What Is the Best Flea Treatment for Dogs?

Summary: The best flea treatment for dogs involves a combination of natural and product based remedies. Since these little pests feed on your dogs blood and can potentially cause health problems, if your dog has fleas you need to get them under control as soon as possible. Even if your dog doesn’t get a bad allergic reaction to their bites, they can still be rather irritating as they can make his or her skin very itchy.

Research shows that fleas can live on people, which means that they could come after you when you are holding your dog or playing with him. While fleas don’t fly, they can jump fairly high so you are not even safe when you are on your bed, trying to get some sleep! But there is no need to stress, treating fleas on your dog is actually rather simple and affordable if you know the steps that we will outline in this article. Lets look at the best ways to treat the fleas on your dogs so you can get rid of them as soon as possible and at a minimal expense!

Very Obvious Signs of Fleas

best flea treatment for dogs Fleas look like tiny fruit flies and are usually brown in appearance. The most common type of dog fleas are very small and as a result, it may take some effort to find them. If you notice your dog is scratching on a regular basis, this should prompt a quick investigation. While there is a good chance that it’s a false alarm as pets scratch themselves for lots of reasons, its really not worth risking the possibility that your dog has fleas. If your feline friend is also being targeted, here is a good article about the best flea treatment for cats. Take some time to carefully examine your dogs fur for fleas. The next thing you should look for is signs of an allergic reaction on your dogs skin. While this may be a result of a food allergy, its commonly a sign of a sensitivity to flea bites.

Sometimes pet owners (myself included) are oblivious to insects that find their way onto bed linen and blankets. As a perfect example, a couple weeks ago I only realized my dog had fleas because there were a few jumping around on the bed (yes they jump, not fly). This obviously was quite a shock and I took steps to deal with it immediately. So if you are a pet owner, just keep your eyes open for fleas and you may find them in strange places! Another area that you can investigate is your dogs toys, sleeping areas and other places where it likes to play. If you dog does have fleas, chances are that these areas will also show signs of a flea infestation and treatment is necessary here as well!

Less Obvious Signs That Fleas Are Present

best flea treatment for dogs image 25 Unfortunately, fleas can escape a manual inspection fairly easily. They simply need to jump off and if this goes unnoticed, chances are that you won’t even notice your dog has a flea problem. The best way to determine if your dog has fleas, even if they are not visible at present, is to use a flea comb on its fur and look for signs of “flea dirt“.

This is commonly found in flea problem areas and is actually their feces and dead skin. This of course, is fairly gross but at least it helps us know if there were fleas around, even if we cant see them at the moment.

If you don’t have a flea comb, there is no need to go and spend money on one if you have a fine-toothed brush lying around the house. In my case, my husband had one and I “acquired it” for my testing purposes. Despite my best intentions, he wasn’t impressed! Regardless, it helped me find out that our dog had fleas and was totally worth it. ;) How did I use it? Well simply place your dog on a white sheet and give it a complete brush. Once you are complete, examine and debris that fell off your dogs fur for tiny black objects that are about the size of a full stop at the end of this sentence. If you find a considerable amount, (make sure its not just dirt, it will have a black appearance, not brown) there is a good chance that your poor dog has fleas!

The Best Products for Treating Dogs with Fleas

  1. Frontline for dogs is a fantastic product that works well. Just remember that its for external use only and you need to make sure that you get the correct type for your dog. Simply look on the front of the packaging and search for the weight requirements and choose the correct one based on the size of your pet. If I was going to use a flea poison for my dog, I personally feel that this is one of the best product based flea treatment methods for dogs and it definitely does its job well!
  2. The Advantage flea treatment range is another brand that you can trust. Follow the same guidelines as the Front-line product and make sure you pay attention to the instructions carefully. Also remember that when dealing with these products, its always a good idea to give you hands a good wash afterwards as you may find that some of the flea poison is left over on your fingers, which can make you very sick if you ingest it.

The Best Flea Treatment for Dogs with Sensitive Skin

  1. Combine a mixture of lemon juice and warm water and rub it into your dog’s fur. Repeat this process everyday for three consecutive days. Your dog may not be too impressed but this is a proven method to get rid of fleas and it’s a very affordable option.
  2. Combine a mixture of Dawn dish soap and water and follow the same procedure as the lemon juice method. I have personally used this method and I think that it is the best natural flea treatment for fleas on dogs. Just make sure that you keep the treatments regular and you are almost guaranteed success. For additional information, please feel free to ask your questions in the comment section below.

Critical Flea Treatment for Your Home

  1. After treating your pet, take some time to clean up the home. This may involve giving your pets blankets (or even your linen if it has been affected) a hot wash. This ensures that the adult fleas are killed and do not find their way back on your dog or even you!
  2. You can use a couple natural powders that have been proven to help with flea infestations. Using borax for fleas or getting some diatomaceous earth to kill fleas in your carpets, etc. has helped thousands of people that have visited The Bug Squad and can help you as well so give it a try!
  3. It’s always a good idea to grab yourself a flea spray that is IGR compliant. This ensures that the flea life cycle is halted and the baby fleas (even fleas that haven’t hatched yet) are killed. If you do not use an IGR compliant spray, you may have another flea problem in a couple weeks so this is a very important step if fleas have started to infest your home. I have found that the Comfortis flea control products to be excellent in this regard. However, most of the well known brands contain this component. NB: Please note that this flea spray is NOT for use on your dog!

Proactive Approach to Flea Control for Your Dogs

Always remember that the best way to protect your dog from fleas is to put in preventative measures so that it doesn’t get fleas in the first place. I understand that this is not always possible and even if you are very careful with your pets, its almost impossible to completely avoid any possibility of your dog getting fleas sometime during its time with you. However, there are a few steps that you can take to improve your chances of keeping fleas away.

