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7 Essential Oils For Fleas and Ticks on Dogs

A flea invasion with our four legged friends can be a nightmare. So can using commercial flea products which are toxic to you and your dog’s health.

If you ask your vet, they will gladly sell you a commercial flea & tick product.

However, with proper care you can terminate fleas on a natural approach. And yes you can even save a buck or two!

Tips & Safety Precautions

#1 Be Mindful When Using Essential Oils

Be careful when applying essential oils and don’t overdo them. Remember that your pet’s sense of smell is much stronger than yours.

  • Concentrated essential oils require dilution prior to use (see #2 below)
  • Apply oils in a breezy or ventilated area
  • Avoid spraying in dog’s face

#2 Dilute With a Carrier Oil

Dilute with a carrier oil before applying on your dog. Be sure to use a carrier oil such as:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil

Use 5-10 drops and dilute 80-90%.

#3 Listen To Your Dog

Let your dog smell each bottle, undiluted, with the lid on and asses his reaction. Let your dog refuse or accept oils!

If she objects to any spray or oil you have made, don’t use it. My dogs get edgy with certain essential oils. I keep a journal of any reactions my dogs have to refine my recipes.

Recommended Essential Oils For Fleas & Ticks on Dogs

Essential Oil Lavender Oil

Lavender Oil

Great for Repelling Ticks & Soothe Your Pet’s Skin

The aroma will help keep fleas and ticks away. Lavender oil repels ticks and prevents tick eggs from hatching. Lavender oil soothes your dog’s skin and helps prevent infection.

Add 5-10 drops of undiluted lavender essential oil to your dog’s shampoo. Diffuse lavender oil in your home to repel fleas and ticks.

Essential Oil Headers Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass Oil

Repels Fleas

The smell of lemongrass oil is unpleasant for fleas. It’s active ingredient (citral and geraniol) acts as a natural repellent.

Add 5 drops of oil to water to mix your own spray, then apply the spray to your pet’s coat. You can also diffuse the oil in your home.

Essential Oil Headers Peppermint oil

Peppermint Oil

Helps Healing Process

Peppermint oil doesn’t repel fleas, it will however, kill flea larvae. It relieves skin irritation and inflammation caused by flea bites.

Apply a small amount of Peppermint oil to the affected area to help your pet heal.

Essential Oil Headers Rosemary Oil

Rosemary Oil

Flea Repellant & Helps Heal Flea Bites

Rosemary essential oil tends to irritate more than other oils. A few drops on your dog’s collar and bedding makes a superb flea repellant.

Add 5-8 drops of Rosemary oil to your dogs shampoo to repel fleas and help your dog heal faster.

Add 5 drops of oil to water to mix your own spray, then apply the spray to your pet’s coat. You can also diffuse the oil in your home.

Essential Oil Headers Neem Oil

Neem Oil

Neem oil Repels Fleas & Ticks

Neem is a natural remedy for a multitude of ailments. You can dilute the neem oil 1:10 with a light carrier oil. Then massage the neem oil into the skin.

You can also add a few drops of Neem oil to your dogs shampoo to repel fleas and ticks. (Bathe 2-3 times a week for best results).

Essential Oil Headers Rose Geranium Oil

Rose Geranium Oil

Direct undiluted Rose geranium oil on your dog is okay. Use 1 drop behind each shoulder blade and 1 drop near the base of the tail.

Essential Oil Headers Cedar Oil

Cedar Oil

Cedar Oil Repels & Kills Fleas and Ticks

Cedar oil is the go-to repellent for many of my friends. It is available for use on dogs and pets or in your home. Cedarcide makes a great flea & tick spray for both humans and pets.

Add a few drops of Cedar oil to a carrier oil.

Diffusing Cedar oil will allow the anti-parasitic molecules to be released into the air and kill off any fleas and ticks.

30 Potentially Toxic Essential Oils For Dogs

30 Potentially Toxic Essential Oils For Dogs
30 Potentially Toxic Essential Oils For Dogs

Please mind that many oils that are good for dogs are sometimes not good for cats.

In the end, keep in mind that healthy dogs are bad hosts for fleas. The best defense for natural flea control is a healthy dog!

