The Best Flea Shampoo For Dogs

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If you’re anything like us, you have probably 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. 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 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…

How Does Flea Shampoo Work?

The Best Flea Shampoo For Dogs

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 bathe your dog is an inexpensive way to win the war against fleas.

Here’s a good video on the flea life cycle:

It may be advisable for puppies, small dogs, and dogs with sensitive skin or other health issues to use a gentler flea shampoo with only natural ingredients to prevent 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 is 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, it really works best when combined with a topical ‘spot on’ type medication.

These types of medication are very effective as they release 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.

shampoo for fleas

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, a flea and tick collar is inexpensive and could be used in combination with flea shampoo for dogs. The effects of a flea control product like this can last for several months, but some dogs don’t like them as they have a strong odor and have been known to irritate the skin.

If you’re wondering what’s best for your dog, remember you can always consult your vet. Topical spot-on treatments combined with regular dosing of the best flea shampoo will put your dog on the right path for now, though.

How to Tell If Your Dog Has Fleas

Not sure if your dog has fleas? Here are a few telltale signs to watch for.

  • Visible fleas on their coat or in and around their bed
  • Flea dirt – it appears to be small specks of pepper on their skin
  • Signs of a flea bite
  • Itching and skin irritation
  • Signs of flea eggs

With regular brushing and grooming, it will be easier to spot a flea infestation. If you notice your dog is scratching a lot more than usual but can’t find any other signs of fleas, then your dog may be suffering from allergies.

In this case, consult with your veterinarian to rule it out as the cause of itching.

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.

1. Wahl Natural Pet Flea and Tick Shampoo

best flea shampoo for dogs

The powerful aromas of rosemary and mint are natural flea deterrents, and they form the base of this natural and chemical-free flea and tick shampoo for dogs from the 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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
flea and tick shampoo for dogs

2. Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo

flea shampoo for dogs

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.

This is an effective flea shampoo containing Precor, an insect growth-regulating chemical that kills adult fleas and larvae, attacks fleas in all life cycle stages, and prevents 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, this flea control product 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. The fur is left looking shiny and feeling silky.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Kills existing fleas but does not prevent reinfestation — treatment, not a cure!
flea and tick shampoo for dogs

3. Sentry Flea and Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal

flea shampoo for dogs

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.

The effects of this topical flea treatment 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.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • 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

Cons

  • 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!
flea and tick shampoo for dogs

4. Vet’s Best Flea Itch Relief Dog Shampoo

best flea shampoo

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 kills and repels fleas successfully, making it a great choice for flea prevention and treatment.

This is a great buy for pups with sensitive skin and those with an allergy to those horrible flea bites and saliva.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Primarily for flea-irritated skin and not a catch-all flea shampoo
flea and tick shampoo for dogs

5. Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo

Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo

This Hartz UltraGuard Plus flea and tick shampoo for dogs has a fresh aloe scent and can protect your pup from fleas and provide them with some much-needed relief. It has a fresh scent and cleansing formula that kills fleas and ticks through contact. It is also great at repelling fleas.

It is formulated for dogs or puppies that are six months of age or older. Its active ingredient is pyrethrin, which is an ingredient commonly used in many topical flea treatments.

To use Hartz UltraGuard, simply wet your dog’s coat thoroughly with water and rub the flea shampoo into the dog’s fur. Keep the suds away from their eyes.

Continue massaging the flea shampoo into the dog’s fur from head to tail until they are completely covered. Let the lather sit for five minutes before you rinse it out and towel dry your pup.

Pros

  • Formulated to kill fleas and their eggs on contact
  • Soothing for the dog’s skin
  • Has a fresh scent
  • Can be repeated weekly if necessary

Cons

  • Some dogs experienced mild hair loss
  • May not be suitable if your dog has sensitive skin
flea and tick shampoo for dogs

6. TropiClean Natural Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

TropiClean Natural Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

TropiClean Natural Flea and Tick Shampoo is formulated to kill fleas, ticks, larvae, and eggs by contact. It contains clove oil, lemongrass oil, cedarwood oil, cinnamon oil, and sesame oil. This combination of essential oils effectively repels fleas and ticks for up to seven days when it is applied to a dog that is twelve weeks or older.

This TropiClean flea shampoo does not contain pyrethrins or permethrin. Instead, it uses the EPA-approved natural essential oils we have listed above, leaving a pleasant citrus aroma.

It is also compatible with on-spot treatments and won’t wash them away. It is safe to use for routine bathing when it is used exactly as directed.

Pros

  • Maximized with natural essential oils
  • Contains powerful pest-fighting ingredients
  • Kills fleas and ticks on contact
  • Can repel fleas for up to 7 days

Cons

  • Doesn’t result in a rich lather
  • Thinner liquid formula, so be careful when pouring it out
flea and tick shampoo for dogs

7. Zodiac Flea and Tick Shampoo

Zodiac Flea and Tick Shampoo

This Zodiac Flea and Tick Shampoo is formulated for use on dogs and cats and kills fleas and ticks on contact. It produces a rich, creamy formula that effectively cleans and conditions your dog’s skin and coat while leaving behind a fresh scent.

Zodiac is also enriched with coconut extract that leaves your dog’s fur soft and shining. The shampoo is effective at removing loose dandruff and dirt.

Pros

  • Leaves a pleasant and mild scent behind
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Kills fleas and ticks on contact
  • Cleans and conditions

Cons

  • May require more than one bath, especially if your dog has a thicker coat
flea and tick shampoo for dogs

8. PawPurity Flea and Tick Shampoo

PawPurity Flea and Tick Shampoo

PawPurity Flea and Tick Shampoo is a 5-in-1 protecting shampoo with powerful natural repelling ingredients. In addition to repelling fleas, it also cleanses, nourishes, conditions, and leaves your pet’s skin and coat healthy.

The active properties in this PawPurity flea and tick shampoo come from six plants and essential oils that are effective at repelling pests without using any synthetic chemicals.

It is an olive oil-based cleanser with aloe vera juice, distilled water, calendula, yucca root, Vitamin E, frankincense essential oil, and cedarwood essential oil. It does not contain any synthetic dyes, artificial fragrances, or enzymes, and it is paraben free.

To use it, simply apply the flea shampoo to your dog’s wet coat and lather it in. Let is sit for at least a minute to allow the formula to protect and condition the dog’s coat and penetrate the skin.

Pros

  • Contains 33 natural agents that work to keep your dog free from fleas
  • Contains no harmful or harsh chemicals or additives
  • Works great even on sensitive skin
  • Leaves behind a clean and pleasant scent

Cons

  • More expensive than other flea shampoo brands
flea and tick shampoo for dogs

Finding the Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs

Now that we have given you our top recommendations, let’s take a closer look at what should be kept in mind as you shop for the best flea shampoo.

Ingredients

Always take a closer look at the ingredients. In general, there are two kinds of flea shampoos you can choose from: one that uses synthetic chemicals and one that uses essential oils.

If you are looking for a more natural flea shampoo, then look for one that uses essential oils. However, if you want something stronger and lasts longer, look for ingredients like pyrethrin or permethrin.

Life Stage

Most flea shampoos are formulated for puppies that are 12 weeks old and over. However, always check the label before using flea shampoo on your dog. It may prove to be too harsh to use on a younger dog as they are still developing.

What’s your pick for the best flea shampoo for dogs?

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