I’m really particular when it comes to what I feed my dogs and what I will put on their bodies. Many commercial flea and tick sprays or drops are packed with harmful chemicals that I don’t want on my pups as they can cause adverse reactions and skin problems. This flea and tick spray contains all natural ingredients and protects pups from nasty bugs. I spray it generously all over my dogs, avoiding their eyes, especially when we are in wooded areas like taking hikes in Wisconsin. I also spray it before and after they’ve gone swimming.
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (organic preferred)
- half a lemon
- 1/4 a cup of organic apple cider vinegar
- 1 pint of water for boiling
- 1 empty spray bottle
Optional: 1 drop of high-quality lavender and spearmint oil
Rosemary is a naturally woody type of herb that deters bugs. Lemon, apple cider vinegar and peppermint are tart and acidic which bugs hate while lavender prevents infestations and is good for skin. Between this spray and my dogs’ heartworm preventative, they are safe from bugs all year round! Do not use rosemary essential oil – that oil is toxic to dogs and can induce seizures.
1. Bring the pint of water to a boil
2. Once boiling, add the rosemary into the boiling water
3. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.*
4. Combine rosemary water with fresh half squeezed lemon, apple cider vinegar together in the spray bottle.
5. Shake up and spray generously on your dog for protection! Keep in the refrigerator for added freshness
*Some people reported the water evaporated, keep an eye on the rosemary to make sure it does not. I did not experience this!
All sounds good! I’ll try apple cider vinegar in the water. Thank you 🙂
Wisconsin dog mom here! Not only am I suspicious of flea and tick medications, but they’re pricey too! Excited to find a healthy alternative!
Glad to help!
I have an 11 lb morkie. Is there anything for heart worm besides pills, Also I heard that if you put apple cider vinegar in the water that will help with fleas and text, is that true?
i have a 70 lbs GSD and I would like to know how many drops of essential oil you recommend for your recipe?
I have a very sensitive Pomeranian. When I adopted him, he had some skin problems and ended up on antibiotics. He was doing better until recently. I was using a Seresto collar (I use for my 5 other dogs) but every time I put it on him, he starts itching and I don’t want him to end up with a skin infection. I am trying to find something holistic that won’t irritate him, but I live in Tennessee and need something that works too. Do you know of anyone who has successfully used this on a sensitive dog? Thanks!
Hi Sara – I am sorry to hear about the troubles you are having. Honestly, anything with harsh chemicals like that can cause an issue. Seresto is known to cause major skin issues in dogs. This DIY flea/tick spray I made is pretty mild and shouldn’t cause a lot of irritation but I would test it out on a small spot on your dog first. Apple cider vinegar is actually anti-bacterial so that can help stop bacteria from growing. I would test a small amount out and I’d also try to find a holistic vet who can help you since your dog is so sensitive. I hope this helps
I loved this post. I live in Australia and we have fleas and ticks in the area. When you say ‘bugs’ do you mean it wards off ticks so I don’t need to use nasty chemicals to keep them away? Georgia. xx
Yes, I do!
I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was
good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if
you are not already 😉 Cheers!
Is fresh rosemary best? I assume so because of the oils but can dried be a substitute?
Dried you won’t be able to extract much from it so yes, fresh is best for this! 🙂
what type of Oil brand do you use? I have a Husky and they can be pretty sensitive and I want to make sure that the brand I use does not affect her coat. what are some Dog friendly Oil brands?
I have learned so much about essential oils the past month that now I only use organic oils from small batch high quality companies that aren’t the large MLM companies.
A dog park friend used FRONTLINE TRITAK on his poodle and had an alerting reaction to the point of going to ER due to convulsions. I am so appalled that the vet did not warn him that a negative result can possibly occur. The experience had halt my FRONTLINE purchase to seek a more holistic approach and thankfully I came across this recipe and just made my first batch for my Shiba Inu. Absolutely love this blog. 🙂
Thank you!! So happy to help! Those chemical filled products are so dangerous!
I may be lame, but there was no water left after boiling the pint of water, lemon and rosemary. It was literally just the leaves. What did i do wrong?
Hi! I think you boiled it too long or didn’t use enough water. The water should definitely not evaporate!
Mine did the same thing… Im wondering if it should be turned to low… I just kept it boiling as the directions stated… Now I wasted my rosemary! BOO! Or maybe the 30 minutes is a typo??
I updated the post to hopefully alleviate this issue!
How often do you spray your dogs with it?
Hi, Doris! It depends on the time of the year and where you live. For us in the midwest, I start in March and use it 1-2 times a week when we are in our backyard in the city of Chicago. If we are in Wisconsin where it is more wooded I use it every morning and reapply after swimming!
How long does it keep, i.e. how long can you use just the one mix, when does it “expire” per se?
Hi! I keep and use mine within the month. I also keep it in the refrigerator. For maximum potency I would recommend no more than a month 🙂