The best flea shampoo for dogs

From bestreviews.com
By
Micayla Mead
BestReviews

Try to use your flea shampoo within a year of purchase; after that, its active ingredients start to degrade and it may not be as effective.

If your furry friend has come down with a case of the itchies due to a flea infestation, an effective flea shampoo is one of the best ways to quickly and safely rid your pooch of those little biting bugs. 

There’s plenty to consider when choosing a flea shampoo, such as ingredients, scent and how frequently you need to use it. Some formulas also work well on lice and ticks. If you’re looking for a top flea shampoo for your dog, the Bayer Advantage Treatment Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies is popular among customers for its ultra-powered formula that quickly washes away fleas and eggs.

What to know before you buy a flea shampoo for dogs

How to spot fleas

The tell-tale sign of fleas is the sight of what look to be little black dots leaping off of your dog, but more subtle signs can let you know your pooch might have a flea problem. If she scratches herself constantly or bites at the same spots on her skin, it might be more than nerves; constant scratching and biting often indicates some sort of bug in her fur.

Pyrethrin vs. permethrin

Both pyrethrin and permethrin are insecticidal chemical compounds often found in flea and tick shampoo for pets. Both are effective flea-killers for pets but they aren’t identical. Permethrin is a synthetically manufactured chemical that tends to be somewhat harsher and more effective, but potentially more toxic for the environment since it takes much longer to break down. Pyrethrins, on the other hand, are produced from the chrysanthemum family of flowers and are an organic compound that biodegrades more easily, making it a better choice ecologically speaking. 

How often to apply flea shampoo

When you’ve found fleas on your pup, it can be tempting to go all-out and wash your dog non-stop. But flea shampoo’s active ingredients can be harsh on a dog’s skin and over-washing will do more harm than good. After the initial wash, be sure to space out washes to about once per week until all the fleas are gone. 

Flea shampoo for dogs features 

Active ingredients

Most flea shampoos are priced based on which active ingredients have been used, such as pyrethrin and permethrin. If your dog has ever had an allergic reaction to a particular ingredient or has sensitive skin, be sure to keep an eye out for which active ingredients are present. 

Scent

Flea shampoos come in either non-scented options or in gentle scents such as oatmeal. If your dog is sensitive to smells, a non-scented shampoo would probably be best. Meanwhile, a scented flea shampoo can help rid them of fleas while also making sure they’re smelling their best.

Additional anti-tick or anti-lice coverage

Many flea shampoos have formulas that make them effective at simultaneously killing all manner of small creepy-crawly insects, including ticks and lice. If you’re looking to wipe out any chance of these other bugs accompanying the fleas you’ve seen on your dog, opt for a shampoo that will eradicate all sorts of bugs.

Flea shampoo for dogs cost

Small containers of flea shampoo tend to cost around $10-$15, whereas larger containers of up to 20 ounces may run for $20-$30. The price may also depend on the particular formula used; typically, a stronger formula will cost more.

Flea shampoo for dogs FAQ

How do dogs get fleas?

A. Whether your dog lives inside or outside, the most likely source is interaction with another dog. Fleas jump from host to host and playtime with other dogs is the most common way that fleas can spread. Nevertheless, it’s possible for fleas to crawl or jump from surface to surface and certain fabrics like blankets, soft toys or clothing can also harbor fleas.

What can I do to supplement washing my dog with flea shampoo?

A. A flea infestation can truly take over a home. Aside from eradicating fleas with quality shampoo, there are some steps you can take to ensure your household stays flea-free. First of all, be sure to either throw out or deep-wash all of your dog’s beds, blankets or doggie clothes. If you wash them, be sure to use warm water and plenty of soap. If your dog sleeps in your bed, a few washes of your sheets and pillowcases would be a good idea to keep fleas out of your sleeping space. Also, be sure to buy a flea comb and use it in tandem with flea shampoo to ensure you’re finding all of the hard-to-find eggs. 

Which flea shampoo for dogs should I get?

Best of the best flea shampoo for dogs

Bayer Advantage Treatment Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies: available at Amazon, Chewy and PetSmart 

Our take: A professional-level flea treatment that’s sure to stop your pup’s itching.

What we like: Unscented. Pyrethrin-based, which can be easier on dogs and on the ecosystem. Can be used on puppies as young as 12 weeks old.

What we dislike: Expensive. Overuse can cause toxicity.

Best bang for your buck flea shampoo for dogs

SENTRY Flea & Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal: available at Amazon and Chewy  

Our take: Effective and affordable flea prevention with tick protection as well.

What we like: Nice ginger and oatmeal scent. Good for sensitive skin types. Contains permethrin which is highly useful for flea and tick prevention.

What we dislike: May cause stomach upset in some sensitive dogs.

Honorable mention flea shampoo for dogs

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor: available at Amazon, Chewy and PetSmart

Our take: A powerful multi-purpose pet shampoo that kills fleas, eggs, lice and ticks all at once.

What we like: Includes conditioning for your dog’s coat. Pyrethrin-based. Can be used starting at 12 weeks of age.

What we dislike: May irritate skin for certain dogs. Toxic with overuse.
 

Micayla Mead is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.