Health Benefits

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Fleas in Pets

98 User Reviews

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Posted by Flourshoppe (Houston, Texas, Usa) on 06/17/2011

We are having one horrid heat spell as you all are aware, and no rain so the fleas want to live inside with us because we have air conditioning!!! I've used Frontline 2 times on my little dog (3 weeks apart), vacuum everything every day, and spray full strength Apple Cider Vinegar all over everything... Bed, pillows, floors, sofa... Anywhere she "hangs out"... Including, I spray her because fleas do NOT like vinegar. I've never had a flea problem like this and others have complained about the problem this year too... it has taken a few weeks, but Miranda has no fleas finally not to mention, the house is always fresh smelling once the vinegar small disappears.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Amy (Madison, Wi.) on 01/07/2011

I have sprayed ACV from a spray bottle for the last 3 years around the baseboards of my house and I have yet to see a flea in or on my dogs or cat. I mentioned this to the veterinarian and he replied with only a flat gaze. I am thrilled to have found something so natural and good not only for my animals but for me, my family and the environment and at such a low cost.
I spray maybe once a week, just a gentle mist on only the first floor of my 2nd floor home, along the floorboards. You can do this outside too, along the foundation of your home. It also seems to be working with other insects, but especially fleas. It doesn't smell the greatest for a while but it is well worth it! Had to let everyone know!

Replied by Valerie
(Eaton Rapids, Michigan)

I was wondering, we have no more pets but still have fleas the pets have been gone for weeks now and we have flea treated the whole house sprayed the bedding and washed everything in the house. But we are still finding them and they are getting bad again and my kids are allergic to them and I don't know what to use to get rid of the fleas or to help my kids not itch. I heard that apple cider vinegar works on the bites and stops the itching. We can't leave the house for days or hours will the Apple Cider Vinegar work if sprayed on my floors and things like that.


Sprinkle salt all over the carpet and bedding, all over the house and then vacuum it up they die from dehydration

If fleas do no have a host they die within a few days, Take a vacation for while and when you get back they should be dead.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Tanya (Lakeland, Florida) on 05/26/2010

i've been reading about the acv remedy for fleas but i'm wondering if anyone can tell me if the fleas can make my cat want to hide all the time and act scared? i'm gonna try the acv in hopes that it will help him but is it best to spray it on, put in his water or put in his food. can anyone help, i'm desperate.

Replied by Kimberly
(Uniontown, Oh)

I can tell you... yes, your cat can go into hiding and act scared (at one time, it took me 2 hours to find him, he was under the basement steps hiding in a flap top box and managed to get the boxed closed!) One of my cats did last summer after an infestation. Once I took care of the problem, bathed both cats and applied advantage, he was a happy cat again. I was looking at the site to see if I could find home remedies as flea season is coming up, and also, for him deciding not to want to use his litter box (this happens a few times a week).

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Fredia (Mount Vernon, Washington) on 12/05/2009

I just found your website today regarding the acv. I immediately went out and bought 2 gallons and a spray bottle. My Rott/Blue heeler mixed dog age 19 mos loves his baths but was unsure about this acv. I liked it because it's natural. I used 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water and noticed more fleas in the water than just plain shampooing. Thanks to people like you on this site I am able to keep to handling problems "naturally" rather than "chemically".

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lezlie (Portland, Oregon) on 11/26/2009

So, I use an organic shampoo product with tea tree oil. I then used the Apple cider vinegar as a rinse, and left it on for 15 minutes. Then gently rinsed it off. My Shih Tzu has terrible skin allergies and is VERY allergic to fleas. This really really works thank you to everyone!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kathy (Freeman, Mo) on 11/10/2009

I am trying the Apple Cider Vinegar for bathing the dogs. But this will do no good unless I can get the infestation under control in their dog houses. I would like to be able to sprinkle or spray something in the houses that won't hurt the dog to breathe. I use fresh straw also for bedding. Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

Thanks, Kathy

Replied by Lori
(Appleton, Wi, Usa)

