If you’re anything like us, you’ll have experienced that sinking feeling when you see your dog starting to scratch.
Who you gonna call? The best flea shampoo, of course!
Fleas are an inevitability when you have a pooch, and while you should always have your dog on a suitable flea treatment program, it’s still possible that your pup will nevertheless pick up an infestation of the pesky parasites.
Worse still, they could bring them into the home.
It’s crucial to be vigilant as the life cycle of a flea can last up to 6 months — so even if you think there are no fleas around, they could just be in a lull in their life cycle, ready to spring out again when you’re least suspecting it.
To protect your furry friend (and your home) to the max, it’s a good idea to back up your dog’s usual flea treatment by giving them regular baths with a good quality flea shampoo too.
Let’s find out more…
- 1 How does Flea Shampoo Work?
- 2 Flea Shampoo vs Other Flea Treatments
- 3 The Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs
How does Flea Shampoo Work?
Types of flea shampoos vary, and not all will be appropriate for your pet.
Many flea and tick shampoos only help remove the fleas from your pet’s fur. They simply wash them out and away. This is obviously a good thing — although it won’t do much to otherwise interrupt the flea life cycle.
The most effective flea shampoos contain insecticides such as pyrethrins which cause the fleas’ nervous systems to shut down, killing the adult fleas and flea larvae.
Killing the fleas at all life cycle stages like this means it is much less likely that they will keep coming back. Using these medicated shampoos regularly when you bath your dog is an inexpensive way to win the war against fleas.
Here’s a good video on the flea life cycle:
For puppies, small dogs, and dogs with sensitive skin or other health issues it may be advisable to use a gentler flea shampoo with only natural ingredients to prevent any allergic reactions or side effects.
Shampoo for fleas often includes a conditioner to keep your pup’s fur shiny and soft, and their skin healthy.
Flea Shampoo vs Other Flea Treatments
Flea and tick shampoo for dogs is a good way of keeping parasites under control but are not necessarily a sure fix to a flea infestation problem as they may only work for a short time.
Although flea shampoo can be used as a standalone treatment, they really work best when combined with a topical ‘spot on’ type medication.
These types of medication are very effective as they release an active ingredients that kill the fleas from the pores of the skin itself, and this can keep working to repel and kill fleas for several weeks.
If you’re using shampoo as the only flea treatment on your dog, you may want to consider repeating the shampooing process every couple of weeks to keep the fleas at bay.
But really, it’s best used in conjunction with spot on treatments.
Oral medications are another alternative treatment, but they contain some unpleasant chemicals which must be ingested to work, and some side effects have been noted.
That said, some oral medications contain very effective insect growth regulators that kill even immature fleas and prevent them from reproducing.
Alternatively flea collars are inexpensive and could be used in combination with a flea shampoo for dogs. The effects can last for several months, but some dogs don’t like them as they have a strong odor and they have been known to irritate skin.
If you’re wondering what’s best for your dog, remember you can always consult your vet. Topical spot on treatments combined with a regular dosing of the best flea shampoo will put your dog on the right path for now though.
The Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs
Here, we’ve handpicked our favorite shampoo for fleas for you to consider. Some we’ve used ourselves to great effect, and others come highly recommended by other dog owners.
The powerful aromas of rosemary and mint are natural flea deterrents, and they form the base of this totally natural and chemical free flea and tick shampoo for dogs from well known brand Wahl.
Despite not having any active chemical ingredients, this popular Wahl Natural Pet Shampoo is very effective, although the effects are not particularly long lasting (they last about a week) — it’s definitely best to use with another treatment in tandem.
As well as being natural flea repellents, the herb extracts and cedar oil in this shampoo leave your pooch feeling refreshed and smelling sweet, as well as keeping their fur soft and glossy.
- Lathers up well
- 100% natural and free from chemicals
- Pleasant odor
- Conditions coat nicely
- Very effective at removing ticks
- Can be used on sensitive skin
- Good value for money
- Regular retreatment is necessary for the shampoo to remain effective if using as a standalone flea treatment
- Must be rinsed thoroughly to avoid residue build up in fur
If you’re looking for a pet shampoo that strikes fear into the heart of fleas and ticks, Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo just might be the shampoo for you.
