Fleas are small, wingless parasites that infest dogs of all ages, including newborn puppies. While oral and topical flea medications help rid your dog of these pests, many are unsafe for use in puppies under 4 weeks old. A flea infestation in a young puppy can cause anemia, a potentially fatal condition due to the extreme loss of blood in the tiny animal. This makes getting rid of the fleas something that must be done immediately. Natural essential oils and manual removal can safely rid your puppy of these external parasites, leaving him flea-free and healthy.
Add a few drops of lemongrass, lavender or citronella essential oil to a teaspoon of gentle, insecticide-free dog shampoo to create a flea-fighting, puppy-safe shampoo.
Wet the puppy's fur with warm water from a kitchen sprayer or pour a cup of warm water over the puppy's body.
Fill your kitchen sink with an inch or two of warm water. Add a couple of drops of the essential oil to the water to help kill any fleas that come off of the puppy during his bath.
Rub the essential oil shampoo mixture into the puppy's fur, working it into the skin. Avoid getting any soap directly on the puppy's face. Let the soapy mixture stay on the fur for five minutes to repel as many of the fleas as possible. Handle him gently during this process, massaging the soap into his skin, to keep his body warm so he does not become chilled.
Rinse the puppy thoroughly in warm water, using the kitchen sprayer or gently pouring cups of the warm water over the puppy's body.
Wrap a soft towel over a heating pad set to low and place it near the sink.
Towel dry the puppy and place him on the wrapped heating pad. The pad will keep the puppy warm and prevent hypothermia while his fur is still damp.
Fill a glass with rubbing alcohol.
Rub petroleum jelly on a flea comb to help fleas stick to it. Use the flea comb to carefully rake through the puppy's fur, concentrating on the armpits, tail and between the puppy's toes, recommends the Partnership for Animal Welfare Rescue website. Dip the comb into the glass of rubbing alcohol to kill the fleas and their eggs as you find them.
Remove fleas from around the puppy's face and ears with blunt-tipped tweezers. Dip the tweezers into the cup of alcohol to kill the fleas.
Change all of your puppy's bedding, including blankets, towels and pet beds, to prevent fleas from re-infesting him when you place him back into his soft nest. Wash all of the bedding in hot water.