I think dish-soap kills fleas on contact - it's good to bath the animal in that, but as far as ACV, oils and whatever, they are only deterents. They will not kill the fleas, but are excellent as a preventative measure. You need to get rid of the fleas initially and I believe that the ACV and using diluted essential oils will help prevent a re-infestation. I am using diluted eucalyptus oil on all of our bedding, in closets, on clothes and also misting it on our skin and hair to prevent flea bites. I also mist it on the cat to prevent more fleas on him. If you really want to get rid of the fleas, use some spray or powder on carpets and furniture (there are all natural ones at pet stores) and also treat your pet with a flea/tick product. It is not all natural, but it will take at least a few months to rid the house of fleas because of their life cycle. If you don't do something to kill them initially, there will be re-infestation problems

Replied by Gina
(Grand Rapids, Michigan)

okay, so im trying the ACV thing right now. my 2 cats and dog wouldnt drink their water with it in it, so i mixed it in yogurt, and they ate it. the 2 cats vomited the ACV/yogurt up though...i sprayed them all down with the ACV && water mix too.

i just did the baking soda/salt mixture all over my carpet. hope this works.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by April (Scio, Ohio) on 10/08/2009

I read on this site about using apple cider vinegar diluted for fleas on my dog. He was really really bad! He was constantly itching and biting at them but I didnt see any fleas at first and he went 2-3 weeks with scratching and biting at himself. I felt so bad for him I called the vet and they told me it was probably dry skin, so they said to rub in vegetable oil into his skin. So I tried it and while I was doing that I finally noticed the fleas. He has really thick hair so when I checked the first time they might not have been very bad, well today I noticed them and they were horrible. He has big spots of hair missing and skin broke open. It was kind of late and so I needed something from home I could use until going to the store so I looked up home remedies for fleas and found this site....I applied the ACV and water 50/50 about 30 minutes ago and I have already noticed a difference in him!!!! I have never been happier in my life! He can finally have relief from it. Thank you soooo much...Rusty thanks you all on here!

Replied by Montica
(Portland, Oregon)

We recently came back from my brother & sister-in-laws house where we had visited & stupidly took our dog. We brought back unknowingly a whole army of fleas. Our dog, Annie is a Black Lab with webbed feet and a huge amount of allergies. She has horrible abscesses inbetween her toes and on her body now because of the fleas. All of us in the house are allergic to the bites & I am getting open sores. We put Genetian Violet extract on the abscesses after an epsom salt bath. It made her quit chewing on her feet. :)

Will the acidity of the ACV damage her skin? She already stinks because of the skin allergies & what we think is skin fungus. We have tried EVERYTHING for her including changing her diet to antifungal shampoos & sprays, PLEASE HELP!!! We are at a loss for what to try next. Also... We have one room (with the kitty litter box & computer) that seems to be overly infested (more-so than anywhere else) and we cant figure out why & what to do about it. Does the ACV actually kill fleas on the carpet, or just deter them??

Replied by Deana
(Columbus, Ohio)

In response to Montica from Portland, Oregon, I think probiotic enzymes might be your answer. I have a Shepherd/Husky mix who started getting what I was told was a skin allergy when he was about 11 years old. I had the vet do an allergy workup and was told he was allergic to everything and would need allergy shots for the rest of his life. I was told there was no cure. Not buying the "no cure" mantra from anyone, I went to another vet for a second opinion. This vet told me that fungal infections produce effects that mimic allergic reactions and treated my dog with a prescription anti-fungal. It worked, but about two weeks after my two-month supply was gone, the itching, scratching, red skin, dry/black skin started returning. My vet told me it was not a good idea to keep my dog on the anit-fungal treatment consistently. I did tons of research over hours and hours, days and days, and even had my dog on a completely natural meat diet with vegetables and supplements. This helped, but he still had the problem. Then I gave him probiotic enzymes. I bought the people-grade, multi-enzyme probiotics from Wal-Mart for less than $5 a bottle. As long as I give him a probiotic enzyme pill with each meal, he does not have any more itching, red, raw, or dark-colored skin. His skin is perfectly healthy. He is 15 now and doing well. I found that yes, it was a fungus in the body. Fungus is caused by a yeast overgrowth in the body. It can have many symptoms, including itching skin. The enzymes create more good bacteria in the system which doesn't allow for yeast overgrowth. It's the same concept as women taking probiotics or eating it in Activia or other yogurts to deter yeast infections. For anyone who has gas, acid reflux, hives and a number of other afflictions, often yeast overgrowth in the system is the culprit. Take probiotic enzymes and the problem goes away. I've spent years researching this and other health issues, and have found the most amazing results by going the natural route. I thank Earth Clinic for taking me down this road in the first place a few years ago. This site is a true godsend. For you naysayers who discount this site, try what's working for others. You'll change your tune in a heartbeat.

