9 Best Flea Shampoos for Dogs: Our 2019 Guide

No pet parent wants to think about the idea of fleas and ticks infested our furry family members. Fleas are small, jumping insects that typically feed on the blood of animals. These irritating pests are common in warmer or humid climates. Your dog can pick up fleas from anywhere, as they can simply jump from an infected host to a new one.

Even if you’ve taken preventative measures to ensure your dog doesn’t contract fleas, it’s still a possibility. Fleas can cause severe itching, which can lead to infection and potential skin issues. Luckily fleas are highly treatable. One of the best and most effective flea treatments for your dog is bathing them with an appropriate shampoo. In this article we dive into signs that your dog may have fleas, and offer some fantastic flea shampoo recommendations.

5 Benefits of Using a Flea Shampoo for Dogs

Sure, flea shampoos kill the nasty buggers, but did you know that there are other benefits to using a flea shampoo for dogs? We outline them below:

  1. Kills fleas and ticks: Flea shampoo is designed to kill both fleas and ticks. Some shampoos will also kill flea eggs, larvae and lice. The labeling on your shampoo will specify which parasites the shampoo will take care of.
  2. Flea shampoo acts as a preventative: Most dog flea shampoos will continue to prevent further infestation of the pests for up to 30 days. There are also flea shampoos which contain ingredients to naturally repel mosquitoes and other parasites.
  3. Help to repair skin: Flea and tick shampoos rehydrate, moisturize and soothe skin after your dog has been affected by parasites. Flea bites can cause severe itchiness, dry skin and infection if your dog has been scratching at their skin. Luckily flea shampoos will kill the fleas then heal the skin!
  4. Stop the flea lifecycle: Many flea shampoos for dogs will not only kill fleas but also cease the lifecycle of current flea eggs and larvae. Not all flea shampoos have this capability, but it’s an excellent benefit that is available for dog parents.
  5. Get your pup feeling great again: Obviously the number one benefit of using a flea shampoo for your dog is the fact that they will get back to feeling like themselves. Humans know how irritating bug bites can be, so you can imagine how awful it must feel to have fleas! Using a dog flea shampoo will help your pooch get back to feeling fantastic.

Signs That Your Dog Has Fleas

It’s extremely easy for fleas on pets to go unnoticed. Fleas are tiny, active parasites that feed on your dog’s blood. While fleas tend to be more active in the warmer months, they exist all year round. Your dog can become infested with fleas at any time, so it’s important to know what to look for. Here are some signs that your dog may have fleas:

  • Restlessness
  • Excessive scratching
  • Licking or chewing at certain areas on their body
  • Shaking their head or scratching at the ears

Fleas can be easy to spot if you are looking for them. Combing through your dog’s fur will allow you to see the fleas jumping around and moving on their body. Fleas have flat bodies and they take on a brownish color. Their color will become darker as they ingest more blood. Fleas are extremely tiny, ranging anywhere from 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch.

Fleas are attracted to warm, protected areas of your dog’s body such as the groin and armpit area. If those areas look red and bumpy, there’s a good chance it could be fleas. While flea shampoos can kill these nasty parasites and jump-start the healing process, it’s always a good idea to seek veterinary advice with specific questions or concerns.

5 Components to Look for in a Flea Shampoo for Dogs

There are several different flea and tick shampoos available for your dog. Every situation is different, but below are some components to take into consideration when choosing the best shampoo for your dog:

  1. Preventative benefits: There are several great flea shampoos that prevent further infestation of parasites. Some even repel mosquitoes! If you want a flea shampoo that will act as a preventative for your dog, check the labeling to see if the choice you’re interested will help with that.
  2. Soothing ingredients: Dogs often end up with inflamed, irritated skin after battling fleas. A good flea shampoo will have ingredients which help rejuvenate the skin. These ingredients include but are not limited to oatmeal, aloe vera and coconut extract.
  3. Conditioning formula: Do you have a dog with long or curly hair? You may want to purchase a 2-in-1 conditioning flea shampoo. Buying a dog flea shampoo with built-in conditioner will save you time and money!
  4. Number of baths necessary for proper treatment: While some flea shampoos may only require one wash to completely kill all of the pests, others may need two or three.
  5. Ability to kill lice: Did you know that dogs can contract lice from their canine pals? Some flea shampoos will also kill lice on your pup. It’s always beneficial to have a shampoo that can be used for multiple purposes!