  1. Keep your lawn trimmed and remove excess foliage around your yard. Fleas often come from outside the home and doing these tasks will reduce the chance of a flea infestation in the yard. This will also ensure that your dog is protected from a potential flea problem in these areas. You can also purchase cedar wood chips and spread them in dark and damp areas to keep fleas away!
  2. If your dog has any interaction with other animals (especially if they are not your own), take a few moments to ensure that there are no fleas on him or her before bringing your dog back inside. This proactive approach allows you to stop a flea infestation by identifying it quickly and dealing with it immediately. If you know that there were animals near your dog that had fleas (such as another pet), make sure you give your dog a wash with dawn soap and hot water to stop those fleas dead in their tracks!

In conclusion, finding the best flea treatment for your dogs is really dependent on what route you want to take, namely a natural or a poison based one. Both have their advantages and disadvantages but as always, I highly recommend trying a few natural methods before purchasing the products suggested in this article. While flea products tend to give you a quick fix, just be careful of using any sort of poison as it can potentially harm the health of your animal as well as yourself. Thanks for taking the time to read this article! :)

Natasha Anderson

Natasha Anderson

Hi there! My name is Natasha and I would like to thank you for reading this guide. If you have any concerns or would like to ask a question about this article, I encourage you to leave a comment below and I will provide a reliable answer within about 24 hours. Remember, all this information is provided at absolutely no cost and if you have enjoyed what you have read, please show your appreciation by sharing this post on your favorite social network below. I look forward to helping you!
Natasha Anderson
Natasha Anderson
Please note that the contents of this guide is for informational purposes only. If you would like to receive professional advice to diagnose a pest control related problem, please contact your local exterminator immediately.


  1. Jjasd says:

    Hi Natasha! Thanks for all the effort you have put into this article! I have forwarded it to a few friends and family that I know have had a few problems with fleas lately. Looking forward to your future articles, keep it up!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Its a pleasure Jas! I appreciate the recommendation and I hope that it helps them! If they have any questions, please let them know that they can ask in the comment section and I will try respond within 24 hours :)

      • Malisa says:

        On the lemon juice and water mix how much lemon juice purchase water and do you rinse it out. Same with the dawn dish soap and water.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Malisa! I put about 4 chopped lemons to half a gallon of water. With the soap, just make the water soapy, that’s all.

  2. Terry_oneill says:

    Any ratio for lemon or Dawn to water

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Terry! Sorry for the late response! Thats a very good question, I usually go with about 4-6 chopped up lemons in a mixture of about 5 litres (about 1 lemon per litre) and dont forget to let them soak. As for the dawn soap, mix about a quarter cup with warm water and foam it up a bit. Hope that helps, enjoy!

  3. Say <3 says:

    Hi natasha, I was wondering if you could suggest me an affordable brand for treating fleas on dogs. I don’t want to invest a lot for getting rid of fleas since they are out of my budget. My dog is a labrador 8 months old. By the way I love your article! I’m going to recommend this to a dog club i’m affiliated with! I am sure they will love this new website! :)

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey! Advantage is a little cheaper then Frontlne (usually) and while I know its still a little bit expensive, it will probably be cheaper in the long run because it will work first time. Thanks for the recommendation, its much appreciated, makes all this writing worthwhile to know when people appreciate it ;)

  4. Pat says:

    The best I have found that works is K9Advantix ll. I buy it online and it’s the only one that works on my poms. I have tried the
    cheaper flea products and they all were a waste of money. K9Advantix works on mosquitos, biting flies, lice and ticks. I recommend it
    over Frontline any day. Last for one month..

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Pat. I agree with you, Advantix is a great product and I have used it in the past. However, I have found that depending on your geographic location (humidity, etc.), some flea products work better for some people then others. Keeping that in mind, I also recommend using K9 to anyone reading this article if you are looking for a quality flea removal product. Thanks for your comment :)

  5. Karen says:

    Hi Natasha, I seem to have a never ending problem with fleas on my terrier/poodle mix. The flea med’s only seem to last about a week or so. We have alot of trees in our yard and it’s impossible to keep him out of them. I’m thinking I may try the dawn dish liquid treatment you mentioned. How often would you bathe him using the dish soap? Do you think putting him in a bath of dawn and water would work better than just pouring it on him?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Karen! Sorry to hear about the lingering flea problems, those are the worst! I usually use it once a week at the most as it does tend to remove a dogs natural oils after too many consecutive treatments over a short amount of time. Since you have a small dog, you can definitely give him a bath in it instead, that’s actually a great idea for those that have small pets. Good luck!

  6. Chellesfurbabies says:

    Hey there Natasha! I’m going insane fighting off fleas this yr! I have 3 pit bulls and a Chihuahua. 2 of my pits are very sensitive to the fleas. I’ve tried just about everything, and am at a loss. What I did last yr isn’t working this yr. So basically I am wanting to know with the Dawn and water, how much of each do I use and rub it in like a lotion (well similarly) and allow it to dry?
    Thanx in advance!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Chelle! Sometimes fleas become resistant to flea treatments and due to the number of (often ineffective) products coming onto the market, this is only aggravating the situation. That’s why some treatments work for some while they wont work for others. Anyways, for the dawn treatment, soak your dogs in water and rub the soap into their fur (make sure its done properly) for a good couple of minutes. Once you are done, you can rinse them off and allow them to air dry. Hope that helps!

  7. mom2teenagers says:

    I have a 6yr old 38 lb female Chow who is currently undergoing treatment for oral melanoma. I’ve read that it’s not good to introduce any unnecessary chemicals to dogs fighting cancer but she has fleas now and is quite miserable. Would you suggest that I use the lemon or dawn mixes or do you think one of the commercial brands would be safe to apply? Thanks for your input.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey! Glad to see you have done a little homework, chemicals can definitely aggravate the situation and I am sorry to hear that your poor dog is struggling a bit. I highly recommend the dawn mix. In fact, I have used it (and recommended it to others) and have had success only using that method. Failing that, you can try mixing lemon juice (natural stuff, nothing “flavored”) and warm water and giving her a bath in that, it works great as well :)

      • Maria says:

        Hi Natasha.
        What a great site. You recommend Dawn dish soap (mix). As there are about 10 different soaps (Ultra, Pure Essentials, Destinations etc. etc.), please advise which of these is to be used to wash my dog?

