Vinegar for flea control- apple cider or white?

Vinegar for flea control

white vinegar "too strong" for your dog

Using vinegar for flea control is an effective natural alternative for your dog instead of using potentially harmful chemical based products. Vinegar not only works but is cheaper and something you probably have around the house right now. Here’s excerpts from a recent article published by Holmes Animal Clinic and how to bathe your dog:

“parasites hate the sour piercing stench of vinegar and its ingredients have proven to effectively get rid of them.

You can use it as shampoo for your pet. Instead of buying bottles of flea shampoos, it is more economical to make your own with vinegar and other ingredients. all you need is half cup vinegar, half cup dawn dish washing soap and fill the he tub up with warm water. The fleas will fall off into the water upon bathing. to totally ensure that the parasites do not stick to your pet, comb thoroughly after dipping it into diluted vinegar.

Mix water with vinegar, about one third cup into two pints of water and transfer the mixture into a spray bottle. Dispense by spraying on couch covers, bedding, drapery etc. but ensure that you do not over do the proportion of vinegar to water else your bedding and draperies disintegrate even before your flea removal plan sees results.” read more

Vinegar for flea control- apple cider or white?

The article fails to mention what type of vinegar to use but it is generally recommended to use apple cider vinegar instead of white. I also recommend not using Dawn dish washing soap, as we’ve found this to be an irritant to us (humans) and don’t recommend it for your pet either. This next recommendation from suggest the following:

“also try soaking your pet with apple cider vinegar after a bath, or misting it on. This normalizes the skin’s pH, helps prevent dandruff, and creates an acidic base undesirable to fleas and ticks. The downfall to this is that the ACV leaves a rather strong scent on your pet. However, it should work, and you will eventually get used to the odor. Perhaps you will reserve this potent repellant for when you travel to infested areas. Just don’t make the mistake of substituting white vinegar – that stuff is way too strong; not for the skin, but for the nose!  read whole article

We have used vinegar for flea control on our own dogs and have even added a tea spoon (apple cider) to their drinking water from time to time to help with their immune system.


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  1. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

  2. JustMe says:

    I mixed about half a gallon of white vinegar and a cup of Dawn and shook it up. Without water, I washed my dog with it and let it sit for 20 minutes. I then rinsed him as well as I could and let him dry on our lanai. Many of the small fleas that were on my dog literally disintegrated when I tried to pull them off! The fatter, larger fleas I found really just got stunned by the vinegar and could actually pop back to life after a few hours, so I picked as many of those as I could and popped their nasty butts! I did find one flea that was alive and he got away :( I am thinking of spraying my dog down now with some of the leftover mixture, then wash him tomorrow to kill the others should they come back to life. I just hope it doesn’t hurt his skin.

    With that being said, vets will tell you that vinegar is really bad for a dog’s skin and that Dawn does nothing but stun them for a while (except for the ones you wash down the drain, of course). But then again, veterinarians have an agenda (flea control that cost a fortune at their clinic, along with clinic visit charge).

    I am going to continue on with the vinegar because I just do not feel comfortable giving my dog poison. I’ve used generic Frontline three times in the past and it didn’t help at all anyway (obviously)! I’ve had more luck with the vinegar and Dawn. The first time I gave him a V and D bath, he didn’t scratch for nearly 2 weeks! Then I read what the vet said and didn’t follow through with the V and D baths. Big mistake…my house is now infested!! I could have stopped them more easily back when I did the first treatment and the fleas were much less. Argh!

    I know we rely on our vets to keep our pets healthy, and I agree to a certain, but there are alternatives to getting fleas off your pet that they won’t tell you about because they lose money in the end. Vinegar does work. You still have to treat the rest of your home (any room the pet has been in, everything made of fabric needs to be washed, floors should be bleached, vacuumed, swept…as for large rugs, I’m not certain yet, I may pour boric acid all over my shag (yes, SHAG) rug, rub it in, vacuum thoroughly the next morning and then pray. Pray the eggs don’t hatch and that my kids and dog don’t get sick (some say it’s safe, some say it’s dangerous…). I’m going to do a lot more research before doing that.

    Good luck to anyone else fighting this war – it’s been a nightmare so far!!!

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