Health Benefits

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Fleas in Pets

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Posted by Maryann (Ga) on 05/04/2016

For fleas, use apple cider vinegar internally and externally.

Put 1 drop. of apple cider vinegar a day in their food. After I did a drop in food 3 times a day for a week, it finally worked. It works on the outside once they get it on the inside.

Replied by Sandy
(Russellville, Ky)

Does the ACV water mixture need to be refrigerated or can it be stored on the counter? I know the bottle of ACV says to refrigerate after opening but is it the same with a diluted form?

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

On the counter is fine.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kirstie (South Carolina) on 03/23/2016

I just found this site this morning and I just wanted to add that for fleas I use a few drops of apple cider vinegar in their water once a week and have had no problems since moving here...and the previous owners said they had a problem with them.I have 4 small dogs and I foster every now and then. I also use the coconut oil for ear mites and dry skin patches works great! Hope this helps.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jamie (Hemet, Ca) on 11/01/2015

I started spraying apple vinegar on my white dog for about a week now and his fur is turning black, only on his neck though. Is that normal? Should I still be using it? I did ratio 50:50 apple vingear and water into. Spray bottle.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney, Australia)

Yes it does 50/50 in spray bottle, don't get in eyes every day for a week then top up once or twice a week. I have been doing this for over ten years and I cant remember when I last saw a flea on my dogs.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Sarah (Philadelphia, Pa) on 10/31/2015

I used apple cider vinegar on my two adult cats, & it worked so well. The fleas died on contact, & some didn't but they slowly died after, I didn't think it would work, but it has. So I definitely recommend this to people. I just learnt about this 2 days ago, & I bought it at the grocery store. You can spray it on your cats or give them a bath in it. It doesn't hurt them so it's safe.

EC: Thank you, Sarah!

Just a reminder, since you didn't add this to your post, that Apple Cider Vinegar must be always be diluted with water (50/50) before you apply it to any pet.

Replied by Donna
(Linden, Texas)

How long does it take for the fleas to die after spraying? I sprayed my dog with 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water. He went outside after he came back in he still has live fleas. I haven't seen any dead ones.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney, Australia)

Donna spray every day until fleas are gone. Top up then when you see another flea.

Replied by Sara
(Wichita Falls)

Donna, did you go to LMC in Jacksonville?

Replied by Cheryl
(Texas Qld)

Hi, what is the dilution with water ratio for ACV added to my dog's water bowl? And does the supermarket brands ACV work?

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Carolyn (Rockford, Il) on 10/04/2015

I'm attempting to use ACV for my animals for fleas as the topical treatment did not work and with having a crawling baby I didn't want to use more. It seems to be working fine on my two dogs, but one has been itching so bad that he has a bald bleeding spot on his legs. I have avoided putting the treament on there for now for fear that it will burn and hurt the wound.

Is there any ideas on how I can help that heal quickly so I can apply treatment to that leg and ensure fleas do not return?

Replied by Om
(Hope, Bc Canada)

Carolyn (Rockford Il.) for open wounds use turmeric powder. It is a natural antibiotic and you can google this, mentioning Ayurveda. I use it always.

When the wounds are healing, apply coconut oil. That's all that is needed.

Namaste Om

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Carolyn!

Please set out a few lamp traps to catch any fleas in your environment; this will keep the fleas off both furkids and skinkid.

If this were my dog I would take him to the vet to rule out a skin infection that might require antibiotics. If that is out of the question you might consider hitting the pet section at your local farm supply/Fleet Farm - you can find topical wound creams in the farm animal section as well as the pet section. I often find the same name antibiotics used for dogs in creams or salves for the larger animals and the larger animal products are often more cost effective.

One other thing to consider is alkalizing all of your pets drinking water with baking soda; this helps make them less appealing to the fleas and also has a calming effect on the skin.

Replied by Judy

You can give your dog 1 claritin for allergies and that will help the itching. My vet told me the other day and it is working. Good luck

Replied by Marilyn
(West Monroe, La.)

For the raw place on the pets leg from itching and fleas, try baking soda on it. On humans it will even help erratically poison ivy and oak as well as red bugs (chiggers.) Baking soda is so versatile and helpful.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

Marilyn, try yakult - a liquid probiotic - dab the sore spots with it doesn't matter if the dog licks because it wont hurt.

Replied by Marsha

You should check with the vet on the amount of Claritin. My little dog who weighs 13 lbs. only needs 1/2 tablet every 24 hours. Check with your veterinarian.

Replied by Sylvia

Please make sure the Yakult doesn't contain sweetener.

Replied by Patricia
(Downsville, New York)
42 posts


You may have hit on the reason why the Cedarcide seems to have worked this time. I cooked squash in baking soda water and mashed it and have been giving it to my cat for about three days. Also have been giving her ACV and honey.