  8. Carol George says:

    My dogs are 21 and 24 lbs. Do they need to be out of the houses when I use borax and for how long?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Carol. While it shouldn’t pose any major concern, I recommend taking them out the house (perhaps place them in the garage) during your borax treatment. Once you have applied and brushed the borax into your carpets, etc. you usually leave it there for about 10 hours before vacuuming it up so if you start in the morning you can have your dogs back inside before its dark.

  9. Andy Guzik says:


    Is there a difference between the Frontline you get from the vet and the Frrontline I can get at a store?



    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Andy, good question! They are exactly the same and most of the time, you can find it cheaper if you purchase it online or at a supermarket instead of your vet.

      • Cathy says:

        I believe the fleas have become immune to Front Line. I have been using it this summer and my dogs were infested. The Front line has not helped at all.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Cathy, its possible. But won’t be the same for everyone. Try another spot on and see how that works.

  10. new pet owner says:

    Hi, if I use a product like Front line. Shouldn’t that keep the fleas from coming back on your pet, even if they are around someone else’s pet that may have fleas?

    Also what brand of spray would you recommend for furniture?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey! Yes, that is 100% correct. However, keep in mind that if your pet hangs around other animals that have fleas, a couple may end up on it but it should die within a couple hours if you keep up the treatment. If this scenario is a common one, you should consider a monthly spot on treatment, it may cost a bit more but it will keep those fleas away. If you have cloth based furniture, use DE and for wood/etc. ones, just give it a wipe with a lemon based soap and you will be fine :)

  11. Clara says:

    Hi I work at Petco and we have advantix, advantage, frontline, sentry , and seresto flea collars. What are your thoughts on all of them? We’ve been having A LOT of customers coming in and asking about what to do and with so many products I don’t always know where to start. Then we have $15 treatments and $60 treatments. Why the big price difference?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Clara! Its mostly about the brand reputation to be honest. Once a brand like Frontline builds up a decent reputation for products that work well, they usually increase their prices because they are trusted and they are known to get good results. Of course, most of the time their price is justified because they only use the best ingredients :) Sorry for the fairly generic answer but that’s basically the reasons but on a side note, please read my article on flea collars as they are actually not really recommended by most vets because of the dangers associated with using them. Hope that helps!

  12. Karen Twamley says:

    salt placed in your vacuum cleaner bag will help kill flea eggs you have vacuumed up. Also you can put it on your carpets, wait several hours then vacuum, repeat this weekly for about 6 weeks

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Karen! Thanks for taking the time to make this fantastic recommendation for the community! I have also used salt in the past and it definitely does work, I have just found that DE and borax works slightly better. Definitely gets my stamp of approval though :)

  13. becca adams says:

    Tried the dawn so excited worked wonderful even better than dog shampoo

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Becca! Glad you found it useful, I was also rather excited when I tried it. At first, I thought there was no way in hell that something as simple as that could work but just like you, I was presently surprised at its effectiveness.

      • Lela Massey says:

        I’ve tried the dawn, the lemon treatment and basically every type of products and nothing is working. We bathe, spray, comb, dip, powered, and topical treatments and we are just having a problem getting rid of the fleas. I have 2 yorkiepoos, 4 cats and 2 yorkies that will be here tomorrow; I just can’t seem to get rid of these fleas. I’m just going out of my mind! I also have been spraying all of the furniture and my husband has also done the bombs and I’m at a loss. I don’t know what to do now!!!! Any suggestions!!!

        • Mona says:

          Try organic coconut oil. Put it every day on your dog’s legs, tummy, lower and upper back. Warm it up in your hands (about 1/4 of a teaspoon) before applying. I am surprised that people still use chemicals on their pets and slowly poison them. Coconut oil is not expensive. About 7-8 buck for a jar at most of grocery stores. Boil 1/2 of a cup of coconut oil in 1 cup of water, chill, put it in a spray bottle and use it for the bedding. Good luck. Stay away from chemicals !!!.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Mona! This is a great suggestion, thank you!

  14. shandi says:

    Just a suggestion to your readers and you if you didn’t know if you place a candle in a pie pan with dawn dish soap and water turn the lights off (preferably at night) and light the candle the fleas will jump in the pan and die I don’t leave mine unattended watch a movie have a candle lit dinner lol but its a good way to see what rooms are infested

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Shandi! I really appreciate your recommendation, its a good one and I have actually authored an article on flea traps that use a similar process. I can personally confirm that it works and as you mentioned, its a great way to see which rooms are having a problem with fleas so you can take the necessary steps to stop an infestation. Thanks for sharing!

      • Bettie says:

        Hi Natasha, I’m having a terrible problem with fleas on 2 miniature Shih tzu’s. My biggest concern is outdoors. I live in the mountains in TN. My dogs spend a lot of time on a wooden deck. Because of wild animals, including bears, they rarely leave the deck. I feel my flea infestation must be coming from the deck. I have no idea how to treat the deck, which wraps around 4 sides of the house. Every time they come back in they have picked up more fleas. My smallest dog weighs 5 lbs and both are losing their hair from scratching. I would appreciate your advice.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hey Bettie! I recommend just hosing your deck down on a regular basis. Things like borax or diatomaceous earth won’t work very well outside and lime is rather abrasive and might damage your deck. I know that’s a rather simple answer but considering the size of your deck, its the only realistic solution. For treating fleas in your home, etc, check out my other flea articles as they will give you an idea as to what your options are.