  • Feed a raw diet full of whole foods
  • Minimize vaccinations and don’t over vaccinate
  • Avoid drugs and compounds in your dog’s environment

Avoid Pharma & Commercial Brands

In 2009, the EPA released an important advisory. They received over 44,000 reports of adverse reactions and a total of 600 deaths in 2008.

Most common side effects as reported by the EPA:

  • Skin reactions, Redness, Itching
  • Sores & Ulcers
  • Hair Loss
  • Vomiting
  • Salivation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nervousness
  • Death
  • The list goes on….

Avoid putting your dog at risk of adverse reactions. Choose a safe and natural approach to flea control. Improve the health of our planet for ages to come by avoiding these toxic products.

To kill fleas and their eggs requires a lot of work. This means spending weeks bathing your own dog and vacuuming every inch of your house. Obviously, it is a better idea to be proactive and prevent fleas.

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Anamile Guerra
Anamile Guerra is a pet owner and entrepreneur with a passion for the well being of pets and animals. She believes in educating pet owners about natural and healthy alternatives to toxic chemicals in our dog's diets and nutrition. By following a natural lifestyle, we can prevent most common illnesses we see not only in our pet's health, but in our own well being, allowing us all to live long and happy lives.
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Table of Contents

Join the conversation!

Have a question or just want to say hello? Let us know using the form below.

  • If I am making a flea collar for my dog, what do I dilute the oil with? Some one said Witch Hazel. Would water work?

  • Can you give me a good recipe to make a flea and tick repellent for my dog? I have an 8 ounce spray bottle and Lavender, cedarwood and lemongrass oils. I believe I do have some jojaba oil too. Can you tell me the specific safe recipe to spray on my min pins to keep the critters away?

  • Great article, Our 3 dogs are truly part of our family. Out amazing pitbull Harley developed Auto-Immune last year likely due to a Commercial Tic treatment. He battled a 106 Degree Temp and urinating pure blood for several weeks. Several times we didn’t think we were gonna wake up to our buddy and felt somehow that we caused this. 1 yr latter Harley is still giving us kisses every morning and we will never again fall victim to commerical Flea and Tic treatments or pointless vaccines.

    • Hi Adam, thank you for sharing about your precious Harley. What a blessing to get those morning kisses. I also learned the hard way about commercial flea & tick meds. I have a standard Pom (Foxie-4 yrs old) & Cairn terrier (Peekie-12 yrs old) that are just like my children. I realize the 3 yr. rabies vaccine is required & since I have to board them when I fly from VA to FL, they have to receive the Bordetella vaccine before they are accepted into the Doggie Spa for boarding. What are your thoughts about heart worm medications? I started using a mix of Lavender & Lemongrass essential oils diluted with Coconut oil over 3 years ago. I haven’t seen one flea or tick the entire time. We live in VA and last year was an especially virulent year for fleas and ticks. I’m 68 yrs. old and had many dogs when I was a child. Our dogs lived long lives & did not receive any vaccines. They ate off the table (anything & everything) and were healthy from pups until they died of “old age”. Big Pharma certainly covers all of their bases when it comes to playing on people’s love for their pets. My Cairn has had really bad skin allergies where he would literally chew the fur off his body since he was about 7 weeks old. With essential oils the past 3 yrs., this has no longer been an issue. He hasn’t required long-term steroids at all. Once again, thank you for sharing about Harley. We send you, your family and Harley best wishes and blessings.

      • Hi Lin it sounds like Foxie and Peekie have a great mom looking after them 🙂

        Thanks for your response and I couldn’t agree with you more on all points, big pharma is wrecking havoc on pets.

        I have done some heavy research on heart worms and prevention and found it’s one of the biggest scams out there. Historically heartworm cases are low and it’s not as common as you would think our your vet would have you think. In addition there is no such thing as a prevention, the medication you can purchase for prevention is actually the same medicine that is issued for a an diagnosis but in a lower concentration. It’s treating something that’s not there.

        It’s a very personal decision but what I do is test our 3 dogs for heartworms every 6 months if for some reason a test came back positive I would start treatment but I’m not going to pre administrator meds for something that’s not there.

        I hope you have a fantastic Mother’s day Lin!

