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Is Dawn Good For Fleas?

Hand holding bottle of Dawn dish washing liquid in front of a store shelf display

If your dog has a flea infestation, you may wonder if Dawn is good for fleas.

The short answer is yes… and no.

Dawn dish detergent can be used to wash your dog. And washing with Dawn will drown fleas, but it won’t prevent an infestation or repel fleas long term. It will only get rid of and drown adult live fleas that are already on your dog.

It’s not advisable to use Dawn on a regular basis on your dog because it can be very drying to your dog’s skin.

Have a small puppy with fleas and unsure of what to use? Check out our post “Best Flea Shampoo for Puppies Under 12 Weeks”

How Long Does It Take Dawn Soap to Kill Fleas?

Dead flea laying on its back on a white background

According to Pet MD, the way that Dawn works to kill fleas is that it breaks down the exoskeleton of the flea and causes the flea to sink in the bath water – drowning the flea.

This happens quickly, within the time it takes to give your dog a bath and the fleas will go down your drain with the bathwater.

Giving your dog a bath with Dawn isn’t likely to hurt them and will remove adult fleas that are currently in their coat.

But it doesn’t do anything about the eggs or other fleas that are in the environment.

Ever wonder how waterless flea shampoo works? Check out our post “How Does a Waterless Flea Shampoo for Dogs Work?” to learn more.

Does a Dawn bath kill flea eggs?

Wet Chihuahua in a tub, looking at the camera with its head tilted

No, a Dawn bath doesn’t kill flea eggs.

And according to Risius Family Vet, this can be a big problem. The rate at which fleas can reproduce is quite high. After a flea bites your dog it can lay up to 50 eggs every 24 hours!

That’s a lot of flea eggs!

That means that if your dog has fleas you need to also get rid of the eggs if you want to prevent and infestation.

You can kill flea eggs using medicated flea shampoos or a flea comb. Flea eggs are sticky and can survive a regular bath with Dawn soap.

Medicated flea shampoos kill flea eggs with the use of insecticides. Flea combs get rid of flea eggs manually by using a fine tooth comb to remove the flea eggs from the dog’s hair.

Flea combs can be remarkably effective at getting rid of fleas, flea debris, and flea eggs.

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

Is Dawn Better Than a Flea Shampoo?

Dog in tub while person kneeling next to the tub applies flea shampoo

If you are looking to get rid of fleas and prevent another infestation you will need to use something stronger than or in addition to Dawn to control the fleas.

You can try a medicated flea shampoo, a prescription treatment from your vet, or a flea collar. They are all effective methods.

Dawn won’t do anything to keep your dog from getting fleas again. It also won’t do anything to prevent flea eggs that are on your dog from hatching.

Dawn can also be very drying to the coat and skin of many dogs, and because it can dry out their skin it can occasionally lead to skin infections in pets. So it’s not something that you should on a regular basis.

However, if you want to stay away from insecticides, then Dawn can be an OK option in a pinch – as long as you combine the Dawn bath with a flea comb.

To stay away from insecticides, it’s a better idea to get a non medicated shampoo that’s specifically meant for dogs. It will be far less drying on their skin and you can still use it with a flea comb for good results.

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