  15. Dorinda says:

    Can you tell me what’s best to use on the lawn? I wonder if the dawn would work? Thank you!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Dorinda! To be perfectly honest, I havn’t actually tried using the dawn soap method in my yard but here is my recommendation. If you have a couple dry days, dust your entire lawn with borax or DE. These are very cheap and won’t damage your plants. After a couple repeats, you will kill any fleas in these areas. Enjoy! P.S: If you do try dawn outside, please let me know your results, just dont use it at the same time as my suggested method as it will reduce its effectiveness.

  16. gina goldinger says:

    I have used Advantix II this year and it isn’t working. How often can I put flea medicine on my dog? I have used the Dawn dish soap method, I also put white vinegar in it, I was told that is what is used in flea dips that people pay so much money for. I recently put the flea meds on our dog, I took her tonight to a lace where you can bath your own dog, they had flea and tick shampoo and I used that as well. The humidity has been really bad here and I also put skin so soft on her when she dried. I rubbed it in real good. I vacuumed everything. She is still itching. Any suggestions?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Gina! Flea product efficiency sometimes does diminish over time and you may find that changing it for another product will yield better results :) I recommend getting a monthly spot on treatment (you can buy them in packs that will last 30 days) and a daily bath in dawn soap with warm water until her itchiness subsides. Hope that helps!

  17. Michele says:

    Does using Dawn just kill existing fleas or does it also prevent them from getting on animals. I have been using Frontline Plus on my dog but it is no longer effective. My vet office suggest using Advantix but it is toxic to cats and my dog and cats LOVE each other. Looking for something effective and safe to use around all my animals.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Michele! It just kills existing fleas but wont keep them away. I recommend using a product called “Advantage”, its roughly the same quality as Frontline and works very well. You also get cat and dog variations and if you don’t want to use any of the natural methods that I outline in my flea articles, this should be your weapon of choice. Good luck!

  18. Thelma says:

    Hi Natasha I would like to know that after I use the lemon or dawn how long do I live it and I don’t need to shower my dog after it with regular dog shampoo? Thank you.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Thelma! After dosing your dog in either lemon water or a dawn soapy mixture, you can wash it off a couple minutes later, making sure that it has done its job of course. If you leave it on your dog, I suppose its won’t do any harm since its completely natural but rather just hose your dog down with some water afterwards. Hope that helps!

  19. Kelvin Willshee says:

    I am intrigued by the Dawn dish soap method. Why Dawn in particular? I live in the UK and I don’t think we have that brand in our supermarkets. Can you do a breakdown of the active ingredients for me? I can look at the brands we have available and match it to Dawn then. I suspect any antibacterial dish soap will do the same as Dawn but it would be nice to know. Nice article by the way.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Kelvin! Using dawn dish washing soap is definitely not a requirement, any lemon based, natural one will do. I usually recommend Dawn since I personally know that it is free of any chemicals, its safe and won’t aggravate the skin when applied. Hope that clears things up, appreciate the compliment and hope to see you back here again soon :)

      • Jo says:


        If you look up ocean oil spills….almost always, the vets/biologist that assist animals in the clean up of ocean oil spills use Dawn dish detergent….it is very mild and gentel and breaks down the oil from the water, on the various animals. In short, a great produce! Try Amazon for your area

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Jo, thanks for helping Kelvin, appreciate it.

  20. Son says:

    hi Natasha, i have a yr old rotty, his whole back, tail, and head has flea patches i dont know how to describe it but it looks like the fleas has been infested and i see alot of flakes coming off his body when ever i rub his coat. im interested with the dawn soap method…can i combined the dawn soap with lemon, will that completely get rid of the fleas? and also how many times should i give him a bath (i usually give him a weekly bath, but since the fleas has been invaded what should i do). and also should i just pour the dawn soap and massage his coat or should is distill the soap…thanks

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Heya! Yes, that should get rid of any fleas on your rotty but keep in mind that if you have a flea problem in the house, he will just get them again. It also sounds like your dog has a food allergy problem (I know because I have had a dog in the past that I had a similar experience with) so I recommend perhaps changing his food for something more organic. In normal circumstances, I recommend only washing a dog once a month (since it also removes their natural oils). Rather then washing him frequently, focus your energy on getting rid of the fleas around the house/yard so that he doesnt pick them up again in the future :)

  21. Joanne G. Miller says:

    Hi – learning a lot from this – my cats were in the basement – I have moved them out – used the Dawn method to treat them (this worked extremely well and they were so fluffy afterwards. A lot of fleas remain in the basement – this is a concrete floor basement – not being used for anything but washer/dryer, freezer, furnace, etc. I’ve sprinkled borax around and it doesn’t seem to have helped. There isn’t anything for them to feed on there now – why aren’t they dying off?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Joanne! Glad that the Dawn soap method worked well for you, its really a great option for safe, affordable flea control. You could try using DE in the basement but since its confined within a small area that isn’t in common living areas, I recommend using a flea bomb (check my article for specific steps) to kill those remaining fleas.

  22. Latonja says:

    I have a yorkie shih tzu that when she get fleas it is real bad. Would you recommend that I keep her hair cut short and give her a dawn bath, dawn spray or lemon spray weekly. I would like to find a natural way to keep fleas away from my baby. How do you feel about seresto is that a good product if i can find anything natural.and how about the pill that you can give them.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Latonja! Yes, that would work nicely but I recommend that you reduce the bathing to once a month (as it also removes their natural oils) and rather use a flea comb (I have an article on this) a couple times a week. I havn’t personally used that product so I cannot comment but it looks alright so let me know how that goes if you decide to use it. Hope that helps :)

  23. Margie says:

    Thanks so much for the hints. Can you please give me to ratio of dawn or lemon juice and the water?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Margie! Its a pleasure! For the lemon method, I usually use about 4 large, chopped lemons in about 2 liters water. Don’t forget to leave them to soak. The dawn method requires just enough to make the water “foamy”, much like you would before washing the dishes, only just a little more. Let me know how it goes. Cheers!