It could be the baking soda, squash and ACV and honey not the Cedarcide working against the fleas.

I am going to give the borax treatment one more try.


Replied by Sue
(Nova Scotia)

Put 5 tea bags in 2 cups hot water with 5 aspirin set overnite and strain in am use in spray bottle for any wounds and it will heal in 3 days ..Tannin in tea dries wound and aspirin soothes and cures open wounds fast..I use this on my Golden that gets hot spots and they are better within 3 days ..

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Angie (Upstateny) on 09/06/2015

I am so glad I found this site...I have tried a few of these suggestions as we have had a terrible infestation of fleas this summer. My poor fur babies I feel for them. I own 2 pomeranians and to watch them constantly scratch even after being sprayed and bathed and we treat the house and we have bought spray for the yard...but within a few days of peace, they are covered all over again and the cycle repeats and its costly. Not to mention I am the only one besides the dog that gets bit from the fleas and I react bad to the bites(allergic reaction type)....

Anyways, have tried the diluted ACV Spray and its working, we are starting to see them less and less as we just started. Also I have always mixed frozen peas in my dogs dry food so they get their roughage and it also keeps them from eating grass and helps in digestion. Well I soaked the frozen peas in ACV and mix it in there food now and they eat it just fine as well. If I try to put it in water they wont drink it. So Im crossing my fingers we will be totally flea free very soon..thank u so much for this site

Replied by Tasha
(Lacassine, Louisiana)

My Chipin is 43 days pregnant. Can I use the ACV remedy on her and which version?

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

Yes, but be careful when puppies are born. White vinegar or any Apple Cider Vinegar will do.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Ernie (San Jose Ca) on 08/30/2015

Thanks Earth clinic and posts, this has helped my Boxer Rocky sleep last night! And wow! I checked him out this morning and no signs of fleas! I sprayed him with 25% ACV and 75% water in a spray bottle last night followed by a bath using dish soap. I did two soap washes to remove all fleas. There was tons! Anyway I then let him dry off a bit and resprayed him with ACV and off to bed we went. This morning I couldn't wait to see if this would work but even after letting him out in the backyard where all these bastard fleas are, NOTHING ON HIM! So I sprayed him again only because I know I didn't do 50/50. He is still scratching here and there but probably from scabs and irritated skin. So far so good! Hope this is my solution!

Replied by Pauline
(Tas, Australia)

Hi .. what do you mean by 'soap washes' - literal soap or is it a soapy mixture made of particular ingredients?? Thanks.

Replied by Jessica Pressler

Just using a little bit of DAWN soap is fine for your pets. Its safe to use and will kill any fleas on your pet.

Replied by Nicki

I have heard Live Nematodes (microbial worms) that are sprayed through a garden sprayer all over your yard and garden will kill any fleas and other bad insects. So many people are using them now to combat the fleas in their yards and gardens, I am getting ready to order for my yard. You can purchase them online and at Amazon. I think they come in the million amounts and I am needing about 10 million which is only about $10-$12 dollars. I will keep my fingers crossed!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Diane (Uk) on 08/19/2015

I have 3 cats, all had fleas. I bathed them in Apple cider vinegar and was not sure what the outcome would be.

The adult fleas died within 2 days and as the eggs hatched they died within the day. I also sprinkled salt on my carpets left for 24 hrs then hovered which also seems to work. I am so happy with the result I had to tell the world. I had previously spent a fortune on flea products. I will b sticking to the Apple cider vinegar in the future.

Replied by Oldilocks

"... sprinkled salt on my carpets left for 24 hrs then hovered which also seems to work."

Please tell us (at least me) what "hovered" means. Thanks!

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Not the OP, but 'hovered' = Hoover Vacuum - so the OP treated with the salt and let it work for 24 hours before vacuuming the salt and dead fleas out of the carpet.

Replied by Raychel

I think they meant hoovered. Hoovered as in Hoover vacuum cleaners. English way of saying vacuumed.

Replied by Sl

What kind of salt, just table salt?

Replied by Candy

I have used an equal amount (cup for cup, not by pounds) of baking soda and salt on my floors for years, It worked great when I had dogs, cats and people in the house.

Replied by Patricia
(Downsville, New York)
42 posts

Theresa, You used salt in the carpet? How much? Can you explain the process please. Patricia

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Patricia,

I used Diatomaceous Earth/DE. I have not used salt or borax for fleas; I cannot imagine the amount of salt needed to dehydrate a flea, and the borax needs to be eaten to kill the flea -so not my first choice in eliminating fleas from the home. My first choice is the lamp flea trap. I posted this on another thread and reposted here about using DE:

20 years ago I had many cats who went in and out - and in the fall fleas jumped on my many cats and hitched a ride indoors to wait out the winter - not fun! And since my cats lived everywhere in the house, everywhere needed to be treated - this is what I did.

