Our 3 Favorite Natural Pest Preventatives For Dogs + Bonus Tip

Our 3 Favorite Natural Pest Preventatives For Dogs

Today I’m sharing my 3 favorite natural pest preventatives for dogs with you guys!

In October 2014, my pup Missy was diagnosed with cancer.

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated in 2023. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you. 

After her tumor removal surgery and 4 rounds of preventative chemo, she beat it in March 2015.

Ever since, I incorporated a lot of healthy lifestyle changes for her and her brother Buzz.

Those include natural alternatives to chemical pest preventatives. Why? To keep the pups’ exposure to illness-causing toxins at a minimum.

My dear Instagram follower @dogmama65 recently expressed interest in my recommendations for natural, chemical-free pest prevention options for dogs.

So here they are!

Thank you for the question, dogmama65!

K9sOverCoffee | Instagram Follower Asks For Chemical-Free Pest Control Options For Dogs

Our 3 Favorite Natural Pest Preventatives for Dogs

Now without further ado, let’s talk natural pest preventatives for dogs.

Spoiler alert: I take/use all three myself, ha!

1. Minced or Chopped Garlic For Dogs

K9sOverCoffee | Adding Freshly Minced Garlic To My Raw Dog Food

Yep, you read that right!

Contrary to popular belief, garlic is the opposite of harmful and toxic for dogs.

It actually helps prevent fleas and ticks and needs to be taken orally. I mince a clove and add it to the pups’ meals every now & then, but it certainly can be taken daily.

I busted the myth that garlic is harmful to dogs in my blog post Myth Buster: Garlic IS Good For Dogs, After All!

Check out that article to learn more about the wonderful benefits of garlic.

I personally cook with a lot of garlic and LOVE the taste!

2. Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth

K9sOverCoffee | How I Store My Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth is a natural cleanser & detoxifier for dogs (and humans!) because of its abrasive capabilities. 

When you add it to your pup’s food, it gets rid of:

  • Roundworms
  • Whipworms
  • Pinworms and
  • Hookworms

I mix it in with the pup’s raw dog food, that’s the easiest way to administer it. If you don’t feed raw, you can mix it into your pup’s wet dog food, or mix it in with a little pumpkin purée.  

When you massage it into a dog’s coat, it kills fleas and ticks by creating holes in the insects’ exoskeleton. That causes them to loose their body fluids and essentially dry out.

You can also use it to line thresholds between the outdoors and inside of your home to keep fleas, ants, and other unwelcome crawlies away.

The beauty of it is that it’s completely non-toxic!


It HAS to be food-grade Diatomaceous Earth and not the industrial kind used to clean pool filters! The latter is highly toxic.

I personally add some to smoothies and yogurt because it’s great for my nails and hair.

3. Natural Insect Repellent Sprays For Dogs

I used to spray Anicura Naturals Insect Repellent on my dogs as it worked great for fleas and ticks, and also offered long-lasting protection from stings & bites.

However, it’s no longer available. 

So I made the switch to other natural insect repellent sprays.

One of them is Wondercide’s Flea, Tick & Mosquito Spray for Dogs and Cats.

I also started making my own DIY insect repellent spray for my pups.

Here’s how it works: I mix 10 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil with 1 cup of distilled water in a small spray bottle.

Then I give it a good shake and apply it to the pups’ coats.

Bonus Tip – A Strong Immune System

Did you know that pests are much less likely to invade a dog with a strong immune system?

It kinda makes sense when you think about it because it’s the same concept with humans and plants as well.

A healthy human is much less likely to be germ-ridden, right? Likewise, a healthy plant is much better equipped to deal with insect attacks than a weak plant.

So, how do we achieve a strong immune system in our dogs? 

By doing the following:

  • Providing daily exercise
  • Keeping our pups at a healthy weight
  • Preventing exposure to chemicals and highly processed dog food 

That’s important because highly processed dog food has been depleted of a vast majority of nutrients. Dogs thrive on a fresh food diet just as much as we humans do!

To boost a dog’s immune system, switch their highly processed kibble diet out for a minimally processed, balanced raw dog food diet.

I’ve seen the impact it’s had on my pups Missy & Buzz within a fairy short amount of time (weeks) and can only recommend it!

How I transitioned Missy & Buzz to a raw food diet

I made the detour via home cooked meals with Dr. Harvey’s dehydrated & freeze-dried grain-free dog food premix Veg-to-Bowl.

A few months later, I was ready to take the plunge into unknown raw food waters and took advantage of Raw Paws Pet Food’s free phone consultation.  

During this call, I talked with Shelli for almost an hour. I got SO MANY nuggets of wisdom out of that conversation and still order from Raw Paws!

3 Natural Pest Preventatives for Dogs: Bottom Line

It’s entirely possible to prevent pests naturally without having to resort to chemical products.

My 3 favorite methods are:

  • Garlic
  • Food-grade diatomaceous earth and
  • Natural insect repellents such as the one from Wondercide, or a mix of Cedarwood Essential Oil & distilled water

It’s equally important to keep our pups at a healthy weight. You can easily achieve this by providing daily exercise, not overfeeding AND feeding a fresh food diet.

All of the above contribute to the creation of a strong immune system. That’s what makes pests much less interested in invading our furry friends in the first place!

What are your favorite natural pest preventatives to be used on/around dogs?

As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below this blog post!

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.






2 responses to “Our 3 Favorite Natural Pest Preventatives For Dogs”

  1. Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets Avatar
    Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets

    I’m always interested in learning about all natural pest preventatives! We use the flea/tick tags from Only Natural Pet. We also spray the dog yard with cedar oil once a month starting in the spring until late fall. When we go on walks I use Pet Naturals of VT flea/tick spray or wipes (Luke hates the spray but he’ll let me use the wipes). We haven’t seen any fleas, but we do still see some ticks, so maybe next year I’ll try to add something extra to the mix, like the garlic. We did use garlic tabs from ONP for a while, but I just wasn’t sure how much they were helping. I’d rather use fresh anyway.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Same here, Jan! I love learning about natural preventatives, so thank you for mentioning those tags from Only Natural Pet. I hadn’t heard about them until your comment, so I’ll be sure to check them out. I have heard the cedar oil application method for the yard but don’t know anyone who’s actually done that – very cool to hear that you do! It must be working! I think the fresher a supplement, the better and more effective it is.

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