  24. Darren says:

    Can you tell me why advantage worked wonderfully and advantage 2 didn’t do a thing? Also is frontline a good product to use?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Darren! Frontline is a great product, I have personally had decent results with both of them. To be honest, depending on things like climate, repeat frequency and previous usage of various flea products, sometimes they can become immune to certain types of treatments. I always recommend giving a couple of the top brands a try and simply seeing which works the best for you.

  25. Janellen says:

    I have Australian Shepherds. Any tricks for getting the dawn or lemon juice solutions to the skin level or is that necessary?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Janellen! I usually mix some chopped up, raw lemons to some warm water and let them soak for a couple hours. Then I douse my dogs in this liquid, parting the fur if necessary. I have had a few readers suggest putting that mixture in a spray bottom and applying it like that but its up to you. Good luck!

  26. Sandra Gutierrez says:

    Hi Natasha thanks for all that helpful info. I have a 5 month golden retriever which we love well its been 2 weeks now that his infested with ticks n we have tried almost everything we spray our back yard frequently and bath him use every dog spray they tell us. but they keep coming back keep in mind his an outside dog now. Please help I really dont want to get rid of him. Thank you in advance.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Sandra! Its a pleasure, glad you have found it useful! :) Have you tried using a monthly spot on treatment? You can purchase a pack that will last an entire month which greatly reduces the cost per treatment. I recommend giving your dogs a warm wash with dawn soap and then once they are completely dry, apply the spot on and repeat as instructed on the box. Hope that helps :)

  27. Yvette Ramirez says:

    So do you rinse the Dawn mixture off or leave on like the lemon juice??

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Yvette! Just use the dawn mixture to give your dog a good old wash and leave it on him or her for a short while. To be honest, if you take the time to wash the dog properly, by the time you are finished you can start rinsing it off with water. :)

  28. Jesse MacAllister says:

    Hi, Nat. My adopted 10yo 50 lb. Chow/Terrier began with “hot spots” resulting from grass pollen allergies in spring. All the usual symptoms, switched her to Costco’s all natural no-grain food, but she continued to scratch and chew until she was a mess. I trimmed back her heavy coat and discovered fleas. Had to put a hoodie on to keep her from chewing (a bit of terrier neurosis in the mix) and tried the Costco Kirkland brand of topical spot treatment along with Adams spray. Limited success, so I’m switching to Frontline Plus, which has always served well on previous dogs, & will bathe her with a Dawn/lemon mix. Extreme humidity here in GA is a big part of the problem, expect less difficulty when we return to the beautiful desert of AZ. BTW, price of Frontline @ Costco is less than I’ve found on-line & no S&H chg. Tnx for caring. Cheers!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Jesse! Thanks for sharing your experience, I am sure that the community will benefit from it :) Let me know how it goes and if I can help in any way, let me know. Cheers!

  29. SisJane says:

    Hi Natasha, I noticed that when I use a flea comb it pulls badly on my dogs hair, what kind of flea comb do u use/recommend?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey SisJane! Unfortunately flea combs are fine toothed, meaning that they will get caught on knotted hair, etc. I suggest that you take a regular brush and get all the tufts out and then use the flea comb, it will work much better that way. I have an article on flea combs, check it out for more details :)

  30. Jerry Robin says:

    Hi Natasha, first of all does the dawn method give the dog the runs since they seem to lick what you put on them, and do you think that a conditioner after their bath would help with their natural oils that are being deleted after giving them a bath?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Jerry! Not to my knowledge. However, I do recommend giving your dog a good rinse off with cold water after washing him or her with dawn soap so it wont matter if they lick their fur when you are done. I don’t think so Jerry, natural oils are produced naturally in the hair itself and while it will come back (its not a problem unless you are washing your dog all the time), conditioning wont speed up the process.

  31. dawn platt says:

    i just spotted a few fleas on my german shepherd and shes scratching a lot too, i am going to try the dawn dish soap and will let you know how it works thanks for info :)

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Dawn! Excellent, let me know how it goes and drop me a message if I can help you further! Good luck!

  32. Phyllis says:

    Hi Natasha: Do you use the lemon scented Dawn? I have the antibacterial and the Dawn Power Clean, my choice would be the anti-bacterial, what do you think? I have a shih ztu who has never had fleas before and now I found flea dirt and a few fleas on him. I gave him Capstar and use Frontline, but I guess that didn’t help. He goes to the groomer every 5 weeks. I concerned about the Frontline, if I give him a bath with Dawn, does that inactivate the Frontline? Very confusing. Thanks for your informative article.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Phyllis! Yes, the anti-bacterial would be the best I think. However, to be honest, I just use the regular dawn soap and it has yielded excellent results in the past. Yes, that wouldn’t be a good idea, if you are going to give your pet a wash, do it before you apply the Frontline and not after. Hope that clears things up! Cheers!

  33. laura says:

    hi Natasha, thanks for all your tips,I really am getting educated, my problem is, my lawn gets treated, my dogs are treated with frontline, we see a flea or two, but we are getting freaked out, my husband wants me to call an exterminator, I don’t know what to do any suggestions on that? I am going to do the dawn bath today.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Laura! An exterminator would solve the problem and since your husband wants it, its not a bad idea if you can afford the treatment. I recommend treating your pets and indoors without the assistance of a professional (my guides cover all this in detail) and then getting a quote for your outdoor area. Let me know how it goes :)

  34. Robert says:

    For the yard I use 99.9 % pine oil it works good you can get the pine oil at a lawn or garden center just put it in a spray bottle that goes on a water hose and just spray the yard

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Robert! That’s a fantastic suggestion and I really appreciate you sharing that tip with the community. I must admit that I haven’t ever used that method but after doing a little research, it seems that there are others that share similar good results. I will definitely recommend this to those that want to treat their own yard for fleas.

