Homemade Dog Flea Shampoo

Homemade Dog Flea Shampoo

Our Favorite Homemade Dog Flea Shampoo



When our doggie girl was a puppy, we loved taking long walks at a dog-friendly arboretum near our house.  To our dismay, one day she brought home fleas.

It Freaked Us Out!

We rushed her to the veterinarian.  The vet gave her a pill that kills the flea eggs from the inside and gave us a bottle of a commercial flea shampoo and flea removal instructions.

When we got home, we looked at the warnings on the flea shampoo bottle and it said we needed to avoid contact with our skin (wait what?) and strongly recommended wearing gloves when using the shampoo.

There was no way we were going to bathe our puppy in a flea shampoo with those crazy warnings on it.

We did some research and came up with a homemade dog flea shampoo that was gentle on her skin, and with ingredients, we could find around the house.

All we needed was Dawn, apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar), and water.

As it turns out, each one of these ingredients works very well to get rid of fleas, plus have other benefits,

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Dawn Kills Fleas

Yes, we tested this theory first hand when our dog got fleas (to our horror).  It turns out that Dawn kills fleas in minutes. It does it by breaking up the fleas’ exoskeleton.

Apple Cider Vinegar is a Flea & Tick Repellant

Another ingredient that we use in our homemade dog shampoo is apple cider vinegar.

When you use a 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water solution and spray it on your dog’s fur, it will work as a natural flea and tick repellant.

Apple Cider Vinegar Also Helps Sooth Hotspots

If your puppy suffers from hotspots, you can also try this shampoo. 

Apple cider vinegar is a natural antifungal and will help soothe your doggy’s skin.

To help soothe your dog’s skin, especially if it’s itchy and dry, you can apply topically. 

Add 50% apple cider vinegar and 50% water and spray on the affected area.

Tip:  Do not apply apple cider vinegar directly to an open cut or raw skin on your doggie; it will burn. 

The Flea Shampoo Ingredients

Here’s a list of the Homemade Dog Flea Shampoo Ingredients:

  • Dawn (1 cup)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (1 cup)
  • Water (4 cups)

The portions above are more than enough to shampoo a small dog.

If you have a larger dog or are doing more than 1 dog, you can increase the amounts and just maintain the ratios.

Directions for Using The Dog Flea Shampoo

Mixing The Shampoo

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, then transfer the shampoo to a squeeze bottle (like an old shampoo bottle).

If you don’t have a squeeze bottle you can pour it out of the bowl directly only your doggie, but the squeeze bottle makes this process easier.

Remember to give the bottle a good shake before using it.

Dog Flea Shampoo Application

Use the homemade flea shampoo like you would any other dog shampoo – applying it liberally and massaging it into the dog’s coat.

Let the flea shampoo sit for 5 minutes.

Rinse thoroughly with warm water. You may want to do this a second time just to make sure (that’s what we did).

Once you’re done, towel dry. That is all there is to it!

Tip:  Leave the flea shampoo on your dog for about 5 minutes.  When you rinse, the flea eggs will dislodge from the dog’s hair and go down the drain. Make sure you rinse thoroughly.

How Often To Use The Shampoo

We used the dog flea shampoo every day for about a week. Mainly because it freaked us out but we also wanted to make super-duper sure that our dog didn’t have fleas anymore.

When we did the first shampoo we saw fleas in the water but that initial bath was the only time we saw them. After that first shampoo, we didn’t see them again.

Based on our experience this homemade dog flea shampoo works extremely well. If you’re freaking out about your doggie having fleas (like we did), then keep doing the shampoos for a week.

Otherwise, I’d say keep doing the shampoos until you no longer see fleas in the water when rinsing the flea shampoo off.

Homemade Dog Flea Shampoo

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Our Favorite Homemade Dog Flea Shampoo

Support Your Local Farmer Join A CSA!

Support Your Local Farmer Join A CSA!

How To Start A Grow Bag Victory Garden



Most of us buy our fresh fruit and vegetables from the local supermarket or a big box store. You’ll predictably find the same items in stock, and they’re pretty reliable.  Do you want make a change and try food that’s fresher and locally grown?

Join your local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  A CSA is the perfect place to get the freshest tasting fruit and vegetables.  When you receive your box share, it will be filled with all the vegetables you selected upon joining.

It’s nice to know that your veggies & fruit don’t have to travel very far after they’re picked before landing on to your kitchen table.  You’ll eat what’s in season, and the boxes you receive offer varieties of fruit & vegetables that you probably wouldn’t buy on your own.

Remember, variety is the spice of life, so expect the unexpected and have fun with it.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these products, we earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. We recommend these products only because we have experience with them and use them for our own projects. As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Some of Your Supermarket Produce Can Be A Few Months Old!

Although the fruits & vegetables in your supermarket look fresh, some have traveled from very far away to get there, and they are not always in season.  For supermarkets to provide their customers produce that is out of season, they need to cold store and treat some of their produce chemically to preserve it longer.  Produce is usually picked before it ripens so that it will not spoil during the long journey.

As an example, apples are in season between August and September.  For stores to keep them fresh and available in the off season, apples are kept in cold storage and treated with chemicals, and some are over a year old.

The advantage of belonging to a CSA is that your apple will be picked in your local farm straight from the orchard when it is fully ripened.  The apple will be fresher and more nutritious than the one you purchased in the supermarket.

💡  Did you know that commercially grown potatoes can easily be a year old, by the time you purchase them at the supermaket?

Did you know that some CSA’s offer meat and eggs?

Yes, depending on where you live, you can find fresh chickens, bison, lamb, or pork.  It’s an opportunity to learn what type of food the animals are fed, i.e., grains, vegetables, etc.  Do the animals graze outdoors?

Free-range animals have a more natural existence and are healthier.  

Your Share Will Vary Depending On The Growing Season

Keep in mind that weather conditions, farming practices, and bug infestations may affect the growing season and as a result what you receive in your share will also be affected.  Before joining, ask the CSA about their farming practices. 

Are they organic?  What type of pesticides do they use?  Have they encountered a season where Mother Nature affected the harvest?  The way they answer these questions will help you decide which CSA is right for you.

Why do my fruits & vegetables look so different?

If you’ve never experienced eating fruits or vegetables straight from a tree, bush, or ground, they may look a little different, but in a good way.

Your tomatoes may have different shapes and may have color variations; carrots may have extra bushy leaves on the ends, the scallion’s long roots may have a little extra dirt on them.   It’s all good.  Fresh produce straight from the farm tastes fantastic.

Freeze Your Leftover Fresh or Cooked Veggies

If you have more veggies or fruit than you can eat from your CSA share, just freeze the leftovers.  We place ours either inside reusable freezer bags or plastic containers

We’ve frozen squash and onions in our freezer for months and then cooked them – they were great.

Freezing makes prepping meals a breeze. We cut up the veggies before we freeze them, that way all you have to do is take the frozen cut up veggies from the freezer and place them straight into the frying pan.

It’s a piece of cake!

Tip:  If your veggies have a little freezer burn or have an ice layer around them, simply rinse them in cold water before cooking.  They’ll be as good as new.

Where do I find my local CSA & Other Resources?

When you’re ready, check-out Local Harvest https://www.localharvest.org/csa/

A list of CSAs in All 50 States –Modern Farmer

Eat Wild – Eat Wild

Have fun on your new food journey and meeting your local farmers.

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How To Start A Grow Bag Victory Garden