Replied by Jacqueline

Fortunately, apple cider vinegar is full of probiotic enzymes!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Melissa (Budd Lake, Nj) on 09/25/2009

I came upon this site while looking for a home cure for fleas for my kitten and I can't be grateful enough. We adopted a kitten that was found in the woods and after we had had him for 3 weeks, my husband one day noticed what he thought were fleas. I looked online only to find Apple Cider Vinegar as a primary cure when used with water. So we gave him a little bath -- actually, we gave him 3 baths in 2 days with warm water and the ACV. The first instance, we saw fleas, as many had claimed, jumping for higher ground -- the head. So in the 2nd bath, we put some ACV around the key areas (everywhere on the head but the eys and nose) and sure enough, when we bathed the rest of him, those fleas had nowhere to go but into the bathwater - straight to their demise. The last bath we gave him -- there was NOT A SIGN of a single flea. Nothing jumped off our kitten whatsoever. It might have helped that we took some ACV that 1st night and dabbed it on his fur to ensure that if we had missed any, they might abandon ship throughout the night. Looks like ACV is a great first resort for the critters, not to mention that it's safe!

Replied by Cheesetazmallyshadow
(Chicago, Il)

I just tried the acv bath and the smallest little sucker fleas just started falling off, so many I had no idea how small they could be. I tried it on my two 10 yr old cats and my two pups one 3yr old 20lb guy and one 7yr old 35lb fella. My dogs did very well with it but I my cats stomach turned and they started throwing up. If anyone can help it would be great. They've stopped now and its better than when my dog threw up blood after I used a toxic spray, so I'm not too worried but if someone could tell me if 1/2 avc to 1/2 water is too much should I cut it more? Thanks now off to wash the floor with avc too!

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Posted by Jean (Morgan Hill, Ca) on 09/09/2009

I have a yorkie and just found out she is 4 weeks pregnant and also found out she has fleas. I have never had this problem before and my vet had advised us not to use any chemicals to get rid of the fleas. So I found this site and was wondering if this would be safe for her to bath in and to add apple cider vinegar to her water???

Replied by Dee
(Jackson, Nj)

From N. J. RE: FLEAS.... I used Dawn Dish Liquid on my cat and it kills the fleas alminsed him off ost immediately, now I have a pretty bad infestation so I just relather up the cat left him in the bathroom for 15 minutes and rinsed the soap off and rinsed him off again with ACV... Wallah!!! NO FLEAS on the cat... Now just waiting on the flea bombs to do their job.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Amber (Altamont, Ny) on 08/03/2009

I have had a flea infestation from hell for the past 4 months, I had to have a cat put to sleep that had a VERY severe reaction to the flea bites. I just tried the Apple Cider Vinegar on my 9 week old puppy and immeditaly the fleas died that were on her belly. I would DEFINATELY recommend trying this treatment!!!

Replied by Sidrah
(Southport, Ct)

Besides apple cider vinegar treatment, I would also recommend making a spray of Lavendar. Get a small spray bottle, and fill with warm water. Add two drops of lavender oil and shake well. Simply spray a small amount on your dogs coat to help deter fleas from living there. You can spray this mixture on them a couple times a day if needed. Be sure to avoid spraying it in their eyes.

Replied by Shawna
(Bakersfield, Ca)

I started washing my dog with Lavender baby shampoo and rinsing her in diluted ACV 3 days ago and she has completely stopped scratching. Her fleas were so bad she has open sores all over from scratching. I put a little bit of it in her drinking water but know my kitten won't drink it so today I started misting them both with the diluted ACV. It cured the problem quickly so hopefully it will keep them away as we haven't noticed any around the house yet. Good luck to everyone searching for solutions, it's nice to see so many people who want to use only natural products!

Replied by Amanda
(West Virginia)

So I've seem to pick up a flea army in our home!!! Driving me my kids and our pets insane!! The cat is losing hair and none of us is getting sleep. I tried flea bombs three times!!! It is not helping. My mom helped me find vinegar as a solution. So I've been placing it in a spray bottle and spraying on everything. Rugs furniture and floors directly. I thought it was helping but today we got home and 100s jumped on our legs!! I've also been bathing pets obsessively. Washing all blankets and sheets pillows and keeping all laundry done! Am I doing something wrong?! ?! How long does this take?! I'm going on two months with this problem and can not afford professional help right now!! Please any advice!!!

