Fleas are a fact of life for every pet parent. While these little pests do not look all that threatening, they transmit diseases to your beloved pet.
Hence, it is wise to bathe Poochie using the best flea shampoo for dogs.
Spot-on drops and chewable pills, are likewise recommended to address the problem.
However, bathing your pooch using a medicated shampoo should be the first thing that you do.
Even if your pooch fares well with conventional medicine, you can use a flea shampoo in conjunction with your preferred treatment.
By reading this article, you will be learning how to choose the best flea shampoo for dogs and why you should not settle for anything less. Short on time? I rounded up eight recommendations, so you can quickly choose among them.
What's in this Guide?
The Best Flea Shampoo For Dogs In 2021
|Best Overall||Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo|
|Runner Up||Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs with Soothing Aloe|
|Premium Choice||Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs with Soothing Aloe|
|Best Natural||Arava Skin & Coat Intensive Biocare Relief Therapy Shampoo|
|Best for Sensitive Skin||TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Maximum Strength Dog Shampoo|
|Best with Precor®||Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo with Essential Oils|
|Best for Sensitive Skin||Adams’ Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor|
|Best with Oatmeal||Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo with Vanilla & Almond Scent|
Best Overall: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo, 16 oz.
When Poochie has got a case of fleas, switch to the Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo. Formulated with the natural insecticide pyrethrum, it eliminates mature fleas and ticks upon contact. Don’t worry; it will not wash away spot-on treatments if your pooch has one.
Also, each bath will provide your furry pal long-lasting protection from mosquito bites. As if that’s enough, it has also been proven to treat skin infections caused by bacteria and fungi, such as seborrheic dermatitis and mange.
This vet-formulated shampoo is suitable for puppies as young as 12 weeks old. Made without parabens, dyes, and surfactants, it will not irritate Poochie’s gentle skin or leave his coat dull and dry.
- Uses pyrethrum, an insecticide derived from chrysanthemums
- Immediately kills adult fleas and ticks
- Repels mosquitoes and other bugs
- Treats bacterial and fungal skin infections
- Does not interfere with spot-on treatments
- Safe to use on 3-month-old pups
- Does not kill flea eggs
- Doesn’t foam well (minor issue)
Runner Up: Hartz UltraGuard Pro Triple Active Flea & Tick Shampoo, 18 oz.
Next in line is the Hartz UltraGuard Pro Triple Active Flea & Tick Shampoo. If you are looking for unmatched protection against a broad spectrum of parasites, look no further. This shampoo protects Doggo from fleas, ticks, lice, mosquitoes, and mites.
Unlike most flea shampoos, it also prevents flea eggs from hatching. The only problem is the controversies surrounding its use of phenothrin, a synthetic antiparasitic ingredient. So, I did my homework and found out that phenothrin can be toxic to felines and aquatic pets.
On the bright side, it is safe for dogs when administered topically at the right amount. That being said, I can’t stress enough how important it is to buy a flea shampoo from a respected company, such as Hartz. To guarantee pet safety, their products went through intensive research and tests before release.
- Kills a broad spectrum of ectoparasites upon contact
- Stops eggs and larvae from developing
- Repels fleas and ticks
- Enriched with oatmeal to prevent skin dryness
- Neutralizes doggie odors for up to 5 days
- Safe to use on 12-week-old pups
- Uses the controversial ingredient, phenothrin
- Might not be suitable for sensitive pups
Best Budget Pick: Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs with Soothing Aloe, 18 oz.
If you are looking for good value from a reputable company, I recommend the Soothing Aloe formula by Hartz. Coming at a price of a double cheeseburger, you can buy plenty and be sure that you will never run out of supply. Better yet, use this product as an alternative to your favorite premium flea shampoo.
Similar to the UltraGuard Pro Triple Active formula, it uses phenothrin as its active ingredient to combat adult fleas and ticks. However, its formulation is a lot milder and lacks the long-lasting preventative powers of the other. Nevertheless, using it at least once a week should keep fleas at bay.
The citrus smell is subtle and pleasant, keeping your furry pal fresh and cuddly without irritating his nose. Although I am focusing on the citrus variant, there are also other scented options.
