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Thursday, June 20, 2013

DIY Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Repellent for Dogs (and people)

I have dogs with sensitivities.  First, there's Duke.  He's an 8 year old Sussex Spaniel/Chocolate Lab mix, and he has a super thick coat.  He gets occasional hot spots, and I am constantly getting on him not to chew on them.  Since we have changed to a really good food,  He gets them less often and he's not constipated anymore.  I know, TMI, right?  Sorry, but my dogs are my kids, and parents talk about poo sometimes.  Anyway, I think Duke has a corn sensitivity, so we use Natural Balance food.  It's expensive, but his coat is so shiny now, and his digestive issues are almost gone.  He doesn't drink enough water, so he's often a bit dehydrated, but I can't force him to drink!

Then, there's Chunk.  Chunk is a 2 year old Yorkiepoo (yorkie and miniature poodle mix), and he's the baby of the house.  He's stubborn, rambunctious, and adorable.  He has a bad allergic reaction whenever we get him a rabies shot, so we have to put him on steroids whenever he needs it done.  He also has hypoglycemia when he gets overheated, so I keep some corn syrup on hand and put a little gob into his mouth when he is showing signs of hypoglycemia (a common yorkie condition).  I keep his coat very short so he doesn't get too hot, and I just stick sweaters on him in the winter time.  He loves his sweaters, and it's cute to see him help me put them on him (he puts his head through the neck hole, etc).

Okay, so why the hell am I going on and on about my little furbabies?  Because I WUV them, and I don't like to use chemical pesticides on them.  I have read too many articles about dogs dying or getting very sick from them, and they're just not that safe for people either.  I have looked for a lot of natural bug repellants, because we do have fleas and mosquitoes in the backyard.  They are so expensive, and the ingredients themselves aren't that expensive!  In the Spring, when the mosquitoes first came out, poor Chunk was bitten by several, and had bites on his back that stayed for over a week before the swelling disappeared!  I was determined not to let this happen again to my poor doggies.

I set out to use my own homemade bug repellent, so I did some research online about what works best and what is safe for dogs.  The result?  My homemade Lavender and Cedar oil spray.  It works great on humans, too, and it smells awesome.


Lavender essential oil  Available on Amazon
Cedarwood essential oil Available on Amazon
0.6 ounce Glass spray bottle Available on Amazon
Water (purified is best, but any bottled water will do)

While the initial cost of these ingredients may be a bit pricey (about $23.00 for the oils alone), you will only be using a few drops per batch, so this ends up being pennies a batch, in comparison to expensive store-bought natural treatments. Lavender oil is often used in dog calming products, but it also works as a general insect repellent.  Cedarwood oil is proven to repel fleas, ticks, and mites.  


Add 5 drops of cedarwood oil to bottle
Add 8 drops of lavender oil to bottle
Fill the rest with water about 1/4 inch from the top.  Screw the top on and shake well before each use.

To use, spray on the back/behind of each pet (away from their face) before they go outside, I usually spray them every two to three days, or more often if the bugs are pretty bad.  I usually put one spray on Chunk (he weighs 12 pounds) and three sprays on Duke (he weighs 50 pounds).  It's not an exact science.

I have been using this on my dogs all spring and summer thus far, and they are doing great, and no bug bites!

The recipe I posted here is for a small batch, because these oils do lose potency and it is best that they are kept in their original bottles as long as possible.  This allows for the least amount of waste.  I hope you and your fur babies enjoy this and it works as well for you as it does for us!



  1. Skyler got a nasty hot spot years ago from Advantage or Advantix flea-tick repellent. Poor thing :(

  2. This is very interesting! You came up with a bug repellant that's good not only to human but to our pets as well. I've read lots of bug repellant recipes on the Internet and some of it are very efficient. But one thing I notice is that it's just repelling the bugs but not really killing their habitats. Anyway, it's been months, how's your fur babies? I hope they're bug-free now. >>

  3. Thank, Ronnel, yes, they are still flea free, and I am happy to report that this is the first summer that Duke has not had any hot spots. I think this means that the harsh chemicals were the source. Unfortunately, this product does not do anything to get rid of bug habitats. I can report that, after a friend's dog brought in a few fleas, I did wake up with two bites on my leg. The next night, I sprayed our bedding with my spray, and they haven't been back at all! I think it's safe to say that they've moved on. It works great around my house as well as on my furbabies. I hope it works as well for everyone who tries it. For bad infestations, however, it may not be enough.

  4. Is cedarwood oil also good for ticks my lab had a bunch of small ones on his he'd and neck which we removed.He now has a bald patch..desperate