To see your dog with annoying fleas is the worst. It is unbearable to feel so hopeless after trying one product after another that promises relief but doesn’t deliver results.
And when we see them itching, scratching, and biting, we feel like doggie parent failures.
Fleas and ticks reproduce and spread quickly so eradicating them right away and in a definitive fashion is necessary. And for this, you need to buy a dog flea shampoo that is going to kill fleas and ticks on your dog’s coat, while preventing them from returning.
There are various ways of eliminating fleas and flea eggs on a dog; bathing is the easiest and most practical method. It’s part of a weekly flea elimination regimen and must not be thought of as a singular do-all solution. Regular dog shampoos will not kill these parasites, but specially designed flea shampoo for dogs. However, some products are safer than others.
What Is Dog Flea Shampoo And Is It Effective?
According to the Common Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), fleas can harbor bacteria and parasites, like tapeworms, that can be transferred to your dog and humans. Ever heard of the Plague? Yup, we can blame fleas for that, too. People who have hairy legs can also suffer from flea bites, itching, and dermatitis if there is an infestation in your home.
Dog flea shampoo is a medicated shampoo used during your pup’s regular baths to help get rid of fleas. It’s one of the first products people reach for when they see a little speck scurrying along their dog’s belly and hiding in their fur.
If you’ve ever gone shopping for flea shampoos, you’ll know that there are hundreds of products available on the market. There are shampoos made from only natural ingredients, shampoos made with potent insecticides, and many other types of flea products besides. If you want the best protection possible, you need to find a shampoo to suit your needs that’s effective, gentle, and affordable.
Avoid These Ingredients in Regular and Flea Dog Shampoos
Some ingredients found in pet shampoos have been directly linked to health hazards in dogs. Here’s what to avoid with your next purchase:
- Anise oil
- Boric acid
- Benzene hexacholoride
- Benzethonium chloride
- Dimethyl phthalate
- Pine tar
- Sodium arsenite
- Sodium cresylate
Top 4 Best Dog Flea Shampoos
Here are the reviews of the most efficient dog flea shampoos to ensure a victory over fleas, ticks, lice, and other parasites, squatting your dog’s coat, bedding, and your home. It matters very much to only use renowned anti-flea shampoos since they are mostly chemical-based and using cheaply made products may cost you more in the long run.
Best Overall: Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo
Looking for a shampoo that’s great for nearly any pooch? Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo checks all the boxes: It kills pests of all sorts, contains soothing aloes to keep your pup comfortable, and even works on cats.
Despite being a highly effective flea treatment, it only costs around $10 for a 12-ounce bottle, which is fairly affordable. As we mentioned above, it kills fleas (in all life stages, including eggs), as well as ticks and lice. What’s more, the added Precor provides 28 days of control of pre-adult fleas, killing them before they become biting adults, helping to break the flea life cycle and get rid of infestations for good!
Enriched with oatmeal and coconut extract, it’ll leave your best friend’s coat looking shiny and lustrous. It also helps get rid of dandruff and dirt while keeping them tick- and flea-free. Available as a 12-ounce bottle, the shampoo earns rave reviews from Amazon customers who call it a “total godsend,” adding that it “kills fleas like a boss.”
Hartz UltraGuard Rid Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs
Many flea shampoos contain harsh ingredients that can dry out your dog’s skin and cause bad reactions if used often. Hartz UltraGuard rid flea and tick shampoo is designed for dogs that are bathed regularly and can safely be used on a weekly basis.
Oatmeal is one of the ingredients, and it has been shown in studies to be gentle and beneficial to a dog’s skin. We’ve been using other brands that were equally effective as the Hartz UltraGuard Dog Shampoo, but many were not as gentle to our hands (and likely to the dog) as the Hartz one. Some of them caused them tiny rashes after the first bathing session, but nothing of the sort was noticed with Hartz.
Retailing at just under $10 for an 18-ounce bottle, it works out even more affordable than our top pick, although you may decide the added 28 day protection it gives you is worth shelling out a little more for.
Hartz UltraGuard Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo Key Features:
- Kills flea and ticks
- Suitable for adult dogs and puppies over 6 months old
- Phenothrin is the active ingredient
Best for Sensitive Skin: Sentry Flea and Tick Shampoo With Oatmeal
Looking for a flea shampoo for dogs on a budget? Sentry Flea & Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal is proof that you don’t have to spend a lot to say farewell to fleas and ticks. With a price tag of around $5 for an 18-ounce bottle, it’s in almost everyone’s price range.
It contains permethrin, which is both a medication and insecticide, in safe concentration. It has piperonyl butoxide which acts in tandem with permethrin to effectively eliminate fleas and ticks. This is one of the best dog flea shampoos that are effective and safe because it also contains oatmeal for soothing a dog’s skin.
Sentry is also pH balanced and specially designed to both deodorize and take care of your dog’s coat, leaving it soft, shiny, and flea-free.
This shampoo can also kill flea eggs for up to 30 days after the bath, which is essential to keeping a flea infection under control and eradicating it completely.
Most flea shampoos for dogs are very thin, and the Sentry one in comparison actually has a very thick consistency and works up a really good lather. A little goes a long way making it a very cost-effective solution or at least part of a solution. Our dogs also loved the massage that goes with each bath using Sentry shampoo. Finally, it also has a somewhat pleasant smell.
Best Itch-Relief: Vet’s Best Flea Itch Relief Dog Shampoo
The Vet’s Best Flea Itch Relief Dog Shampoo is a veterinarian-formulated dog flea shampoo, Suitable for dogs and puppies over 12 weeks (check with your vet before using with cats), reviewers say this shampoo leaves their pet far more comfortable than they were before. While some customers do say the product kills fleas, bear in mind that it’s intended to reduce itching—it’s not a replacement for flea and tick shampoo.
The key ingredients include micronized oatmeal, solvent-free orange, and lemon peel oil, along with neem oil (a natural pesticide) that works well in soothing discomfort and itching as well as being very effective natural pesticides.
The chemical content of this shampoo is very low, which ensures that your dog will never be adversely affected by this product. Of course, the shampoo itself is also free of irritants that could potentially aggravate your animal’s case of the itchies.