Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs – 2017 Comparison
Any dog owner who has had to fight a case of fleas will know how irritating the pests can be for both themselves and their dog. It may start with just your dog occasionally scratching every now and then but it can soon escalate into a full blown attack that will need serious care and attention if you want your dog to remain fit and healthy, as well as sociable.
You don’t want fleas taking over your sofa or jumping from your dog on to your own cushions, your friends will also not be too keen on your dog passing fleas on, which could stop them bringing their own dogs round or choosing a different route when taking their dogs for a walk to avoid passing your front lawn.
To Save You Time: Top 3 Best Flea Shampoo Comparison
These are just a few considerations to bear in mind when it comes to treating your dog for fleas but before diving straight into product reviews (you can jump down to our Top 10 best flea shampoos for dogs below if you like) we thought we would offer a quick bit of information to start with, beginning with why your dog gets fleas in the first place, whether they’re dangerous to you, your children and your dog as well as answering other questions you may have related to your pet and their not so welcome friends.
Why do Dogs Get Fleas?
Why dog’s get fleas may still be a mystery to some dog owners. You can clean your pet thoroughly, think you are applying the right products, and even take your dog to the vets for extra help only for fleas to return a week later jumping from your dog to your carpet and furniture for good measure.
The annoying thing is with fleas is that they could come from almost anywhere! When combating fleas sometimes you have to go further than just making sure your dog is clean, it may be that contact with other dog’s means fleas have an easy passage back to your dog or that somewhere fleas have infested your yard and even your home as well.
Not only could your yard be the culprit but other humans may also be unknown carriers, this may be the case if they have come in to contact with another animal with fleas earlier that day, allowed fleas on to their clothes which then jump on to your dog later on.
For dog owners fighting fleas may just be one of the bug bears (pun intended!). Although fleas don’t fly, instead they use their strong back legs to leap from unsuspecting carriers to your pet they are a pesky enemy but with the right help you can win the battle.
How to Tell if Your Dog Has Fleas
Before buying and applying a specialist flea and tick shampoo to your pet you first need to establish that your dog definitely has fleas. In some cases, and particularly bad infestations it will pretty easy to spot fleas jumping and actively moving through your dogs coat and off on to surrounding furniture. One of the big tell tale signs of a flea infestation will be your dog acting in a restless manner and either scratching or chewing at certain areas of their skin that are particular itchy or inflamed.
However it is not always this straight forward to spot any unwanted flea or tick intruders. Instead to tell if your dog has fleas you should inspect their skin and coat thoroughly looking out for a number of things. As already mentioned, in some cases the fleas themselves will be visible but they can also be hard to spot. They move extremely fast and can jump very fast so instead of trying to spot the fleas themselves you should also look out for:
- Signs of scratching, redness or blood
- Red and bumpy/pimple areas around your dog’s belly, groin or base of their tail
- Flea dirt
- Any bites or burrows that have been made on your dogs skin
- Flea eggs
These checks can be carried out purely visually but you can also use other tools if you wish as well. A fine-toothed flea comb can be extremely useful when using for fleas and any flea dirt left behind. By running the flea comb through your dog’s coat you will be able to drag out any unwanted visitors with it.
Are Fleas Dangerous?
Firstly, fleas on the whole are not dangerous to humans, if you worried about an infestation in your home it is something you should definitely combat with the right products but in terms of your health there is very little danger. Flea bites may lead to some skin irritation but not enough for a major emergency.
The danger with fleas lies very much with your pet. For your dog fleas may lead to severe skin irritation and other diseases in extreme cases. Fleas can be extra trouble if your dog already has a history of skin irritation as the continual scratching to remove the fleas will only make the issue worst and this can lead to long lasting problems for your pet.
How Do Flea and Tick Shampoos Work?
Flea shampoo’s for dogs work by killing adult fleas with a combination of mediated ingredients while at the same time thoroughly cleaning your pet. This duel approach of washing your pet while at the same time combating these unwanted intruders makes flea shampoos an excellent solution for ridding your pet of flea and ticks.
However word of warning, because of the effectiveness of this type of product fleas can often be left floating in your bath after washing your dog with flea shampoo. This is obviously a good sign but can sometimes take new dog owners by surprise if they aren’t quite prepared for it.
Second word of warning, it can be extremely difficult to stop fleas returning if you do not also treat your environment or use sorely flea shampoo to treat to your pet, it should be used in combination with a number of different approach some of which are discussed throughout this guide.
Are They Safe?
Because of the nature of medicated flea shampoo’s, as pet owners we have to be particularly careful about what ingredients we are actually treating our dogs with. Shampoo’s that include chemical ingredients are obviously going to be the most effective in treating your pet for fleas, however you also need to be aware of the long lasting effect that these product may be having on your dogs skin and coat.
One particular type of ingredient that has come in for criticism by a number of regulatory boards within the U.S. is the use of a synthetic pyrethroids. These should not be confused with pyrethrins and the difference will be looked at now.
Pyrethroids vs Pyrethrins
Now bear with us with trying to pronounce the names of either of these chemicals, giving up completely and heading back to square one. The majority of flea fighting products you will come in to contact with will contain either one of the two above. Flea shampoos differ from other types of dog shampoos purely because they have been manufactured to do one thing very well: kill fleas.