I used food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) - it is light and cheap and 10 pounds will last you decades. I started with my bed room - I stripped the bed, and dusted the room wearing a face mask. I worked the DE into the crevices of the mattress, under the mattress, into the floor boards, against the wall where the wooden molding edges the floor - everywhere; the room was one billowing cloud of dust when I left and closed the door. I let it sit for 24 hours, and in the mean time I used another bedroom to sleep in. Once I had established a 'ground zero' I stood the mattress up and gently beat off the excess DE and again the room was a dust bowl. I gave it a few hours and let the dust settle and then gently swept up the excess, leaving plenty behind in the cracks and crevices in both the mattress and the floor boards. The floor was still very dusty - you could feel it on your feet if you walked bear foot. I then laundered the bedding and dried it thoroughly and back on the bed; no cats were allowed to sleep on the bed during this process, as to avoid re-infesting the room. I then did the second room and created another 'ground zero' space. Into this now cleared room went freshly flea bathed cats with sanitized liter boxes and all fresh laundered kitty bedding. The cats were not allowed to leave this room until treatment was completed. Then room by room I did the same - I dusted the couch cushions and put them into large plastic bags, dust and all, and let them sit for 24-48 hours. I had to put a bag over the electronics with moving parts to avoid getting DE dust in them as it is very hard on moving parts - in fact I am sure sucking up all the excess DE shortened the life of my vacuum cleaner. I left the DE sit for 24-48 hours - this a time frame I thought was sufficient exposure to any fleas in the area, and in the mean time washed every piece of bedding, every rug, anything the cats could encounter. I had carpeting in one room and I sprinkled the DE on and worked it deep into the carpet fibers with a broom. Again, wear a face mask as you will be working in a billowing cloud of dust that will irritate your sinuses and mucous membranes. After the wait time/exposure time was up I gently swept and brushed off the carpet, taking care to leave plenty behind deep in the carpet fibers and in all floor cracks and crevices; for under the couch and under the couch cushions I didn't even bother to vacuum, I just left it down - in fact anyplace that I could not see, or had to lift up furniture to get under, I just left the DE down. Doing all laundry at the same time is crucial, so I bagged up items until I could process them. A proper flea bath is crucial to the process as well. I used dish soap, starting with the cat in a dry bath tub [clip claws before you start] and started with soapy water and a wash cloth at the nose and worked from the nose outward; once I had the head and behind the ears saturated with the soapy water I then went on to the next cat. When all of the cats' heads were treated I filled the tub and did the bodies, again in the dish soapy water. I then drained the tub and used clear water with a cup of white vinegar to remove all traces of the dish soap and to balance the PH of the skin to avoid drying. You could see the fleas as black specks as the water drained. I followed up by blow drying the cats and flea coming. It was work, I was persistent, and the cats hated it, but I got them clean and clear and into the holding room they went while the rest of the house was treated. I want to say it took me 4 days to get the house treated and before I could release the cats. The basement and attic were not used by the cats so they were not treated. I did not have to treat the house again ever - and 10 years later I still found DE in the floor cracks. I made a point to stop letting the cats out in the late summer and fall until the first frost. I also dusted the cats with DE by putting them in a sack with DE - the head was out but it was snug at the neck so the cat was dusting ala 'shake-n-bake' style. By not letting them out during prime flea-hitch-a-ride-inside time, and by dusting the cats in the fall, plus the initial house debugging, I never had a problem again. I have since moved to a more rural location and have only 2 cats, and experienced fleas in my first year at the new house. I learned about the lamp flea traps and deployed 4-5 of them with great success: I firmly believe the lamp trap is easier to use, far less labor intensive, and just as effective as dosing the entire house in DE - or any other sprinkled substance. I suppose if you used borax or salt, aside from needing enough to penetrate the carpet and fill in the cracks, the process would be the same as I describe above using the DE. Now if I see my cat twitching the hair on her back as if she has the heebie jeebies, I dust the cat ala shake-n-bake style, and turn on the lamp traps.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

Patricia, just an afterthought - after you have sprinkled salt over carpet, leave overnight. Keep animals out of area, vaccuum in morning and make sure you empty vaccuum straight away as salt has a little moisture in it. I think my mum swept it out if I remember rightly.

Replied by Patricia
(Downsville, New York)
42 posts


Wow! Thank you for that DE process. The downstairs of this house is one large open space except for the bathroom and a bedroom that is stuffed with boxes so I couldn't shut off a room at a time. I'd have to move out.

The flea trap I have been using is a hockey puck shaped light hanging down from its cord over a glass pan filled with Dawn dish soap. I try to remember to change the water every 24 hours.

I have read so many people talk about their success with organic ACV that I started treating my cat with it yesterday. I then sprayed the area around the flea trap (its a rug) with the raw ACV. I had been getting about a dozen fleas in the trap every 24 hours and I just checked the trap after the ACV spray and there are 0 fleas. I think that may mean that the fleas around the trap were killed by the ACV. Is that correct?

