Top 5 Best Flea Shampoos for Dogs (2022 Review)

If you’re looking for the best dog flea shampoo, you’ve come to the right place!

In this Digdoggy.com Guide, you learn: 

  • The top 5 dog flea shampoos 
  • What deodorizing dog shampoos are and whether you should consider them as an option 
  • Ingredients you should avoid in dog flea shampoos

And much more! 

image of dog getting washed with flea shampoo and looking happy and relaxed

Below is a quick list of all our top picks. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose and use these dog flea shampoos!

ImageProduct
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Veterinary Formula Flea & Tick Shampoo
  • 16 Fluid Ounces
  • pH Balanced
  • No damaging detergents
  • 16 Fluid Ounces
  • pH Balanced
  • No damaging detergents
View on Amazon
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Hartz UltraGuard Pro Triple Active Flea & Tick Shampoo
  • 18 Fluid Ounces
  • Kills fleas, flea eggs & ticks
  • Prevents Re-infestation (4-weeks)
  • 18 Fluid Ounces
  • Kills fleas, flea eggs & ticks
  • Prevents Re-infestation (4-weeks)
View on Amazon
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Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo
  • Kills through contact
  • Preventative treatment
  • Citrus-scented
  • Kills through contact
  • Preventative treatment
  • Citrus-scented
View on Amazon
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TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo
  • 20 Fluid Ounces
  • No pyrethrins or permethrin
  • Flea & Tick Repellent
  • 20 Fluid Ounces
  • No pyrethrins or permethrin
  • Flea & Tick Repellent
View on Amazon
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Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo
  • 24 Fluid Ounces
  • 28 Day prevention
  • Coconut scent
  • 24 Fluid Ounces
  • 28 Day prevention
  • Coconut scent
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On April 16, 2021

Our top pick has to be the Veterinary Formula flea & tick shampoo. 

This product contains 15% pyrethrins which come from flowers and kills fleas on contact. You get up to 14 weeks of protection that can be used on multiple pets. 

The veterinary formula works by gently soothing then exfoliating your dog’s skin and coat leaving them silky fresh. 

It’s no surprise this product is a favorite for most pet parents. 

What's In This Guide?

      Top 5 Flea & Tick Shampoos For Dogs

      Short on time? I rounded up eight recommendations, so you can quickly choose among them. Keep scrolling to read our in-depth reviews of each. 

      1. Veterinary Formula Flea & Tick Shampoo (Best Overall) 
      2. Hartz UltraGuard Pro Triple Active Flea Shampoo
      3. Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo (Best scent & Cost Efficient) 
      4. TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo
      5. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

      What Are The Different Types of Flea shampoos For Dogs?

      Spot On treatments 

      Spot-on treatments are applied directly to your dog’s skin using a pipette. They use active ingredients to kill fleas on contact which means fleas do not need to bite for the product to work. 

      What are Active ingredients in dog flea shampoos? 

      An active ingredient is an ingredient within dog shampoo that is biologically ‘active’. In short, this is how particular shampoos are able to fight off fleas on contact as opposed to the flea having to bite. 

      Preventative treatments 

      Formulas containing insect growth regulators such as S-methoprene and phenothrin are used in preventing flea and ticks. These active ingredients inhibit the normal development of eggs and larvae.

      Although these shampoos promise extended protection, you cannot expect their repelling action to be as enduring as other flea preventatives.

      dog flea shampoo

      What Should You Look out for in a high-quality Flea Shampoo?

      With so many products flooding the pet aisle, how can you determine which one will be most effective on your dog? 

      Efficacy

      The goal of effective dog flea shampoo is 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, and is totally dependent on its ingredients.

      Pet owners have two options: synthetic actives or natural ingredients. Insecticide-based shampoos are a better choice for dogs that aren’t hypersensitive. 

      Examples of these types of dog shampoos include: 

      Not only do these shampoos kill fleas and ticks, but they also target larva and eggs.

      What It Eradicates ( purpose the product serves)

      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.

      EPA or FDA Approved 

      What is EPA Approved? And why should you care? 

