Skip to content
Dog scratching his head in need of homemade dog flea shampoo

Homemade Dog Flea Shampoo: 3 Simple Recipes For Dog Shampoo

If you’re anything like me, you probably think your dog is your number one friend on Earth, which you’d do anything for. They give us all the love they have and ask for nothing in return (maybe a few kibbles here and there), and we truly don’t deserve these angels.

Thankfully, we’ve devised a plan to help make these fur babies more comfortable. Ready for our simple guide to making a homemade dog flea shampoo? This is especially perfect for summer and fall, where tick season is usually at its highest.

Fleas may be just a mere nuisance and annoyance to you, but to your pups, they are a source of great misery and health issues if not treated properly. So come, dive in, and learn all about flea removal delivered straight from your cupboards!

Why Make Homemade Flea Shampoo For Dogs?

You may think, “Hey, why shouldn’t I just buy a dog shampoo instead of doing it alone?” We can’t deny the perks of store-bought stuff, especially for people who can’t spare time making DIY projects. However, we also can’t deny that many of these shampoos contain chemicals that might harm your pups in the long term.

In a report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC), improperly used store-bought flea shampoo can make your dogs sick or even burn their skin. There’s also the possibility of overdosing on topical flea medications because the chemicals easily seep through their pores.

Enter homemade dog shampoo. One of the benefits of making a homemade shampoo is that you know exactly what’s going into it and thus control the number of ingredients you add to it. After all, there’s no better quality control than one you do yourself.

You can also choose to make a hypoallergenic version if your pup has very sensitive skin. The modifications you can do and the possibilities are endless, and you can even adjust the scent based on how you like it, without worrying about putting your beloved friend in danger.

Give yourself (and your pup) some peace of mind by trying out some of these recipes at your home. You’ll be saying goodbye to those pesky little fleas in no time!

Four Homemade Flea Dog Shampoo Recipes

Pug scratching its head while laying on a bed

We will cover four easy, safe, natural flea shampoos you can make for your dog. We will also include a step-by-step recipe, including the exact stuff you need and how to maximize their effects on fleas properly.

For even more additional knowledge, we’re also going to share the benefits each of these recipes has for your dogs. Can’t be too safe this day, am I right?

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Flea Shampoo For Dogs

The first in the list is this homemade flea shampoo that involves apple cider vinegar with water and dish soap. You’re going to need the following for a successful flea deterrent:

  • 1 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 Quart of Warm Water

  • 1 Cup of Liquid Dish Soap (If your dog has sensitive skin, Dawn has a unique soap tailored to be gentle).


First, mix warm water and cider vinegar in a large bowl. Once you’ve combined them, you have to start slowly adding the liquid dish soap.

Mix all these things and pour them inside a spray bottle. After this, give the bottle a gentle shake to ensure the mixture is properly combined.

As for the actual application itself, prepare a bath for your pup (preferably in a bathtub). Spray them with this shampoo, as you would a regular dog shampoo. If you want the best results, lather the mixture into his or her coat for 5 minutes, then wash your dog thoroughly with warm water.

Once done, you can finally dry your pet with a towel. You have to repeat this process for quite some time in a week until all the fleas are gone. This should leave your dog’s coat smooth, soft, and ticks-free.

Benefits Of Making DIY Flea Shampoo For Dogs

The main ingredient, apple cider vinegar, is very acidic (although milder than white vinegar) and helps terminate fleas that thought to make their home in your pup. It can also kill bacteria on their skin, thus reducing flakiness. The vinegar should also stop dander from building up and be safe for puppies.

As for the liquid, dish soap helps smother the fleas by preventing air from passing through the coat. This is also where the 5-minute minimum shampoo massage comes in.

2. Natural Flea Dog Shampoo with Essential Oils

Pomeranian getting bathed with flea shampoo for dogs

Second on the list is a natural flea shampoo infused with essential oils. Considering these add-ons, you can rest assured that your pup will smell like heaven right after a bath with this shampoo. The ingredients are listed as follows:

  • 10 Ounces of Water

  • 2 Ounces Aloe Vera Gel

  • 1 Tablespoon of Castile Soap

  • 2 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

  • 2 Drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

  • 2 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil

  • 2 Drops of Rosemary Essential Oil


First, mix the water, aloe vera gel, and castile soap in a bowl until combined. Next, mix the essential oils in a separate smaller bowl. You do this if your hand slips and you pour too much in.