Overall Best Dog Shampoo for Fleas

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Anti-parasitic and Anti-seborrheic Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Treats fleas, dermatitis, bacterial infections and more
  • Made with veterinary-grade ingredients
  • Free of soap, dyes and parabens
  • Soothes dry skin, rash and inflammation

This dog flea shampoo is formulated with coal tar, salicylic acid and micronized sulfur to help treat and kill fleas. This blend of ingredients will also treat dermatological conditions such as mange, dermatitis and seborrhea. Rash, irritation and inflammation will be soothed by way of oatmeal and allantoin. After shampooing your dog with this flea shampoo, they will start feeling relief from itching and dry skin.

We like that this particular dog shampoo will treat fleas and help other skin conditions. It’s a great option to have on hand just in case your dog is suffering from a different health concern in the future. Veterinary-grade ingredients ensure that this shampoo will be safe for your dog, while leaving them feeling clean and rejuvenated.

Pros:

  • Treats fleas as well as other dermatological issues
  • Made without dyes, perfume or parabens
  • Soothes dry and itchy skin associated with infection
  • Formulated with veterinary-grade ingredients
  • Cleans your pup and nourishes their skin and coat

Cons:

  • This is not a conditioning formula, so you will need a separate conditioner if necessary for your pup.

Vet’s Best Flea & Tick Advanced Strength Dog Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Kills fleas, flea larvae and flea eggs
  • Made with plant-based ingredients and natural essential oils
  • Created in the USA
  • No chemicals or added fragrances

This dog flea shampoo from Vet’s Best will treat and kill fleas, ticks and flea eggs and larvae to prevent a further parasite life cycle from occurring. No harsh chemicals are used in this shampoo, as it’s created from a blend of essential oils and plant-based elements which safely remove and prevent fleas. This shampoo is said to be 2X as effective in controlling and killing pests.

The flea shampoo for dogs is scented from natural rosemary and peppermint, which dog parents report smells mild. There aren’t any added fragrances or perfumes. Vet’s Best will cleanse your dog’s skin and coat while soothing it via the blend of natural ingredients. If your pup’s skin is inflamed and irritated from parasites, this shampoo is recommended to help!

Pros:

  • Kill fleas and prevents further infestation
  • Plant-based formula with no chemicals
  • Made in the USA
  • Renews and nourishes skin
  • Easy to lather and rinse

Cons:

  • Not recommended for puppies under 12 weeks old

Sentry Flea & Tick Shampoo With Oatmeal for Dogs and Puppies

Key Benefits:

  • Affordable for any budget
  • Kills fleas and ticks for up to 10 days
  • Oatmeal soothes irritated skin
  • Hawaiian Ginger scent

This cost-effective flea shampoo for dogs will kill fleas, ticks and flea eggs. It will help prevent the spread of parasites for up to 10 days. The shampoo will kill ticks which can potentially infect your pup with Lyme disease. Sentry flea shampoo contains oatmeal to moisturize, soothe and nourish your dog’s skin after enduring flea bites.

Sentry Flea and tick shampoo are safe to use on puppies over 12 weeks of age. It’s pH balanced specifically for dogs, and it contains a Hawaiian Ginger scent. This dog flea shampoo is highly affordable and many dog parents report seeing phenomenal results from using it. It’s said to even lather well on long and curly-haired dogs who have thicker coats.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • Kill fleas, ticks and flea eggs for up to 10 days
  • Soothes irritated skin
  • pH balanced for puppies older than 12 weeks

Cons:

  • May need more than one wash with shampoo to kill all parasites

Douxo Chlorhexidine PS Dog Shampoo

Key Benefits:

  • Powerful, medicated formula
  • Controls severe parasitic infections
  • Deposits a protective film on your dog’s skin
  • Eliminates itching and irritation from pest bites

This medicated dog shampoo will work wonders for controlling the flea and tick population on your pup. If fleas and ticks have caused severe damage to your furry friend’s skin and coat, this dog shampoo will restore moisture and leave a protective barrier on your pup’s skin. The formula will rejuvenate and nourish your dog’s skin, even if it’s scarred or infected from constant scratching.

