Fleas
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How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Fleas in Pets

94 User Reviews

5 star (82) 
  87%
3 star (3) 
  3%
1 star (8) 
  9%
(1) 
  1%


Posted by Toni (Ponca City, Oklahoma) on 10/21/2008

I don't have a comment yet, just read your articles yesterday, however, I have hardwood floors in an old two-story house. I have many cats, 2 older dogs, aquarium fish and 2 parrots. No one had comments on the hardwood floors, danger to birds and cats walking on some of the treatments mentioned, namely distomaceous earth. I got a flea infestation this year and they are attacking me too, but no sores (not allegeric I assume). Any suggestions about cats walking around on these treatments or my birds inhaling any of these products? Pets and me leaving the house is not an option.

Would appreciate your feedback and I will use the ACV and garlic as a spay on the hardwood floors, on the cats and dogs and in their water (organic, I assume or distilled?)

Thank you, Toni

Replied by Dan
(Brooklyn, Iowa)
02/06/2009

I don't have hardwood floors, I have vinyl and carpet, what I use for fleas on my floors may work for your hardwood floors. Since I have 10 cats,I use one box of baking soda to 4 tablespoons of table salt, mix them togethor and sprinkle on the floors covering the whole floors leave standing for 24-48 hours, then vaccum repeat process every 15 days for 6-8 weeks depending on how bad the infestation is. Why does this works for me is the baking soda kills live fleas, and the salt dries up the eggs, bonus its safe to use around your pets (no hazardous chemicals), and it leaves my carpets smelling fresh. For my cats I put 3 drops using a eyedropper of ACV into their water, this leaves their coats shiney, velvety soft, and thick, plus it gets rid of fleas, its been proven fleas don't like acidic skin. I hope this helps you.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Pat (Monticello, Georgia) on 10/20/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My 5 month old kitten unfortunately has fleas and so he is constantly scratching and biting. I read on another website (written by a vet) about using ACV. You use 1/2 water & 1/2 ACV or just regular vinegar in a spray bottle. While you spray it on you also rub it into their skin. Apparently the fleas don't like the smell or the taste of it and won't stay on the cat.The article also said that cats don't like the smell of vinegar. It seems to be working. My kitten isn't scratching as much (hardly at all), but boy is he licking at the vinegar and water combination. The article also said that the vinegar and water combo will help heal the sores that were created from the scratching and biting. I just thought I would pass this on.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Pat (Monticello, Georgia) on 10/20/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My 5 month old kitten unfortunately has fleas and so he is constantly scratching and biting. I read on another website (written by a vet) about using ACV. You use 1/2 water & 1/2 ACV or just regular vinegar in a spray bottle. While you spray it on you also rub it into their skin. Apparently the fleas don't like the smell or the taste of it and won't stay on the cat.The article also said that cats don't like the smell of vinegar. It seems to be working. My kitten isn't scratching as much (hardly at all), but boy is he licking at the vinegar and water combination. The article also said that the vinegar and water combo will help heal the sores that were created from the scratching and biting. I just thought I would pass this on.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Suzanne (Harrisburg, PA) on 10/06/2008
1 out of 5 stars

Warning

I used organic apple cider vinegar in the past in my dogs water, but lately I have gotten a flea infestation. One of my dogs is allergic to fleas and has lost hair and had open sores on his body because of his biting. I just wanted to let people know who use the apple cider vinegar NOT TO SPRAY THE DOG WITH OPEN SORES WITH THE VINEGAR. Some people may know this and some people may not. I had flea bites myself and put some on the bites and about cried it burned so bad. So please if your animal has open sores don't spray them with this. I would rather put it in the water.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Virginia (Cushing, OK) on 08/07/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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...


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Rachel (Johns Island, SC) on 07/22/2008
5 out of 5 stars

After reading all the feedback about Apple Cider Vinegar, I was eager to try it. I originally researched it because of the horrid flea infestation on my dogs. I have two Great Danes, one of whom recently experienced a bad reaction to the Frontline we had been using (weird!) for years.

So, I bathed them in baby shampoo and then sprayed some Apple Cider Vinegar on them both. Poof! Within two weeks of spraying every other day and adding a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to each gallon of their water, they practically live outside (Johns Island is notorious for fleas) and not a single flea. I'm not sure about ticks, though, because they rarely get them in the first place.

So, meanwhile, my son is getting eaten alive in our house. The fleas didn't touch the cat (I used the same process on the cat), my husband or myself but apparently my son was delicious. We tried gentle bug-repellent, natural bug-repellents, nothing worked to keep them off. I bombed the house, but then the eggs hatched and we went 'round and 'round again. To top it off, he developed an allergy to flea bites so now instead of just itchy little bites, each bite turns into about a dollar-bill-sized rash.

So, I began to give him a light tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar per day mixed in with 8 oz. of water. Not three times like you'd do for weight-loss, but like you would do for the dogs or the cat and lo and behold, after another week of benedryl and calamine lotion, he stopped getting bitten. It took almost three weeks to really work for my son, though, so be patient if you want to try this. I also talked to my doctor and he says it's alright (for my son, not medical advice!) just as long as he kept drinking lots of water and kept up his vitamins because, apparently, a high dosage of vinegar can sometimes deplete you of necessary vitamins and minerals as well as speed dehydration, not much but enough to notice.

I kept this up until I didn't spot a single flea for about a month, then took my son off the vinegar (about two and a half months).

Now, I don't know if this was a side effect of the vinegar or just getting rid of the stress of the flea bites, but my son stopped wetting the bed about halfway through the vinegar "treatment". The only reason I mention it is because someone else posted on here that her grandfather? (sorry, not sure) gave her a spoonful of vinegar and honey in water to help her to stop wetting the bed. But, like I said, it could have been either and most likely taking away the rash-stress was the determining factor.

I just started reading the comments on how Apple Cider Vinegar can help you shed those few extra unwanted pounds, so I'm trying it. I'll try to keep you guys updated, I'm pretty excited about it!


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Linda (Miramichi, Canada) on 07/10/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Patricia
(Laquey Mo)
06/14/2015

I have a shitzu that is biting himself in the back and tail. I believe he have some fleas as well. I just a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar All purpose. This will first time I have tried it and I needed instructions on how to use it and much. Thank you for your help how about cats also.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Brandy (Dallas, TX) on 04/12/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I have a one and a half year old pekignese/pomeranian mix who in the last couple of months has shown symptoms of flea allergies, constant licking biting and scratching of her hind legs and rear end as well as her feet. We would find maybe 3-4 fleas on her a week. Which on a dog without allergy probably would not cause this kind of reaction. I wanted to only use natural treatments to try to cure this problem so I looked online and found alot of information. To treat my yard I used diacomateous earth, which is a fossil that kills bugs by injesting/breathing these sharp peices of fossil. Inside my house I did a salt and borax detergent on the floors and furniture. I did this every two weeks attempting to rid my house of any fleas. My dog still had hot spots, and was losing hair and getting scabs from her itching. I also tried lavender essential oil on her collar, and in the bath, and I used Dawn dishwashing detergent to try and drown any fleas that may be on her. This was all in addition to the advantix monthly treatment. These monthly treatments kill the flea when they bite the treated animal, the problem was keeping the fleas from even getting on her. One bite meant misery for my sweet pup. My vet told me to try benadryl and I did that to try to prevent her from itching, while I looked for another remedy. I came upon this site and started using it in her water just a small drop in her water once a day. Then last weekend I tried the half water half ACV rinse after her bath and let her air dry. I have seen MAJOR improvement this week, and have cancelled my appointment with a specialist to find a better way to treat my dog. I am a beleiver now, and will continue using this method as it really has proven itself to me. It is peak flea season here in Dallas and I am amazed at these results, and have even shared them with an online dog allergy group that I belong to. I am so thankful that I dont have to medicate my dog, or use unatural treatments. Thank you so much to this site and everyone who shared their success and failures, My little Nilly thanks you also!

Replied by Melissa
(Arcola, Tx)
05/17/2009

I am in Tx & have a Pomeranian who is also scratching & losing hair. It drives here CRAZY. We give them liquid drops for heartworm. It also does fleas & ticks. When I check her she only has 1 or 2 fleas but she is still scratching & losing hair. I'm going to try what you said.

Replied by Roni
(Marietta, Ohio)
09/10/2009

If your dog doesnt really have a lot of fleas and is still so bad that there losing fur/getting hot spots it may not JUST be a flea allergy your dog can be allergic to pretty much all the things we can be allergic to my Lab mix is like that he has seasonal allergies his brother and his mother dont its rather difficult so u might wanna try changing food could be allergic to wheat or corn.

Be careful giving alot of baths the vinegar wash that could really dry out their skin and that could itch even more hope this helps

Replied by Kelly
(Long Beach California)
03/06/2014

Labs are indigenous to Norway and are best on a Fish based diet. Definitely get him off the grains. Will make a huge inprovement


Replied by Robin
(Steuben, Me)
01/03/2013

Almost all of the comments about apple cider vinegar combating fleas indicate that the ACV is put into drinking water. I have tried that at the doses indicated in the comments here but my pets will not drink vinegar- infused water, Neither will I for that matter! What can be done to get them to ingest the ACV?? R. L.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by kim (sebring, florida) on 03/01/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Barbjo
(Florida)
05/13/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I have been giving garlic to my dogs for years. 3 are over 10 years old. In moderation it it not toxic. I've used brewers yeast with garlic tabs for flea control in the past. All dogs are alive and well.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by kim (sebring, florida) on 03/01/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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 Laroka
(Detroit, Michigan)
06/02/2008

What is the ACV solution you use to spray your dog with? (What is the water/ACV ratio?) Also, how much ACV should we put in their water bowl? Thanks!

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn)
06/03/2008
510 posts

Spray your dog with pure ACV - no diluting required. Works the same way for you - except instead of spraying it on, I wet a wash cloth in vinegar and make like I'm taking a bath. After letting it dry and getting dressed, I head for the fields or woods with no fear of ticks, chiggers, or sand flies.

Replied by Cindy
(Buckatunna, Mississippi)
06/11/2008

Will the acv work in the house? I have tried everything possible. Fleas are taking over our house!!!!!

Replied by Lori
(West Allis, WI)
06/18/2008

To get rid of fleas in the house you can put a bowl of soapy water (ajax soap works well) under a night light or smaller lamp. The fleas are attracted to the light and will fall in the water and die. It worked for my family when I was young and our cat was infested with fleas. Set up more than one of these traps and I'm sure it will work. Good Luck, Lori.

Replied by Aprilluvv
(Los Angeles, CA)
08/23/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Borax in the carpet for a few days before vaccuming works and the ACV does work in the house but it will make you house stink. I didn't care, I had GHETTO FLEAS FROM HELL for 2 months. ACV works well on your body too.

Replied by F
(Ca)
07/19/2017

Does this only work at night or also in darkened rooms during the day?


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Kathy (Danville, Indiana) on 07/21/2007
1 out of 5 stars

I was really hoping this natural inexpensive remedy would work for my dog but unfortunately, it didn't. The poor dog is still infested after several days of drinking nothing but acv mixed with the water. I have sprayed him as well with the solution and the poor dog is still miserable. I'm afraid I will have to resort to Advantage to give him some relief. It's breaking my heart to see him so miserable. The fleas are making him miserable. I wanted it to work so badly. Maybe it depends on the coat of the dog. One dog doesn't scratch at all and the other one is miserable. Thanks anyway, it was worth a try.

Replied by LovesDachshunds
(Bayonne, The United States)
06/29/2008

Every month I give each Dachshund a Sentinel flavor tab, which you get from your Vet, and I also use as backup Frontline Plus for dogs. So far so good.


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by JOYCE (NEW CASTLE, IN) on 07/09/2007
5 out of 5 stars

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR IS WONDERFUL! WE STARTED USING IT FOR OUR THREE DOGS TO KEEP THEM FROM GETTING FLEAS. I WAS AMAZED TO FIND THAT IT ACTUALLY WORKS! I WAS FURTHER AMAZED TO SEE THAT IT HAD CURED AN ALMOST RAW ARE ON MY PUG. HE HAD AN AREA (ABOUT THE SIZE OF A QUARTER) THAT HE HAD RUBBED UP AGAINST & SCRATCHED UNTIL ALL THE HAIR WAS GONE! (NOT TO MENTION HIS PITIFUL CRIES!) I HAD TAKEN HIM TO THE VET & HE WAS PUT ON AN EXPENSIVE ALLERGY PILL, BUT I'M REALLY DISTRUSTFUL OF MEDICATIONS, SO I QUIT USING IT. I USE ABOUT 3 TABLESPOONS OF THE ACV IN A GALLON OF THEIR DRINKING WATER. IT IS AMAZING! I THANK GOD FOR THIS WEBSITE & FOR ACV!

Replied by Gayle
(Bunnell, Fl)
06/30/2010

this is a question!! will the ACV work on cats!?!? all my animals share in all the water bowls

Replied by Stefanie
(Keystone Heights, Florida)
02/11/2011

Hi, an odd question for Gayle in Bunnell... Do you have horses as well? Stefanie


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Christy (Waxahachie, Tx) on 06/25/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have a 12 year old dog named Shelby.She has suffered with hot spots and has lost quite a bit of her hair.I also have a 4 yr old named Madyson.The fleas at my house were taking over. Since trying the Apple Cider Vinegar, our lives have become better. No more fleas on my dogs or in my house. Shelby's hair has started to grow back. It has been fabulous!!! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful information. I have passed it on with hopes that many pets will live happy lives :)


Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Debbie (Oklahoma) on 04/24/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I am a Dog groomer. I ran across this remedy about 4 months ago and tried it on my dogs..I was unhappy with products like frontline (which I was a firm believer) because it seemed like I would still see a flea or "flea dirt"... Nothing is on my girls. NOTHING!!! So now I am letting all of my customers know. I tell them it can take 4-6 weeks to see the benefit. I put it my girls drinking water... 1 tsp.ACV to 1 quart water. When I started trying the acv, I thought what the heck.. If it doesn't work for the fleas it has alot of other benefits.

Replied by Shay
(Tustin, Ca)
06/30/2012

I like the moth ball idea for my vacuum because it is a shop vac and it only has a filter but no bags are required. I will try this along with some of the other remedies for getting rid of fleas. Does baking soda actually kill fleas or discourage them???

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by Simon (Victoria, Australia)
1 out of 5 stars

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


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