Homemade Flea Shampoo For Dogs And Cats

This post may contain affiliate links so I earn a commission.

It is important to know how to make a homemade flea shampoo quickly, so you can get your pet back to a normal and comfortable lifestyle.

Fleas are nasty little critters that leave behind itchy bites that plague our cats and dogs.

Your dog might pick them up in the woods or at the dog park.

Your cat may pick them up at the groomers.

We bring our pets everywhere with us, and with that there is a chance of bringing home fleas.

Natural, homemade flea shampoos are a wonderful step in getting rid of pesky fleas, and can be customized to suit your pets needs.

How Do I Know If My Pet Has Fleas?

We watch our pets closely, so it’s noticeable if your dog or cat starts to act differently.

Watch out for these symptoms, which may indicate that your pet has fleas:

  • Incessant scratching, especially around head, ears, and tail, to the point of self-harm
  • Biting themselves to the point of possible hair loss
  • Skin may have red spots, scabs, and be irritated
  • Moody, depressed and defeated

If you see these signs, look closely at your pets skin.

Look for tiny adult fleas trying to hide in the fur, or even jumping.

You will also see red, bumpy, and irritated skin, with black specks on their skin.

These black specks are flea excrement and look like black pepper. 

It might also be possible to see larvae as well.

How Does Homemade Flea Shampoo Work?

The key to homemade flea shampoo is the lavender oil.

Lavender oil is an antiparasitic and will kill the fleas on your pet.

Be careful though, not all lavender oils are made equal.

Make sure you use a high grade lavender oil that is safe for your pet.

Ask your veterinarian if you have any questions regarding lavender or other essential oils.

As with all shampoos, keep them away from your pet’s nose, eyes, mouth, and genitals to avoid irritation.

Why Should I Use A Homemade Flea Shampoo?

Much like other supplies on the homestead, homemade products can be much better than over the counter items.

While it would be easier to go to the store to buy flea shampoo, store brand products have more chemicals.

There have even been reports of dogs’ hair burning off or dogs becoming sick from improper use of these products.

There is little to no chance of harming your dog with homemade products if used properly.

You know the exact ingredients you have put into your dogs’ shampoo and you can customize the shampoo for your dog.

Basic Recipe For Homemade Flea Shampoo For Dogs

The base of all homemade flea shampoos starts with the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 cup of baby shampoo or dish soap
  • 5 drops of lavender oil

If you have a small dog or puppy you can cut this recipe in half.

Apply shampoo liberally to your dog during a bath and work it in.

Let the shampoo sit for 5 minutes.

While waiting, brush or comb out any dead fleas that you might see.

Dawn dish soap and baby shampoo can be drying to a dog’s skin, so do not use this too frequently, or switch to a different soap, such as Dr. Bonner’s.

Homemade Flea Shampoo For Dogs With Dry Skin

If your dog is prone to dry skin, the following recipe should be used:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of liquid castile soap
  • 1 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup of glycerine
  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
  • 5 drops of lavender oil

The benefits to using a shampoo with aloe vera and glycerine, is that both of these ingredients sooth your dogs skin.

Apply this recipe twice during your dogs bath, letting it sit for 5 minutes each time, and then comb out fleas.

Likewise, you can also try this recipe for dogs with dry, sensitive skin:

  • ½ cup of liquid castile soap
  • ¾ cup of water
  • ¼ cup of liquid coconut oil
  • 5 drops of lavender oil
  • 5 drops of rosemary oil

The benefit to using this recipe is that the coconut oil will leave your dogs coat shiny and healthy looking, while the oils will get rid of any bad smells.

Apply this recipe twice during your dogs bath, letting it sit for 5 minutes each time, and then comb out any dead fleas.

Homemade Dry Shampoo For Your Dog

Some dogs can’t have a bath more than once a month.

Or, if you have a large dog, or a dog with an aversion to water, a bath might be out of the question.

Using a dry shampoo is a great alternative for in between baths, or for dogs who make bathing impossible.

DIY Homemade Dry Shampoo Recipe:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 cup of corn starch
  • A few drops of lavender and rosemary oil

Combine all ingredients and sprinkle onto your dog, then comb the recipe into your dogs fur and skin.

Homemade Flea Shampoo For Cats

If you're looking for a great homemade shampoo for your cat, try this recipe which works great:

  • 150 ml baby shampoo
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of glycerin

Lather up your cat and let the shampoo sit for a few minutes.

Repeat, and then rinse with warm water.

Focus on the cat’s back and tail, as most fleas will be there.

Make sure to rinse your cat thoroughly and then dry with a towel.

You will see fleas start to fall at this point.

Once your cat is damp or almost dry, brush your cat to get rid of the remainder of the fleas.

You can use this shampoo every two weeks.

How To Make Preventative Flea Sprays

While there are home remedies to a flea infestation, preventative flea sprays may stop the problem all together, before it gets to bath time.

DIY Preventative Flea Spray For Your Home:

  • 1 gallon of white vinegar
  • ½ gallon of water
  • ½ quart of lemon juice
  • 8 ½ oz of witch hazel

Combine all ingredients into a spray bottle and spray your entire house.

Let dry completely before letting your pets back inside.

Wet witch hazel is not recommended to use around pets, but is fine once it is dry.

Homemade Preventative Flea Spray For Dogs:

  • Lemon (cut into chunks or slices, NEVER replace with essential oils)
  • Water

In a pot, boil the lemons and water together.

After it boils, turn off and let the mixture sit overnight.

Place in a spray bottle and spray onto your dog to repel fleas and ticks.

Do not spray on eyes or genitalia.

Homemade Preventative Flea Spray For Cats:

  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 3 cups of water

Mix these two simple ingredients in a spray bottle and apply them directly onto your cat’s skin in between baths.

You can also add small quantities of Brewer’s yeast, or garlic to your cat’s diet to keep fleas away.

One of these once a day will keep fleas from attacking your cat. 

Homemade Flea Shampoo - Overall

We love our pets unconditionally and want the best for them.

Nothing is worse than seeing your pet in discomfort or pain from fleas.

Luckily, these simple home remedies are made with easy to find ingredients, and are simple to put together to make a customized, and effective homemade flea shampoo.