Every pet owner knows how much of a hassle it is to deal with a flea attack on their pets. They transmit diseases, cause itching, and are challenging to get rid of.
While some artificial chemicals can relieve pets of them, there’s always a hidden side effect that makes fleas seem like the better option.
So what should you do if you want to get rid of fleas without posing unnecessary risks on your pet? Resort to natural alternatives, of course!
One of the most famous natural remedies for fleas is coconut oil. But does coconut oil kill fleas efficiently? Read on to get all the information you need?
Is Coconut Oil Effective for Killing Fleas?
Yes, coconut oil kills fleas successfully and rids dogs and cats of their annoyance. This is because coconut oil contains a fatty acid that kills fleas and has many health benefits for animals, and it goes by lauric acid. You can also use this acid as a preventive measure before fleas invade your pet’s body.
Since coconut oil is slippery, it’ll cover the exoskeleton that fleas have around their bodies and immobilize them once they come in contact with it.
The inability to escape or breathe and the destructive effects of lauric acid on fleas will efficiently solve your problem.
The best part about coconut oil is that it has an instantaneous effect. This means that you can say goodbye to fleas ten minutes after applying the treatment to your pet’s body. But if the problem has been going on for a while, it might need an overnight sleep.
Is Coconut Oil Safe for Pets?
To use such oils on your pet, you should first ensure they’re safe. You don’t want to kill fleas only to introduce an entirely new problem to your pet’s life.
That said, you can rest assured that coconut oil is safe to use on your pet’s body, whether it’s a cat or a dog, young or senior. Not only that, but it also has considerable benefits and doesn’t cause side effects and rashes.
For example, it rarely causes any allergic reactions. Also, you never have to worry about a flea medication overdose when using coconut oil. If you forget and apply it twice to your pet’s body, it won’t cause any adverse health issues.
In addition, pet owners often worry about their pets licking their bodies after applying medications. This is especially common in the case of fleas since pets gnaw at their fur, trying to scratch the fleas off. In some instances, this may cause liver diseases or various digestive issues. However, coconut oil is pretty safe to ingest.
On a similar note, people worry about their little kids cuddling with their pets after applying flea medications. Well, you’ll be relieved to know that coconut oil won’t cause your children any issues other than staining their clothes.
Finally, if your pet suffers from a chronic disease, coconut oil won’t stress its body any further, as other toxic chemicals do.
Of course, other flea treatment options are also efficient. But most of them require consulting with a vet first, like using flea collars. Using flea combs also is recommended by many, but it isn’t as efficient on its own.
How to Use Coconut Oil on Pets
Coconut oil is safe to use both internally and externally. Here’s a thorough guide on using coconut oil to get rid of flea infestation.
Apply It Externally
If your pet suffers from fleas, you can solve the issue through some simple steps. First, kindly note that you should do this coconut oil treatment outdoors because once you begin applying it to your dog’s fur, many fleas will jump away to save their lives. And if you have kids running around, you don’t want an unlucky interaction with fleas, believe us!
You should start by putting a few drops of the oil in your hands and warming it up a bit. This is because coconut oil solidifies at room temperature, but it melts quickly. It’d be best if you applied a hefty amount of coconut oil directly to make sure you get all fleas.
Next, start with a small part of your pet’s body and work your way to the rest of it, making sure to massage the coconut oil thoroughly.
After coating your pet’s body with the oil, rake a flea comb carefully through their coat to remove the remaining fleas. Make sure to use different flea combs if you have more than one pet. Finally, you can give your pet a quick bathe.
If your dog doesn’t have any fleas yet, but you want to use coconut oil as a preventive method, here’s what you should do.
First, you should use a small amount since there aren’t any fleas yet. Then, use your hands to apply the oil, and massage it thoroughly on your dog’s skin. Make sure to cover your pet’s stomach, sides, back, and legs. It’d help if you also focused on the area around their heads and necks.
If you don’t want to get your hands oily, you can use a coconut oil spray instead, along with flea combs. You can make it at home using 30 ml of organic coconut oil and 30 ml of warm water. You can also add tea tree oil or lavender oil to the spray bottle to ensure the efficiency of killing fleas and add a delightful smell.
Kindly note that you should never use essential oils for your cat, whether internally or externally. This is because they can cause severe liver damage, respiratory issues, and other serious health problems.
Also, when you use a coconut oil spray for flea prevention, you should make sure to keep the drops away from your pet’s eye.
