Does Alcohol Kill Fleas on Dogs?

Besides being an annoyance and a source of itching, fleas might also spread disease and, in extreme situations, cause anemia. Canines are particularly vulnerable to these pests; once they settle in, they can be tough to eradicate.

They become resistant to modern pest controls, prompting dog owners to look for other control methods. Most dog owners resort to using alcohol. If you’ve been wondering, does alcohol kill fleas?

does alcohol kill fleas
Does alcohol kill fleas on dogs?

Here is the answer:

Is Alcohol Effective in Killing Fleas on Dogs?

Yes. Since it causes dehydration, rubbing alcohol is an effective method for killing fleas. Rubbing alcohol is safe in moderation but can be harmful in high quantities.

rubbing alcohol for dogs
Rubbing alcohol is unsafe for dogs if not properly used!

Overexposure to alcohol through topical application can harm your dog’s skin. It’s dangerous for dogs to lick it off their fur since it can cause illness even after diluting it.

Some insect killers contain rubbing alcohol as an ingredient. However, the active chemicals, which may be isopropyl or ethyl alcohol, can be hazardous to your dog’s health.

Even in dogs, the symptoms of alcohol poisoning are similar to those of alcohol overdose. Unlike other treatments, rubbing alcohol is about twice as toxic.

It is possible to kill adult fleas by spraying a rubbing alcohol and water mixture on surfaces. However, the mixture is ineffective at eliminating fleas or preventing recurring ones from penetrating your dog’s fur.

You will require a more powerful method to eradicate the eggs. The most effective strategy to keep fleas away from your dog is veterinarian-approved preventative procedures.

How To Kill Fleas on Dogs With Alcohol?

You should only apply alcohol on infested bedding or spots where there’s no chance of your dog touching it until it has entirely evaporated.

anti tick and flea spray
The owner sprays some medication to treat her dog’s skin.

Soapy water prepared from dish soap kills adult fleas and suffocates flea eggs. You can also use an alcohol-based spray to kill fleas. Follow the steps below when using alcohol spray.

Step 1: Fill a Spray Bottle With Rubbing Alcohol and Water

Add a few drops of dish soap and shake the bottle.

Step 2: Spray the Treatment

Before spraying, pack your highly-infested belongings in a plastic bag. Wait for the fleas to die off in the sealed bag.

You can also spray the treatment onto the infested surfaces but take caution not to inhale. That could be concrete floors, furniture, clothing, and mattresses.

Safety Measures While Utilizing Alcohol Flea Treatment

Observe the following safety measures if you decide to use alcohol as a flea treatment in your house.

woman spraying
A woman spraying.

Keep Alcohol Out of Pets’ Reach

It would be best to keep alcohol locked up and out of reach for nosy pets. In addition, avoid applying alcohol to your dog’s skin. If it hasn’t fully evaporated, don’t let your dog lick into that spot.

Don’t Combine Isopropyl Alcohol and Bleach

When you mix rubbing alcohol and bleach, they’ll form toxic chloroform for people and dogs. You may damage your dog’s liver and lungs if you use the mixture.

Don’t Apply Rubbing Alcohol on Particular Materials

You might destroy other sensitive materials by rubbing alcohol. It’s advisable to perform a spot check before widespread use.

Avoid Using Rubbing Alcohol Around Open Flames

Rubbing alcohol can easily catch fire. You risk starting a fire if you use matches or lighters near rubbing alcohol.

Ensure There’s Adequate Airflow Before Using Alcohol

As it evaporates, rubbing alcohol releases vapors that could be harmful. Moreover, it irritates the eyes and leads to life-threatening symptoms.

Avoid Applying Rubbing Alcohol on Glossy and Polished Surfaces

Because it is a solvent, rubbing alcohol can dissolve various wood finishes.  

How To Protect Your Dog From Fleas?

Here are ways you can protect your dog from fleas.

Maintain All-Year-Round Flea Prevention Routine

Summer months are the prime flea season. However, since fleas can sometimes persist into the winter, you must give your dog preventative treatment every year.

vet checking dog
A Vet checking a dog for fleas.

A vet can assist you in selecting the most effective solution for preventing fleas. If you want your flea preventative to work all year long, you need to follow your vet’s dosing and application recommendations.

Maintain a Clean Home

It would be best to regularly clean your dog’s bedding and other house sections, including couches, sofas, and carpets.

dog owner vacuums the floor
A dog owner vacuums the floor.

You must rearrange furniture and run the vacuum cleaner along the floor, especially in your dog’s favorite sleeping spots. That helps eliminate flea eggs before they can develop and cause a significant infestation. According to specialists, extensive vacuuming can eliminate up to 50 percent of adult fleas and eggs.

It’s also essential to maintain a tidy yard. You reduce flea populations by eliminating potential hiding and breeding spots. Thus, you must maintain a well-kept lawn.

You may want to treat your grass with pesticides to discourage fleas if you live in a heavily wooded, humid location. Repairing holes in fences will prevent raccoons, rabbits, and other flea-carrying critters from entering your yard.

Don’t Use Expired Flea Treatments

If you’re a longtime dog owner, you may have a drawer full of expired flea preventatives. When flea season rolls around, it can be tempting to reach for older products. However, don’t compromise your pet’s health by using expired flea treatments.  

Brazilian Terrier
Brazilian Terrier is taking medicines.

Why Does My Dog Keep Getting Fleas?

After all that effort, seeing fleas on your dog a few days later is quite disheartening. Forgetting to clean a particular area or not killing all of the pests are the most common reasons for this problem to persist. Thus, you must read the product’s instructions carefully and thoroughly clean the house on the first and second attempts.

Chow Chow puppy scratch
A Chow Chow puppy can’t help but scratch its skin!

In some instances, your house itself is the culprit for flea infestation. That frequently occurs in rental houses, especially when residents share common areas such as walls or entrances. In that case, the assistance of a trained pest control expert is essential.

Another cause for persistent infestation is failure to vaccinate your dog against pests. That’s because the dog becomes defenseless against these parasites.

Which Is a Safer Alternative to Rubbing Alcohol for Killing Fleas?

Apple cider vinegar is safer than rubbing alcohol. You can use apple cider vinegar to clean your yard, but be careful not to oversaturate the area, as this could cause the fabric to deteriorate.

apple cider vinegar
Is vinegar good for dogs?

Other ways to use vinegar mixture include:

  • Adding vinegar solution to drinking water.
  • Rinse your dog with two cups of water.
  • Spray concentrated vinegar on the dog’s fur.

Add essential oils to your apple cider vinegar mixture to improve its effectiveness.

Can Alcohol Kill Fleas Instantly on My Dog?

No, alcohol doesn’t kill fleas instantly, but it may take a short time compared to other treatments. However, you must use the solvent correctly to eliminate fleas in a few days. We recommend special flea shampoos from your local store or online shops.

Final Thoughts

So, does alcohol kill fleas? It’s possible to eliminate adult fleas using rubbing alcohol, but it might be hazardous to dogs. Flea preventatives and remedies approved by veterinarians have a far higher success rate.

You must thoroughly understand how to apply alcohol safely if you intend to use it to control fleas in your house. You can also consult your vet about effective and safe treatment alternatives. We hope the article has been beneficial in answering the question, does alcohol kill fleas?