Replied by Jacqueline

You didn't mention spraying your pets. You must spray them if you want results. Also, you said "vinegar" but it needs to be "Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar" to spray on your pets. The same thing in their water. And Vaccum!

Replied by Anne
(West Lothian)

Was it the Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother? And always dilute it before putting on your cat/dog.

Replied by Bonny
(Ellsworth Ks)

Does it have to be raw organic apple cider vinegar or can it be just the apple cider vinegar and still work?

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney, Australia)

listerine the brown one 50/50 water in spray bottle, brewers yeast internally and garlic work well together you can rub brewers yeast into coat. Fleas hate yeast

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Posted by Rebecca (Oxford, Mississippi) on 08/02/2009

I just got a tiny Chihuahua puppy that was covered in fleas. There has been a major flea infestation this summer here in Mississippi. I already had a German Shepherd, Chihuahua, and 2 cats who are also infested. I just took the puppy and dipped her in a bowl of half water half white vinegar, THE FLEAS ARE OFF OF HER! I left the bowl sitting so that I can put any fleas I find in the bowl and let them die. I am about to dip my other Chihuahua and then spray down the German and the cats. Fleas really scramble and HATE this vinegar. I would rather smell the vinegar than have the fleas. I am also going to start putting it in their water. This is an amazing, cheap remedy. The Advantage, Advantix, Frontline, nothing worked...thank God for vinegar!

Replied by Carol
(Pittsburgh, Pa)

I don't think it is a good idea to put vinegar in a pet's water. This is disgusting. If you wouldn't drink it why would they? You will make the pet not want to drink water and then they will have kidney trouble.

Replied by Haley
(Schenectady, Ny, Usa)

It's totally safe and healthful to use apple cider vinegar in a pet's water, as long as you buy the slightly more organic brand available in, say, the natural section at your local grocery store. Start with just adding a capful to a bowl of cold water, and mix it up a little. I haven't had one feline refuse - in fact, the water goes faster. Animals love salty tastes, that's why they lick us so much, and you can increase the amount if the flea infestation is very bad. This will also clear up any black gunk around a cats eyes or nose, and make their fur shiny and soft. As a cat owner for more than 20 years, always with multiple cats, I've never had a problem with water refusal due to vinegar as long as you buy organic apple cider vinegar. In contrast, I've had cats foam at the mouth when given drop flea treatments - which would you prefer?

Replied by Millee
(Erie, Pa)


Replied by Saralin
(Springfield, Il)

My partner and I both drink unpasteurized ACV all the time, and am looking forward to giving my cats some & bathe them to get rid of the fleas!! They never drink water, and it is a problem.. I'll also report if their typical chronic persian cat eye/nose gunk problem clears up. Thanks!!!!!! and i think I'll use DE for the carpet!!

Replied by Shay
(Tustin, Ca)

What exactly is DE?

EC: DE= diatomaceous earth

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Doby girl (Ozark, Al) on 07/15/2009

I have been using ACV on my doberman for fleas for a monoth and it has worked. I take a cup of vinegar and a cup and a half of water. Just smell to see if it is too strong and it has been working. I have tried it with my lab but she will not let me spray her so I have continued using the K-9 with her. I have also used speramint oil for flies. I use 15-20 drops in one of the big spray bottles that is half full. It works great. This is a great site.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Jennifer (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) on 05/27/2009

I was so happy to find your site! Not only does it give the possible solutions with home remedies, but gives warnings (which are important!) and negative comments as well. I will not use chemicals on my dogs if at all possible and use white vinegar for all of my house cleaning. I found the ACV solutions very helpful and will try this for my dogs' Summer itching and flea prevention. Thanks so much!!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Betty (San Antonio, Texas) on 03/23/2009

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)

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)

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: https://www.earthclinic.com/pets/fleas.html

Replied by Ruth R
(Chesapeke, Va)

Does regular apple cider vinegar that you get from Walmart work?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

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)

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

Replied by Jade
(New York, US)

I have 3 Yorkie's, a Maltese and two German shepherds and have been dealing with fleas for years. I absolutely adore my dogs like children and am very careful about what I give them to ingest, topical flea treatments are also a form of ingestion since it goes through the skin into the body. As a nurse I always felt the flea medications were very dangerous, and when I researched them I found they are in fact Neurotoxins. That's all I needed to hear, there was NO chance I was using any of them again.