  35. alan says:

    Hey I have two great Danes, 4 Chihuahua, and a cat. I love my animals. this year has been the worst I have ever seen fleas so bad. My Danes outside are completely covered and the rest are inside have them also( not as bad) but I have tried everything but the lemon juice. we bath them in Dawn it gets rid of them but like you said they come back. I have bought the ortho yard spay and have sprayed several times but it hasn’t slowed them up at all. I’ve bought the spot stuff that goes down there back, did nothing. help please they are even biting me. I hate these little things.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Alan! When you applied the spot on treatment, did you apply it directly to the dogs skin? Remember that if you just put it on their hair it won’t be effective. I am not too sure which product you used but here is my recommendation. Get yourself a monthly spot on treatment package by Frontline or Advantage (bulk = big savings) and after washing your dogs with dawn + water, apply the product (when they are dry) properly and then follow a step by step procedure to get rid of them in your house. I have tons of information on this last step but your first stop should be my DE article, it will really help you. Good luck!

  36. Gary says:

    Can i use I wash cloth to apply the warm water and dawn soap and rub it into their their coat ?


    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Gary! Absolutely, in fact I recommend it. Make sure that you spend enough time to really get them soaked to the skin and you will see fairly instant results. Just remember that this won’t keep fleas away so you should find out where the fleas are coming from so that you can get rid of the problem at the source. Hope that helps!

  37. Shannon says:

    Most topical treatments recommend that you wait a few days after bathing your pet to apply. It has something to do with the oils in their skin. Just a heads up!

    I’ve been dealing with an infestation myself, ever since the house next door was torn down. (The abandoned house was a real life Hotel for Feral Cats!) I’ve tried dawn, numerous topicals, white AND red vinegar, diatomaceous earth…. I’m at a loss :( nothing the vet suggests works :(

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Shannon! Thanks for the tip, you are 100% correct and I will add that important point to this guide tomorrow morning, appreciate your contribution! Just to confirm, are you trying to get rid of the fleas on your pet or around your home? I know its usually both but just let me know so I can help you better. In the meantime, I suggest you check out my article on a DIY flea trap as I have had a number of my readers reporting excellent results recently. Good luck and looking forward to hearing from you.

  38. kellie says:

    I cannot use Dawn saop on my dog.He breaks out everytime i us it.Anything thing else I could use?And i have another question.Why is it that pne of my dogs get flea’s alot worse than my other one.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kellie! Are you sure that you are using the correct one? As for as I understand it, Dawn shouldn’t cause any irritation. Since you are looking for an alternative, I highly recommend that you give the lemon and warm water a try, just make sure that you use fresh lemons, not that fake stuff from the supermarket. Good luck!

  39. Marcia B Gentile says:

    Thank you Natasha we just got the cutest Shitzu who is only 4 months. I do not let him out he uses wee wee pads, but when we purchased him from the breeder we found out she has some fleas. We are using your method of Dawn and Borax. Thank you so much for your input.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Marcia! Its a pleasure, I hope that your little doggy pal remains flea free for as long as possible ;)

  40. Barb says:

    Hi, after the dawn bath I saw fleas on my yorkie, so after bathing and getting off which I hope is all of them. What do I do now? Are they still there which I can’t see. Please advise

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Barb! I recommend grabbing yourself a flea comb and to use it on your Yorkie about once a week. That will help you to proactively detect fleas and take appropriate action :)

  41. Juliet Scott says:

    I have found the blue dawn and water works. I typically rub it into my dog’s fur and skin for 3-5 minutes and then rinse. It doesn’t prevent fleas from returning or kills all of them. It kills most that are already on your dog. I didn’t realize that it wouldn’t repel other fleas or kill the eggs. So I was surprised to find more fleas on my dog the next day. I did more research and found that using vegetable oil (I had olive oil at the time) along with the dawn mixture killed so many more fleas (adult, young, larvae). It didn’t kill the eggs. But it did give me and my dog enough relief and time to get to the vet to start a prevention plan. Borax and Morgan’s salt and flea foggers together will rid your home much quicker than just using one or the other. Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. As soon as you’re finished vacuuming, throw out the vacuum bag or clean out the bagless compartment immediately. I left salt under couches and corners around the house, as well as on the steps. I had never had a flea problem before so it was an eye-opening experience. You also have to spray your yard. The three areas of treatment have to be done or the fleas will be back. Good luck everyone!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Juliet! Thanks for your contribution, its much appreciated! Its always great to hear some feedback from someone who has actually gone through the process of killing fleas. Have a good one and hope to see you back again soon :)

  42. Amy says:

    We have a golden retriever puppy and I’ve noticed a few fleas. We are keeping him in the house part of the time to housebreak. I’m interested in using the borax on my carpets as more of a precaution for flea infestation. I have looked it up and need to know if its the borax laundry powder or something else. Also, I have a 5 year old son so I want to be certain this will not be harmful to him. I am planning to treat while he’s in school. Could you please tell me how long to leave it before vacuuming?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Amy! Most laundry powder does contain borax but I recommend that you purchase some 40 mule borax powder as its non-toxic and safe to use around the home. As for the duration, I usually leave it down for about a day and then vacuum it up afterwards. I have actually written an entire article on how to use borax for fleas, check it out for more information :)

  43. Dev says:

    Hi Natasha
    I am having a 11 month old pug. He is having bugs which sucks bloods and increase their sizes . i remove repeatedly but it comes back within one day. What types of bugs are these? Are these fleas? Should i use the dawn soap process? Plz suggest and help me out from these problem.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Dev! It sounds like ticks which need a different removal process. Until I write some guides on getting rid of them, I recommend that you visit your local vet and get an anti-tick medication for your pug. You should get results after a day or two. Good luck!

