The Best Flea Shampoo

dog taking bath with flea shampoo

Understanding Flea Shampoo for Dogs

Fleas are an issue for pet owners. These tiny critters cause discomfort and itching when they latch on and bite your dog in order to drink their blood, very similar to mosquitos. While the discomfort is the most common symptom, these bugs can congregate in large numbers causing severe blood loss, anemia and sometimes even infect dogs with tapeworms. In order to keep these bugs at bay, dog owners can use a flea shampoo to regularly bathe their pets which will help keep the fleas away.  We have done our homework and found the best flea shampoo for dogs.  You should also take a look at the best flea collars as well.  Keep those fleas away!

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Basics Of Flea Shampoos 

Flea shampoos work on animals because the shampoo contains chemicals that kill fleas when the shampoo is scrubbed into the fur the fleas die and are washed away. Some different shampoos even contain repellants that help prevent fleas from invading the animal in the near future. One of the most important things pet owners can do is research the different products and brands to discover what is safe for their pets and will work the most effectively.

How To Choose The Best Flea Shampoo For Dogs 

For most dog owners, the main question is how to choose the right flea shampoo for their dogs. It is important to look carefully at each shampoo, while all of them will kill adult fleas, some will also kill flea eggs which is important in stopping a flea infestation. The products that kill the eggs are a bit stronger, and likely should not be used on puppies, as well as a little more expensive. That said, they will require the dogs to be bathed less often than cheaper shampoos that simply just kill the adult fleas. If you have an adult dog with no health issues or skin conditions, a stronger, longer lasting shampoo would likely be a better choice. For those with small dogs, puppies or dogs with health issues, it would be safer to consider something a bit more gentle. Remember to always consult your vet if your dog has health concerns that could be triggered by the chemicals in flea shampoos.

Things To Consider Before Purchasing Flea Shampoo 

I know, you just want the best flea shampoo.  However; dogs, just like humans, can often have their own reactions to different products and flea shampoo is no different. This medicated shampoo is not a one size fits all product and if not chosen properly could do more harm than good. You want to do some research and purchase what is the best flea shampoo for your dog. If you have a puppy, make sure that the shampoo you purchase is made specifically for puppies as the adult shampoo is harsher and can irritate skin and eyes. If you have a dog that has itchy, dry skin, you should avoid scented shampoos and look for one that includes a moisturizer. For extreme skin conditions, look for natural ingredients like honey, oatmeal, and Vitamin E. If you own a dog who has long hair, you should likely look for a shampoo that contains a conditioner to avoid dry, knotted hair. If you cannot locate one, it is recommended that you use a moisturizing flea shampoo and follow it with a conditioner.

How To Give A Flea Bath 

The bathing process is fairly simple. First, you should verify that your dog does, in fact, have fleas. The process to check is simple and is laid out by a vet in this video (click here)

Simply wet the dog completely from the neck down, apply the shampoo and lather from the neck down. Starting here will prevent the fleas from fleeing to the dog’s eyes, face, and ears. It is important that you do the math in this fashion because flea shampoo is not recommended for use on a dogs face and should be kept away from their eyes.

Advantages To Using Flea Shampoo 

While some people opt for stronger methods of flea control, a simple flea bath is generally much safer and more gentle on your pet. You simply bathe your dog regularly with the shampoo which keeps the dog clean as well as kills any fleas. This means far fewer harsh chemicals are put on your dog’s coat or ingested in the dog’s body. It is important to remember that topical drops and internal medications that are aimed at killing fleas contain poison, this is due to their purpose of killing fleas. Side effects range from vomiting, disorientation, swelling and even death in extreme cases. With a gentle shampoo, it is often much safer on the animal with far less risk. For those who are concerned about the chemicals in these shampoos, a quick search online will offer DIY natural flea shampoos that will do the job.

Top Five Best Flea Shampoo For Dogs

1. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor

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This is a bit long, but it is a great review from a customer.