This means that some manufacturers in the process have decided to neglect the health of dogs being treated in the process which completely defeats the object and is something we want to help you avoid.
The key difference is that pyrethrins are natural extracts that from certain types of plants while pytrethroiads have been design to be more effectively and ultimately longer lasting but have actually come from a laboratory and aren’t found in nature. Pyrethroids are often found in pest control products and effect the nervous system of certain types of insects, as a result making the a great flea repellent.
Because of this, when choosing the best flea shampoo for your dog it is important that you pick a product that is safe and ultimately won’t harm them. To do this we really recommend carrying out additional research on the topic and to choose a shampoo that has been proven safe through testing. We also advise you refer to the ingredients being used on the packaging of the flea shampoo you choose and consult your vet if you are still unsure.
Treating Your Environment as well as Your Dog
One of the biggest annoyances we hear from pet owners suffering with fleas is that whatever they seem to do, whether it is using the best flea shampoo or applying the latest flea collars,they pesky intruders such keep coming back time and time again. Although this really is annoying, luckily there is something you can be doing which up until this point you may have been overlooking and that is to treat your home or surroundings as well as your dog.
To put it simply, it isn’t enough to buy one of the flea and tick shampoos reviewed below, treat your dog and in think you’re done. The most common specifics of fleas in dogs bite quickly, and then lay eggs which scatter into the environment around your pet. This environment can include your carpet, sofa or any bedding – both yours and your dogs.
Once nested these eggs then hatch and the cycle of infestation begins. This means even if you manage to kill every flea lurking on your dog, they will be covered again the second they return to their bed. Not a pretty sight to imagine at all, particularly as one female flea can lay up to 50 eggs!
This means to effectively treat your dog for fleas you also need to treat their environment as well. You can do this with the use of flea preventative products alongside an effective flea and tick shampoo. Thoroughly wash all bedding and furniture if you can, cleaning your home in an intense manner to ensure you successfully eradicate any sign of fleas (and their eggs) from your home.
Top 10 Best Flea & Tick Shampoos for Dogs
When choosing the best flea shampoo for your pet it is important that you take a number of factors in to consideration. In the individual reviews below we have done our best to considered some of these including how they performed, both in the short and long term when we trialed them, as well as looking at their value for money and other aspects such as smell and how they lathered.
As well as these, as already mentioned in this guide you should pay special attention to the ingredients used within some of the produces. We have tried to review a mix of products that are both organic, containing all natural ingredients while many still remain medicated shampoos as we did find these to be the most effective in combating fleas.
If you do decide to go for one of these medicated shampoos we do advise you consult your veterinarian firstly, just to double check any chemicals being used and the effect they may have on your dogs skin and coat. All animals react differently to certain types of products so this still remains a key consideration.
The fact you have made it this far obviously means you are serious about the job at hand and that is killing the fleas that have intruded in to your dogs skin. All of the shampoos reviewed in this list will allow you to do just that, however all with differing effectiveness. Some of the shampoos reviewed also offer additional benefits such as moisturizing your dog’s skin and coat at the same time as well as fighting odor to leave your dog’s coat smelling fresher than ever.
Here are the top 10 best flea and tick shampoos we reviewed for dogs:
Topping our list of the best flea shampoo’s for dogs is Adam’s plus flea and tick product. This choice was by far one of the hardest we have had to make while reviewing products for Cleaner Paws but after many trials we are happy we have come to the right decision.
We found this shampoo to be most effective we reviewed for killing fleas and ticks as well as removing lice and eggs. Not only that but the price of less than $9 was a real factor in our decision, meaning you don’t have to break the bank for a real top quality product. As well as being super effective the shampoo contains soothing aloe and coconut extra as well as oatmeal making it perfect for your dog’s skin ensuring you don’t have to worry about causing your pet any more harm than they may already be going through in their combat with itchy skin and fleas.
If that isn’t enough than just take a second to check out the product page on Amazon and we are sure you will be impressed by a quick glance through some of the reviews left by other dog owners. With over 250 comments and feedback left and still a positive 4 and a half star rating pretty much says it all. Perfect for dogs all sizes and breed if you and your pet have suffered with fleas for too long than this could well be the dog shampoo to try.
Pet Pleasant’s anti flea and tick shampoo is perfect for dogs with sensitive skin, containing no harsh chemicals that may irritate or inflame already problem areas. The natural product means your dog’s skin does most of the work, the shampoo helps eliminate any little nasties without leaving any negative effects.
The natural repellents get to immediately once you apply the shampoo. Making it uncomfortable for fleas and ticks to remain on your pet they soon look for elsewhere to take up residence meaning your fight to remove them has begun. The natural ingredients of this product also deodorize your dog leaving them smelling completely fresh.
A quick glance through any online reviews should tell you everything you need to know with almost 100% customer satisfaction guaranteed and hundreds of happy pet owners who finally have an answer for fleas.
