Does Vinegar Kill Fleas On Dogs? Plus 3 Great Home Remedies (2023)

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Vinegar is used for various solutions around the home, including cleaning, disinfecting, and killing weeds.

Though it is an effective cleaner, the question today is: Does vinegar kill fleas on dogs?

Fleas are not only anuisancebut when they bite our dogs it can leave behind painful bites and cause flea dermatitis, in addition to causing disease and transferring internal parasites like hookworm.

Fleas are among the most tenacious pests around and are difficult to eliminate from our dogs and home.

These determined parasites need to beeliminatedon all levels of their life cycle; otherwise,the infestation will continue.

Although there are many home remedies forfleas,not all of them work well or are safe to use on or aroundourdogs.

When consideringahome remedy, our number one question should be: Is it safe to use on our pups?

So, when researching the efficacy of using vinegar to kill fleas on dogs, I also wanted to explore how safe it was to use on our canines, too.

The answers I found were a bit of a surprise, and I have shared my findings below, along with answering the question of safety, and finally providing other options for killing fleas on dogs.

Does Vinegar Kill Fleas?

According to Dr. Hanie Elfenbein, DVM[1], vinegar does not kill fleas or any of their life stages.

Although vinegar is an acid, it is not strong enough to eat through a flea’s exoskeleton.

Also, vinegar does not have a high enough aciditylevel to killflealarvae or theireggs.

Also read: Does Lemon Juice Kill Fleas on Dogs?

Does Vinegar Kill Flea Eggs and Larvae?

Vinegar is not an effective treatment for killinglarvaor eggs. It is critical to kill all life stages toeliminatefleas in your home and on your dog.

And just killing the adult fleas is not enough because eggs and larvae will continue to develop over time.

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Many people believe their dogs have gotten fleas again; however, more often than not, the fleas were never eradicated.

Related: Does Palmolive Really Kill Fleas?

Does Vinegar Repel Fleas?

There is no hard evidence that vinegar repels fleas; however, it is believed that it is an effective repellent.

It needs to be statedthat if your dog is already infested with fleas, the fleas will not leave their new home and food source when spritzed with vinegar.

If your dog currently has fleas, using a product that kills them is the best and fastest way to get rid of them.

One holistic veterinarian,Dr. Judy Morgan[2],states that allowing your dog to consume apple cider vinegar can repel fleas.

Morgan advises that adding a few drops of apple cider vinegar to yourdog’sdrinking water is enough to act as a repellent (ACV can also be used to kill fleas).

Vinegar spritzs have been used for help deter fleas in around the home.

If you would like to use it as a spray repellent,you will want to use a50/50 vinegar and water solution.

Use caution when spraying since the strong smell of vinegar can also repel your dog.

You do not want to use vinegar on your dog’s bed, blankets, or other areas they enjoy spending time. (You can even use it as a dog repellent[3]!)

This is whyit is essential to kill alllife stagesof a flea when eradicatinga flea population from your home and dog.

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How Effective is Vinegar?

There is no documented efficacy of vinegar as a repellent, but I can’t help but believe that if holistic vets recommend it, it likely is an effective repellent.

Again, if you have a flea infestation, it is essential to get rid of the fleas before relying on repellents.

(Video) 5 NATURAL Ways to Kill Fleas on Dogs with Dawn Dish Soap

Also Read: Does Bleach Kill Fleas and Flea Eggs?

Is Vinegar Safe for Dogs?

Unfortunately,the statements on safety of using vinegar in or on yourdogsvaries from veterinarian to veterinarian.

Somestatethat the use of vinegar orally can cause adverse effects to yourdog’steeth and internal system.

However, holistic veterinarians have used vinegar as a remedy for certain ailments, so much depends on who you ask.

However, I think that all vets would agree if you administer vinegar to your dog it is vital they are under close veterinary supervision.

Due to the contradictinginformation, it is best to contact your veterinarian before adding vinegar to your dog’s regimen.

Is Vinegar Safe for Puppies?

Vinegar is not safe for puppies as their systems are still developingandfar more sensitive than adult dogs.

It is highly discouragedto use vinegarin any form with puppies.

Is Vinegar Harmful to Dogs?

According to Dr. Hanie Elfenbein, administering vinegar orally can cause unfavorable effects on your dog’s health.

Some of the negative effects Dr. Hanie Elfenbein mentions include erosion of tooth enamel and damage to the esophagus and stomach lining.

The reason why vinegar can cause harm to your dog but not to a flea is because repetitive exposure to vinegar can cause corrosive effects over time.

Some of the adverse effects that you may notice to yourdog’shealth include vomiting,GI upsets,and dental sensitivities.

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How to Use Vinegar for Fleas?

Creating a spray is the most effective option to use vinegar as repellent around your home or yard.

Unfortunately,there is no information as to how longthissolution remains effective.

Alternative Options for Killing Fleas on Dogs

If you are looking for an alternativehome remedy to kill fleas on yourdog,there are a handful of options available, like:

  • Baby Powder – Baby powder is a safe way to kill fleas onyourdogs because it suffocates the fleas.However,it does not prove effective against eggs or larva; if you would like to learn more about using baby powder, click here.
  • Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is one of the most effective ways of killing fleas safely on your dog. It can be used both orally as well as topically.Also,coconut oil kills all life stages of the flea.To learn more about using coconut oil for eliminating fleas, please click here.
  • Essential Oils –Thereare a few essential oils effective at killing fleas on your dog. To learn how to use essential oils to kill fleas, click here.

Additionally,using commercial products such as NexGard, Frontline, orBravecto are all great options at killing fleas quickly.

Many of these flea products kill fleas within 4 hoursandare effectiveat eliminating all life stages.


Unfortunately,vinegar is not an effective way to kill fleas on your dog.

(Video) Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs (DIY REMEDY FOR TICKS/FLEAS)

However,it does have potential as a repellent around your house.

I use vinegarandsalt as a weed killer in my yard since it is safe for my dogs and works to repel fleas too. (Can salt kill fleas?)

The good news is several home remedies can help with killing fleas on your dog safely.

Moreover,using home remedies in combination withsafeprescription products is likely the best way to eliminate and keep fleas away.

Remember, before trying new home remedies that your dog ingests, it is idealto contact your trusted veterinarian first.


Can You Put Vinegar on Dogs for Fleas?

Technically yes, you can put vinegar on your dog for fleas.

However, it willact as a repellent,but it will not get rid of existing fleas.

Fleas tend to remain on dogseven when vinegar is applied.

Does Vinegar Kill Ticks?

Vinegar does not kill ticks.

The acidic levelinvinegar is not high enough to eat away at the tick’s exoskeleton.

Does Vinegar Kill Flea Eggs and Larvae?

No, vinegar does not kill flea eggs or larvae.


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