We have spent a lot of time researching the best flea shampoo for dogs and put together this epic post that covers our top 10 options and some helpful flea treatment information, let’s get to it!
Fleas are definitely not creatures that you want in your home in any way, shape, or form. If you think that fleas are annoying for you, keep in mind that your dog knows that all too well. Fleas are going to cause some major itchiness, irritation, and can even be painful in extreme circumstances. They are also notoriously hard to get rid of.
Even worse if you are allergic to fleas because then you’re feeling the same pain as your dog. Anyway, there is a good solution and that is flea shampoo for dogs. This can be a bit of a complicated topic so we are going to do our best to explain the ins and outs of flea shampoo.
What is Dog Flea Shampoo and How Does it Work?
Simply put, flea shampoo is for dogs and fleas as what lice shampoo is for people. It is just some kind of medicated shampoo that will kill fleas. Now there are different shampoos, some of which will kill only adult fleas, and others which are more powerful and will kill the fleas and their eggs.
These flea shampoos can be naturally or chemically medicated. The best flea shampoos will also relieve the itch and irritation caused by fleas, soothe the skin, and even hydrate the fur. Flea shampoos work by either disrupting the way fleas can process sodium, attacking their central nervous system, or acting as a repellant. The first two type kill the fleas while the third option simply repels them.
What We Think Is The Best Flea Shampoo For Dogs
When it comes down to it, we think this is one of the best dog flea shampoo’s, this one that smells good, leaves your dogs with a smooth coat, and of course kills all fleas too.
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo
This is a pyrethrin based flea shampoo that is sure to kill all fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, as well as ticks, and lice too. This flea shampoo works by disrupting the central nervous system of fleas and inhibits their ability to process sodium, ultimately killing the fleas, larvae, and even eggs. This is a very impressive flea shampoo because it kills the larvae and eggs too. This is so impressive because killing flea eggs is notoriously difficult to do.
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo can be used on dogs and cats, which is definitely a bonus. Not only does this particular flea shampoo kill fleas and other critters almost immediately, but its effects last for up to 28 days, thus providing your pet with long lasting flea control. The fact that it lasts for such a long time is something that sets it apart from the rest of the pack no doubt.
What you will also appreciate is that this flea shampoo contains aloe, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal too. This is great for your dogs because fleas are itchy and those ingredients will soothe your dog’s skin and get rid of the itch along with the pesky critters. Make sure that your pet does not ingest this stuff, while stomach acids can usually break down a pyrethrin based flea shampoo, if too much is ingested, especially by a smaller dog, it may be toxic. As far as pest killing, smell, and itch relief goes, Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo For Dogs is the best by far.You can check the current price here.
9 Other Shampoo Options Worth A Mention
You may not like our first choice of flea shampoo for one reason or another. Maybe it’s the pyrethrins, maybe the smell, or maybe you just don’t like the look of its jib. Anyway, we’ve got plenty of other useful flea shampoo options to look at, so knock yourself out!
1). TropiClean Neem and Citrus Pet Shampoo
If you are looking for an all-natural flea shampoo solution for your dog, this is in our opinion a decent option. TropiClean Neem and Citrus Pet Shampoo kills all fleas on contact thanks to the neem oil. What does need to be said is that this stuff does not have the power to kill flea eggs, only the hatched adults. So, you may need to use this stuff in conjunction with another solution in order to really get rid of the fleas.
However, many people like TropiClean Pet Shampoo because it is made out of all natural ingredients, it is 70% organic, and it does not contain any nasty manmade chemicals. What this particular shampoo does contain is a variety of ingredietns intended to moisturizer the skin of your dog, relieve the itch and irritation caused by fleas, and leave their fur shiny and smooth.
This shampoo is also soap and detergent free, it won’t irritate the skin of your dog, and it smells pretty good too. TropiClean Neem and Citrus Pet Shampoo is an all-around good solution for killing adult fleas, relieving itch, and providing your dog with a smooth coat. Keep in mind that this stuff is only meant for cats and will kill nothing but adult fleas. This stuff lathers big, it rinses out fast, and it leaves your dog with a long lasting scent too. On a side note, this stuff is so environmentally friendly that even the packaging is made out of biodegradable materials for the benefit of you and the world around you.
2). Wahl Natural Pet Shampoo
This is another effective all natural flea control shampoo for dogs to go with. Right off the bat, the most important thing to note with Wahl Natural Pet Shampoo is that it is intended to be a deterrent to ticks and fleas. Once again, this is only a deterrent, not a killer. Using this shampoo for already existing flea and tick infestations will not work to kill them. It may repel some of them and keep them at bay, but when it comes to flea eggs and current outbreaks, its efficacy is limited.