Sentry’s Flea and Tick shampoo comes in a bottle you wouldn’t immediately associate with a dog grooming product, instead it looks more like something you would see on your kitchen table but after reviewing the product ourselves we can confirm the contents are shampoo, and they are extremely effective at helping to deter fleas from taking up residence on your lovely pet.
Priced very reasonably Sentry’s flea and tick shampoo is extremely cost effective and one of the reasons it is so effective is the natural oatmeal ingredient that helps fight flea re-infestation. We trialed the shampoo on two separate breeds of the dog, both large and small and saw the same positive outcome for both, particularly pleasing for such a budget friendly product.
Wahl’s 100% natural dog shampoo is another highly rated product for combating a dog’s fleas. This product is scented with rosemary, mint and cedar oil meaning that not only is it an extremely effective product for fighting fleas but it also leaves your dog smelling great as well, an added bonus for any pet owner.
We also found the natural ingredients to leave the dog’s coats we trialed the product on to be particularly fresh after being washed. The fact this product fights fleas so effectively whilst being 100% natural really is a huge bonus and the shampoo has a 4.5 star rating from over 200 reviews on Amazon showing the large number of pet owners who agree.
Bio Spot is another great anti flea shampoo which we found to be one of the longer lasting products among those we tested in this list. The majority of flea shampoo’s will advise you to use the product once a week to fight any re-infestation, and although that is still a sensible way to ensure you are winning the battle over fleas we noticed that only using this product once a month still had the desired effect.
Not only does this mean you are buying a highly effective flea and tick shampoo but it also means the product will last meaning you will get more than your money’s worth. Without having to worry about using a whole bottle to fight fleas this shampoo will having the fleas worrying and not your pocket!
6. Hartz UltraGuard Rid Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs
Almost all dog owners are aware of the brand Hartz. A leader for many years in the pet grooming market this flea and tick shampoo is well worth a try if you feel like you have exhausted other options in your bid to keep your dog free of fleas.
This shampoo is designed with full grown dogs in mind and helps keep your dog free of fleas and ticks that may carry dangerous diseases. Not only that but we found the scent to leave the dogs we tried the shampoo with to extremely pleasing on the nose, but not too overpowering to unsettle the dogs themselves.
7. Sentry Pro Flea and Tick Dog Shampoo
The second shampoo product on this round up from Sentry, the Pro flea and tick dog shampoo is slightly more expensive at $8 compared to just over $6 but the priced shouldn’t put anyone off and we found this shampoo to be just as effective.
The ginger product scent makes a nice change from the usual ‘lavender’ smelling dog shampoos. We found the product to be effective for killing fleas and ticks almost immediately, keeping them away for over 2 weeks and the product also advertises that it kills eggs for 30 days, giving you a helping hand in fighting off any re-infestation.
8. Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo
Another shampoo we trialed that had a fantastic scent was the Vet-Kem Ovitrol plus. Similar to the smell of a baby shampoo it left our dogs smelling like they really were thoroughly clean and free of any unwanted fleas or ticks, a real added bonus for dog owners.
Like the Sentry plus this shampoo kills off eggs and prevents them for hatching for 28 days meaning if you settle your dog in to a frequent grooming routine during this time you should give yourself the upper hand when fighting off fleas.
One last note is that the shampoo has a real texture to it, one of the reasons it leaves your dog feeling so fresh and this also means a little product goes a long way so although the shampoo is priced at the slightly costly $16 it shouldn’t deter pet owners looking for a real quality shampoo.
9. Fresh ‘n Clean Flea and Tick Small Pet Conditioning Shampoo
The fact this Fresh ‘n Clean pet shampoo comes in at number 9 on our roundup shows how many great products you have to choose from when it comes to fighting fleas. A respected brand by pet groomers for some time, Fresh ‘n Clean’s conditioning shampoo allows you to give your dog a thorough clean and is formulated without any harsh chemicals.
Natural pyrethrins are used instead and we found the shampoo effective for killing off fleas for longer than 2 weeks meaning the product is rated very highly by fellow dog owners on Amazon who are faced with the same problem you are, and having to deal with fleas and ticks.
88% 5 star ratings says a lot and a number of dog owners even mention having tried other shampoos unsuccessfully that this product was the one that finally worked so may be worth a go if you have also trialed other flea shampoos yourself.
10. Natural Chemistry De Flea Concentrate Flea and Tick Shampoo
Now a slightly different type of flea shampoo to wrap this list up with but bear with us. The natural chemistry flea and tick shampoo comes in a whopping 1 gallon sized and costs $30 but at that amount of product you are getting a lot of high quality product that you can almost be sure is going to successfully help you combat any flea or tick issues in your home.
No harsh chemicals are used in the manufacturing process and you can also use this product alongside other flea fighting products to ensure you are giving your pet the best chance of living a healthy, happy and tick free life.
Not only does this shampoo kill off fleas and eggs but it also relieves skin irritations and although the upfront fee might seem a lot the amount of product you get in return makes it definitely worth it and you can be sure after using the whole bottle your pet will be a lot cleaner than they are now, without any ticks or fleas to worry about!
So there you have our best flea and tick shampoo for dogs roundup and we really hope that from the list of ten best products you can pick out one that will work perfectly for your pet!