- Eliminates adult fleas and ticks upon contact
- Provides a quick and budget-friendly solution
- Mildly scented to deodorize and mask unwanted smells
- Does not offer long-lasting protection
- Some dogs hate the smell of citrus
Premium Choice: Arava Skin & Coat Intensive Biocare Relief Therapy Shampoo, 15 oz.
In lieu of synthetic ingredients, the Arava Skin & Coat Intensive Biocare Relief Therapy Shampoo contains minerals from the Dead Sea. These minerals boast of healing abilities to combat itching, irritation, and inflammation caused by flea and tick bites.
This therapeutic shampoo also helps in the treatment and prevention of hot spots, mange, ringworm, and seborrheic dermatitis.
But wait, there’s more! This premium shampoo also contains aloe Vera, chamomile, fennel, kelp, pomegranate, and reishi. In addition to treating skin afflictions, it cleanses deep within your dog’s undercoat, enriching each hair follicle to make Doggo’s fur thicker and smoother than ever.
The silky, moisturizing formula and pleasant fragrance should make bath time more enjoyable. If your dog licks up the suds or gets some into his eyes, you don’t have to worry that it might hurt him.
- Formulated with Dead Sea minerals and 28 botanical ingredients
- Relieves itching and inflammation caused by flea and tick bites
- Aids in the treatment of dermatological conditions
- Deep cleanses and promotes healthier skin and coat
- Leaves a nice fragrance that is easy on the nose
- Most expensive among the bunch
Best Natural: TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Maximum Strength Dog Shampoo, 20 oz
If you aren’t open to the use of man-made chemicals, the TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo is the right choice for you.
Its antiparasitic formula harnesses the power of five EPA-approved natural essential oils: cedarwood oil, cinnamon oil, clove oil, lemongrass oil, and sesame seed oil. These time-tested essences are notable not only for repelling godforsaken parasites but also for killing adult fleas and ticks.
Moreover, this shampoo lathers well to provide deep cleansing, making it a fantastic option for dogs who tend to play and roll in the muck. There are no added fragrances to the shampoo. Its enticing scent occurs naturally due to the oils.
- Uses a blend of essential oils instead of chemicals
- Kills mature fleas and ticks upon contact
- Repels fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes for up to 7 days
- Keeps your dog smelling great without causing irritation
- Free of parabens, dyes, etc.
- Does not wash away spot-on treatments
- Has a rather runny consistency
Best for Sensitive Skin: Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo with Essential Oils, 12 oz.
Can there really be a natural-based shampoo that combats fleas and ticks? Yup, and it can make your pooch smell like cinnamon cookies to boot. Introducing Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo.
This shampoo does not rely on man-made chemicals, but instead, it uses a blend of essential oils: peppermint oil, eugenol, clove oil, cedar oil, cinnamon oil, and rosemary oil. These essences work to rid your pooch of those little vampires. With just one wash, you will be seeing dead fleas and ticks floating away in the water.
But as far as the repelling component goes, it is not that effective. If you bathe your pooch religiously at least once a week, then there should be no problem. Its organic formula is perfect for routine baths and it also includes vitamin E, lanolin, and lecithin to nourish the skin and coat.
- Features a 100% organic formula
- Perfect choice for sensitive pooches and puppies
- Will get rid of fleas and ticks without causing dryness
- Lathers well and provides deep cleansing without harsh detergents
- Naturally occurring mild fragrance
- Lacks repellent properties
Best with Precor®: Adams’ Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor®, 24 oz.
Before anything else, you might want to know what Precor® is. Precor® is a brand of methoprene, an active ingredient that you will often find in spot-on treatments. That alone should give you an idea of how effective this shampoo is to get rid of fleas.
Each 24-ounce bottle of the Adams’ Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo contains 0.10% Precor (S-Methoprene), an insect growth retardant. Flea and tick eggs will not hatch, and flea larvae will not molt and develop from their immature phase. As a result, it ends the flea and tick life cycle eventually.
What’s more, its formula also contains 0.15% pyrethrin and 1.88% piperonyl. This potent combination eradicates pests of all sorts upon contact. While this product does contain strong elements, it remains gentle on the skin.
Many pet parents are impressed as they felt as though they used a spot-on treatment. On top of that, they like that the shampoo has left their furry pals’ coat soft and lustrous due to the aloe Vera, coconut extract, lanolin, and oatmeal it contains.
