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Best Flea Shampoo for Puppies Under 12 Weeks

2 small white puppies standing nose to nose

If you have a tiny, new puppy and she has fleas, it can be hard to know what to do. Medicated flea shampoo that contains insecticides is not recommended for puppies that are under 12 weeks old.

That means that the best flea shampoo for puppies under 12 weeks needs to be an unmedicated shampoo.

The good news is that although “regular” dog shampoos like this aren’t going to kill flea eggs, they will remove adult fleas from your puppy. You can wash the fleas away with a regular, gentle shampoo.

The only catch is you have to find a good one that is rated for puppies that are less than 12 weeks old.

For a gentle puppy shampoo I like the Veterinary Formula Solutions Puppy Love Extra Gentle Tearless Shampoo. #ad

This shampoo is rated for use on puppies over 6 weeks old. It’s not medicated, but it will drown adult fleas, and I’ll give you a second step to remove the flea eggs and any stubborn flea debris.

Veterinary Formula Solutions Puppy Love Extra Gentle Tearless Shampoo, 17 oz – Safe for Puppies Over 6 Weeks –Puppy Shampoo with Fresh Scent, Long-Lasting Clean – Cleanses Without Drying Delicate Skin

This formula is:

  • Extra gentle and contains no sulfates.
  • A tear free formula that won’t burn your puppies eyes.
  • Makes your puppy smell good for a long time with a long lasting and pleasant scent.
  • Specifically formulated for young puppies over 6 weeks old.

To use it you just need to wet your dog’s hair, lather it in and rinse. Don’t forget to get around the base of the tail and their belly where fleas like to hang out.

Make sure your rinse thoroughly. You want to drown any adult fleas that are on your puppy so that they don’t jump to you, your furniture, or your rugs.

What to Do After You Shampoo Your Puppy

Small brown puppy being bathed in a bathroom sink

If you have a flea infestation, this shampoo will help remove the adult fleas, but won’t remove or kill the eggs, which means that you could have another outbreak soon if you don’t take a second step.

The least toxic way to get rid of flea eggs, fleas, and flea dirt on your puppy is to use a flea comb after you shampoo your dog and their hair is dry.

I like the flea comb by Hartz, (paid link) because it has a nice ergonomic handle and it’s easy to use.

Hartz Groomer's Best Flea Comb for Dogs and Cats, Fine-Toothed Flea Comb to Remove Fleas & Flea Eggs, Gentle Pet Comb for Detangling or Dematting Face & Paws

Most dogs tolerate this comb well. It does take some patience to use, but flea combs are highly effective at removing fleas without the kinds of insecticides that are bad for young puppies.

The flea comb will remove the flea eggs that the shampoo didn’t get and allow you to get a more complete flea treatment on a puppy that is under 12 weeks old than shampoo can by itself.

Flea combs are easy to use. You simply run them through your dogs fur. Make sure you get down to the root. The fine teeth will gently remove fleas, their eggs and other debris from your dog’s coat.

You can also use a flea comb to tease out small mats in your dogs fur around their face and paws.

One great tip for combing your dog with this type of comb is to comb them in the bathroom with the toilet lid open. Then as you catch fleas, flea eggs, and flea debris you can put them right in the toilet to flush down the drain.

Pull the hair off the comb after every pass and flush it to make sure that the fleas don’t jump away.

You can also put the fleas in a bowl with alcohol to kill them instead of using the toilet.

It’s important to kill the fleas and drown the flea eggs when you remove them from your dog. That way they don’t have the chance to reinfest your dog or your house.

What is the best flea shampoo for your dog? Click here to find out.

Can You Bathe a Six or Eight Week Old Puppy With Flea Shampoo?

person holding 5 puppies in his arms

Flea shampoos are medicated with insecticides and they aren’t safe for very young puppies. It’s not a good idea to give a six or eight week old puppy a flea bath.

You shouldn’t use medicated shampoo on a puppy under 12 weeks old, but you can bathe a six week old puppy with the Veterinary Formula Puppy Love shampoo (paid link) mentioned above. This shampoo is rated for puppies 6 weeks and up.

For puppies under 6 weeks, please consult with your veterinarian.

Just be sure to follow up with a flea comb when you are done bathing them so that you get the flea eggs out of their coat.

Is Dawn Good for Fleas? Is it safe to wash your dog in? Click here to learn more.

The Bottom Line of Flea Baths for Puppies Under 12 Weeks of Age

Golden retriever puppies in a kiddie pool outdoors

You shouldn’t use a traditional flea bath on a puppy that is six, eight, or 10 weeks old. They are simply too young to handle the insecticides in these products.

Instead you can give them a bath in a gentle puppy shampoo to drown any live fleas and then follow up with a flea comb to remove any flea eggs.

This two step approach is effective at removing fleas and their eggs without exposing your young puppy to insecticides.

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