Homemade flea sprays often include ingredients such as vinegar or lemon, which fleas find unappealing. These ingredients are usually mixed with water to dilute them slightly so the scent is not overpowering.
A simple mix of one part vinegar to one part water is a popular homemade flea repellent. Both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar work, although apple cider vinegar may smell better to people. Owners should spray this over the dog's body every few days or before going into a flea-infested area. It should not be sprayed into the dog's eyes or nose.
Some flea repellents are made with essential oils. These are often applied to the dog's collar rather than as a spray, because some essential oils can irritate dogs' skin if applied directly. Rosemary, lavender, peppermint and citronella are popular choices, as are citrus oils. However, owners should be careful with citrus oils because many dogs find them unpleasant as well. A few drops of these oils are typically mixed in three to five tablespoons of water and then applied to the collar.
Another popular home flea repellent is given internally. Feeding garlic to a dog may make it taste bad to fleas, causing them to seek other hosts. However, this should be approached with caution as large quantities can be toxic to dogs. Owners should consult with their veterinarians before adding dietary supplements.