- Kills a wide range of ectoparasites
- Features Precor® to end the flea and tick life cycle
- Contains a blend of natural ingredients to condition the skin and coat
- Easy on the wallet but works overtime
- Might not be suitable for pooches with hypersensitivity
- Precor® has involved numerous animal testing
Best with Oatmeal: Pets are Kids Too Premium Oatmeal Shampoo, 17 oz.
Flea bites cause intense itching and scratching, which can lead to scabs that can get infected. Can you stand watching your furry pal suffer? For fast-acting relief, I recommend Pets Are Kids Too Premium Oatmeal Shampoo.
Pets are our kids, too, so we should buy products made with their best interest. By choosing a vet-endorsed organic shampoo, you can be sure that you are not exposing your beloved pet to synthetic ingredients that are detrimental to his health.
This premium shampoo features a comprehensive anti-itch formula using oatmeal and baking soda. It also contains coconut extract and aloe Vera to soothe dry, irritated skin and leave the coat softer and glossier like never before. On top of that, it makes your pet smell like a walking oatmeal cookie.
Moreover, this hypoallergenic shampoo is safe to be used on cats and guinea pigs. Hence, it is a perfect choice if you have multiple pets at home.
- Relieves flea bites, hot spots, yeast infections, etc.
- Nourishes the skin and conditions the coat
- All-natural and hypoallergenic multi-pet formula
- 100% sourced and made in the USA
- Ideal for very young puppies
- Does not necessarily address a flea infestation
Who Should Buy Flea Shampoo for Dogs?
Fleas and ticks have always been the absolute bane of dog owners, so you should always have this weapon ready in your arsenal in case these sneaky parasites attack.
Many pet owners assume that fleas and ticks are only an issue during the spring and summer. However, these pests are present throughout the year, as they don’t hibernate. The winter months only serve as a temporary respite from your battle against fleas.
The cool weather during the fall leads the opportunistic fleas to come out so they could find a host in a warm environment and spend the winter. Fleas can come into your house by latching onto your dog or your clothing.
Also Read: >> Best Shampoo For dogs
Buying Guide: Things to Consider?
A lion’s share of the pet care industry is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of fleas. With so many products flooding the pet aisle, how can you determine which one will be most effective on your dog? Here are the factors to consider when looking for the best brand of fleas shampoo for dogs.
First of all, you want your dog’s shampoo to eradicate as many fleas as possible. There is no guarantee that a dog flea shampoo will replace a spot-on treatment, but it should suffice for a mild flea infestation. Then again, the efficacy of a dog fleas shampoo will depend on its ingredients.
Pet owners have two options: synthetic actives or natural ingredients. If your pooch is not hypersensitive, an insecticide-based shampoo might be a better choice for you. Excellent examples are Hartz UltraGuard Pro Triple Active Flea & Tick Shampoo and Adams’ Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor. Not only do these shampoos kill fleas and ticks, but they also target larva and eggs.
The Veterinary Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo is also an excellent option if you are wary of man-made chemicals. This product uses pyrethrum, a natural insecticide derived from flowers. But if Poochie has sensitive skin, he may object to these shampoos.
What it Eradicates
Fleas are not the only pests that annoy our pets. Ticks, mites, lice, and mosquitoes also steal nourishment from dogs and transmit diseases. Therefore, it is well worth the extra bucks to buy a broad-spectrum dog flea shampoo.
Broad-spectrum dog flea shampoos, such as the likes of Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiparasitic & Antiseborrheic Medicated Dog Shampoo, tackle different ectoparasitic infestations upon contact with its active ingredients.
Aside from washing away dead fleas and ticks, you want your dog’s shampoo to repel the ones lurking outdoors. You will also want a formula containing an insect growth regulator, such as S-methoprene and phenothrin. These active ingredients inhibit the normal development of eggs and larva.
But, take note; although these shampoos promise extended protection, you cannot expect its repelling action to be as enduring as other flea preventatives. The best strategy is to use a spot-on treatment as it provides up to a month’s worth of protection.
Flea shampoos come in various sizes, although the difference can be minimal. If you have two or more dogs, it is wise to opt for a larger-sized bottle if there’s any. Although you pay more upfront, you pay cheaper per ounce and save more bucks in the long run.