Treating fleas and ticks as well as itchy skin is absolutely crucial so your dog can live a quality life. Douxo medicated shampoo will help get your dog back to feeling wonderful, and it will even help prevent further pest infestations.

Pros:

  • Treats and heals skin after a flea and tick infestation
  • Moisturizes and protects the skin
  • Suitable for severely damaged skin
  • Eliminates itching, redness and inflammation

Cons:

  • The dog shampoo is fairly pricey.

5 More Flea Shampoos for Dogs

TropiClean Maximum Strength Natural Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo

TropiClean natural flea and tick dog shampoo will kill the nasty pests and soothe your pup’s skin. The blend of ingredients, which includes lemongrass, cinnamon and cedarwood oils, work together to kill parasites on contact. It even kills larvae, eggs and mosquitoes. This shampoo will further repel pests for up to 7 days, and it’s safe to use on both canine and feline friends over 12 weeks of age.

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo With Precor

This dog flea and tick shampoo from Adams Plus is fairly popular. It works to kill fleas, ticks, flea larvae, flea eggs and lice on our canine and feline friends. The flea shampoo is formulated to continue killing pests and preventing further lifecycle for up to 28 days. For sensitive and inflamed skin, Adams Plus dog flea shampoo contains aloe, oatmeal, lanolin and coconut extract for soothing and nourishing the skin and coat. You can use this shampoo on kittens and puppies over 12 weeks of age.

Paws & Pals Flea and Tick Shampoo-Conditioner Scrub for Dogs

If you’re looking for a more natural flea and tick treatment solution for your dog, we like this shampoo from Paws & Pals. It’s formulated with a blend of natural ingredients to safely and effectively combat and repel pests. After killing fleas and ticks on your dog’s coat, rosemary, cedarwood and clove work together to further prevent parasites from feeding on your dog. Paws & Pals shampoo will clean your pup’s fur while adding moisture and hydration through a variety of healthy ingredients. We like that this shampoo is natural and can be used on dogs, cats, puppies and kittens.

Advantage Shampoo Flea and Tick Treatment

Like other dog flea shampoos, this one from Advantage kills fleas and ticks immediately on contact. Brought to you by the trusted Bayer brand name, this shampoo is gentle for dogs and puppies. Similar to other flea shampoos, you’ll want to leave this shampoo lathered in your pet’s fur before rinsing it out. This will ensure that you kill all fleas and ticks. The shampoo is unscented, so you may want to use a deodorizing spray of sorts if you don’t want your pup to smell like “wet dog” after their bath.

Wahl Flea and Tick Rosemary Mint Dog Shampoo

This plant-based flea shampoo for dogs is an excellent repellent that also kills fleas. It won’t kill flea eggs, so you will need to give your dog a bath about two weeks after their initial bath to kill the pests. Rosemary and eucalyptus cedar help protect your dog against parasites since they act as natural repellents. While this flea shampoo is pricier than other options, experiences from other dog parents state that it is an effective, good smelling shampoo.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do flea shampoos really work? Flea shampoos do work to kill fleas when used as directed. As we discussed above, some shampoos will be more effective from one wash than others. There are shampoos which kill flea eggs and larvae, but others won’t. A flea shampoo will work if you use the best one for your dog’s current condition.
  • Can I use vinegar to kill fleas? Although washing a dog with vinegar and dish soap sounds inexpensive, it’s not the healthiest or most effective option. Dog flea shampoos are pH balanced for a dog’s skin and coat. They are also formulated with specific ingredients which kill fleas. Vinegar may briefly kill fleas, but the effect won’t last and no one likes the smell of vinegar, especially on your pup!
  • What is the best thing to wash a dog with to kill fleas? By far the safest and most effective thing to wash your dog with to kill fleas is a dog flea shampoo. They are created to kill, repel and prevent fleas, ticks and other parasites.

Conclusion

Fleas are irritating insects which can cause extreme discomfort. It’s important to get your dog’s fleas under control as soon as possible to avoid severe skin issues and infection. When you discover that your dog has fleas, you’ll want to begin treatment immediately. Since fleas can jump to other household pets and humans, you may also need to disinfect your dog’s bedding, rugs, curtains or anything else they may have come in contact with. This process will help kill fleas throughout your home and avoid further spreading of them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *