I’m a dog person. It might be more accurate to say that I’m a passionate dog parent.
Which is one of the reasons I’m always looking for the best of EVERYTHING for my dogs. Because I wanted the best possible solution for my dogs, I started looking for the best flea shampoo for my dogs.
What I found was surprising!
There are a HUGE variety of flea shampoos on the market today – from all natural types to waterless versions to traditional flea and tick shampoos.
So doing what I do… I looked at everything on the market and I put together the best flea shampoos in every category.
Then since I LOVE sharing what I find, I decided to put together all that research for you here as well as a Question and Answer section at the end of this article answering tons of questions I get about flea and tick shampoos.
Let’s get started!
Best Overall Flea Shampoo for Dogs
There are a lot of good flea and tick shampoos on the market, but some are better than others. My top pick for highly rated flea shampoos is the Veterinary Formula flea & tick shampoo (paid link) that’s available on Amazon.
There are several reasons that I really like this particular flea shampoo:
- It kills fleas effectively and quickly
- It helps to keep fleas from coming back
- It’s priced well
- It is soap and paraben free
- It’s safe for dogs AND cats 12 weeks and older
- It’s gentle on the skin
This shampoo works extremely well in eliminating fleas quickly. You’ll see the dead fleas wash off right away, and it also works to kill the eggs so that they won’t be reinfested quickly.
Instructions for infestations: If you’re treating an infestation of fleas, be sure to use flea comb WHILE your bathing your dog. You’ll get better overall results and a more thorough elimination of fleas. Comb from the root to the tip of their hair with the flea comb after the final rinse.
Best Flea Shampoo for Puppies Over 12 Weeks
Puppies notoriously have sensitive skin. I’ve found that the best flea and tick shampoo for puppies over 12 weeks old is the Sentry Oatmeal Shampoo.
This shampoo is gentle and easy on puppies skin while still being effective at killing fleas.
- Gentle on skin
- Smells great
- Kills fleas for up to 10 days
- Gives relief from the welts that ticks can cause
- Large pump bottle
Best Flea Shampoo for Puppies Under 12 Weeks
You can’t used insecticide based flea shampoos on puppies under 12 weeks old, and even some natural shampoos are too harsh.
But sometimes very small puppies still get fleas.
When that happens you can use the Veterinary Formula Solutions Puppy Love Shampoo
- No harsh chemicals
- Purely botanical formula
- Subtle scent
- Get rid of fleas!
An important note about this puppy flea shampoo is that because it has no insecticides and is gentle you will need to treat every 7 days or so for it to be effective.
You can also boost it’s effectiveness by using a flea comb while bathing.
Best Oatmeal Flea and Tick Shampoo
If your dog has super sensitive skin, then an oatmeal flea and tick shampoo may be a good choice. Oatmeal has natural skin soothing properties for both dogs and people.
The best one that I’ve found is the Paws and Pals Flea and Tick shampoo.
- Natural ingredietns
- Effective shampoo that moisturizes sensitive skin
- Easy to use
- Kills fleas instantly
- Made in the USA
- Relieves itchiness
When using this shampoo, take your time. Get a good lather and rub it in really well. If you rush it won’t work well.
Best Natural Flea Shampoo for Dogs
If you really want to go for all natural and super gentle then the Earthbath Shampoo (available on Amazon) is the way to go. #ad
It’s one of the few shampoos you can use with topical flea applications like frontline and it works for every dog.
It’s not labeled as a flea shampoo, but it does contain eucalyptus and peppermint – both of which are effective flea repellents.
Since this shampoo won’t kill flea eggs, you’ll want to use a flea comb if you’re battling and infestation in order to remove the eggs.
But if you have a dog that is sensitive to EVERYTHING and you want an all natural product, this is your best bet.
Best Homemade Flea Shampoo for Dogs
There are a lot of recipes for homemade flea shampoo on the internet.
But I’m partial to the DIY Flea Shampoo recipe that we have published here.
It’s super gentle on dogs skin and it’s easy to make. Just 4 ingredients!
Questions and Answers about Flea Shampoo for Dogs
When I’m recommending things like the best flea shampoo for dogs, I always get questions as well. So I like to take a section and address some of those questions.
Is Dawn Good for Fleas?
In a pinch you can use Dawn to wash away fleas, but it’s not good to use long term. I’ve put together a whole resource on why Dawn isn’t the best solution for fleas here: “Is Dawn Good for Fleas?”
How Does Waterless Flea Shampoo for Dogs Work?
If your dog doesn’t like water and has a flea infestation, then a waterless flea shampoo may be the answer.
I’ve gone into details of how they work, how to use them, and what to do with them at this post: “How Does a Waterless Flea Shampoo for Dogs Work?”
Can you use flea and tick shampoo for head lice?
Surprisingly the answer to this is yes. Flea and tick shampoo can kill both human head lice and dog head lice.
But you have to use a flea or tick shampoo that contains insecticides. All natural shampoos that repel and kill ticks don’t work that well against lice.
Another thing to note is that a flea shampoo (or a lice shampoo) won’t kill the lice eggs. You’ll need a lice comb to get them out of the hair.
Can you use human lice shampoo to kill fleas on dogs?
Unlike using flea shampoo for lice you shouldn’t use human lice shampoo on dogs.
It’s not a good idea at all because it can irritate a dog’s skin severely.
Is there flea shampoo for dogs that kills eggs?
Yes. But to kill the flea eggs you need a flea shampoo with insecticide. Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo works well for this.
If you are using an all natural flea shampoo (like the ones above) then your best bet is to use a flea comb to remove the eggs as you wash. Natural flea shampoos will not kill flea eggs.
What Kind of Flea Shampoo Should I Use for Carpets?
This is a slightly different topic, but if you have fleas on your dog, they’re probably also in your carpets.
There are several sprays for carpets that have insecticides and natural repellents and get rid of fleas.
But your best bet may be to get your carpet steam cleaned. High temperatures (over about 95 degrees) will kill fleas, and carpet steaming is much hotter than that.
Summary: The Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs
In most cases, the best flea shampoo for dogs is going to be one that kills the fleas and eggs and gives you long term control.
For puppies – you need to be extra careful – especially if they’re under 12 weeks old. You never want to use a shampoo with insecticides on a very young puppy.
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