  44. patricia stein says:

    hello,I have had a horrible time with fleas,frontline.advantage and advantix not working none of them I have 7 dogs total half are rescues,however I am just passing some information down to those who want it,trying the natural remedies of garlic and vinegar in dogs water,food the dosage is on the net depending on intake,also dogs get allergys from fleas and also there food, most dog foods in walmart,target,grocery stores main ingredient is corn,which you dont even digest corn so changing your dogs food to something better ist ingredient a meat product wil change alot of things for your pet they will be much hapier and will stop scratching.there is resonable foods and feed stores and tractor supplie places,diamond is a good food for a much as a bag of corn purina.hope this helps someone

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Patricia! Thanks for your valuable input, the community (and me) really appreciate it :)

  45. David Lee says:

    Great article, very informative.
    We used to use Bob Martin drops on our little terrier for a while but weren’t too sure it was working and have since switched over to Frontline. I was a bit skeptical at first as I wasn’t sure how one could be so different from another. I was proved wrong almost instantly and now always recommend it to others. I too have never heard of the lemon trick. Going to give that a try I think as my dog does have sensitive skin on his back.


    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey David! You can buy bottled lemon juice, as long as its the real thing, not just lemon flavored (you will be surprised how many are). Good luck, let me know how it goes :)

  46. rob says:

    Not sure if others have experienced this but Frontline doesn’t seem to be effective for very long…maybe one to two weeks. Advantage seems to work better and last longer…we have a Boxer so just wanted to pass that along.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Rob. It really depends on a per case (and per region basis) but yes, I have experienced a simular experience with a few brands in the past. Appreciate your suggestion though, I have also used Advantage and its great!

  47. ashley says:

    Hello my two dogs one is a chihuahua and the other is a Dotson mixed with fox terrier. I had a neighbor move out of my now old apartment and when they cleaned it we found out it that the place was severely infested with fleas I tryed everything while in the apartment I am now living in a duplex but I am still seeing fleas on my pets. I have never seen more than 4 or 5 on them at a time so I’m assuming I’m keeping slightly under control but the problem is summer is coming which might mean even more. I would love to get completely get rid of them for good. Things I have tryed in the apartment a flea bomb I have washed them once a week with flea shampoo and I have tryed kind of cheap spot on treatments which seem to do nothing (could be because my dogs won’t set still long enough to get it on the skin ) I am very clean person and have 3 adults in the house so vacuuming moping and those kind of things are done on regular basis. I don’t really have the money to keep spending on flea products plus my Dotson skin seems aggravated all ready so the natural way might be best. What would say I do. ? I have had dogs my whole life with no flea problems I have had these two dogs for 7 and 4 years with no problems so I’m extremely lost in what I should. What I have done was recommended by people at pet store…. please help and thanks for any advice you have to offer :)

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Ash! I recommend that you purchase some frontline for your pets and get an expert to treat your house (keep the pets out the house for the day). Any other method is going to cost you more in the end, due to the extent of the infestation. Let me know if you want me to send you a couple free quotes, TBS has partnered with a US solution provider that allows me to organize that for my valued community :)

  48. Debbie Twins says:

    Hi I have a border collie lab mix and poor thing is licking his paws for hours. He eats blue dog food lamb and brown rice as well as duck and sweet potato. Never had a problem. I stopped chicken a long time ago and only give him chicken if I cook it no problems. I checked his skin only found dirt. He gets a bath once a month or every two months with oatmeal shampoo because his skin is a little dry. I want to try the dawn method just as preventative but what kind there r so many or will any dawn do? Im going to try the candle to see if there really are bugs but will only fleas jump in and where should u put the candle the floor, desk where. Please help Debbie

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Debbie! Any lemon based soap (natural is better) will work, combining that with fresh lemon does wonders, just make sure its not done too often as it can dry the skin out. Check out my article on flea traps, if you still need help, leave a comment there please :)

  49. UnicornGrove says:

    I would like to know how damp to make my dog’s hair when applying the lemon water treatments.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Unicorn! I usually just wash my dog at the same time so to answer your question, very damp ;)

  50. Reba says:

    Thank you!! We have 2 dogs and are “dog sitting” 2 others. I was horrified to find out they all had fleas. They are house dogs so, of course, my house has/had fleas too. I’ve used a fogger, sprayed the carpet with spray that will kill eggs, treated the dogs, twice, steam cleaned my carpets and sprayed and washed down all of my furniture. Is there anything else that I need to do? Do you think it’s important to treat our yard? None of the dogs had been around other dogs or animals except for chickens so I’m not sure where they got them. Thank you so much for your help! I was kind of in a panic but your site has helped me tremendously. I think maybe I may be able to get rid of them after all.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Reba! I think you have done enough, just keep an eye on the situation.

  51. Jessica says:

    Hello. I’m Jessica. My fiancé and I have a MAJOR flea issue. It’s to the point that we don’t know what to do anymore. We have set off bombs twice and it just hasn’t worked. We thought it had until I went in the spare room and started cleaning up and felt something on my feet. When I looked down they were covered in fleas!!! We are going to try borax and see how it goes. If it doesn’t work I’m hoping diatomaceous earth will. Is there anymore Tips you have to help us? We also have ferrets that have them now. HELP?!?!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jessica! Yes, try borax and DE first, then try out my DIY flea trap guide on this blog. Let me know how that goes.

  52. L S says:

    Very interesting enjoyable articles, will try some of recommendations to combat fleas. Very interested in using salt on my laminate floors, will place in corners, under couch/chair cushions. Have always had dogs, however my new minature poodle is really keeping me hopping fighting fleas, my other toy poodles never had problems with infestation, they received weekly dawn baths for over 17 yrs;, however, my new poodle loves to waddle/lay in grass; I have treated my front yard with Bug B Gon, will try borax in my front yard, will also try diamond dog food to help alievate his biting of his tail, unable to see flee festation, vet stated that he does not have fleas, appears to have allergic reaction to flea bites. Currently spraying him with lemon water each time he goes outside, will bathe him with lemon dawn, along with adding some lemons in his bath water!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi LS! Glad you enjoyed the content of my articles. Let me know how those treatments go!