Don’t we all love to cuddle our fur-kids? But no matter how much we love our pets, doggie smells affect the air quality we breathe at home. Hence, it is important to look for a flea shampoo that deodorizes your beloved pet.
However, artificial scents are a big no-no. Synthetic scents are way cheaper than botanical extracts and essential oils because they are derived from petrochemicals coming from crude oil. Unfortunately, such is a toxic substance that slowly poisons you and your dog.
Dangers of Some Flea Control Products
Dog flea shampoos are supposed to protect your beloved pet from flea-borne diseases. Unfortunately, not every pet care product you find in store shelves is safe. In fact, a majority of pet care products are not regulated by the government and may contain toxic ingredients.
Moreover, you should never use a dog flea shampoo on a cat, unless the manufacturer states otherwise. Some active ingredients that are safe for dogs can be deadly for cats even in small doses.
Avoid These Ingredients in Regular and Flea Dog Shampoos
To safeguard your pet’s health, you should steer clear of the following ingredients:
- Anise oil – A high amount of anise oil depresses a dog’s nervous system.
- Boric acid – While it is excellent for pest control, it is toxic to small pets.
- Benzene hexachloride – It is a common insecticide used for large animals and dogs, but it is highly toxic to cats.
- Benzethonium chloride – Ingesting this chemical causes vomiting, oral sores, and increased salivation.
- Chloranil – This non-eco-friendly chemical destroys aquatic life.
- DDD – This insecticide is toxic to mammals, including humans.
- Dimethyl phthalate – High doses or chronic exposure may cause death in animals.
- Menthols – It irritates the soft tissues of the mouth and eyes.
- Naphthalene – Commonly known as moth ball, it is a tried and true method for keeping your home flea-free, but it also kills dogs.
- Pine tar – It contains carcinogens.
- Sodium arsenite – Chronic exposure causes ulcer in the bone, dividing the inner nose.
- Sodium cresylate – Although it is considered less toxic than most chemicals, it is wise to avoid it still.
- Xylene – It is widely used as a cleaning agent and thinner for paint.
While these chemicals may eliminate fleas effectively, they are not suitable to be used on pet care products. Your dog will absorb the toxins through the skin, causing health problems in the future.
Tips for a Safe Use of Flea Shampoo for Dogs
Always be vigilant and check the list of ingredients. The popularity of a certain product should not serve as a barometer for quality and safety. If you are unsure about the ingredients, it pays to do some research. Most importantly, you want to make sure that the formula is appropriate for your pup’s age.
Do not skip the instructions provided by each product.
Only apply the recommended amount needed for your dog’s size.
Since there are dog-friendly ingredients that are toxic to felines, you should never use a dog flea shampoo on a cat, lest the manufacturer says otherwise.
Wear gloves if the manufacturer has advised you to. Lastly, follow the instructions for proper storage and disposal.
Consider Your Dog’s Health Condition
The majority of dog flea shampoos in the market are formulated for healthy adult pets. Hence, it is wise to consult with your veterinarian and have him assess your pooch before you decide on a flea product. Your dog might have an underlying condition or sensitivities that could affect his current condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does flea shampoo expire?
Dog flea shampoos expire, which is why you always need to read the label. Outdated flea shampoos not only lose their efficiency, but they can also become toxic. How often should I wash my dogs with flea shampoo?
For the prevention of fleas, you can wash your dog with a flea shampoo once a week. Unless he has an active flea infestation, you should not use a flea shampoo more than the recommended frequency.Do flea shampoos come with an expiry date?
The expiration date of dog flea shampoo can be found on the bottom of the bottle, on the label, or printed on the top. For online purchases, you may ask customer service.Can regular dog shampoo kill fleas?
Fleas are difficult to kill using regular dog shampoos due to their robust exoskeletons.
Fleas can cause a wide variety of problems for your pet; the most common ones being dermatitis, tapeworm, and anemia. Hence, you should always be on the lookout for fleas and have the best flea shampoo for dogs ready in Poochie’s grooming kit.
With a flea shampoo at hand, you can catch the problem early and attack the fleas head-on. The actives in flea shampoos stun and wash away fleas, killing them eventually. However, it might still leave your pet vulnerable to flea eggs and larvae, unless you opt for a formula with a growth inhibitor.