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Many pet owners are horrified when their animal begins to show telltale signs of having fleas, such as incessant scratching. Traditional remedies, such as flea collars, don't work to treat the problem but only to repel fleas, and it can be difficult to keep the pests from coming back. One alternative remedy involves using baby oil to smother fleas; however, this is sometimes presented as an old wives' tale.

Traditional Treatments

A variety of treatments exist for getting rid of fleas, from the traditional flea collar, which repels fleas, to chemical sprays. However, flea collars and other such devices repel fleas, but do not necessarily kill them, and once the device has been removed, the fleas can come back. Similarly, concerned pet owners may worry about the effect chemical sprays may have on their dogs. Because of this, many dog and cat owners search for alternative treatments to get rid of fleas.

Baby Oil

One commonly-proposed alternative treatment for fleas is baby oil, which some claim can smother fleas, killing them and their eggs so that they no longer pester the cat. While this is not scientifically proven, anecdotal evidence suggests that baby oil (and other kinds of oils, including eucalyptus oil) can help get rid of fleas by slowing them down, so that they are easier to comb out of your pet's fur.

Getting Rid of Fleas

To use baby oil to remove fleas from your pet, take a large cotton swab and soak it in baby oil. Holding your pet with one hand, use the swab to cover his body with the oil. Depending on the size of your pet, you may need more than one swab. Once you have done this, take a flea comb (you can find these at pet stores) and comb through the animal's hair. This can be a painful process for the pet, so you will need to continue to hold it steady and soothe it. In combination with the oil, the flea comb should rid your pet of fleas.

Alternatives and Prevention

If your pet is particularly prone to fleas, talk to your veterinarian about changing its diet. In some cases, animals with lower immune system capacities may have a harder time repelling fleas. The addition of certain enzymes or oils into your pet's diet may make it easier for your pet to fight off the next fleas who try to make their home in its fur.