  53. ,carla says:

    Hi, we’ve never had fleas at home, but we are on vacation with our dog and the place we are staying is infested with fleas. We treated our dog with advantix and most of the fleas have left her, but the new ones jump on her whenever we come back to the room. We leave in two days and I need to know how to make sure we don’t bring any fleas back home. Do they get in our clothes/luggage and if so,how long can they live in non-living objects? Please answer soon.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Carla, I suggest that you wash your clothes in hot water when you get back and wash out the bag. That should be sufficient :)

  54. Mary says:

    Hi there, been reading all these ideas for treating for fleas. I would first like to say thank you for all the answers. Been struggling with fleas for a while. Going in hyper mode today and treat house, dogs and yard. I’m going to use the Mule Borax in the house but my question is what to do about the furniture. I will be sitting in the living room and have had fleas jump on my arms. And yes my dogs lay on my furniture with me. So any ideas?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Mary, just wipe down the furniture and focus your attention on the ground and your pets, don’t forget to use a spot on for them.

  55. marypaull king says:

    I have fighting fleas now for almost 3 weeks…… I have bomb the house twice, spray the lawns with insecticide, wash the dogs three times, apply didn’t manage twice, bought expensive flea collars, and washed everything that’s washable in my house. I have Stanley steamer wash all the carpets. Yesterday morning I washed the dogs again and by the afternoon they have fleas. I found food grade diatomaceous earth add a feed store. I am read your articles they are very informative and I plan to start on the carpets today. Is it okay to put that diatomaceous on The furniture is well. And I’d like to put it on the dogs if you think that would be okay. So that’s my actual question…. Can I put the diatomaceous earth on the dogs? Thanks so much. MP

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Mary, you can but I advise you use a spot on instead.

  56. Sharon says:

    Hi. Wanted to share the advice of my former neighbors who lived in the deep woods and adopted a stray cat from me. They used roughly a half -whole teaspoon of brewer’s yeast mixed in this large (28 lb. cat.) Willie’s food, divided in two meals daily, and I know the cat never had fleas or any form of dermatitis despite roaming the woods and our property every day.. They also never had fleas in their home, though the widower dad was obsessed with constant vacuuming, which does truly help. Since we are having a rough year with fleas on our menagerie and around our home, I recently ordered some brewer’s yeast on Amazon, and am waiting impatiently for it to arrive. Meanwhile, I’ve been using Activyl topical treatment from our local shelter that’s proved effective for the cats and is $48 for 6 treatments, Advantage on the dog, and spray from my Vet in the carpeting. I have tried to alternate these not so nice chemicals with natural products, including the 20 mule team Borax or table salt on furniture and floors, a cheap trick I used 35 years ago, as well as FOOD GRADE diatomaceous earth on the animals between chemical treatments.. (Must be food grade or harms pets.) I’m also trying to step up the mopping, vacuuming, and flea combing. Very wearing, but starting to get ahead of these terrible fleas at last. Good luck to us all.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Sharon, thanks for sharing your story, definitely will be useful to others! :)

  57. ashley says:

    Do you use the lemon with water as his shampoo? Or after

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Ashley, after is fine.

  58. T erri says:

    OOur flea problem is so heavy that I now see the black spots all over since my cataract removal ! I suspect my mini dog And I have eaten flea dirt in our food because I see so many in the kitchen. How harmful can it be to both of us? Love your site, Natasha.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Terry, I have sent you a message

  59. Mary Lou Kowalczyk says:

    I have a Westie which has very sensitive skin. I was using Advantix on her for 2 yrs., now when I put it on her, she scratches her back on whatever she can go under. I really think she is allergic to it. I have to shampoo it off, because she won’t stop scratching. Please suggest something for her sensitive condition. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Mary, wash your dog in warm water and dawn soap, kills the fleas immediately. Repeat once every two weeks or so.

  60. Erinn says:

    Hi. I read your article and found it very informative. Lots of suggestions and I’m definitely going to check them out. My major flea pissue is outside. My husband and our 5 year old Chihuahua and I live n a garage apt and share the backyard area with the people in the main front house. They have been here for 9 years and have always fed the feral cats who also live here. There are at least 10 of them. Along with 2 huge raccoons and 1 very fat, very ugly opossum. Every time our dog goes outside to do his business, he comes back in with at least 10 fleas on him. Super stressful for everyone. Do u have any suggestions that could maybe help us with our flea problem?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Erinn, that is tricky, I suggest you get those monthly packs of front-line or something like that, might do the trick.

  61. Jo says:

    Hello and Thank you very much for the great article!
    We recently moved from NE Arizona to Northern Cali, right on the coast…so literally, from never having fleas to being flea infested!! My 5 year old GSD is very sensitive to everything…a lot of food and airborne allergies. We opted not to do flea shampoo, too many chemicals. We did get food grade DE and used less than a teaspoon to cover the coats, Monday and today…..now reading your article….I am conserned of dehydration….they have been drinking and peeing, normal, so far….but baths with dawn are in order for the morning! I am an essential oils rep, got into it, just to learn more and how to help my pup with her allergies (still learnng)…some of the research I have done is lavender oil (food grade) approx 10 drop to 6 ounces of water….is a natural flea and bug replent. (I have read several articles that praise this….so far, nothing negative). I am wondering you thoughts and experience on lavender oil? Maybe between the dawn bath and lavender oil “spritz”. This will be an all natural win-win for our four legged family. Thank you so very much for your time!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jo, yeah the dawn bath and lavender oil “spritz” (lol) sounds like a great plan. One word of caution though, don’t wash your pets daily, it robs their skin of natural oils. Otherwise you seem to be on top of things, let me know how it goes!

      • Jo Avery says:

        Hello Natasha Hope all is well with you! Got the pups a bath last evening with blue Dawn dish soap…fleas fell off!! Little lavender oil “spritz” and all seems to be going well :) As much as I hate chemicals, I do have a professional company, coming on Monday to spray the house and yard…hopefully, this will be an end to our fleas….and a vet appt tomorrow, just as a stand by option. :) I do want to Thank You very much for your article and information!

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Jo, sounds good, let me know if all goes well. Thanks for the update!

Speak Your Mind