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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

Lavender Essential Oil for Dogs
Lavender Essential Oil for Dogs available now from Care4Dogs

Lavender Essential 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.

Lemongrass Essential Oil for Dogs
Lemongrass Essential Oil for Dogs available now from Care4Dogs

Lemongrass Essential 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.

Cedar Essential Oil for Dogs
Cedar Essential Oil for Dogs available now from Care4Dogs

Cedar Essential 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. 

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.

Frankincense Oil Essential for Dogs
Frankincense Oil Essential for Dogs available now from Care4Dogs

Frankincense Essential Oil

Wound & Antibacterial Healing

Frankincense is a safer and less potent and a great all-around oil to use with your dogs. 

 Essential Oil Headers Rosemary Oil

Rosemary Essential 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.

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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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.

        • What a great idea to develop a tick-free zone! I will definitely be working on that. Also, I have purchased human-grade Diatomaceous earth which I plan to sprinkle lightly about. (main concern is to not have it sprinkled so heavily it can get into the lungs.)

  • 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. 🙂

  • Hi How often do I need to use essential oils on my 11 year old dog. I have been using these daily for quite a while , but maybe she doesn’t need to have the oils put on her so often? I mix a lavender mix the Vitamin shop advised, lemongrass and peppermint oils and sometimes citronella in extra virgin oil … the mixture is about 1/4 of a cup total…I just dab it on parts of her body and paws. would every other day be okay or every third day? Her fur on her back just greasy doing it daily! I will be awaiting your reply…..thanks…. my email is [email protected]

  • Hello,
    for making a spray fleas and ticks, is it ok to just use water to dilute or should i use a mix of water and carrier oil?

  • I’ve been using Rose Geranium on my 2 dogs now for atleast 6 months, throughout our hottest months, and I’m very happy to say, no fleas or ticks! First year that I’m trying to keep them off of drugs, so happy it’s working. I’m putting it straight onto their skin, like you advised, just feels a bit risky, can’t find anything online about long term side effects though, please advise me

  • I have done a lot of research on vaccines with humans, but I am struggling to find even inserts for vaccines for dogs. Can you help me with this? I noticed you said limit vaccines and don’t overvaccinate, so I’m assuming that there are some vaccines that are needed, but I would just like some more information/where to find information on dog vaccines. Thank you!!

    • You can discuss your concerns with your vet, and also, beyond the initial puppy shots, request titers. This is where they can draw blood to check the dog’s level of immunity from previous vaccines. They are finding that often the vaccines are effective for a much longer time than initially believed.

  • Hello
    It is my understanding that peppermint oil is highly toxic to dogs and I’ve been warned about it by many people. I saw that you suggest to use it for fleas can you explain it for me please.
    I’m confused now.
    Thanks
    Panchali

  • Hi
    I’m just wondering what tips you might have for worming puppies and dogs.
    I have just got a new pup who has had his first vaccination and is due for his second in 10 days. I’m not a fan of vaccines and am prepared to get the next Parvo one but don’t know about if there are others that are important. I’d rather he didn’t have any. I live in Australia so I’m guessing it might be different here.
    I’m also wondering what you use for worming. I just gave him a vet worm tablet and his poos are runny and urgent.
    I don’t want to use any drugs or chemicals on my boy unless it’s really necessary.
    I’m so excited to have found you. I’ve subscribed to your newsletter and I’m looking forward to some interesting reading.
    Thank you
    Panchali

    • I buy shelled pumpkin unshelled pumpkin seeds and food grade diatomaceous earth put them in blender dry I do a 50/50 blend and make about 10 ounces. Twice a week I put 1 tsp in there food and will make the food slightly moist so it sticks to the food. Thee Ed pumpkin seed weakens the host and the d-earth pulls it off the walls of the stomach and digestive tract.

      All natural and I never see worms. I learned to do this on the internet s long time ago.

  • Hello, the coronavirus has resulted in a run on many paper and cleaning products — like disinfectant wipes. I am making my own and the recipe calls for essential oils to be added to rubbing alcohol (90+%) and hydrogen peroxide. The exposure to our two small dogs would be if they lick a surface that has been wiped down with a wipe saturated in this solution. The essential oils used in this recipe include lemon essential oil, clove, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus radiata, and rosemary essential oils. I have thought about switching out one or more of these with tea tree and/or oregano, or peppermint oil for their antiviral properties. Since none of these oils will be diffused or applied topically to the dogs, do they pose a danger to them? – if they should happen to lick surfaces that have been wiped down with an alcohol solution that includes these essential oils?

  • Hi there, it doesn’t say that you have qualifications in naturopathy or vet science. Could you please advise me as to how you get your info as I need to know that my doggies are safe. Thanks😊

  • Hello,
    What blend of essential oils would you recommend for a dog after tumor removal and how often shall I use it? I am also wondering whether it is efficient to apply it only on the fur since I do not want the oils to be absorbed through her skin given her current condition. Thank you for your help in advance.

    • Hello Anna,

      I would recommend either a blend of lavender oil or Frankincense. Start with 3 drops of your essential oil of choice with an ounce of carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond, or apricot kernel oil.

      Let her briefly sniff the oils to see if she can tolerate the smell. Do not force her if she is uninterested at the moment or does not like the smell.

      Given her condition, I wouldn’t use the oils on her too often. Use it twice a week.

      Please let me know how she does 🙂

  • We just acquired this male chihuahua. Took him to the vet for some bruises while giving him his bath they found some ticks on him and we also found two on him. What is a good recipe to make with essential oils.

    • Hello Estella, try this recipe below 🙂

      1 ½ oz base oil such as hazelnut or sweet almond
      2 drops geranium essential oil
      2 drops rosewood essential oil
      3 drops lavender essential oil
      2 drops myrrh essential oil
      2 drops opoponax essential oil
      1 drop bay leaf essential oil

      Blend all of the oils and store in a dark glass dropper bottle to ensure that the recipe stays fresh longer.

      Apply 2 to 4 drops topically to the neck, chest, legs, and base of the tail. You can also add the drops to a bandana or cotton collar.

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