When trying to find a solution for your dog during flea season, you will find an array of options and choices that can fit your pets needs. Even though there are a multitude of effective treatments for fleas on the market, some pet owners prefer to use a more natural approach when getting rid of fleas. Coconut oil is one of the more common natural solutions to fleas for pet owners, but does it actually work? Surprisingly, yes it does! In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of coconut oil for flea control, and how to administer it for the greatest effect.
Symptoms of Fleas on Dogs
Fleas can cause multiple issues for your dog once they get themselves situated in your pets fur. Some of these types of symptoms can be:
Itching and scratching: The feeling of fleas crawling around your dog’s skin can be extremely irritating, leading to their need to constantly itch and scratch their skin. Fleas can also cause flea dermatitis, which is a skin reaction to the presence of fleas. These dogs will become incredibly itchy, and you may even see redness and irritation on the skin.
Biting and gnawing: When it comes to relieving their itchiness, dogs only have their nails and their teeth. Because of this, you will often see dogs gnawing and biting at their skin in an effort to relieve their itching. This can cause major irritation to your dogs skin.
Flea dirt: Fleas leave behind wastes that look like pepper grounds or flakes of dirt. You will often see flea dirt right as the base of their fur as you comb through your dog’s hair.
Serious Complications of a Flea Infestation:
Sores on the skin: Due to the constant scratching and biting that a flea's presence will cause, dogs often get sores on their skin. These sores are typically called hot spots and are created by the constant scratching, biting, and licking of irritated areas on the skin. These sores are not only painful but can become infected.
Pale gums: In severe cases of a flea infestation, some dogs will experience pale gums due to the amount of blood that is being consumed by fleas on their body. Fleas are a nuisance, but if left untreated they can lead to severe anemia and flea-borne disease.
Fatigue: Severe cases of flea infestation can lead to weakness and lethargy due to severe anemias or exposure to flea-borne disease.
If your dog is experiencing any type of sores on their skin, pale or discolored gums, or general weakness and a lack of energy, make sure that you bring them to your vet as quickly as possible. Treating fleas as quickly as possible is the best way to avoid any further complications down the road.
Using Coconut Oil To Treat Fleas
There are a few ways to administer coconut oil in a safe way to your pet. Here are a few safe and easy ways to apply coconut oil to your dog to help alleviate them from fleas.
One of the most common ways to treat your dog with coconut oil is to simply coat your hand with it (to the point where there is excess dripping off) and massaging your dogs skin and fur with it. Start out with a small amount and slowly work your way up until you are sure that you have covered all of their skin, including their head, behind the ears, and any other folds or corners of their skin. The reason for this is that fleas love to hide in damp and dark places, so the most likely place to knock them out is there.
Another effective way to coat your dog’s skin is by creating a coconut oil spray. Fill a spray bottle with about two tablespoons of coconut oil and 30 ml of warm water. The warm water will melt into the coconut oil, creating a spray that’s evenly distributed. Once you spray your dog’s fur with your coconut oil creation, you can further distribute the oil by massaging your hands through their fur.
While coconut oil has only been shown to kill fleas on contact, it can be used as a healthy treat for your dogs as well. By taking 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight twice a day, this can help make your dogs coat, skin, and gut health.