Does the light at the wall have to be bright or hot to draw the fleas?

I know this is probably a stupid question but do you have any idea how far from the light will the fleas travel? I mean will they travel from the center of the room to the light on the wall?

I didn't think that the trap would eventually get them all, but maybe with the help of the ACV, I am wrong in my belief. Do you continue the use of the traps after your whole house DE, borax or salt treatment?


Replied by Christy
(Norfolk, Va)

Hello I was wondering what kind of salt was used to sprinkle on the ground. Is it sea salt or table salt.

EC: Either should have the same effect.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kandace (Fillmore, California) on 07/23/2015


I started using ACV a week ago and so far I think it's working except for the side effect of loose stools. I have two Scotties. My Wheaton I used the last vial of Revolution and then used the ACV on my black Scottie.

My Wheaton also gets ear infections that are yeast origin. That is also working. What I don't know is how often do I treat the ear? After I clean the ear, he shakes his head for about a half an hour.

Replied by Jessie
(Mi, Usa)

Dear Kandace,

For your dogs ears:

I would treat the ears once or twice a day for a week or ten days. Perhaps once a week for prevention after initial treatment.

Apple Cider Vinegar should be diluted to 50% or less to use in the ears. Full strength will burn and be uncomfortable.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by W (Ohio) on 07/20/2015

For a flea problem, mix a spray bottle with 1/2 distilled water and 1/2 OACV (organic Apple Cider Vinegar). Spray it all over the dog (NOT in his eyes! ) getting him completely soaked. Let him air-dry. He'll smell like a salad for a few days, but it's a small price to pay to get rid of fleas!

Also make sure you've thoroughly cleaned all the dog's bedding, and you've vacuumed all over your home! You may also research here on this site how to use food-grade diatomaceous earth to get rid of fleas.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Betty (Waukegan, Il) on 07/12/2015

I have retired show dog shi tzus with very, very thick fur. I sprayed the table with insecticide before using the apple viniger, water and baking soda. The fleas died and my pup immediately got relief. Thank you, Thank you for this tip.

Replied by Patricia
(Downsville, New York)
42 posts


You sprayed the table with insecticide? Isn't that poisonous stuff?

Also, what proportions did you use of baking soda, ACV and water.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Oldwhatshisname (Usa) on 06/18/2015

I have 10 dogs and 4 cats and yes, I live on a farm. The outdoor dogs are infested with fleas and I have tried everything to get rid of the fleas but with so many animals I can't afford the popular vet prescription brands. I read about apple cider vinegar and tried it in a 50% dilution on one of the medium sized, short haired dogs. After about a minute, the fleas started moving to get away from where I applied the solution. I then wet her down all over and used a flea comb to get what I could see off her. So there's one down and nine dogs to go.

I will try adding ACV to their water bowls and see how that works.

Replied by Walle's Mom
(Houston, Texas)

Thank y'all my WALLE just got BIG RELIEF n the fleas r gone. My poor baby is getting some rest.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Karen (Ecuador) on 04/21/2015

Hola. One of my cats had a bald spot on his throat. After some research I decided to use ACV, full strength directly on the spot several times a day. In less than a week I could see hair growing back in and the cat licking the spot proved that Apple Cider Vinegar did him no harm. I am a believer. In the move to Ecuador, I discovered that both cats are allergic to fleas here and developed scabs around their heads and bums. I gave each a bath then a rinse in Apple Cider Vinegar water -very traumatic for all us BTW ;) - dried them and then massaged their fur and skin with coconut oil. the scabs have begun to disappear on one cat but the other one just has so much trouble with skin problems I think it will be awhile. They both freak if I spray them, so once a week, more often with one cat, I apply a diluted mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar and water and rub in everywhere. I do spray all bedding and any other cloth material with the same mixture.

Fleas and ticks are a huge problem here. I just read elsewhere that adding brewer's yeast to their food everyday repels fleas so I will try that as well. Just no instruction on how much! Plus more frequent combing and brushing.

Replied by Dan

Try 1 and 1/8 of a cup of food grade coconut oil and one cup of Brewers yeast, mix it up, then pour it into molds I've used a cup cake tin, placing one tablespoon of mix per 10 pounds of weight of your dog. Chill in the fridge or freezer and so I'm told will last up to six months. This can be given once a day if heavily burdened with fleas then down to one every two to three days once it has calmed down.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Elise (Sydney, Australia) on 02/23/2015

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
(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.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 02/21/2015

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
(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
(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.

Replied by Holly

Didn't see an explanation of ACV for you; here it is

ACV = Apple Cider Vinegar. OACV = Organic Apple C. Vinegar

Usually found near baking supplies with White Vinegar

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