        • Thank you Adam for your help yes the Pharma companies hype people up it’s all about the money ( I wonder how many of them use these toxic meds on their own pets?) and the majority of the heartworm prevention is very toxic to our furbabies again living in South Louisiana mosquitoes are horrible I have so many herbs inside and outside that ” help” and still get eaten alive. And I myself strongly believe that”if” my babies were to test positive then I would move forward with the treatment which again is hard for the furbabies. It’s obvious that many of us on this forum only want what is best for our babies and I am blessed to have found this forum there is so much knowledge here. Have a blessed day.

      • Ms. Lin everything you wrote is a blessing to me I pray that others receive these blessings. I am also using the Lavender and Lemongrass essential oils and coconut for my 14 month old baby GSD I’ve been trying to research for the heartworm prevention as I live in the Deep South of Louisiana we have mosquitoes year round ☹️ and knowing that it’s “only” a preventative I would like to know any and everything I can to help both my dog and cat ( they also can get heartworms) so if you or anyone else on the forum knows I sure will be thankful. Have a blessed day. Nikki’s Mom.

    • I’m soo glad that Harley is doing great now! It’s so sad what commercial Flea and Tic Treatment’s could do to our beloved pets.

      What do you use now? If you don’t mind me asking.

      • Hi Anamile – We use an essential oil blend of Lemongrass Cedar and Lavender. In addition we turned our yard into a Tic Free zone by replacing shrubs with Lavender and putting out potted Lemongrass in the summer 🙂 Nature provides all we need to combat those pesky critters.

  • Why does it say online in many recent articles that peppermint is dangerous for dogs? So what am I supposed to believe?

    • Undiluted peppermint can be dangerous to dogs since dogs have a strong sense of smell and they can have adverse reactions. However, diluted peppermint oil is okay.

    • Peppermint oil is toxic to dogs. Larger dogs will, generally, tolerate it fine if it is properly diluted, but they’ll also tolerate a chocolate donut. That doesn’t change the fact that the chocolate in the donut is toxic to them.

    • The sites mention its toxicity, not nasal sensitivity. However, I use peppermint oil on the necks and back as the spray will kill fleas within 5-10 seconds. It is in fact one of two ingredients in a natural flea pesticide sold at Walmart. I ordered some peppermint oil online, and put 1.5 tsp in a quart sprayer filled the rest of the way with filtered water. Rub it in so it covers the fleas.

    • Hi I have two mutipoo, dogs . I make a spray of lavender oil lemon oil , a time bit of alcohol, baking soda and fill with distilled water spray on their beds . They sleep very well . Never had a fleas or a tick . I spray on our beds and pillows too .

  • I’ve tried topicals and the collars. I hate using these products because none of them ever work. My backyard and front yard is infested with fleas and now my dog cat and house is. I’ve tried walking my dog after bathing with dawn and somehow they still find their way back on her. I feel so bad for my little fur babies yet nothing I do seems to be working. I want an all natural remedy. I have carpet in my house which doesn’t help at all. Any ideas on what can help my 7yr old pit and 7mo old kitten.
    I understand this article is for dogs but any knowledge on what I can put on my kitten to repel/kill/prevent more fleas on him? He hates baths.
    Seeing them scratch and me also get bitten is killing my heart.

    • Hello Nsane,

      Try adding some plants like lavender or rosemary to your front yard and backyard. You can use any plants you want that help repel fleas.

      Also, diffuse some oils in your home to help repel those fleas, you can also make a homemade spray to spray into your carpet.

      I hope this helps 🙂

      • I bought catnip and lavender. Now all the fleas keep going on me 🙁
        Would an essential oil lamp help since the smell would be in the air? I recently got some oils yet their alive in the house still. Guess I’m infested with them

    • diatomaceous earth – is a great insect killer and inexpensive. Eco friendly and non toxic, comes from ground fossil shells (all natural!). Not effective when wet. Use in the house & rub into animals fur. There is food grade & non food grade, both work. A family member returned from a retreat with Lice, bed bugs & Ticks!!! the bed bugs & ticks had time to establish themselves in a seldom used room & spread in the house before we realized what happened. This worked great (& cost little)..sprinkle on carpet & leave for a week, then vacuum. Repeat if needed. sprinkle in nook & crannies where pest hide. I routinely keep it behind kitchen appliances, in door tracks, garage, etc. Never used an exterminator & have few pest issues than the neighbors. 🙂 I have used for fleas and ticks with great results. Consider Cedar wood chips in the yard as a natural repellant instead pine straw or other wood chips which attract fleas & ticks!! make sure is all cedar not a mixture.