However, if you need a good flea and tick deterrent, then Wahl Natural Pet Shampoo is the way to go. Wahl Natural Pet Shampoo has the ability to repel ticks and fleas for up to one week after you have bathed your dog with it. Many people like this particular shampoo because it is indeed all natural and does not contain and harsh manmade chemicals that can damage your dog’s coat. People love the oatmeal, rosemary, and mint scent that this shampoo has, a scent that will stay on your dog for a number of days.
This stuff is also shown to relieve the itching and irritation that can be caused by fleas, ticks, and dry skin, thus providing your dog with some much needed relief. Finally, this particular shampoo is also shown to make your dog’s fur very smooth, soft, and shiny too. Simply put, it’s an all-around good shampoo for dogs that is natural, smells good, and happens to repel nasty critters too. There is also the fact that this shampoo provides for a thick lather, yet also rinses out really easy, yet another bonus.
3). Hartz UltraGuard Rid Flea & Tick Shampoo
Third on our best flea shampoo for dogs list is the Hart UltraGuard shampoo. The active ingredient in this shampoo is phenothrin, a potent chemical shown to kill fleas and ticks pretty much on contact. Simply lather up your dog and rinse out the shampoo, and your dog should be free of all ticks and fleas.
This particular shampoo is shown to have a certain effect on flea eggs, but it may not kill all of them. Furthermore, while this shampoo does kill ticks and fleas on site, its deterrent effect is very limited, meaning that new fleas and ticks will not be killed once your dog has been rinsed off and dried. That being said, this is a very useful shampoo for quickly controlling flea infestations that have managed to get out of hand and spread like wildfire.
Moreover, Hartz UltraGuard actually smells pretty good for being a chemical flee killer. Moreover, this stuff does make for a pretty good lather that can be easily rinsed off. Just make sure that your dog does not have an allergy to phenothrin and all will be good, plus this stuff should also not be ingested by any means. This is a great all around flea and tick killing shampoo that smells good, not to mention that it also has some moisturizing affects as well.
4). Pet Diesel Pet Shampoo & Conditioner
If you need a good flea deterrent that is combined with shampoo, this is a good option in our opinion. Pet Diesel Pet Shampoo and Conditioner is an all-natural and organic shampoo ideal for all dogs. We love this stuff because it does contain any BPAs, parabens, GMOs, or other harsh manmade chemicals. All of the ingredients in this shampoo come right from nature and are perfectly safe to wash your dogs with.
Pet Diesel Shampoo contains several ingredients with antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which are fantastic for relieving dry skin, itch, and other forms of irritation. When it comes to relieving allergies, itchy skin, and irritation caused by pests, this shampoo is a prime choice. Moreover, besides neem oil, this shampoo also contains several other ingredients which ticks and fleas really don’t like. Now, this shampoo will not kill ticks or fleas, but it will repel them.
The oils in this shampoo go right into your dog’s fur and stay there for weeks to come, thus providing your pet with a great all-natural tick and flea deterrent. You are going to love the fact that this particular shampoo smells good, is not greasy, and is easy to rinse out too. No, this is not a flea killing shampoo, but it will definitely help prevent them from coming back for a good while to come.
5). Alpha Dog Series Flea and Tick formula Shampoo
This is another fairly good choice to go with in terms of flea killing and prevention. Alpha Dog Series Flea and Tick Shampoo is actually an all-natural shampoo. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, GMOs, or other things which may damage the fur of your dog. Everything in this shampoo comes right from nature, which is the way we like it. Now, even though this shampoo is all natural, it does somehow manage to kill fleas on contact.
This is actually true for all flea stages including the eggs, larvae, and adults too. A shampoo that can kill all flea stages is pretty hard to find, so this is quite impressive. Even better is that this particular shampoo will also deter new fleas and ticks from hopping on board. The scents and natural essential oils included in this shampoo will do a fantastic job at repelling fleas from reinvesting your poor puppy dog. As far as relieving itch, inflammation, and other skin issues goes, Alpha Dog Series Shampoo will do the trick, but it is nothing special.
The pH of this shampoo is perfectly balanced, which when combined with the other natural ingredients is shown to prevent irritation caused by bathing. This shampoo smells ok, it does a decent job at relieving itch, and it lathers/rinses decently too. The strongest suit of this shampoo is definitely flea and tick killing as well as repelling, but the other qualities are so-so.
