Does Apple Cider Vinegar Kill Fleas on Dogs?

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Nothing is worse than seeing your precious pet become plagued by fleas.

They’re itchy, annoying, and can cause health issues in your pup if they aren’t addressed.

But you can’t just spray any old chemicals on your dog’s skin or use a chemical-filled shampoo to get rid of them.

Your dog needs something safe and natural like apple cider vinegar (ACV).

So does apple cider vinegar kill fleas on dogs? And is it safe for your pet? Let’s find out!

Apples and apple cider vinegar

Does Apple Cider Vinegar Kill Fleas?

ACV is made by fermenting apples with yeast and bacteria.

This process creates acetic acid, which is the active ingredient in vinegar. It’s a weak acid, but it’s strong enough to kill fleas.

A 2002 study[1] found that acetic acid can kill adult fleas within an hour.

And vinegar isn’t just effective at killing fleas on contact. It also prevents their eggs from hatching, so it can help break the flea life cycle and prevent an infestation.

Does it Just Repel Them?

No, ACV will kill fleas. But it’s not an instant solution—you won’t see dead fleas falling off your dog as soon as you pour it on.

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It takes time for the vinegar to work, so don’t expect miracles overnight.

Does it Kill Flea Eggs and Larvae?

Yes! According to an article published in UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment[2], in addition to killing adult fleas, vinegar also disrupts their life cycle by preventing flea eggs from hatching.

This is a crucial step in getting rid of an infestation because if the eggs hatch, you’ll just have more fleas to deal with.

How Effective is it?

Apple cider vinegar is a safe and effective way to kill fleas, but it’s not a silver bullet.

It won’t work instantly, and it may not kill every flea on your dog.

Still, it’s a good option to use alongside other flea control methods, like spot-on treatments, to help get the infestation under control.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for Dogs?

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for Dogs

Apple cider vinegar is generally considered safe for dogs.

While there are no studies on the use of apple cider vinegar for fleas specifically, it’s regarded as safe when administered in small amounts.

However, it can cause damage if too much is given, so always follow the recommended dosage.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for Puppies?

According to the U.S. Food And Drug Administration, apple cider vinegar is generally considered safe for puppies over 12 weeks old.

This is because younger puppies have more sensitive stomachs and skin that may react negatively to the acidity of apple cider vinegar. 

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Harmful to Dogs?

Although apple cider vinegar is safe for dogs in small amounts, too much can cause health problems.

The most common side effect is digestive upset. This can include diarrhea, vomiting, and appetite loss.

A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association[3] found that apple cider vinegar can also cause low potassium levels, which can lead to muscle weakness, lethargy, and coordination problems.

If your dog ingests too much of it, it’s important to contact your veterinarian right away.

How Do You Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Fleas?

Apple cider vinegar is a safe, effective way to kill fleas on dogs. It can be used as a preventative measure or to treat an existing infestation.

To use apple cider vinegar, add it to your dog’s water bowl, bathe your dog in it, or make a flea collar.

You can also spray it directly onto your dog’s fur.

How to Make a Homemade Flea Spray with Apple Cider Vinegar

How to Make a Homemade Flea Spray with Apple Cider Vinegar

To make an ACV flea spray, simply mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle and spray directly onto your pet’s coat.

You can also add some lemon juice to the mixture as this acts as another flea repellent. If your dog is prone to dry skin, you can add a little olive oil as well.

Safe Apple Cider Vinegar Alternatives for Dogs

If you’re looking for a safe, natural flea treatment for your dog but don’t want to use apple cider vinegar, here are a few other options you can try.

  • Lemon juice: Lemon juice is a safe, natural flea repellent that can be used in place of apple cider vinegar.
  • Salt: Salt can also be used to kill fleas on your dog. Simply sprinkle some onto your dog’s fur, rub it in, and then brush it out.
  • Baking soda: Baking soda can be used in place of salt to kill fleas. You can use it in the same way by spraying it onto the fur.

FAQs

Here are a few other common questions people ask.

Can I Bathe My Dog in Vinegar to Kill Fleas?

Yes, you can bathe your dog in vinegar to kill fleas. Simply add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar to a standard-size tub of warm water, or add 1 cup of vinegar to a gallon of water and use it to fill your dog’s bathtub.

How Long Does it Take Apple Cider Vinegar to Kill Fleas?

Apple cider vinegar will kill fleas on contact. However, it may take a few days to see a noticeable difference in your dog’s fur in case of a heavy infestation.

Can I Spray Apple Cider Vinegar on My Dog?

According to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, you can spray apple cider vinegar on your dog. It is safe to use on dogs when used as directed, but be sure to dilute it with water and avoid getting it in your dog’s eyes. 

How Often Should I Spray My Dog With Apple Cider Vinegar for Fleas?

You can spray your dog with apple cider vinegar as often as you like. However, if you’re using it as a preventative measure, it’s best to use it once a week.

How Often Can I Bathe My Dog With Apple Cider Vinegar?

Generally, it’s safe to bathe your dog with apple cider vinegar once a week. However, if your dog has sensitive skin, you may want to wash them less often.

Resources

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/veterinary-science-and-veterinary-medicine/nitenpyram
  2. https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef602
  3. https://avmajournals.avma.org/view/journals/javma/javma-overview.xml

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