Mix the water, aloe vera gel, and castile soap in one container until fully combined. Once done, mix the essential oils in a different container. This is to prevent yourself from adding too much of the latter.

Combine all the oils with your water mixture, mixing as you pour. Once done, put the solution inside another spray bottle. You only need to get your dog’s coat wet for you to be able to apply this solution.

Make sure that you’ve gathered this shampoo well onto your pet. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, rinsing thoroughly after when done. Dry your fur ball with a towel and repeat once or twice a week for as long as necessary (until the fleas are fully gone).


The castile soap and water are the base that holds the shampoo together, and they also help incorporate the oils. The aloe vera has a soothing effect that can help with hot spots or itchy skin your puppy acquired. It also hydrates their fur, leaving it sleek and shiny.

PETA approves using essential oils like coconut oil. They are helpful in repelling mosquitoes, ticks, and other pesky bugs. Even better, they help in making your dog smell great.

3. Lemon Flea Shampoo

This natural lemon flea shampoo is similar to our previous one in that it helps remove fleas while making your fur baby smell fresh. It can also keep those bugs away all season long!

The ingredients are also easily sourced, probably stashed somewhere in your house already. They are listed below as follows, in no particular order:

  • Half a cup of Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

  • 1 1/2 to 2 Cups of Warm Water

  • 1/4 to 1/2 Cup of Baby Shampoo or Castile Soap


To begin, squeeze a half cup of lemon juice into a medium bowl. Add warm water to the juice and mix well. Don’t do half-measures with this part!

Once you’re sure it’s mixed properly, add the baby shampoo or castile soap to the bowl. Stir, ensuring that each ingredient is incorporated properly, then store in a glass jar or container until you’re ready to use it.

For application, get your dog wet first, then gently work the shampoo to their coat. Make sure it reaches their skin for maximum effectiveness. You don’t have to be afraid of rinsing again and reapplying the solution.

Once it’s thoroughly worked into the coat, let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse it off properly when you’re done, and dry your dog. Repeat this weekly to kill all the fleas and keep new ones from popping up and infesting Fido.


The lemon juice is acidic enough to kill fleas and any bacteria hiding on your dog. It can also soothe any itches or flakiness on their skin. Adding baby shampoo or castile soap adds a gentle touch that holds the shampoo together.

You can ensure your dog won’t be irritated with this soap. Castile soap can also be a moisturizer for their fur due to its olive oil content.

Homemade Dry Flea Shampoo

How to get rid of fleas on dogs? Owner puts big dog on a bath to remove fleas

Any dog owner knows how much of a struggle a dog bath can be, especially for those whose pups are on the bigger side or those who are scared of water. This may be particularly detrimental if you want to get rid of fleas and thus need to take multiple baths.

This homemade dry shampoo is an excellent alternative and possible solution to this problem. Its ingredients are as follows:

  • 1 Cup of Baking Soda

  • 1 Cup of Cornstarch

  • 2 to 4 drops of Lavender or Lemon Essential Oil

Dry Shampoo Directions

Making this is easy enough. Simply put the baking soda and cornstarch together in a medium bowl, mixing the ingredients together until they’re an even consistency.

After that, carefully add essential oil to the mix. Begin with just two drops, only adding more if necessary. Remember that Fido has a more sensitive nose than you, so a mild scent for you might already be too overpowering for him.

Once done, work the mixture into his coat and massage it all over. You can put a towel on the ground as a sort of catch basin for them to stand or sit on just in case you get some spills from the dry shampoo.

You can add coconut oil after applying the dry shampoo, which also works wonders for their coat. However, remove all the dead fleas after you wash their fur (a fine comb is very helpful for this task).

According to PetMD, owners should concentrate more on the neck, stomach, and groin, as these are the hot spots where fleas usually congregate. You can use this dry shampoo version between baths to prevent their skin from drying out from too much bathing.


If you cut back on the traditional baths and incorporate this dry shampoo, your dog won't be in danger of dry skin. The essential oils will kill the fleas and repel mosquitoes and flies. They will also make your dog smell great.