6). Vet’s Best Anti-Flea Easy Spray Flea Shampoo for Pets
This is another fairly decent flea killing option to go with when it comes to your poor little dog. Now to be clear, this is called a shampoo, but when it comes to actually cleaning your dog, the effects are fairly limited. Yes, it will remove some grime, dirt, and grease, plus it will make your dog smell pretty good too. However, if your only aim is to wash your dog and make him smell good, you are better off using a generic dog shampoo. Yeah, this stuff will clean your dog, moisturize the skin a bit, and make his coat a little shiny, but these benefits are very limited.
The main purpose of Vet’s Best Anti-Flea Easy Spray Flea Shampoo is killing fleas, which is something that it does indeed do very well. This is an all-natural plant based flea killing shampoo. This means that it does not contain any harsh manmade chemicals, will not irritate the skin of your dog, as is perfectly safe and healthy. It uses various natural essential oils which are shown to kill fleas on contact.
The oils in this particular shampoo are also shown to be quite effective at deterring fleas from re-infesting your dog for several weeks. One thing that does need to be said is that this shampoo will only work on flea larvae and adult fleas, but not on flea eggs. Also, only use this shampoo on dogs which are 12 weeks of age or older.
7). Natural Care Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs
Right off the bat, something that we really like about this particular flea shampoo is that it can actually be used for both dogs and cats. This is not something that is very common. Moreover, you are going to love Natural Care Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs because it is all natural. It does not contain any GMO’s, harsh chemicals, toxins, or any other unwanted substances.
Any and all ingredients in this flea shampoo come straight from nature, which means that it is perfectly safe to use as often as you see fit. Natural Care Flea and Tick Shampoo is shown to kill adult fleas and flea larvae on contact, as well as ticks too. On a side note, this stuff will not kill flea eggs. Even better is that the essential oils not only kill these terrible critters, but they also help to repel them for several days.
Yes, this stuff will repel fleas and ticks for a few days, but no longer than that. Once the liquid is evaporated and the scent is gone, the repellent properties wear off rather quickly. That being said, this stuff does smell pretty good, better than wet dog anyway. Also, it does have some good itch relief, soothing, and moisturizing properties. This is a good shampoo that neither you nor your dog will hate.
8). Oster Oatmeal Naturals Flea and Tick Shampoo
This is a good natural flea shampoo for dogs to go with. This may be an all-natural shampoo, but it contains pyrethrins derived from the chrysanthemum flower. This stuff is so powerful that it will kill all fleas and ticks during all of their cycles.
That’s right, this one shampoo can kill ticks and fleas when they are eggs, larvae, and the full grown adults. Now that is impressive. The downside to this shampoo is that it will not really prevent new ticks and fleas from coming back. It may repel them for a few days so long as the dog’s fur still has some residue on it, but past that you will need other preventative measures.
On the other hand, Oster Oatmeal Naturals Flea and Tick Shampoo is completely free of all manmade chemicals, BPA’s, alcohol, parabens, and a whole bunch of other things that you don’t want or need to know about. What is really neat about this stuff is that it won’t wash off other topical flea repellant solutions that you have already applied.
Also, this particular shampoo contains a lot of natural oatmeal which has amazing soothing capabilities. It will do a great job at relieving the itch and irritation caused by fleas and ticks. Something else you are going to like is that it has a mandarin violent scent that everybody is going to love.
9). Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo
Ok, so to be clear, this is a really strong anti-flea and anti-tick solution. Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo is not natural and definitely contains some chemicals. That being said, this particular flea shampoo will kill all fleas and ticks no matter what life cycle they are in, egg, larvae, and mature too. This stuff is so powerful that it will repel all ticks and fleas for up to one month. Even more impressive is that Vet-Kem Flea and Tick Shampoo can also prevent flea and tick eggs from hatching for a whole month after just one application.
Ok, so just to be clear, It’s not like it’s overly dangerous for your pet. Yeah, it should not be ingested and it may also cause some slight skin irritation. Keep in mind, most dogs will not experience any adverse reaction to this stuff, but seeing as some chemicals are involved, there is always a chance. Funny enough, many people have noted that this stuff actually seems to relieve itchiness and irritation for the most part. Plus, most people even say that it smells good too.
Chemical based shampoos are something you may not prefer over natural ones, but for extreme cases they may be the only solution, plus they aren’t necessarily bad for your dog. One thing to be kept in mind is that this stuff is not made for cats. An active ingredient in Vet-Ken is pyrethrin which is toxic to cats.
How To Give Your Dog A Flea Bath The Right Way
This might be a little bit of a misleading question because technically speaking, your best bet is to follow the instructions on the label of the specific flea solution you got. In general, you are going to put your dog in the tub, get them all wet with warm water, apply the solution as directed by the bottle, massage it in so it can do its job, then rinse it out thoroughly.