      • Do you happen to have the only dogs on earth that don’t stick their snouts into their fur? Inhaling DE can be catastrophic.

      • Only use food grade DE as the pet will injest it when they lick themselves. Also wear gloves when applying & don’t breathe in the dust. It’s okay once the DE settles, is only during application

        • that’s not really true as far as I know. it’s very bad to breathe, and anywhere it gets airborne in any way is bad.

      • I wouldn’t recommend diatomaceous earth indoors or on the body of a dog. the dust is silica and VERY unhealthy to breathe. It’s meant to be used outdoors or in places where it won’t be made airborne or get disturbed.

  • You mention tea tree oil being toxic to dogs, yet it is found in so many formulations of pet products. Do you have any studies that show a toxicity? Everything I’ve found and researched says otherwise.

    • I have also came across the same dilemma. However, research shows that very small amounts of tea tree oil is okay. And that most pet products that contain tea tree oil have tested and made sure that their products are safe for your pets.

      Still, it is best to read the labels before purchasing products and try to contact the manufacturer.

  • How often do we use diluted oil treatment? No issues now, but spring is almost here & we are in dry, hot central valley of CA.

  • I started adding about a tablespoons of avocado oil to the dry kibble food of my 25 pound mixed breed dog. He was so itchy at the time, fleas out of control, and his underbelly skin was gray instead of pink. That was about 3 years ago, and have not seen a flea since. His skin is healthy pink, and he rarely scratches.

  • You lost me with “stay away from vaccinations”. Maybe you’ll change your mind when you see a puppy die a bloody death from Parvo.

    • Keeping a dogs immune strong and immunising them safely works a treat. If you don’t believe in that, then do some research, you owe that much to your pets. Pets die from all sorts of things, over vaccinating and not over vaccinating them can do it, the difference is, can your dog cope with it? Good luck

    • I get titers to see if my dogs actually needs vaccinations. The vet was insisting on a whole bunch, I asked for titers. Resuls came back a few days later and vet told me my dog was good for 5 years. The issue is overvaccination – with pets and people. Why can’t we individualize with blood tests and only give what’s needed?

    • i wish scientists find a cure for that deathly disease, Parvo. My babies were vaccinated, and still got it, i lost 7 angels because of that Parvo. God damn it, i lived and still am living … a nightmare

    • Cat – Once you see your dog crumble to the ground peeing pure blood all over himself and unable to stand from a vaccine or flea and tic application you might be singing a different tune.

  • How often should I put essential oils on my dog and how much? I use peppermint oils, lemongrass, and a lavender mix from the Vitamin Shop. I just dab her with it on her chest, paws (top and bottom) back, tummy, tail area.

    • Hello Kathleen,

      Put the mixture of essential oils on your dog at least once a week. However, if the area you live in has high rates of fleas and ticks then put the oils on your dog 3 to 5 times a week.

      Depending on the size of a spray you are using I would say use 5-10 drops and dilute with a carrier oil or water. The mixture of essential oils should consist of 80-90% of carrier oil or water.

      Let me know if you need anything else. 🙂

      • I recently moved to central gulf coast of FLA and my dogs (60 lbs each) are riddled with fleas. I have done massive research for natural solutions and now have bags of food-grade diatomaceous earth; powdered on my dogs that did NOT work. I will NOT use toxic commercial flea/tick products but I’m at a loss!!! My grocery list contains “all” of the essential oils listed on your website – and will advise. I already have coconut oil (unrefined, organic – $10 a pop) and at this point, seriously thinking of moving back where my now 9-year old + dogs NEVER, NEVER had a flea or tick problem…please help! The directions that say 80% or 90% (of what?) does that mean to a teaspoon, Tablespoon, 1/4 of a cup??? a Quart? Gratefully yours, Marion

        • Hello Marion,

          It depends on the total volume you are trying to produce.

          For example, if you would like to make 1 cup of flea/tick oil solution:
          200ml carrier oil (~90%)
          20ml of essential oil (2x 10ml bottles of essential oil)

          I’m sorry to hear that your dogs are having problems with fleas and ticks. Please let me know when the subsides.

          Let me know if you need anything else. 🙂

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