEA's has a miserable life. Thankfully due to the acv my dog has a chance at a good itch free life. I cannot thank you enough. It made me cry to see him in such torment. thank you to everyone who shares their stories, it saves lives and the quality of those lives.

Replied by C.K.
St. Louis, Missouri
08/20/2008
Do not use garlic in ANY sort of dog food. It is toxic and can kill your dog, just like onions and grapes. It's simply foolish that someone would encourage you to feed that to your dog. I'd take fleas over a dead pet any day.

EC: Please read the (mostly positive) feedback on our Garlic for Dogs page.

Replied by Jennalee
Bedminster, Nj
06/10/2014
This is not true. Garlic was found toxic to dogs who were given 270 fresh cloves a day. Most dogs wouldn't even get this amount in an entire year, forget about a day. Please go to http://www.springtimeinc.com/product/bug-off-garlic-dogs and click on the studies tab for more information.

Posted by Simon (Victoria, Australia)

[NAY]  We tried bathing his 10 dogs religiously in Apple Cider Vinegar (as prescribed above) for days to get rid of fleas. No luck.

Replied by Chris
Manila, Philippines
01/04/2010
Pls help, I tried putting acv to my dog (5mo old shar pei) on his back which is almost bald, with red bumps, but he cringe and kept on shaking his whole body. I think the acv stings him. Per his vet he's got the localized mange. Did I do something wrong? how come he isnt relieved from the itch when I applied the full acv? I also tried the 50/50 solution and wont work with him also, he cant sleep with it. Pls help

EC: You can find more mange remedies here http://www.earthclinic.com/pets/dog_mange_cure.html

Replied by Karen
Fl
08/23/2013
[YEA]   The apple cider vinegar that is being discussed here is NOT the cheap stuff you get at the grocery. They are talking about raw/unpasturized vinegar. I learned this the hard way. When I changed to the "good" stuff, the fleas did go away, just as advertised. Please check into this and try again. It *does* work!
Replied by Marianne
Toronto, Canada
10/22/2014
I have been reading some of the posts about using ACV to help rid fleas. my dog is having a really bad time with fleas. I've just sprayed with with a mixture of water and ACV and treated the house but, you say it's not the regular ACV that helps. Can you please tell me what exactly I should get and possibly where I can get it? thanks!
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
10/22/2014
Hey Marianne!

I can't speak of using ACV for the house - but I would bet that the regular kind would work, and also the white kind would work.

That said, ACV for medicinally or to take internally, the only kind to use is the raw, unpasturized, organic, with live cultures [aka "with the Mother"] - this can be found at the grocery store but carries a higher price tag than the regular ACV.

Posted by Deirdre (Los Angeles, CA)

[YEA]  she doesn't need to use flea dips in the winter when she adds a tsp of organic apple cider vinegar to her dogs' meals (2x a day) every day. This doesn't work so well in summer months, she reports.

Posted by Vickie (Tampa Florida)

[YEA]  I have found great success with ACV ...My Boxer has no fleas or ticks & a shiny coat.

Posted by Katie (Emporia, KS)

[YEA]  If ACV doesn't seem to work on fleas, try Brewer's Yeast vitamin tablets and cedar chips for bedding. Most dog beds have cedar chips inside them, but you can also buy them straight for dog houses and such.

Replied by Cherie
Poconos, Pa
01/16/2011
[WARNING!]   Cedar chips are not a good idea to use for pet bedding as the cedar secretes an oil that can cause blindness in animals.
Replied by Rebecca
San Antonio, Texas Usa
07/25/2012
I'm thankful to have found all this info regarding ACV to help my poor pup who is itchy and miserable from flea allergies. Starting him and his sis on ACV right away.

Meanwhile, thought I'd share how I got rid of the fleas themselves: SALT. It's true. I bought regular old table salt in the cardboard tube containers at the grocery store. I'd read about putting it thru a processor to get the grains really fine but didn't do this, didn't need to do it.

Sprinkled salt in the carpet, on the furniture, in the doggie beds. Did NOT vaccuum before I did this.

Salt killed the fleas in the house. When the new fleas popped up in a couple of weeks from the eggs, not so many and I sprinkled fresh salt. Gone.

Also treated the yard, but here I was not successful until I used one of the bottle insecticides from Home Depot (spray using garden hose). Natural remedies failed in the yard.

Salt works in the house. Works GREAT. And, no fear about the pups - if they lick the salt, it's safe.

I did not salt the dogs, tho. I did wonder about doing it, and remembered that drink called a "Salty Dog. " LOL

Salt in the house and the hose spray outside, and we are flea free.

Now, ACV will hopefully clear up the flea allergies that remain ....

Thanks again to everyone and God bless!!!

Replied by Regina
Dierks, Arkansas
06/02/2014
I've read on here in couple post to use brewer yeast tablets, do you get that in pet section or regular vitamn section?
Replied by Katherine
Newport, OR
09/04/2014
Brewer yeas/nutritional yeast you can find in the bulk food section of your grocery

Posted by Lyn (Jeannette, PA)

[YEA]  I just wanted to comment on the fleas section. It is true that any shampoo will kill fleas, but it needs to be left on for 30 min. Also, if you have a flea infestation in your house, just spraying your animal wont help. You must treat where the fleas live. See, they only feed on your animal. I have tremendous luck using table salt and food-grade diatomaceous earth all over the house to kill fleas and prevent. The salt (I prefer organic unprocessed sea salt) cuts into the body of the flea and then allows the DE to dehydrate the animal. Salt by itself does seem to work also, I just like a faster approach. Keep in mind though that this means of defense does take up to 2 months to work as some fleas are still hatching. In really bad infestation, it could take longer. I think flea eggs can survive up to 280 days. I would also like to recommend quadruped pet products. I work at a holistic pet care center and this is what we use to bathe the animals. They do not contain(unlike most pet shampoos) any harsh chemicals. Also, all their products are concentrates so it is much cheaper than buying the harmful stuff from pet shops or grocery stores.

Posted by Sheerec (San Antonio, TX)

[YEA]  ACV for Fleas, itching and scratching works. My dog was itching and scratching everywheree very badly to the point,he had a small raw spot on his neck. I can say that it works. I put some apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle, sprayed him down and let him air dry. The severe scrathing stop and the raw place under his neck has healed.


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