We all love our pets but they can suffer from fleas. While fleas don’t normally bother most people, they can still leave itchy red welts on the skin, and generally be annoying in the home. Most of us want our dogs and cats to be healthy and flea-free.
Unfortunately, the flea killers and repellents available in the stores can be highly toxic to pets. Even the brands that are sold from vets can be too. Searching for information online can lead you to cases where pets have died after being treated with common flea meds.
Common flea medications have also be so overused that they do not work in many parts of the world. This leaves pet owners trying to find better solutions to manage an annoying flea problem inside or outside the home.
Everyone wants the best for their pets, but they also want pets to not constantly scratch from fleas. Yet it may not always be possible to keep your pets inside all day long. Plus, dogs need to be exercised. Fleas can even travel inside on your shoes.
You don’t want to put anything on your pets that is going to be toxic or cause disease in pets or family. The best solution is to turn to natural flea killers and repellents. Not only are these effective, but they are also 100% safe to use on your dogs or cats.
Coconut oil can be used alone, or as a base for a natural flea repellent and flea killer. It’s also extremely affordable. One container can be used for multiple purposes around the home, including on your pets.
Does Coconut Oil Really Kill Fleas?
Many people may be surprised at this simple solution. Coconut oil really does work at killing fleas.
This is because coconut oil contains a compound called lauric acid. Lauric acid is a fatty acid, lipid, and saturated fat, and it makes up about 50% of the fatty acids within the coconut oil. There have been many health benefits for humans and cats, but lauric acid works as a natural flea killer too.
Fleas avoid anything that contains lauric acid as they have that built-in natural danger detector that tells them to stay away.
Lauric acid is used in the medical and healthcare industries to kill bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. It’s also used as one of the fatty acids to make soaps and shampoos, rather than animal-based fats.
People will also appreciate that coconut oil has a mild, pleasant smell. It’s also great if you have allergies and can’t tolerate stinky flea sprays.
How Does Coconut Oil Repel Fleas?
Coconut oil can be used through two different methods to kill fleas.
- Rub it directly into your pet’s fur or hair.
- Give it to your pet orally.
Fleas naturally know they do not want to be near anything containing lauric acid. They will stay away. If they do land on the oil, it will work one of two ways. The acid will kill them. And it will hold them in place so they can’t move. The oil will get into their system, and break down their bodies.
So if the coconut oil doesn’t work one way, it will with one of the other ways.
It’s like having double flea protection for your loving pet. Soon your pet will be flea free!
Is Coconut Oil Safe for Dogs and Cats?
While coconut oil harms minute insects, such as fleas, it’s perfectly safe for dogs or cats of any size. And unlike store-bought flea meds, if your baby or young children pet your dog or cat, they will still stay safe, as coconut oil is still safe for them too.
If you have a dog or cat who has a chronic disease, you may have been hesitant in treating them with flea meds. But coconut oil is safe to use on pets who have diseases or other conditions.
You can use coconut oil on every age of dog or cat, from kitten and puppy years, and up into their senior years.
If your pet has allergies, coconut oil is fairly low on the allergen scale, so you can give it safely to your pets who have allergies to different products.
There are also no worries about how much flea treatment to give your pet. If you overdo it on the coconut oil, the worst to happen is your pet gets a bit greasy! This can be wiped off with a cloth.
It’s also unlikely that fleas will even develop a resistance to coconut oil, as it’s not been used billions of times for the past century.
If you forget when you’ve given your pet a flea treatment, you can safely treat them multiple times with coconut oil too.
Another consideration is that even if your pet licks the coconut oil, it’s still 100% safe for them.
There are also no drug or food interactions when using coconut oil for flea prevention.
Best Way to Use Coconut Oil on Dogs or Cats
You can use coconut oil three different ways.
- Treat fleas that are already present on your pet.
- Use it as a flea-repellent, even if your pet has no fleas.
- As an ingredient in a flea-repellent treatment.
If you do put it in their food, use only a small amount, such as half the size of a pea. The smell can be quite strong to a pet and many animals may not like the taste. But this works well for the fighting of fleas, as they don’t like it either.
To use it on your pet’s skin or fur, you can simply rub it in. Do the following steps outside, because as you apply the coconut oil, the fleas may jump off. You want to do this outside so they don’t run around your house.
For pets who already have fleas in their fur or hair, begin by coating your hands with coconut oil. Coconut oil is naturally at solid state at natural room temperature. As you rub it through your hands it will warm up and liquify.
For the next step, you will rub it throughout your pet’s coat. You can start with one section and work your way over their body.
