Summertime also means tick and flea season for your poor fur baby. Ticks and fleas are two different parasites that may cause painful bites on your dog’s body. Sometimes, they can even transmit various diseases to your pet.
Part of the treatment entails picking the best shampoo for their irritated skin. But have you ever tried making your own shampoo for your dog?
We will help you learn the benefits of making your own homemade shampoo for fleas and ticks with these four DIY shampoo recipes to fight these pests!
What Are Fleas and Ticks?
Ticks and fleas share a lot of similarities, that is why it is hard to differentiate between the two. For one, both parasites transmit diseases and serious health issues which we will discuss later on. Here are some other similarities:
- They both feed on blood, affecting not only animals but also people.
- The bite feels irritating and they both leave red marks behind.
- The same products like shampoos and powders can be used to treat both.
However, they have more differences than similarities, especially in terms of appearance and habit. Fleas are approximately 1/8th of an inch long and they appear only as small specks on fur that look like tiny dirt from the ground.
The details in fleas can only be seen through a microscope, while ticks come in different species and are more visible because of their dark color and large teardrop shape.
Fleas are more of an issue than ticks because they not only thrive on your pet’s skin but also inside the house. When infested pets come inside, fleas will enjoy reproducing in any corner of your house and they can even feed on you. That is why you’ll have to you will have to treat both your pet and your house.
Meanwhile, ticks don’t usually cause indoor infestations. They wait for their victim to brush past the foliage they are on, usually outdoors, and they start latching on to them.
Ticks brought inside can also latch on you but a house-wide treatment is not necessary.
Dangers of Ticks and Fleas on Dogs
Ticks can cause serious diseases such as:
- Lyme disease
Fleas, on the other hand, can get out of control so quickly because they lay eggs at a rate of 40 to 50 a day around 50 days. In fact, a single female flea can produce 2000 eggs in her lifetime.
They can cause allergies to flea saliva called flea allergy dermatitis. They can also transmit dog tapeworms and bacterial diseases.
Why Use Homemade Shampoo for Treatment of Ticks and Fleas?
It is important to treat your dog with gentle and non-toxic products. However, these features are uncommon in commercially available dog shampoos. These toxic chemicals can even harm humans, especially pregnant women and sensitive children. So, they are best avoided.
Sometimes, even baby shampoos that are mild for their skin still can’t work because of the wrong pH levels.
Despite the severity of your dog’s parasite infestation, natural products always work better than the chemical approach. There are many natural ingredients found in your kitchen which are more effective in controlling ticks and fleas without being toxic to your dog.
They are even much easier to make, especially if you have essential oils on hand. Still, not all essential oils are safe for pets.
Some products to avoid include:
- Sweet birch
- Ylang Ylang
Watch this video to learn other natural remedies for ticks and fleas removal!
Homemade Dog Shampoo for Fleas and Ticks
These dog shampoo recipes can help you kill all the ticks and fleas living on your furry friend’s skin. They are easy to make and are very effective!
Coconut Oil Shampoo
This superfood ingredient is also a natural tick and flea repellent that is 100% safe for your pet. It also feels soothing on their skin that is why they will feel more comfortable and fresh after the bath.
For this shampoo, you will need the following:
- ½ cup of castile soap
- 2/4 cup of distilled water
- ¼ cup of coconut oil
- 5 drops of lavender oil or any safe essential oil
Mix all the ingredients together in a glass container or bottle. Make sure to shake well before using.
To use it on your dog, just lather the mixture into their damp coat and make sure to rinse well.
Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
Apple cider vinegar is also a great natural flea repellent as these parasites hate the smell and taste of ACV. You can use it alone as a spray or make a shampoo out of it.
For the shampoo, you’ll need one cup of the following:
- apple cider vinegar
- dye-free and unscented dish soap
Again, just mix all the ingredients together and lather on Fido’s coat. Make sure to leave the suds on your dog for a few minutes before lathering so that the ticks and fleas will suffocate.
You can also use Dawn detergent instead of unscented dish soap for a deep cleanse. This product is renowned for killing those pesky fleas. However, it may not be suitable for dogs with sensitive skin.
Also, using detergent on your pet should not be done regularly because it can dry out their skin.
Aloe Vera Gel for Sensitive Skin
If your dog’s skin is too sensitive for you to add only ACV to the soap and water, you can add at least two tablespoons of aloe vera and ⅓ cup of glycerine to the mixture.
Aloe vera gel is a great natural product that can moisturize and soothe the skin in a refreshing manner, while glycerine is a humectant that can lock in the moisture to reduce the inflammation.
If you want a homemade shampoo that effectively relieves itching, then oatmeal will surely do good for your dog.
You will need the following:
- ½ cup unscented dish soap
- 1 tbsp. Colloidal oatmeal
- 1 tbsp organic aloe vera
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lavender oil
- 2 vitamin E capsules dissolved in one cup of hot water
To create the shampoo, just mix all the ingredients together until everything is dissolved, then pour in a clear bottle.
Again, allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off your dog.
Natural is Better
Ticks and fleas are pests and very dangerous for your dog’s health, along with everyone else’s in your house. These recipes made out of natural ingredients are a safer way to repel and kill the ticks and fleas that thrive on your dog’s body.
They’re also cheaper, safer, and of better quality than mass-produced chemical shampoos in the pet store.
As always, consult your veterinarian on other ways to treat these pesky pests on your dogs to make the process quicker and more efficient.
Don’t forget to check your home for fleas as well.