      The EPA, also known as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency people and pets from significant health risks by conducting research to develop and enforce environmental regulations. 

      So what does FDA Approved mean? And why is it important for dog flea shampoos? 

      The FDA, also known as the Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of veterinary drugs.

      The FDA regulates veterinary products such as pet food supplies, livestock feeds, veterinary drugs and devices, and dog shampoos. 

      So a product with an FDA stamp will have likely been regulated and approved as being safe to use with pets. 

      Deodorizing 

      Deodorizing shampoos are specifically formulated to combat the stubborn odors of extra smelly and dirty dogs. 

      A deodorizing dog shampoo contains baking soda to neutralize odors and Alovera to soothe their skin after. 

      Are deodorizing dog shampoos scented? And can scents be artificial? 

      Deodorizing dog shampoos do not have to be and are not always scented and 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.

      What Ingredients Should You Avoid In Dog Flea 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 mothball, 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 ulcers 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.

      Read Also: >> What oatmeal shampoos work best on dogs?

      The 5 Best Flea Shampoos For Dogs Reviewed

      Pick #1: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo

      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.

      Each bath will provide your furry pal long-lasting protection from mosquito bites. Which 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. 

      Pros

      Cons

      Pick #2: Hartz UltraGuard Pro Triple Active Flea & Tick Shampoo

      If you are looking for unmatched protection against a broad spectrum of parasites, then Hartz UltraGurard Pro will protect a dog from fleas, ticks, lice, mosquitoes, and mites.

      And unlike many other products, this shampoo also prevents flea eggs from hatching. 

      The only problem is the controversies surrounding its use of phenothrin, a synthetic antiparasitic ingredient.

      When researching I discovered that phenothrin can be toxic to felines and aquatic pets which is something to seriously consider before buying. 

      On the bright side, it is safe for dogs when applied topically at the right amount.

      Pros

      Cons

      Pick #3: Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

      Keeping out fleas does not have to be expensive and the Hartz UltrGuard is priced well enough to buy in bulk. 

      This shampoo makes the perfect alternative to premium flea shampoos such as Veterinary Formula and Adam’s products. 

      Similar to the UltraGuard Pro Triple Active formula (product no#2 on the list), this shampoo also uses phenothrin as its active ingredient to combat adult fleas and ticks.

      However, this formula is much milder and lacks the longevity of long-lasting protection like Pro Triple Active. 

      Nevertheless, using this product at least once per week will keep fleas at bay.

      If your dog suffers seizures from permethrin or doesn’t respond well to harsh chemicals then Hartz Ultra Guard may well be a fresh-smelling citrus solution to the problem. 

      Pros

      Cons

      Pick #4: TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo

      If you’re looking for a chemical-free alternative then TropiClean’s Natural Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo is a perfect choice. 

      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.

      Pros

      Cons

      Pick #5: dams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

      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.

      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.

      Pros

      Cons

      Our Top Pick: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care

      Our top choice has to be Veterinary Formula Flea & Tick Shampoo.

      This shampoo works by wetting the entire coat, then applying enough shampoo to create a lather that you leave in for around 10 mins. 

      You can be sure this natural blend of ingredients is safe and effective as it has no parabens and works on contact. 

      The veterinary formula provides excellent value for the money and is currently listed for the best price here.

      Conclusion

      Fleas can cause a wide variety of problems for your pet; the most common cases 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.

      Leon Angus

      Leon Angus

      Leon Angus is a London, UK-based blogger with a plan to improve the pet industry one post at a time. He is the senior editor at Dig Doggy and oversees every piece of content before publish to ensure the highest quality and most thorough research has been carried out.

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      Leon Angus

      Leon Angus

      Leon Angus is a London, UK-based blogger with a plan to improve the pet industry one post at a time. He is the senior editor at Dig Doggy and oversees every piece of content before publish to ensure the highest quality and most thorough research has been carried out.

      About Dig Doggy

      DigDoggy® is a free resource for dog owners, with everything from expert product reviews to trusted pet care advice.

      All of our reviews and recommendations are based on unbiased research by our editorial team. Read more about us.

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