Be sure to rub it into back, sides, and belly of your pet. Work your way around the neck region — especially the top of the back where fleas hang out — and up the head. Do their legs, and tail.
The good news is that even if the fleas land on your pet and try to move around, the lauric acid in the oil will work its magic.
But you are not done yet. Once you have covered your pet’s coat, use a flea comb and run it through their fur. This will remove any fleas that are present.
Because the fleas will cling to the oil, they can’t get away. Drop your comb into a glass of water. The water is the final step in killing fleas that you have removed with the comb.
How Often Should I Treat My Pet?
Do your flea treatments once a week, from start of spring to start of fall.
If you have an indoors-only pet, and haven’t seen any fleas for two months, you can do your treatments only once a season to remove any stray fleas.
Simple Recipe for Coconut Flea Repellent for Pets
If you find it time consuming to rub coconut oil on your pets at least once per week, you can also try a special flea-repelling recipe. It’s simple to make and can be sprayed onto your pets much more quickly.
The addition of the lavender is safe to use on your pets, and masks some of that coconut smell if you don’t like it. It also provides additional flea repelling properties.
Flea Repellent Ingredients List
Gather together the following ingredients to make your flea killer and repellent recipe.
- One plastic spray bottle that you can get in the travel section of dollar stores.
- 25 ml of coconut oil, organic is best.
- 25 ml hot water.
- 5 drops of lavender essential oil from a good brand.
- Stainless steel spoon and saucepan.
Method to Make Simple Flea Repellent
Since coconut oil is naturally solid in its natural state, you need to heat it up in order to use it as a flea spray.
- Heat up the coconut oil in a clean saucepan on your stove.
- Do not let it boil.
- Stir the oil until it has thoroughly melted.
- Add in water and mix. This will heat up the water.
- Pour in 4 drops of lavender essential oil. This is safe for dogs or cats.
- Turn off the heat.
- Mix all ingredients thoroughly together.
- Carefully pour the mixture into the spray bottle.
- Do this over the sink to avoid mess.
- Twist on the spray nozzle.
- Spray a few times on your wrist to ensure it’s not too hot for pets.
- Spray onto your pets.
- Rub mixture over your pets.
- Use a comb to distribute the mixture and remove any stray fleas.
- If there is still mixture left in the bottle, pour it out into a small tin pan. You can save it for the next day.
- Do not let the oil solidify in the bottle or you will have to buy a new one.
- You can then apply the coconut oil to your pets the same way that you would apply after melting it in your hands.
- Wash your bottle with dish soap and hot water, and spray it out several times to get out the coconut oil.
- Clean up.
- If you have discovered that you’ve made too much or too little, adjust the measurements accordingly for next time.
Additional Benefits for Coconut Oil on Pets
Besides working as an effective flea prevention, coconut oil also has other benefits on the skin.
- Works to soften dry skin.
- Can kill the fungus that causes itchy dandruff on your pet’s back.
- Can kill parasites on the skin.
- Kills bacterial infections.
- Use to clean their butts and prevent anal gland infections.
- Makes all pets in the family smell the same to prevent fights.
Safety Guide for Pet Owners
Follow these tips to keep your family safe.
- Do not use coconut oil on any other type of pet without researching first. Use only on dogs or cats.
- If you’re getting bitten in the home, feel free to rub coconut oil on your feet, ankles, and lower legs too.
- Do not put the coconut oil on your upholstery fabrics or the floor.
- You can rub coconut oil in your pet’s bed, or on your sheets or pillow, but note that it can leave a grease stain. These will wash out in hot water.
- Check the expiry date or shelf life of your coconut oil. Do not use past its date.
- Store your coconut oil in a dark cupboard away from moisture and heat.
- While too much coconut oil won’t harm your pet, it may be a bit difficult to remove. Start out with a small amount. It’s always easier to add more coconut oil than to remove it after it’s on the pet’s hair or fur.
If you’ve been struggling with your pet’s fleas over the past year, you’re not alone. Fleas are getting worse, as people and pets are living in more densely-populated regions of the city. Plus, fleas are developing a resistance to pesticides.
Many pet owners are skeptical that flea medications are safe. The best remedy is to use coconut oil on your pets. Not only is it safe for them, it’s safe to use around your family too. And if you’ve been trying to keep your cats or dogs from licking flea meds off, you won’t have to worry about doing that with coconut oil.
The next time you see your pets scratching or licking their fur, chances are they have fleas. Begin the coconut oil treatments immediately. Soon you and your pets will feel more comfortable around a flea-free home.