How To Prevent My Puppy From Getting Fleas

If you’re like me, the thought of your puppy having any type of pest problem makes your skin crawl. Ticks, worms, and other yucky little beasts freak me out and don’t do much for my fur babies either (besides make them miserable).

As spring gets into full swing and I take my dogs outside more, I’m more vigilant about fleas and ticks. With adult dogs, it’s easier than with puppies, as pups shouldn’t be exposed to some of the harsh chemicals found in flea and tick sprays, pills, collars, etc.

As I walked my dogs the other day, I was thinking about puppies and fleas, thanks to a reader who was not a fan (like most people). He had just become a new pet parent and was worried that his puppy would be easy prey for these nasty critters.

His question to me was one I’ve heard a million times before; how to prevent my puppy from getting fleas?

The answer is that there are many ways to prevent your puppy from getting fleas. You can, for example, keep their outdoor time down to a minimum and bathe them often. Limiting their contact with stray dogs is essential to prevent fleas, as is checking for them regularly.

Now that you know several ways to protect your pup from fleas, I’m betting you’d like to know more, like how to get rid of fleas in your home and natural remedies to prevent your puppy from getting fleas.

If yes, read on. I’ve got the answer to those questions and several more below to help keep your puppy flea-free all year long.

Natural Flea and Tick Prevention for Puppies

One of the worst aspects of using anti-flea products is that many are made with harsh chemicals and toxic ingredients. In fact, some puppies have become sick from these products, a scenario that’s downright distressing to most pet parents.

The good news is that several natural anti-flea and tick products and methods are available. These skip the harsh chemicals but still do a good job keeping these bothersome pests away from your pet. They include:

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice from regular lemons does a fantastic job repelling fleas. You’ll need to prepare the juice (instructions below) before use. It’s easy, however, and completely non-toxic for your pup. The instructions are as follows:

  1. Quarter a whole, fresh lemon.
  2. Put the lemon quarters into 6 cups of water in a small pot.
  3. Add 1 tbsp of regular table salt.
  4. Heat the lemon, water, and salt until boiling.
  5. Remove the mixture and store it for 24 hours in a spray bottle.
  6. After a regular bath, apply the lemon mixture to your dog’s fur.
  7. You can apply the lemon mixture daily during flea season.

Vinegar

Vinegar is an amazing anti-flea and tick liquid that kills them on contact. It can also prevent your puppy from being infested with fleas and ticks in the future. To use vinegar as an anti-flea and tick solution, follow these instructions:

  1. Use a large container that can hold at least a quart of water.
  2. Add one cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to that quart of water.
  3. Add in one cup of baby shampoo.
  4. Mix well but not enough to cause a ton of bubbles.
  5. Use the vinegar and shampoo mixture to give your dog a bath 1 or 2 times a month. 

Essential Oils

Like vinegar and lemon, essential oils are an excellent natural method to protect your puppy from flea and tick infestations. One caveat, however, is that some essential oils are toxic to puppies and should be avoided. Below I have listed the safe essential oils you can use and how to use them.

  • Cedar- Add 4 or 5 drops to your puppy’s regular shampoo. Wash them as usual.
  • Citronella- Fill a small spray bottle with water and add about 15 drops. This spray can be used directly on your puppy, in your yard, and inside your home.
  • Eucalyptus- Adding 3 or 4 drops to a tablespoon of shampoo when you wash your puppy is perfect.
  • Lavender- Add 5 to 10 drops to your puppy’s shampoo. Lavender is also excellent for preventing tick eggs from hatching and making baby ticks.
  • Lemongrass- Fill a spray bottle with water and add five or six drops. You can use this on your puppy, as well as on your carpets and furniture.
  • Peppermint-  Applying one or two drops of peppermint oil directly to your puppy’s irritated skin can relieve inflammation and pain.
  • Rosemary-  Add 5 to 10 drops of this excellent essential oil to your puppy’s shampoo and use it like normal.

How to Get Rid of Fleas in your Home

It’s one thing to get rid of fleas and ticks on your puppy. However, if you don’t remove them from your home, the problem will immediately come back. That’s why I’ve listed three excellent methods of getting rid of fleas in your home, below. Keep in mind that it’s incredibly difficult to get rid of fleas once they‘ve infested your home. For that reason, preventative measures are best so that they never get the chance.

Diatomaceous Earth

While you can’t use food-grade diatomaceous earth directly on your puppy, it can be used everywhere around your home and outside to kill fleas. It does this because it’s extremely absorbent and dehydrates fleas, killing them. You can use it anywhere in your home, including carpets. However, if you use it on carpets or furniture, you should vacuum it up after a few hours. That way, it won’t be inhaled by your puppy and cause them any respiratory problems.

Homemade Flea Traps

One incredibly easy way of killing fleas is to fill a large, shallow pan with soapy water. Place the pan where fleas have been spotted. Next, take a small lamp and carefully shine it directly over the pan and soapy water. The heat from the lamp will attract the fleas, which will jump into the soapy water, preventing them from jumping out and thus killing them.

Nematodes (worms)

Regular roundworms and threadworms, aka nematodes, are incredibly effective that killing flea larvae. You can purchase them at your local big-box garden center and put them in moist, shady areas where fleas usually thrive. They will eradicate the flea population almost completely within two to three days.

Why Does my Dog keep Getting Fleas after Treatment?

There are, unfortunately, many different reasons why fleas keep returning even after you’ve treated your puppy and removed them. I’ve listed the worst offenders below:

  • Not treating areas where your puppy and dog spend the most time. (Their bed, especially.) This is where and when fleas will typically lay their eggs, many of which will fall onto the floor.
  • Not treating your pet and home regularly. It’s vital you treat your puppy and your environment for fleas regularly so that they don’t come back.
  • Not treating the environment outside your home. That includes mowing your lawn regularly, trimming shrubs, and keeping your yard free of debris where fleas can congregate. 
  • Not treating your carpets. I mentioned above that you could use diatomaceous earth to treat your home indoors, including carpets. Carpets are, unfortunately, one of the places fleas love to lay their eggs the most. Treating your carpets regularly will prevent a re-infestation. If you have a big problem with fleas, a HEPA filter vacuum is probably worth the investment.

Final Thoughts

As you might have guessed, I hate fleas and ticks with a passion. When it comes to how to prevent my puppy from getting fleas, there are several excellent methods, including those I listed above. Also, it begs repeating that prevention it’s definitely easier than trying to remove a flea infestation after it’s occurred.

I hope you enjoyed today’s blog and that it answered all of your questions on preventing your puppy from getting fleas. If you have more or would like to learn more about how to protect your precious puppy and raise them well, please see my other blogs. I stuff them full of useful, real-world information and advice. Until next time, enjoy life as a puppy parent!