One of the bad things about too much bathing is that it can dry your pup’s skin. This is usually unavoidable when you’re trying to get rid of fleas on them. Thankfully, this dry solution works great even without water and can occasionally buffer between baths.

The essential oils contained within are also a great mosquito and fly repellent. They also add a nice smell to your pup.

Each of these easy homemade flea shampoo recipes benefits your best friends greatly. You’ll be satisfied sharing these with other fur parents who want to make a safe and natural remedy to kill fleas.

Make these one-on-one bath times even more special with your dog by making these solutions. With these safe shampoos in your hand, you can rest easy knowing you’re giving the best possible experience for your furry friend.

You can tell the world how much you love dogs by availing of a shirt from our dog lover shirts collection. This is a fantastic way to open up conversations about your best friend and trade recipes for natural flea remedies.

Your dog deserves the best care possible, so keep their coat shiny and healthy and avoid skin problems with these natural recipes.

FAQs On Homemade Dog Flea Shampoo

Can homemade dog flea shampoo be used on cats?

It is generally not recommended to use homemade dog flea shampoo on cats. Cats have more sensitive skin than dogs, and certain ingredients in dog flea shampoos can cause skin irritation in cats. It is best to consult with a veterinarian for cat-specific flea treatment options.

How often should I bathe my dog with homemade dog flea shampoo?

The frequency of bathing your dog with homemade dog flea shampoo depends on the severity of the flea infestation and your dog's individual needs. Generally, it is recommended to bathe your dog once every 1-2 weeks until the fleas are eliminated.

Will homemade dog flea shampoo kill fleas instantly?

Homemade dog flea shampoo may not kill fleas instantly. However, it can effectively suffocate and drown fleas, making them easier to remove from your dog's coat. Consistent use of homemade flea shampoo and other preventive measures can help eliminate fleas over time.

Previous article Best Dog for Training: What to Consider Before Jumping In


Hannatjie - November 28, 2023

I have a Chihuahua pup of 9 weeks with fleas. I read that one should only wash them from 3 months on. What do I do in the meantime?
Another question – liquad dish soap has bad ingredients. Is it okay to use a natural one without the stuff that dry our skin out and therefor also the little puppy?

Thedogsale - November 27, 2023

This homemade flea shampoo recipe is a game-changer! My pup has been bothered by fleas, and I was seeking a natural solution. I tried this recipe, and the results were fantastic! Not only did it effectively tackle the fleas, but it also left my dog’s coat feeling fresh and clean. Thank you for sharing this remedy—I’ll definitely be using it regularly

Cindy Powell - November 27, 2023

I have a long hair coat on my 8lb Yorkshire Terrier. How can I get the homemade flea shampoo to penetrate thoroughly to his coat to the skin where the fleas are ?

Hilary Threadgould - November 27, 2023

My dog Bertie a lasa, aged 11 years. He licks his leg joints, one front paw and has hot spotson inside of back legs. Any advice?

Mary L Roberts - November 27, 2023

I tried the vinegar,dawn,water and couple drops lavender seemed to work well,I was amazed how many dead flies came off my dog. I have to wash her quite bought flea shampoo is watery and doesn’t kill many fleas,and expensive. I appreciate your flea shampoo made my dog feel better.thanks

Adz Barker - November 27, 2023

Can’t find Dawn’s unique soap for sensitive skin, please help
Liquid Dish Soap (If your dog has sensitive skin, Dawn has a unique soap that is tailored to be gentle).

Donald Dozier - October 26, 2021

I like the recipe for the Apple Cider Vinegar Flea Soap and will try it first for my 17 month old BLOODHOUND “OTIS”. WE will stick with that or next try the Lemon Flea Soap and let OTIS decide. I will let you know, thanks.

Lisa R Graham - March 18, 2019

Hi! Im always up to try new diys, esp when it comes to my fur babies Roxy, Bruiser & Bailey Hope. A recipe Ive used that works well includes vegetable glycerin (can be bought at drugtores, Target or online) Its great for their skin & fur health & appearance. If thyre itchy it work lmost immediately to help stop itchies!
I use either Dr B’s lavendar castille soap or peppermint. Dawn soap is another ingred that kills them too, though Ive never used it. Vinegar helps tremendously with fleas, PLUS makes their fur(and ours! lol) shiny & healthy looking.

JUANITA WEBB - March 18, 2019


Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields