Homemade flea, tick, and worming medicine for dogs

When we treat our dogs with flea, tick, and worming treatments, itchy skin conditions are one of the most common complaints we come across.

In most of these cases, we find these problems exacerbated by poor diet, but also chemical-laden shampoos, medications, and sometimes environment issues as well.

As consumers we often assume products are safe, but piles of historical evidence has shown this not to be the case. Not in all cases at least.

Let’s consider the “spot-on” flea and tick treatments we’re told to use repeatedly month on month for the lifespan of our dogs and cats.

Are we told to use these repeatedly for the sake of our pets, or because it makes those companies a much greater profit?

Needless to say, is there any benefit of using them repeatedly?

In this article we will look at homemade flea medicine for dogs, as well as natural ways to tackle ticks and worming.

How do fleas and ticks harm our dogs?

Not only do fleas cause intense itching and scratching, but some dogs can develop flea allergy dermatitis (an allergy to the saliva of the flea).

This can cause hotspots – red-hot, inflamed and itchy skin!

Did you know fleas can transmit tapeworm? No wonder they are the bane of many a dog’s life!

Ticks of course can be far more dangerous.

Where I grow up in Australia, this was especially the case with the paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus) which tends to be found along the Eastern Australian coastline.

This tick, once attached to your dog, starts to inject a neurotoxin that causes a three-stage process of gradual paralysis. Not good news for your dog.

While there are no known treatments, natural or chemical, that are 100% effective, building strong immunity is an important factor in keeping your dog healthy and less “attractive” to any parasite.

You may know already I’m very critical of the pet food industry, even the more “scientific” brands, but we live in a world where most people feed their dogs (and cats) dry processed food made of ingredients, such as cereal grains, even for factually carnivorous cats.

Considering the diet of your dog should always be the first step in offering them a strong and healthy immune system, which is consequentially their best defense against fleas and ticks.

A closer look at “spot-on” treatments and the issues they cause

It has to be said natural remedies aren’t often as effective as chemical spot-on treatments, so let’s cover the potential affects of those treatments. You can then decide for yourself which option to take.

Most people ask me about natural homemade flea treatments for dogs for one prominent reason – commercial flea, tick and worming preparations (particularly the “spot-on” types) can contain heavy insecticides which are known to cause toxic reactions in dogs.

I’m sure you’ve read how spot-on treatments can affect skin, often when treatments are used repeatedly in the same spot.

Chemical treatments can also affect your dog’s gastrointestinal and nervous systems. Consumers and veterinarians have reported reactions which range from minor skin irritations to seizures, and even death.

I suspect extreme reactions are a result of other health-related issues as well, as often we don’t notice the symptoms of ill health, but it’s for reasons such as this you may want to opt for a more natural homemade flea, tick, or worming medicine for your dog.

Chemical-free flea treatments

As dog owners begin to acknowledge some of these products are very toxic to their pet, recent years has shown us to look for safer, chemical-free options.

Natural flea treatments for dogs are therefore becoming more and more popular among pet owners.

We all know how annoying fleas can be to your dog, and to us, and the last thing we want is a flea situation escalate into a flea war (some of you may know the stress involved in such a war, not to mention having to turn the house upside down).

Defense against fleas and ticks with diet

Any canine naturopath will tell you the first defense against parasites lies in having strong immunity and a “clean” system, and that this comes from feeding a species-appropriate diet, ideally based around raw foods.

Diet is, quite literally, the best natural flea medicine for your dog.

A balanced raw-food diet supplies your dog with all the nutrients they need to maintain a healthy digestive and immune system.

Parasites of any kind are opportunistic and will tend to attack and then populate the weakest and sickest animals.

Research has shown parasites are found in much smaller numbers in strong, healthy animals.

In addition to diet, there are a number of different natural flea, tick and worming treatments that we can prescribe for your dog.

These include herbal and homoeopathic preparations (especially for heartworm) along with nutritional supplements that assist your dog’s body in eliminating parasites and bringing it back into balance. This may require a detoxification regime for some dogs, depending on their current level of health.

I personally recommend natural topical products which can be used as an alternative to chemical flea treatments, shampoos and sprays. I do not however recommend over-treating for any parasite problem, but rather focusing on building a dog’s overall immunity through good nutrition.

How to: A homemade flea repellent spray for dogs

Once your dog’s diet has been addressed as much as can be based on your location, situation, and budget, we can start looking at other natural ways to repel fleas (and ticks).

A homemade flea repellent spray can be made simply with ingredients which are easier to source.

Without too much ado, here’s how to make a homemade flea repellent suitable for dogs:


  1. 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  2. 1 quart water
  3. 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  4. 1 lemon, sliced
  5. 2-3 drops of dog-safe essential oil (such as lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, or citronella)


  1. Combine the distilled white vinegar, water, and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl.
  2. Add the sliced lemon to the mixture.
  3. Add 2-3 drops of dog-safe essential oil. Ensure the essential oil is safe for dogs and is diluted properly.
  4. Allow the mixture to steep overnight.
  5. Strain the liquid to remove lemon slices and pulp.
  6. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle.


  1. Before applying the spray, test a small area on your dog to ensure there are no adverse reactions.
  2. Spray the mixture onto your dog’s coat, avoiding the eyes, nose, and mouth. Concentrate on areas where fleas are likely to hide, such as around the neck, behind the ears, and the base of the tail.
  3. Use a flea comb to distribute the mixture evenly through your dog’s fur.
  4. Repeat regularly, and make sure you are vigilant with the flea comb to remove as many offending fleas as possible. Usually it’s better to have some of the solution on the flea comb as this prevents the fleas jumping off the comb and back on your dog.

Remember, this spray is more of a deterrent than a treatment for more severe flea infestations.

Natural worming treatments

In addition to natural homemade flea and tick medicine for dogs, I am always being asked about natural worming and heartworm treatments.

Many people are also aware of the toxic nature of conventional worming and heartworm preparations.

I must stress homemade worming medicines for dogs are more risky, and involve a more serious health concern.

Attempting to make a homemade worming medicine without professional guidance can lead to ineffective treatment, potentially harm your dog, and delay addressing the underlying issue.

Accordingly I must recommend you seek the advice of a canine naturopath if you wish to take this route of medication, and you must be aware of the risks.

A heartworm nosode is a homeopathic preparation that is claimed to provide protection against heartworm disease in dogs.

Homeopathy is a system of alternative medicine that involves treating individuals with highly diluted substances, known as nosodes, which are derived from the pathological products of the disease they are meant to prevent.

A canine naturopath may use a base of herbs for a worming medicine blended with a homoeopathic heartworm nosode.

Herbs not only have an antiparasitic effect against worms, but they also have numerous other benefits including strengthening the immune system and cleansing the bowel and blood.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *