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Homemade Natural Insect Repellent for Dogs, Cats


In this article:
Recipes to make your own all natural, non-toxic, herbal and homeopathic flea, tick, mosquito: 

  1. Repellent topical sprays;
  2. Rubs;
  3. Dips; 
  4. Rinse;
  5. Collar Drops
  6. Spot-on Drops

1.0 Sprays

1.1 Fresh Lemon Spray (for cats and dogs)
Fresh lemons and water make an excellent non-toxic easy to make mosquito spray with a refreshing scent. See the recipe here.
1.2 Almond, Garlic, Lemon Oil-Based
Sprays
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Almond Oil,Citrus Spray (for dogs only)

Pour the following ingredients in a spray bottle…
  • 1 cup of water;
  • 2 cups of organic apple cider vinegar;
  • 2 tbs sweet almond oil or:
    • 2 tbs lemon oil (see recipe below), or;
    • 2 tbs garlic oil (see recipe below;
    • Both almond oil and garlic contain sulfur – sulfur repels many types of insects including mosquitoes;
  • 2 tbs of fresh squeezed lemon juice;
    • Mosquitoes do not like citrus, especially lemon;
    • do not use this spray on cats if you use lemon essential oil instead of fresh lemon!
  • Shake well, and;
  • Spritz your dog’s fur.
 Make your own lemon oil…
  • You will need 2 lemons and 1 cup of olive oil.
    • Preparation;
      • Peel the rind from the lemons;
      • Place oil and lemon rinds in a sauce pan;
      • Place on a very low heat for 20 minutes;
      • Allow to cool;
    • Strain and pour into a bottle.
Make your own garlic oil…

For treating ear infections, making insect repellent, etc.  

  • To prepare garlic oil you will need:
    • A small, clean wide-mouth glass jar;
    • Cheesecloth or other breathable clean cloth;
    • Elastic band or string;
    • Amber, brown or blue storage bottle;
    • Garlic cloves;
    • Virgin, or extra virgin olive oil (cold-pressed olive oil).
  • Preparation:
    • Remove the outer skin (also called ‘paper’) from the garlic cloves;
    • Cut the garlic cloves into thin slices;
    • Put the sliced garlic in the jar, leave a little space at the top of the jar empty;
    • Pour the olive oil into the jar, making sure to add enough oil to completely cover the garlic – make sure that you leave some empty space at the top of the jar;
    • Cover the top of the jar with a few layers of cheesecloth:
    • Stretch the cheesecloth so it lays flat on top of the lid – if the cloth touches the oil it will absorb the oil and make a mess;
    • Secure the cloth with string or an elastic band;
    • Let the garlic/oil filled jar sit top cure, in a warm location for 10 to 14 days;
    • Once the curing period is over, separate the garlic from the oil by straining the oil into an amber, brown or blue storage bottle;
  • Store the Garlic Oil in the refrigerator.
1.3 Neam Oil-Based Sprays and Rubs
Organic 1Neem Oil Spray (for dogs only)
  • You will need…
    • ½ once (2.5 ml) organic neem oil;
    • If you want to make a stronger replant use 1 once (5 ml neem oil);
    • ½ once (2 ml) organic glycerine or organic Castile soap;
    • 2 cups (.5 litre) warm water;
    • Mixing bowl;
    • Spray bottle.
  • Preparation…
    • Pour the glycerine soap and warm water into the bowl – mix the resulting liquid;
    • Slowly add the neem oil , mixing as you add the neem to the soap/water mixture;
    • Pour the resulting liquid into a spray bottle;
  • Spritz your dog’s fur.
1 Caution for Neem Oil:
  • Neem oil breaks down after 8 hours, so only make enough spray  or rub for use within an 8 hour period, discard any unused spray and make more when required;
  • Do not use Neem oil on cats;
  • If you are using these Neem oil recipes on a dog that you breed or that is pregnant make sure that you make the recipes using the neem oil at half strength. 
1.4 Essential Oil Blend Sprays

Witch Hazel and Essential Oils Spray (for dogs only)
 
  • Fill an 8 once spray bottle with distilled or boiled (cooled) water;
  • Add enough witch hazel to almost fill the balance of the spray bottle;
  • Add essential oils:
    • 10 drops of clove essential oil (if your dog is 2pregnant substitute use eucalyptus essential oil instead);
    • 10 drops of  rosemary essential oil ;
    • 10 drops of citrus (lemon, orange or grapefruit) essential oil .
  • Shake well, and;
  • Spritz your dog’s fur;
    •  Don’t soak your dog’s or cat’s fur with this spray;
    • Just mist your dog or cat with the spray;
    • The scent of the essential oils repels the insects.
2 Clove oil is a uterine stimulant and therefore should not be used on pregnant dogs. 

Lavender Essential Oil and Tea Tree Oil Spray
(for dogs only)
  • Fill a spray bottle with 1 cup of distilled or boiled (cooled) water;
  • Add essential oils:
    • 4 drops of Tea Tree Oil;
    • 4 drops of Lavender Essential Oil;
  • Shake well, and;
  • Spritz your dog’s fur;
    • Don’t soak your dog’s fur with this spray;
    • Just mist your dog with the spray;
    • The scent of the essential oils repels the insects.
Rosemary Essential Oil Spray
(for dogs and cats)
  • Fill a spray bottle with 1 cup of distilled or boiled (cooled) water;
  • Add essential oils:
    • 8 drops of rosemary essential oil;
  • Shake well, and;
  • Spritz your dog’s or cat’s fur;
    • Don’t soak your dog’s or cat’s fur with this spray;
    • Just mist your dog or cat with the spray;
    • The scent of the essential oils repels the insects.

 

1.5 Herbal Sprays
Coconut Oil, Peppermint, Lemon Grass Spray or Spot-On
(for cats and dogs)

In a Glass Bowl or Spray Bottle…
  • Mix the following;
    • 10 parts coconut oil (organic coconut oil is best), with;
    • 1 part peppermint or lemon grass (fresh crushed herb or alcohol-free essential oil);
  • Apply as a spray-on repellant or as spot-on drops
 
Peppermint, Spearmint, Lavender, Cloves, Citronella Spray (for cats and dogs)

Use Fresh or Dried Herbs…
  • Boil 1 cup of water;
  • Place the following in a tea pot or pot;
    • 1 tbsp peppermint, 
    • 1 tbsp catnip or spearmint;
    • 1 tbsp citronella or lemon grass;
      • if you are making this spray for use on cats use lemon grass, don’t use citronella;
    • 1 tbsp lavender;
      • if you are making this spray for use on cats leave the lavender out of the recipe and use rosemary instead;
    • 24 dried cloves (if your dog is 2pregnant substitute use eucalyptus essential oil instead)
      • If you are making this spray for use on cats leave the cloves out of the recipe;
  • Pour the boiling water into the tea pot and stir the ingredients;
  • Allow to steep and cool – make sure you place the lid on the tea pot of pot as it is important not to lose the volatile oils from the herbs;
  • When cool, strain the herbs from the liquid;
  • Mix the resulting solution with one of the following:
    • 1 cup of Witch Hazel, or:
    • 1 cup of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar;
  • Pour the resulting liquid into a spray bottle;
  • Shake well, and;
  • Spritz your dog’s fur.
2 Clove oil is a uterine stimulant and therefore should not be used on pregnant dogs.
Rosemary Spray – Specifically for Fleas (for cats and dogs)
 
  • Steep 1/8 cup of fresh rosemary in 16 ounces of boiling water for 30 minutes;
  • Allow the resulting infusion to cool;
  • Strain the liquid, discard the rosemary;
  • Pour the liquid into a spray bottle;
  • Shake well;
  • Spritz your dog’s fur.
You can also increase this recipe to make a rosemary flea dip…
Four Thieves Vinegar – Extra Strength Spray
(for dogs)
 
  • Preparation:
    • In a glass jar – a Masons Jar with lid is best; add the following ingredients:
      •  2 cups Organic Apple Cider Vinegar;
        • The following dry herbs;
        • Lavender – 4 tbsp’
          • If you are using this spray on cats do not use lavender use rosemary instead;
        • Peppermint – 4 tbsp
        • Sage – 4 tbsp;
        • Thyme – 4 tbsp;
      • Fresh Garlic – 4 to 8 cloves, crush the cloves before adding to the mixture.
  • Mix the ingredients;
  • Seal the glass jar with lid;
  • Allow to steep (in a cool, dark place, shake occasionally) for a minimum of 2 weeks, up to a maximum of 6 weeks;
  • After steeping period is over, strain the liquid from the herbs (discard the herbs);
  • You can then store the liquid in the fridge;
  • To Use:
    • Do not use the liquid as a spray on fur and skin full strength…
      Fill a spray bottle half-full with the steeped liquid;
    • Fill the remaining half of the bottle with distilled water;
    • The spray is now ready for use;
    • Shake well, and;
    • Spritz your dog’s fur.
The original Four Thieves Vinegar Recipe – the one above is a variation, is a recipe from the 1600s.  The famous French aromatherapy doctor, Jean Valnet, has two recipes in his book. He claims corpse robbers who were caught red-handed in the area around Toulouse in 1628-1631 revealed the original recipe. His story is the more credible of the many one can find. Given the virulence and deadliness of the plague, the judges were astonished by the indifference of the thieves to contagion. Valnet quotes the archives of the Parliament of Toulouse…“During the Great Plague, four robbers were convicted of going to the houses of plague victims, strangling them in their beds and then looting their dwellings. For this, they were condemned to be burned at the stake, and in order to have their sentence mitigated, they revealed their secret preservative, after which they were hanged.”
 
2.0 Rubs to Kill Fleas 

2.1 Diatomaceous Earth Rub (for dogs and cats)
  • Use food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE);
    • Rub the DE into your dog’s or cat’s fur – within about 20 minutes the fleas will be dead;
    • You may need to repeat the application the following day if the flea eggs have not been all eradicated with the first application;
    • Wash your dog or cat within a couple of hours after applying DE;
      • DE soaks up moisture, so leaving DE on your companion animals skin for a prolonged time can dry-out his, her skin;
      •  You can use an herbal shampoo or herbal rinse to remove the DE – you can use of these recipes.

2.2 Organic 1Neem Oil Rub (for dogs only)

  • Mix 1 part neem oil with 10 parts almond oil;
  • Place a few drops in your hand;
  • Rub your palms together;
  • The run your hands through your dog’s fur.
1 Caution for Neem Oil:
  • Neem oil breaks down after 8 hours, so only make enough spray  or rub for use within an 8 hour period, discard any unused spray and make more when required;
  • Do not use Neem oil on cats;
  • If you are using these Neem oil recipes on a dog that you breed or that is pregnant make sure that you make the recipes using the neem oil at half strength. 

3.0 Dips to Kill Fleas 

3.1 Rosemary Flea Dip (for cats and dogs)
  • Steep 2 cups of fresh rosemary in 1 gallon of boiling water for 30 minutes;
  • Allow the resulting infusion to cool-off until it is just warm;
  • Strain the liquid, discard the rosemary;
  • Pour the liquid over your dog’s fur until he/she is soaked,
  • Allow your dog to dry naturally.

4.0 Rinse to Kill Fleas

4.1 Organic ACV, Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera Juice
      (fordogs only)

Parasites such as fleas, ticks mosquitoes and worms do not do well in an environment that is not supportive of their life and reproductive requirements. Such parasites do not like acidic environments. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is acidic and therefore not an attractive substance for these parasites. The following topical treatment kills adult fleas and is soothing for the dog’s skin…
You will need
  • An 8 oz bottle;
  • Tea Tree Oil;
  • 100% Aloe Vera Juice;
  • Organic ACV;
  • Fresh, clean water.
Preparation
  • Pour the shampoo into the 8 ounce bottle;
  • Add 10 drops of tea tree oil;
  • Add 1 tablespoon of aloa vera juice;
  • Shake well.
 Treatment
  • Shampoo Your Dog;
  • Wait 6 to 10 minutes.
Rinse Your Dog
  • Then rinse with ACV diluted in water – 1 tablespoon ACV for every pint of water.
  • Allow your dog to shake the excess water off;
 After-Rinse Spray
  • Then follow-up with a spray of equal parts ACV to water;  
  • You can also add fresh squeezed lemon juice;
  • Do not get the shampoo, rinse or spray in your dog’s eyes;
  • The spray can be used on a daily basis and may be used several times a day.

5.0 Collar Drops and Spot-on Drops
(for cats and dogs)

See this article

6.0 Spot-on Drops
(for cats and dogs)

See this article

Cautions:
 

Proper Selection of Essential Oils

  • Use only ‘Grade A’ Therapeutic Food Grade essential oils – these are made from organically grown herbs and are steam distilled.
    • Do not use Grade B food grade essential oils
    • Do not use aromatherapy oils for this recipe (Grade C) or floral water essential oils (Grade D)

Monitor your Animal When Using Essential Oils

  • Particularly when using  essential oils on cats, make sure you observe your cat, watch for any signs of an adverse reaction and cease using if any type of toxicity occurs

Employ Caution When Spraying near Your Dog’s Eyes

  • Remember to protect your dog’s eyes from the spray;

When Applying the Spray to your Dog’s Face:

  • Spray the palm of your hand with the solution;
  • Rub your hands gently over your dog’s nose, around their eyes, behind the ears, etc.

Daily Application of Sprays

  • Sprays should be re-applied 2-3 times a day when protection is required;
  • If your dog goes swimming, gets wet in the rain etc. you will need to re-apply the spray.

For Dogs that are Prone to Seizures

  • Do not use rosemary essential oils on a dog that is prone to seizures

Your Dog’s, Cat’s Best Defense Against Insects

  • Your dog’s and cat’s best defense against insects and insect-borne disease is a truly health supporting diet, nutrition and overall wellness plan. Topical insect repellant should never be used on its own with the expectation that it can prevent insect bites and insect-borne disease – it should be used as part of a holistic plan.

Additional Assistance

If you require additional support and guidance I would be pleased to assist you via my In-Person or On-Line Services…

Dog Obedience Training and Behavior Modification Services:

Diet, Nutrition Wellness Services:

  • Unbiased Diet, Nutrition, Product Advice is available via this service
  • Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness Plans are available via this service

About Karen

Dogs are my life, my work, my passion… I am a Dog Whisperer, Dog Behaviorist and Holistic Canine Wellness Adviser with a wealth of real-time, real-life experience living and working with dogs. For two and a half decades I have worked with and shared my life with dogs. My own dog pack is comprised of eleven dogs, various breeds and ages. I provide a full range of services including Obedience Training for puppies and dogs; canine Behavior Modification; canine Psychological Rehabilitation, specializing in assisting dogs that are experiencing extreme states of insecurity, anxiety and aggressive-reactive behavior; Diet, Nutrition and Wellness Advice and Plans for canines and felines…natural wisdom for you and your companion animal.

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12 comments

  1. I made the mosquito spray using the 6 lemons. My question – rather than disposing of the peels and pulp, can it be frozen and used again for anything at all.

    • When I make a batch of 40 to 50 pounds of dog food I use the pulp of 6 lemons as one of the ingredients in the food. Take a look at my homemade dog food recipe.

  2. I recently moved from a city-like area to a woodsy area with my two lovable newfies….lets just say, the first few months (back in the fall) were absolutely horrible in terms of ticks! yuck! with spring quickly approaching, and my mother and I unwilling to put pesticides on our dogs, I came across your article in search of all natural tick repellants! I am very excited to try some of these. Which do you recommend as the best to repel ticks?

  3. Use the rosemary flea dip and in between baths use the rosemary spray. You can also put rosemary essential oil drops on her collar.

    In addition you need to fix her diet. Fleas are most attracted to animals with a suppressed immune system. Get her on food that is grain free and go buy some cod liver oil. Add 1/4 tsp of cod liver oil to her food twice a day if she is very small and 1/2 tsp if she is a larger cat.

  4. I live in Florida, so does this mean I SHOULD have my dog on heart worm? (I do have her on heart worm). Can I still use the home made remedies for fleas and ticks. I don’t use anything on her now and she doesn’t have fleas. She is an inside dog and goes with me everywhere I go. I drive truck for a living and she does go with me. I feed her homemade dog food. Cooked chicken, rice, green beans and cheese. (not always on the cheese) once in a while. I stew the carcass down and she eats the bones also. Her coat has gotten better since I have taken her off store bought dog food. She doesn’t scratch as much either. She does smell from time to time any suggestions? I bathe her maybe every six weeks. (???)

  5. my dogs testicles are very red and chaffed and kind of swollen. he is an outside dog but has a very enclosed dog house specially built. was wondering what is the best home remedy to help heal his aggravated dog man areas and what would help prevent skeeters from coming to him. all home remedies if possible please!

  6. Hello I have a 6 week old Pomeranian mix puppy. She want to vet and had a dewormer. She has layed around for two days, and see passed a 3 in worm in her stool. Is there anything I can do to help her. I gave her some charcoal, I think med is way to strong. What can I do????

    • Make sure that she is drinking lots of fluids – you can syringe feed her fluids if she is not interested in drinking on her own. I would suggest you make some chicken stock and get that into her. If she dehydrates she will not make-it. Fluids will also help her body pass the toxins in the vet-prescribed chemical-based dewormer. Chicken stock is fast and simple to make and will give her nourishment…

      • Chicken Stock
      o Take a piece of chicken i.e. (a leg with back attached) put in a pot of water;
      o Add:
      o ½ tbs of sage;
      o ½ tbs of basil;
      o ½ tbs of rosemary;
      o You can toss in a few carrots and or parsnips of you want to;
      o Cook on a low heat;
      o When cooked remove chicken and carrots/parsnips;
      o Allow to cool a bit;
      o Pour stock into glass jars and store in the refrigerator.

      Give her some cooked chicken, mixed with cooked sweet potato, 60% meat/40% sweet potato. Feed her a little a a time.

      Take a look at this article – no more chemical-based dewormers http://ottawavalleydogwhisperer.blogspot.ca/2013/05/diy-natural-herbal-homeopathic.html

      Best of luck with her, K

  7. I have a question about a 5mo puppy that is having growing pains and was recommended to give him a joint supplement. Would either of these two be safe for him. He is a Cane Corso male 60lbs
    http://www.doctorvitaminstore.com
    SAM-e 1500mg(2) Strontium Bone Health(1) Apple Cider Vinegar(1) Ashwagandha Stand. Ext.(2) Bamboo Extract 900mg(1) Black Walnut 900mg(1) Celery Seed Extract(1)
    or
    SAM-e 1500mg(2) Strontium Bone Health(2) Apple Cider Vinegar(1) Ashwagandha Stand. Ext.(2) Bamboo Extract 900mg(1) Black Walnut 900mg(1) Celery Seed Extract(1)

    thank you for any help you can provide.
    Maria

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