DIY Natural Flea Collar for Dogs Using Essential Oils
By Caryn Gehlmann and Sue Dwiggins
It can be quite a conundrum for dog owners… You don’t want to see your dog miserable, suffering from the unremitting itching that comes with fleas, but you don’t want to use harsh pesticides either. (PETA speaks about this challenge and shares tips, including the use of essential oils.) Thankfully, my sister Sue Dwiggins, an aromatherapist in North Carolina, has discovered a natural flea collar for dogs using essential oils that works — see her recipe below!
Beyond preventing fleas, essential oils for dogs are being used by both dog owners and trainers to enhance the bonding experience, set a cooperative mood in training sessions, deodorize bedding, and even provide first aid care when administered correctly! Before you get started, be aware that there are certain essential oils that you should avoid using with your dog.
According to the Pet Poison Hotline, the most common essential oil toxicities they see with dogs are from Melaleuca or Tea Tree, Pennyroyal, Wintergreen, and Pine Oils. And there are others, so do your research and/or talk to your vet. It’s also a good idea to gradually introduce your dog to the smell and let him or her decide if they like it. Each dog, like each of us, is different!
Now Sue will share with us her recipe for a natural flea collar for dogs. She’s been using this essential oil blend with Murphy (her black lab) for 10 years. Even though she calls it her Flea Blend, she does use it for both Flea and Tick. She said Murphy may get one or two ticks a year, and when she pulls them off, she will apply a couple of drops of Lavender to the spot.
Meet my friend Murphy!
Murphy is our 5 year old black lab/hound mix. After moving to North Carolina a few years ago, we discovered that we needed to treat Murphy on a regular basis for the prevention of fleas. However, when I used one of the national brand name flea drops, I noticed that Murphy became lethargic for a few days following the application. It kept happening every month, so I decided to try something natural. (Being lethargic is not a state that Murphy is EVER in!) After a bit of trial and error, I have had great success with the following essential oil blend. I’m happy to share my recipe and how I use it.
Sue’s natural flea collar for dogs recipe
- 1/2 tsp. rubbing alcohol
- 4 softgels of garlic
- 1 drop Lavender E.E. Lavandula angustifolia
- 1 drop Citronella Cymbopogon winterianus
- 1 drops Thyme Red Thymus vulgaris
- 1 drop Cedarwood USA Juniperus virginiana
Mix all ingredients together in a small jar with a lid.
I use Odorless Garlic, 500 mg softgels. I puncture the softgels with a pin and squeeze the contents into the alcohol and essential oil mixture. Note: Do Not Use a Leather Collar! Use a collar that is made with absorbent material. Lay the collar on a flat surface, on some paper towels or newspapers, shake the mixture and pour onto the back of the collar; the part of the collar that will NOT be in contact the dogs body. Let it dry about 45 minutes before placing it on the dog.
- For 60 lbs dog and up apply 65 drops of the blend to the collar.
- For 31 – 50 lbs dog apply 36 drops of the blend to the collar.
- For 21 – 30 lbs dog apply 12 – 18 drops of the blend to the collar.
- For 20 lbs and under apply 8 drops to the collar.
I repeat the application every month. The quantities I have given seem to be working for Murphy who weighs 85 lb. Murphy has been to the vet and boarded many times since using the blend, and no fleas or eggs have been found on him. I am really happy to have found a natural flea prevention method that does not make him sick. I have had great success now for 2 years!
We’re so happy Sue shared her experience and instructions for making a natural flea collar for dogs. Did you notice she made her own essential oil blend? Would you like to learn more about essential oils – like where they come from, how they’re made and how to make your own special blends? Simply download our free ebook, Listen to Your Nose – An Introduction to Aromatherapy.