If you have a dog and notice fleas in your home, then it is your best option to speak with a pest control specialist to get rid of the parasites. Once the eradication is complete, you need to prevent a new infestation in your home. One of the best ways to do this is to treat your dog directly so that fleas will not find him or her a desirable host. There are many different topical treatments and flea collars you can use. If your dog has sensitive skin, then some of these chemical laden treatments may not be ideal for your pooch. Fortunately, there are many other pest control methods you can use that will not cause a sensitivity issue.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Many websites and pest control professionals indicate that you can use apple cider vinegar to deter fleas. The vinegar is extremely acidic and it smells bad when fleas jump on your dog. This forces the fleas to find a more hospitable host. If your dog has sensitive skin, then vinegar sprayed directly on his or her body can offer assistance.
Some dog skin issues are caused by bacterial and fungal infections and the vinegar will kill the microorganisms. Place about one-quarter cup of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle and fill the bottle with water. Spray the mixture on your dog and use your hands to work the fluid close to the skin. Do this every three or four days to repel fleas.
Add Vinegar to Food
If your dog itches or if you see dry patches of skin after using the vinegar spray, then the acidic fluid may be drying out the skin. Try adding the vinegar to your dog's food or water bowl instead. When your dog ingests the vinegar, it makes the skin more acidic. Fleas will then taste the acid in the skin when they try to bite your dog. This not only repels the fleas, but the vinegar will not dry out the skin like it does when it is applied topically.
Add about two to four tablespoons of vinegar to your dog's water bowl every day. If your dog does not like the taste, then try adding it to his or her food so the beef or chicken flavorings mask the taste. If your dog still will not consume the vinegar, then consider cooking up some anchovies and adding the vinegar to the pan. Most dogs like fish, and the strong taste of the anchovies will mask the vinegar taste.
Use Essential Oils
Tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, and citrus oils are all commonly used to repel fleas from dogs. These oils release strong scents that are undesirable to the pests. Essential oils are considered safe for dogs, but they can produce a reaction in sensitive pets.
Go to your local home store and purchase the flea repelling essential oils. Test the oils on your dog one at a time. Place three drops of the oil on your dog's skin near his or her tail. Check the skin after application to see if it appears red or dry. Also, watch your dog to see if he or she scratches the area. If one of the oils does not produce a negative reaction, then place two drops of the oil on your dog every day.
Create an Essential Oil Bag
If the essential oils all produce a negative skin reaction, then do not place the oils on your dog's skin. Instead, create a small bag will the oils that you can tie to your dog's collar. Go to your local aromatherapy store and look for a small cotton or muslin bag that is meant to store potpourri. These bags are made with loose fabric weaves so that fragrances can easily release from them. Just make sure the bag you buy has a drawstring so you can easily attach it to the collar.
Once you purchase the bag, fill the bag with either cotton balls, a small cotton cloth, or a few cedar chips. Add about 10 to 15 drops of essential oil to the filling material. You can use one essential oil or several if you like. Lavender and citrus oil are a good pairing, and so are tea tree and eucalyptus oil. Pull the string closed once you add the oils and tie it to either the front or back of your dog's collar. Smell the bag every two or three days to see if the smell has dissipated and add more oil when you need to.
Fleas in the home should be professionally eradicated with the help of pest control services. Once the fleas are gone, you want to protect your dog from future infestations. If your dog has sensitive skin, then you need to be careful with the treatments you supply. The tips above can help you with this.