Rosemary, among other herbs, can work as a natural flea treatment. There are several ways to use it, including a powder, rinse, or even an oil applied to the collar. Even if you don't feel comfortable creating your own rosemary concoction at home, you can purchase commercial products that contain the herb. This herb may be the natural solution to helping your pet be more comfortable and avoid the health problems associated with flea infestations.
Using a Rosemary Wash as a Flea Repellant
Rosemary is a woody perennial herb used for centuries as both a culinary herb and a medicinal plant. Rosemary has some slight antiseptic properties, too. You can brew it into a tea or wash that is applied to your pet's coat to ward off fleas.
It's important to try to rid your dog of as many fleas as possible before using a rosemary flea repellant and any other herbal treatments. Give your pet a good bath, and wash any bedding or other flea-infested items.
How to Make a Rosemary Wash
Rosemary, a natural flea repellant, can be made into a rinse water wash for your dog. This will repel fleas while leaving your pet's coat silky, glossy, and smelling beautiful.
- To make a rosemary wash, take two pints of water and bring to a boil.
- Add two cups of fresh rosemary leaves and keep it boiling for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, turn off the heat and allow the water to cool. Strain out the leaves and save the water. You can throw away the leaves.
- Pour the cooled water into a glass container with a lid. Only use it when it is completely cool, and store excess in the refrigerator.
Using a Rosemary Wash
Using a rosemary wash is easy, especially if you're already bathing your dog.
- First, give your pet a bath using your favorite shampoo. Rinse the dog thoroughly and always avoid getting soap and water into his ears and eyes.
- Once the dog is rinsed, pour the cool rosemary water over the animal, making sure to completely cover areas where fleas like to congregate, such as the base of the tail.
- Do not rinse out the rosemary infused water; just let it dry naturally.
- Apply again when necessary.
Do Not Use On Cats
According to Frances Gavin of Canine Natural Cures, the rosemary water should not be used on cats. Some cats have severe health reactions to this remedy.
Other Ways to Use Rosemary as a Natural Flea Repellent
Rosemary can be applied either directly to your pet or to the immediate environment to prevent a flea problem or control an existing one. Try one of the following solutions to keep fleas off your best friend:
Homemade Herbal Flea Powder
Herbal Home Remedies by Todd C. Jude recommends combining equal parts rosemary, rue, wormwood, fennel, and peppermint. Grind the herbs together with a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder until they are a fine powder. Apply to your pet's coat as you would a commercial flea powder, sprinkling in small amounts and massaging into the scalp and coat as you go. You can also apply the mixture to your carpet and furniture, the pet's bed, and shady resting places outdoors.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil can be irritating to your cat or dog's skin, and has the potential to be ingested during grooming. For this reason, it is generally not recommended that you apply pure rosemary essential oil directly to your pet's skin or coat. Instead, apply a few drops of rosemary essential oil to your pet's collar and bedding as a concentrated flea repellant.
Rather than making your own home remedy, you can try any of the many natural flea repellents available. Try Halo's Cloud Nine Herbal Dip, which include rosemary, or ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.
Many essential oils that repel ticks also repel fleas. Dog Training HQ recommends essential oils including rosemary, eucalyptus, fennel and others for repelling fleas.
Only for Mild Cases and Healthy Animals
Using rosemary as a natural flea repellent can be an excellent option for simple prevention or for the treatment of a mild case of fleas. For serious infestations, however, more drastic measure are sometimes needed. Long-term exposure to fleas can cause anemia, allergic dermatitis and intestinal parasites in your pet, so timely treatment is important. If you are battling an advanced flea problem, give natural remedies a chance, but consult your veterinarian for the most safe and effective treatment to make Fluffy flea-free as soon as possible.
Also keep in mind that rosemary's active agents are highly concentrated when prepared as an essential oil. Natural Approaches for Flea Control cautions that certain essential oils, rosemary among them, have the potential to induce seizures in susceptible animals. Very young, very old, or epileptic pets are more likely to suffer this effect than healthy young adults. Always consult with your veterinarian before attempting any home remedy for flea control or other medical concerns.
A Natural Solution
Flea infestations can be annoying and difficult to treat, but rosemary may offer a natural solution for mild flea problems. Whether you use a rosemary wash, a flea powder, or another method, this herb can leave your pet flea-free and pleasant smelling.