You may need to repeat these steps depending on the specific product you got.
- Always apply the exact amount recommended by the bottle, as too much might be harmful and too little will be ineffective.
- Always wash your hands before and after you use the fleas shampoo.
- If you have never used the particular shampoo on your dog before, monitor them for 24 hours afterwards to see if there any adverse effects.
- Remember to know what kind of shampoo you are getting. If you have a dog with sensitive skin, you might want to go for a more natural shampoo as opposed to chemical.
Types of Flea Shampoo
Ok, so generally speaking there are three different types of flea shampoo for dogs. Each of which is slightly different in their own way.
The first kind is a chemical flea shampoo with laboratory made ingredients. Make no mistake about it, there is nothing natural about these flea shampoos, but truth be told, they usually work the best. Chemical flea shampoos may cause some skin irritation if your dog has sensitive skin, but in general they aren’t harmful. That being said, your dog definitely should not be drinking this stuff. Anyway, this type of flea shampoo usually kills pretty much anything and usually repels fleas too.
The second kind of flea shampoo for dogs is a natural one. These can include things such as citrus extract, limonene, neme, and other naturally found extracts. These are usually meant to attack the central nervous system of fleas and kill them by causing their nerve receptors to over-fire. These are usually fairly effective at killing fleas, some kill the eggs too, some don’t. However, they usually aren’t great in terms of repelling new infestations.
The third kind of fleas shampoo is an organic flea shampoo. Organic flea shampoos also use naturally found ingredients such as various oils and extracts. Many organic dog flea shampoos actually use oatmeal. The main purpose of these is usually to repel fleas, not to kill them. This is of course a good thing, but you will need to get a flea killer too. Some of these organic shampoos will kill adult fleas, but usually not all that well. What these shampoos excel in beyond all others is in the soothing and itch relief department.
Other Tips To Prevent Fleas
In case you have serious flea problems and are getting sick and tired of it, there are things you can do to prevent them from coming back so often.
- Use treatment methods year round. If you are using a safe flea shampoo, you can always use it every couple of months to prevent the fleas. If there are fleas, they will be killed regular. Also, using preventative shampoos on the regular will do a great job keeping them away.
- Don’t use old shampoos. Dog flea shampoos, especially the ones with natural and/or organic ingredients, can definitely go bad and lose their potency. Never use ones that are expired, or preferably not even when close to expiry.
- Don’t use cat flea products on dogs and vice versa. They are not meant for each other so don’t use them for each other.
- Go to the vet and get regular checkups from the vet. A trained eye will be able to see the fleas no problem.
- Make sure to get a flea shampoo that will kill the flea eggs. Only killing the adults will not suffice because the eggs will just hatch soon after and the problem will start all over again.
- Groom your pet on a regular basis as this will allow you to see the fleas and deal with them before a few fleas turn into a full blown infestation.
Common Chemicals Found In Flea Shampoo
Besides all kinds of natural extracts, citrus, essential oils, and ingredients meant to soothe your dog, there are a few common ingredients found in flea shampoo for dogs.
This is a natural extract found in the chrysanthemum plants. This stuff comes in 6 different forms, all found in that one really hard to pronounce plant, and all of them have been used as insecticides for quite some time now. These things work by disrupting the flow and the processing of sodium in the flea’s body as well as by attacking the flea’s central nervous system. Stomach acid can break down pyrethrins, but this can change depending on the dog. It shouldn’t be toxic if ingested, but there have been cases of poisoning.
Ok, so there are like 10 different kinds of pyrethroids, some of which kill flying insects and some of which kill crawling insects. The point is that pyrethroids kill fleas in much the same way that pyrethrins kill fleas, by attacking their central nervous system. These things last longer than pyrethrins, but they also work slower. This is why pyrethroids are often used in deterrent methods.
This stuff has a really long and complicated scientific name which is completely unimportant, but the point is that this stuff will kill fleas, flea larvae, and the eggs too. More or less, docusate sodium will break down the exoskeleton and cause total internal organ failure.
***AT ALL COSTS YOU MUST AVOID FLEA SHAMPOOS WHICH CONTAIN ORGANOPHOSPHATE INSTECTICIDES AND CARBAMATES. BOTH ARE EXTREMELY CARCINOGENIC, BUT FOR SOME REASON ARE STILL AVAILABLE IN SOME PLACES.***
Whatever you do, always make sure that you engage in regular flea and tick prevention for your dogs. They don’t want to live with the little critters and neither do you. Get yourself the best flea shampoo for dogs that you can find, one that kills them in all stages of their life, and get some good repellent shampoo as well. We would seriously recommend looking at the above products.