How to treat your dog for fleas

Inexpensive Flea Treatments

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Inexpensive Flea Treatment?

I just took my dog in for a spring check up. I nearly fainted when I got the bill for her medicine. Does anyone know of any natural methods to keep fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks from my dog or is medicine the only answer?
Sherry R. in Horton, MI

Brewer's Yeast Prevents Fleas

We used to have a terrible time with fleas and ticks, but we have overcome the problem. The most effective solution we found was two fold. The better quality of dog food our dogs eat, the fewer problems they have with fleas. Also, try brewer's yeast and garlic tablets. If you live anywhere near a feed store, I would recommend buying from them as their prices will generally be better than a pet store.

Also, fleas do not like herbs such as pennyroyal, lavender, mint, rosemary, fennel, and rue. If you could fit such plants in your yard, especially near where your animals hang out, that is said to sometimes repel fleas. Also, a mild shampoo with a few drops of eucalyptus or citrus oil, followed up by a pennyroyal rinse (steep leaves in boiling water and let the water cool) can rid your animal of fleas. Soap and water will kill fleas in a few minutes, so you don't have to buy special flea shampoo. Follow up with regular combings using a flea comb (dip the flea comb in soapy water after each pass of the coat).

Fleas and Listerine

I'm of the belief that if I won't use it on myself I won't use it on my dog. I had a flea problem once with my two dogs. I bathed them in the bathtub so that I could fill it with warm water. I used a regular shampoo that I use. After rinsing them very well, I then poured diluted Listerine (1/2 water 1/2 Listerine) over them, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and then rinsed very well. Another solution is to rinse with lemon juice and water in equal amounts. Buy the concentrated RealLemon juice. During flea season, do this once a month.

Related: Natural Flea Prevention

Garlic and Yeast for Fleas

For years, I have been giving my dogs (anywhere from 8-14 dogs) a garlic and brewer's yeast tablet for mosquitoes. For the fleas, I hose down their pen, which has a pea stone surface, with Dr Bronner's Eucalyptus soap one week and bleach the next week. I also put Oil of American Cedar Leaf around my home.

I adopt Shih Tzus who have been abused or have health problems and some come to me loaded with fleas. Within a week, we are flea free again. To use the oil, take a three-inch square of brown grocery bag and put a square in every corner of every room in your home. If you have fleas, put three drops of oil on every paper in every room daily. To prevent fleas, do this twice a week. I don't know if it kills the fleas or drives them out, but the fleas are gone. A four-ounce bottle is about $25, but it lasts me two to three years in a seven-room home.

Flea Capital of the World

I live in Louisiana, which is the flea capital of the world. I give my dog brewer's yeast every day and she has stayed flea free for two years. One year when she was taking the chemical flea preventative, I had to have the house treated for fleas and it cost about $150 (to say nothing about the chemicals used). Brewer's yeast is cheap. A $6.99 jar lasts about a year (teaspoon or less a day for a 45 pound dog). You can buy it at a health food store, and you should keep it refrigerated.

Also, if you do get fleas, try putting salt on the carpet, as it makes the flea eggs dry up. Leave it on the carpet over night, vacuum, and repeat once a week. Also, my vet will match the Internet pet medication prices. I can buy a six-month supply of generic heartworm medicine for $20, which is a huge savings (at least $40.00 less). The Internet pet pharmacies carry everything at huge savings. I wish I had known about them a long time and many dollars ago. Also, in my town, shots are given for $6 each for dogs for things like rabies, and they have the clinics semi-annually. Call the Humane Society for dates.

Brewer's Yeast Flea Treatment

I mix brewer's yeast with broth I have left over from cooking. I freeze this in ice cube trays. For the weeks I don't cook anything with broth, I still have a good mixture for my dogs. I mix it with their dry dog food. They think it's a great treat!

Also, I never purchase the meds my dogs need from the vet. I ask for a prescription. Call around to various pharmacies for the best price and purchase it there. One of my dogs needed eye drops. The vet was charging $30. For the same brand and size bottle, I got it at Sam's club for $6.75. Big difference!

Related: Money-Saving for Dog Owners

Flea Treatments Online

I can really sympathize with you about the high cost of pet meds. My husband and I pay much more for medications and healthcare for our two dogs than we do for ourselves.

Don't buy your pet's prescriptions at the vet's office. Have your vet write a prescription and order medications online from 1-800-PetMeds. The prices are significantly lower than what you would pay at the vet's office.

Save on your pet's medications at 1-800-PetMeds.

After you start ordering online, you generally start receiving coupons so you can save on future purchases. You can also purchase the vaccines online for about a quarter of the price that the vet charges you and administer them yourself. The exception is the rabies vaccine, which has to be given by a qualified vet or your municipality. However, I would check with your municipality to find out if they offer a yearly clinic where they administer free or discounted rabies vaccines when you renew your dog's license. Most importantly, don't sacrifice your pet's health by skipping meds due to the cost.

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Fleas Treated With Avon

I believe that Skin-So-Soft from Avon deters pests. Just rub it in around the dog's ears, neck, mid-back, and top of tail.

Homeopathic Flea Treatments

I prefer to use homeopathic remedies (natural) for my husband, our cats, and myself. Go to the library or bookstore and purchase a book called Homoeopathic Medicine for Dogs by Dr. H. G. Wolff.

Make some phone calls in your area to search out a vet that uses homeopathy. The remedies are very reasonable and can be bought at most good health food stores.

Treat With BioSpot

It is not necessary to use prescription flea/tick control from your vet. (It is very expensive!) We use "BioSpot", which is available at any pet store like PetSmart. It costs us $10 for a three-month supply (three tubes). That is only $3.33 a month. We live in the South where it is very hot and fleas/ticks are a serious problem. BioSpot keeps our dog flea and tick free! We are 100% satisfied with it.

Another money-saving source is the catalog Foster and Smith. For instance, we mail order our dog vaccines from them and self vaccinate our dog. This saves us a ton of money. It is totally legal and really easy to self vaccinate! Foster and Smith gives very easy-to-follow directions.
Laura in South Carolina

Large Dog Flea Treatment

I work with a pet rescue and we have found that the absolute best and least dangerous prevention for fleas and ticks is Advantage. One of the ways we save money on it is to buy the large dog size and measure it out according to the animal's size (it is .4 ML per 5 lbs. or 1 drop a pound). Advantage works on ferrets, cats, kittens over 8 weeks (and if they are under 8 weeks we put it on the mother cat and they stay flea free), and dogs. It doesn't repel mosquitoes. The new stuff that is out that does repel mosquitoes is pretty strong. According to our vet, it could be dangerous and could actually kill cats. I buy advantage from someone on eBay for about $29 for a six-month supply, which is a savings of almost $20 compared to what my vet charges. Whatever you do, don't get the stuff on grocery and department store shelves that is cheaper. It causes kidney and liver failure in many animals.

Reviewed January 2018

Take the Next Step:

  • Try these natural ways to remove fleas.
  • Stop overpaying for your pet's medications. See how much 1-800-PetMeds can help you save.
  • Don't let your pets take such a bite out of your budget! The Dollar Stretcher's Guide to Frugal Pet Care can show you smart ways to love your pet while spending less.
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