It contains Precor, an insect growth regulating chemical that kills adult fleas and larvae, as well as attacking fleas in all stages of their life cycle and preventing them from procreating.
This shampoo for fleas gives protection for up to 28 days so it’s one of the most effective and long lasting on the market. This could be a godsend for owners whose pups are perennially blighted by parasites.
Aside from its flea busting properties, it also gives an in-depth clean to fur and skin, and leaves your pup with a pleasant odor thanks to the added natural ingredients of oatmeal, coconut extract, lanolin, and aloe. Fur is left looking shiny and feeling silky.
- Affordable price
- Very effective — kills up to 95% of fleas for up to 28 days
- Smells nice
- Lathers well and rinses easily
- Improves coat health
- Kills existing fleas but does not prevent reinfestation — treatment not a cure!
The exotic spicy ginger scent of Sentry Flea and Tick Shampoo is delicious — there’s no way that you’ll believe it’s a flea shampoo!
And yet it is — this shampoo really packs a punch in terms of getting rid of fleas. It contains powerful pyrethrin and permethrin pesticides that start to kill fleas, flea larvae and flea eggs almost instantly, and ticks within 1-2 days. Effects last for around ten days, after which reapplication is required — unless you use it in conjunction with a spot on treatment.
As an added bonus, the cleansing and soothing oatmeal formula is pH balanced to be kind to sensitive doggy skin and leave fur in fabulous condition.
- Contains effective permethrin chemical — very effective on fleas and ticks
- Agreeable ginger scent
- Very concentrated: not much is needed to create a lather
- Lathers and washes out easily
- May cause irritation to eyes — use wet cotton wool balls to protect your pup
- Packaging isn’t the most robust — make sure yours doesn’t leak!
One of the biggest positives for this anti flea and tick shampoo is the fact that it is formulated using only natural ingredients, so you can be sure there won’t be any harmful side effects when using it to treat your four legged friend.
In fact it’s so gentle on the skin that it is the ideal choice for dogs with skin problems such as itchy or dry skin. It doesn’t contain any nasties like parabens, sulfates or artificial fragrances.
Fragrant essential oils of citronella and lemongrass use their antimicrobial properties to deter fleas the natural way, and give your dog a lovely clean smelling, soft coat.
- Contains zero harmful chemicals or artificial ingredients
- Perfect for dogs with problem skin or other ailments
- Smells fresh and zesty
- Cleans and conditions the coat well
- Safe and gentle enough for frequent use
- Less effective in some cases than chemical based flea shampoos — you’ll need to use it together with a spot on treatment
- A little pricey
Vet’s Best Flea Itch Relief Dog Shampoo is not actually specifically categorized as a normal flea shampoo.
Instead it is specially designed to effectively relieve the symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis, including itching flea bites and skin sores. A blend of essential citrus oils, tea tree oil, and oatmeal gently soothe irritated skin to make your pup more comfortable.
Even though it isn’t officially an anti-flea shampoo, many dog owners report that it nevertheless kills or repels fleas successfully.
This is a great buy for pups with sensitive skin and those with an allergy to those horrible flea bites and saliva.
- All natural product with no harsh chemicals
- Provides effective relief for irritated skin
- Very appealing fragrance
- Leaves fur soft and shiny
- Can kill and repel fleas
- Works well combined with spot on treatment to control infestations
- Primarily for flea-irritated skin and not a catch-all flea shampoo
BioSpot might be a less well known brand among dog owners, but their Active Care Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo is definitely one of the best flea shampoos around.
The formula contains formidable pyrethrins that kill pesky fleas and ticks immediately on contact. It also uses a insect growth regulator to render flea eggs and larvae inert and prevent them from reproducing for up to 28 days, severely reducing the chance of re-infestation.
BioSpot Active Care Flea and Tick Dog Shampoo also contains sweetly scented natural extracts to help care for your dog’s coat to make it soft and keep it in good condition.
- Nicely scented
- Product goes a long way and lasts a long time
- Effective at killing fleas
- Cleans fur well
- Leaves coats feeling soft and looking lustrous
- One of the more expensive dog flea shampoos
What’s your pick for the best flea shampoo for dogs?