Does Salt Kill Fleas on Dogs?

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Though the risk of fleas is present the whole year, fleas are more active in warmer weather.

And with spring on the horizon, it is almost flea season.

Because not all dog owners use flea preventative year-round, sometimes dogs will pick up fleas before receiving their first flea treatment in the spring.

Thankfully, there are numerous useful over-the-counter and prescription flea products, but many dog parents prefer to use more natural products when possible.

And when it comes to getting rid of fleas, there are several excellent options available.

However, some home remedies can be harmful if used the wrong way.

Salt is an excellent natural remedy for getting rid of fleas in your home, but can it safely be used on dogs?

This article, Does Salt Kill Fleas on Dogs, will explore how well salt works on fleas and any safety concerns about using salt on your dog to kill fleas.

Does Salt Kill Fleas?

Salt is effective at killing fleas, though it does not kill all flea life cycles.

Salt will kill adult fleas and their larvae, but it cannot eliminate the flea’s eggs.

Though salt effectively kills fleas, it is a home treatment that requires multiple applications to eradicate any fleas living in your home.

However, salt is not a flea repellent, so will not prevent a flea infestation.

How Does Salt Kill Fleas?

Salt naturally removes moisture, so when salt comes in contact with a flea’s exoskeleton, it starts to wick away moisture from the flea’s body.

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Additionally, due to salt’s natural crystal structure, it cuts into a flea’s exterior, giving it better access to a flea’s body and increasing the overall effectiveness.

This is similar to how diatomaceous earth kills fleas[1].

How Long Does It Take for Salt to Kill Fleas?

If you had a flea in front of you and dumped salt on it, it would only take about an hour to kill it.

However, when using salt in the home, such as on rugs and carpets, it can take several hours once the flea comes into contact with it.

Plus, when using salt to eliminate fleas in your home, it is best to allow the salt to sit at least overnight to allow more fleas to be exposed.

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Is Salt Safe for Dogs?

Salt is not the ideal option for killing fleas on dogs.

However, it works excellent for killing them in your home.

Though many have used salt for fleas on their dog, it is not a method that I would recommend.

There are several reasons why I would discourage dog parents from using salt directly on their dog, such as its toxicity[2] when consumed.

For salt to effectively kill fleas, it needs to be used generously and left on for hours.

While your dog is waiting for the salt to do its job, they will likely attempt to lick it off their coat, ultimately ingesting the salt.

Salt is toxic to dogs and can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, muscle tremors, and weakness. Additionally, salt can cause internal damage such as gastric ulcers.

But toxicity is not the only reason why I would steer clear of using salt on your dog to rid them of fleas.

Salt not only causes dehydration in fleas, but it will also do the same to your dog’s skin.

Though it will not result in death, it can cause significant skin irritation.

Also, if your dog has any open sores from flea bites, using salt in their wounds would prove to be quite painful for them.

Using salt to kill fleas on adult dogs and puppies is not the safest home remedy available.

How to Use Salt for Fleas

Although I do not recommend using salt for fleas on your dog, I think it is an efficient choice for fleas in your home.

Salt can be rubbed into carpets, spread along the bottom of baseboards, and even used on upholstery.

Plus, if you use salt with baking soda, it is even more effective at killing fleas.

To use salt in your home, sprinkle it on the desired surface and let it sit for at least 12 hours and up to two days.

During this time, all family members should avoid the treated area.

After the elapsed time, thoroughly vacuum the area and empty the canister immediately in an outdoor trash can.

If you have a vacuum with a bag, remove the bag outside and throw it away.

It is important to discard the waste from the vacuum quickly; otherwise, there is a chance fleas will crawl out and reinfest your home.

You will want to repeat this a few times to take care of any eggs that may hatch over the next few months.

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Alternative Options

Though salt is not the best choice for taking care of fleas on your dog, there are several other options available.

One of my favorite home remedies for killing fleas on dogs is using Epsom salt, which is not the same as table salt.

Not only can Epsom salt safely be used on your dog to kill fleas, but it also acts as an anti-inflammatory[3], so it will help soothe your dog’s skin.

Another option is coconut oil, which kills fleas quickly and safely. Also, coconut oil works as an anti-inflammatory and has antibacterial properties to avoid infections caused by flea bites.

Click here to learn more about how coconut oil works to kill fleas.

A couple of other alternative options for flea treatments safe for use on dogs include baby powder and essential oils.

So though salt may not be the best option for your dog, there are plenty of other choices available.

FAQs

Can You Put Salt on Dogs for Fleas?

You can, but it is not the safest option.

Salt can be toxic to dogs and can cause significant skin irritation and discomfort.

Does Salt Kill Ticks?

Salt is not effective at killing ticks.

Does Salt Kill Flea Eggs and Larvae?

Salt does kill flea larvae but does not kill flea eggs, which is why it is necessary to use multiple salt treatments in your home.

Resources

  1. http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/degen.html
  2. https://www.merckvetmanual.com/toxicology/salt-toxicity/overview-of-salt-toxicity
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/epsom-salt-bath
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