Use It Internally
Although most pet owners prefer external flea treatments, internal ones are as successful. To use coconut oil internally, you should use a tiny amount.
It’d be best if you used about a blueberry-sized drop of oil for big animals and half that for smaller ones. Then, you can either give it to them directly or smear it over any solid food.
If your pet refuses to ingest coconut oil, you can blend it with another delicious treat with an obvious scent, like almond butter or peanut butter, for example. You can also mix it with your pet’s wet food. In addition to the fleas killing effect, ingesting coconut oil can also improve pets’ dental health and digestive processes.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Pets
Besides the riddance of fleas, coconut oil also has many health benefits for pets. For starters, it’ll make your dog’s fur shinier as it provides thorough moisturization of dry skin. Also, if your pet has allergies and constantly nibbles at its paws, the oil can help prevent cracked paws.
Coconut oil has a delightful smell that many people love. So it can work wonders to cover up the musky dog scent that all dog owners smell every now and then.
More so, coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits. So if your pet suffers from infected or inflamed flea bites, a few drops of the oil will significantly improve them. The oil can also quicken the healing of other insect bites.
As for other skin issues, virgin coconut oil helps improve many skin conditions, like dermatitis, eczema, dandruff, and itchy skin. Finally, the lauric acid in coconut oil can kill fungus and many parasites that attack dogs.
Do All Types of Coconut Oil Work on Fleas?
Generally, all types of coconut oil can help pets get rid of fleas. However, this is only in case you’re sure you purchased genuine coconut oil.
If you plan on giving your dog coconut oil to ingest, then unrefined, organic coconut oil is the right choice. The good news is that you don’t have to dent your wallet to purchase suitable coconut oil. Any nice-looking jar will do.
Tips for Using Coconut Oil to Kill Fleas
If you’re convinced of the magical effects that coconut oil has on fleas, there are a few tips you should know about before using it.
First of all, you should only use this oil on cats and dogs. If you have other pets, you should research and look for an alternative. Second, you should always check the expiration date before applying any product to your dog’s skin.
When applying oil on your pet, you should make sure to avoid getting some on its paws. This can lead to many slipping accidents, especially on wood and tile floors.
It’s also worth mentioning that coconut oil stains fabrics, so you should worry about your carpets and clothes. If your clothes get stained, you can use baking soda and water to clean them. That said, make sure to do this fast before the stain sticks.
As for storing coconut oil, you should always keep it closed in a dark and cool place. And when you apply it for the first time, test a small amount first on your pet’s skin to make sure it has no allergic reaction.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that you’ll probably have to deal with oil stains on your pet’s bedding for a few days.
Symptoms of Fleas on Pets
After telling you everything you need to know about using coconut oil to kill fleas, it’s time to tell you how to detect their presence in the first place.
The most apparent symptom is scratching and itching. The way fleas crawl on pets’ skins cause excessive irritation. So if you notice your pet constantly scratching their skin, fleas are most probably the culprit.
If you have a dog, it’ll most probably bite and gnaw at its fur in response to fleas. So when you see that odd reaction, you should make a quick inspection to ensure it isn’t allergies.
The last symptom you should keep an eye out for is flea dirt. When fleas infest your pet’s coat, they leave behind dirt that looks somehow like pepper grounds or flakes. If you often comb your pet’s hair, you’ll see the flea dirt if present.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Neem Oil Instead of Coconut Oil for Repelling Fleas?
Yes, you can. If you dislike coconut oil’s smell, neem oil, tea tree oil, and rose geranium oil are successful alternatives. They keep away fleas and ticks, have anti-inflammatory properties, and can be used as skin treatments.
Do I Have to Rinse Coconut Oil off My Pet’s Coat?
Yes, you have to rinse it off your pet’s skin after a few hours or so. This is because if left for too long, lauric acid can clog pores in your pet’s skin and cause irritation. You should especially do this if your pet slept overnight with the oil on.
How Do Pets Get Fleas?
Fleas are widely found throughout nature. For example, if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors in the garden, it may catch fleas from the grass. Therefore, you should mow your lawn regularly and keep your grass short to prevent this. Also, your pet may get fleas from dealing with other animals outside.
To Wrap Up
Coconut oil is an effective natural remedy for fleas. It’ll successfully get rid of your pet’s flea infestation without giving it any undesirable side effects. In addition, it has many benefits for your pet’s skin as a bonus point. And for the best part, you can use it either internally or externally.