Is Neem shampoo for dogs really able to control fleas and ticks? Yes, it can definitely help control fleas and ticks, and mosquitoes and mites also.
However, the oil itself does not kill the adult insects – it only repels them. It can kill eggs and larvae, just not the adults. So it is perfect to use a neem shampoo and neem spray to keep the insects off your dogs.
Almost all people who use neem oil for insect problems on their pets, say it works incredible.
But, there is a downside discussed a little further down.
So with the following scenario, this is how you would use a neem shampoo. Suppose you notice that your dog currently has a flea problem – you actually see fleas on their skin. You should first bathe your dog with a neem oil shampoo. When you bathe them, you want to try to keep the shampoo on for as long as possible to drown the fleas that are currently on your dog – remember neem doesn’t kill fleas, but bathing them does. The neem oil will then help to keep any fleas off your dog.
HOWEVER, you must treat where your dog stays, and possibly even your whole home. If you see fleas on your dog, then there is a 95% chance that flea eggs and flea larvae are in your home. These will eventually hatch, become adults, and lay more eggs.
That is why whenever you treat a dog for fleas, that is never good enough. You must also treat the areas where your dog frequents to get rid of the flea problem completely. See the post on How To Kill Fleas Naturally for more information.
What Is Neem Oil?
Neem oil is pretty much like a miracle oil that has been around and used for centuries. It is from an evergreen tree, Azadirachta indica, which grows in India. All parts of the tree have healing properties, and the tree is commonly referred to as “Sacred Tree”, “Heal All”, and “Nature’s Drugstore”.
Its properties make it a fantastic insect repellent, helps improve the immune system, and soothes irritated skin.
It also helps the liver, digestive, and respiratory systems.
Finally, it has fantastic anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-septic properties. Some even proclaim it has anti-fungal properties as well.
If It Does Such a Great Job Then Why Doesn’t Everyone Use It?
The biggest reason is probably because of the smell. It has an odor of sulfur and garlic, and has been compared to anything from onions boiled in coffee, to burning rubber, to lingering burnt hair. BUT, about 95% of the people who used it, also say that it works great to repel the mosquitoes, fleas and most ticks (doesn’t seem to work on brown ticks). It also helps soothe your dog’s skin if they have already been bitten.
So how do people use neem shampoo if it stinks so bad? Fragrant essential oils are added to it to help mask the odor. But be forewarned, it will still have a strong odor and if you are extremely sensitive to odors, this might just be too much for you.
Then second reason why neem is not used as much as other methods of flea and tick control is that is must be reapplied often, as do most natural products. They don’t have the ‘staying’ power of their chemical counterparts. However, they also don’t have the dangers associated with the potent, hazardous chemicals either.
Lastly, many people just don’t like to bathe and shampoo their dogs that often. It is much simpler to apply a spot-on insecticide once a month, without much regard to how that toxic chemical pesticide is affecting their pet. Not to mention the fact that vets pretty much cram the spot-on insecticides down our throats rather than trying gentler, natural ways to control these pests.
What is Neem Shampoo and How Do You Use It
Neem shampoo for dogs is, in its simplest form, just dog shampoo with neem oil added. You can even make your own at home by combining pure neem oil (not refined to remove the odor) to your favorite dog shampoo. Neem oil extract does not work as well as pure neem oil. Mix 1 to 5 ml of neem oil to every 100ml of shampoo.
Rinse your dog thoroughly and then gently massage into your dog’s coat, keeping away from the eyes. Let this sit on your dog for around 5 minutes, before thoroughly rinsing. The neem needs a little time to penetrate the skin and hair for maximum benefits.
Neem shampoo should be used every 2 to 3 weeks during the problem season.
Neem Spray in Addition to the Neem Shampoo
The best combination seems to be to bathe your dog in a neem shampoo (every 2 to 3 weeks) and use a neem spray in between to ensure insects stay away.
Neem sprays can also be made at home, but take a little more work than the shampoo. For a 1% solution neem spray, combine ½ liter of warm water with 2ml of mild soap and mix. Then add 5 ml neem oil and mix thoroughly. This concoction will smell BAD, which is why most people will just go ahead and buy a neem spray that has fragrant oils added to help with the odor problem.