I've tried many natural over the counter pet meds and none worked, so I've resorted to flea combing and that only irritates the skin more, I'm at my wits end with fleas. I am SO excited to have stumbled on this wonderful page so I can try ACV, I do believe after reading from all of you and the research on this page that it will work. I'll be out tomorrow to purchase it.

I came on here originally because my GSD has a very red inflamed ear and I don't want the Vet's usual toxic drugs prescribed which will only treat the sickness short term, if their body is not in homeostasis/ balance, it will return. I am going to give this a try for her ear as well and pray!

The reason I am posting prematurely to trying ACV is that I did find after changing their diet, the skin allergies have minimized drastically and their coats are looking healthier, I thought I'd share this with all my fellow dog lovers here as it has helped my dogs. I was feeding what I thought was good food as it claims but was unaware that grain is just a cheap filler that can cause severe allergic reactions. I researched a wonderful site to find a reasonable priced grain free food,


I now give them a combo of "Taste of the wild" grain free kibble, Alaskan Salmon oil, eggs and chicken livers/fats cooked. They not only lick their dishes into the next room, but they are noticeably healthier and it's only weeks since the change. I know when I go off my regular vegetarian diet w/no sugars etc, I feel pretty bad for days. It never occurred to me the same was happening to my dogs. Grain is not part of their natural diet in the wild, and is actually Very unhealthy for them. There are some reasonable brands, even BJ's Berkley and Jensen is grain free and a 4 star choice on a budget. Good luck to all, Happy holidays! I will re-post with an update after I try the ACV.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney, Australia)

Jade, I've been using white vinegar spray on dogs coat for years; in fact, I rarely have to touch up.

Replied by Antwinette
(St Petersburg, Fl)

I understand that organic as with mother is the most effective, however I already purchased the diluted grocery store kind so do I need to mix 50/50 for a spray it can I just use it as is 5% acidty? I'll get the organic next time.

Replied by Bridget
(Orlando, Florida)
3 posts

Robert you seem pretty knowledgable, I have a question for you. Rabies shots, if my can doesn't go outside at all unless the house was on fire. Would he need rabies shots, he is 17 years old.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hello Bridget,

NOT Robert here, but I would like to answer ASAP: NO - your DOG does NOT need a rabies shot, or any other shot at this great age. If this were my geriatric pooch I would to a blood panel to ensure all organs are working properly and I would say NO to any thing else the vet might offer - no shots, no topical flea meds, nothing but the blood panel - because the blood panel will provide you good information. JMO.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Lisa (Central Point, OR) on 02/24/2009

I have just started putting ACV in my dog's water and food. I mainly wanted to stop some tear stains that were happening, but I am also hoping it will keep fleas away this season. As I was reading this site, I was getting concerned when I read it can help with weight loss...my dog doesn't need to lose weight. How much would be too much to feed to a 15 lb. dog? I am currently putting 5 eyedrops of the ACV on his food, twice daily, and then 1 tbs. per a 5 cups of water. His dish holds 2 cups and right now that takes him about 2 days to drink. Is this too much or too little? Or is it an ok amount? He seems to be tolerating it just fine. I know it is way too soon to see results for either issue I am trying it for. But I am hoping and praying it works.

Replied by Lisa
(Central Point, Or)

This is Lisa, from Central Point, OR again. I had forgotten I had put up a question here, about ACV and pets, back in 2009. I wanted to give an update. Ever since that time, I have been putting approx. 1 tsp. A day, in my dog's homemade food. There is a lot of water content in it, and my dog's don't mind it in their food, but really don't care for it in their waterdish. Anyway, I have been using ACV for several years now and I have yet to see a flea or tick on them. I still have to treat our yard and home, once in awhile, but no fleas are ever on the dogs, when using the ACV. One of our dogs, we had put on kibble, forgetting that they were not getting any ACV, and within a few weeks, had a flea on them. So put him back on the food with the ACV and once again, no fleas. Eyestains are better but not completely away. I recommend ACV for flea and tick prevention.

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