My cats have been infested with fleas for the past year. I have tried everything from boric acid to diatomaceous earth, flea collars and cheap flea drops to bathing them every few days in dawn dish soap and vacuuming twice to three times a day, and NOTHING worked.

My friend recommended this shampoo, and at this point one of my cats had developed a severe allergic reaction to the fleas and all I could do was cry because I couldn’t help him. He looked – quite frankly – like he had been thrown into a dog pit.

When my friend told me about this I immediately bought it. At this point I was willing to try anything and I am SO glad I did.

No, it did not cure our flea problem. I didn’t expect it to. What it DID do, though, was give my cats some relief from the constant biting and itching. It helped some sores on my allergic cat to heal (very quickly I might add, I was incredibly surprised at how fast they healed) and he was able to grow some of his fur back. After his baths he’d have a few hours of total comfort and then he’d scratch the rest of the day, but he was actually able to rest for a while.

And as for the actual effectiveness of the product, hundreds of dead fleas sunk to the bottom of the tub, and hundreds more came off with the flea comb.

When I bathed my cats, I turned on some music and scrubbed them for 3 songs, roughly 10-15 minutes depending on the songs playing. Then I would thoroughly comb the cats and rinse the fleas into the bath water since it was full of soap at that time and the living fleas would inevitably drown.

After they were combed I would drain the water and rinse them off – thoroughly, I didn’t want them to be able ingest enough of the soap to get sick.

At first I was startled because I thought one of my cats was bleeding. There was blood dissolving into the water and I thought he had some sores that the soap had irritated and caused to bleed. I later found out this was just the built up flea dirt on his back.

Neither of my cats had any adverse reactions to this shampoo, to my relief. Even my sensitive cat reacted well; his red, irritated skin calmed to a slight pink, which was the opposite of what I expected it to do.

This is not a preventative and will only kill the fleas that are currently on your animals. With that in mind, when I was finally able to get them some good flea drops, I bathed them with this beforehand and let them dry completely. It combined with the flea drops seems to have done the trick, though my house is still infested and so I will continue vacuuming and treating the house.

I am happy to say that the combination of the shampoo and flea drops have left my cat – for the first time in little over a year – flea free.

It feels so good to see him laying comfortably without scratching, and even better to comb him and have NO fleas on the comb.

Yes, YES I would recommend this to anyone. And I will never go without it ever again.

2. best value flea and tick shampoo – Sentry Flea & Tick Shampoo With Oatmeal For Dogs And Puppies

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This is another good shampoo at the best price.  It does kill both fleas and ticks.  Most people find the scent to be quite pleasing.

The biggest issue is that it only last 10 days.

I would not recommend that you use it as a preventative.  And you may have to wash your dog more than once to kill all the fleas.I followed the directions to the T.  I saw those dang pesky critters running away from the shampoo. The dogs loved their 5 minute massage while the shampoo was working on the fleas. Killed them dead. Shampoo smells great and lathers very well. It left my dogs coats shiny and soft. It was a task bathing three dogs but worth it. By the way, the shampoo will last a long time because a little goes a long way. No issues what so ever. Will purchase again.

3. Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Shampoo

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This is a gentle, safe, organic shampoo that has proven to be effective against both fleas and ticks.  The active ingredients are natural oils like cinnamon oil and cedarwood oil.  While it is very safe, it will not be quite as effective as the other brands we are recommending.

Here is a customer review that highlights how it works.

This is a fantastic product. Not only does it smell great, but it really works.

We have two Golden Retriever rescue dogs and BOTH of them got tumors of the spleen, which we believe was due to using Comfortis, which has spinosad in it. So, we do not use any “peticides” any longer, with the exception of oral heartworm medication.

Also, even the topical flea products are quite toxic. In some products, it’s the same chemical used to treat termites in your home (fipronil and Termidor are the very same chemical!) So, after doing the research we came to this product, which we really love.

You will be happy with this product and your pet and your family will be safer when they are not exposed to toxic pesticides on your pet. After all, they’re not just a pet – they’re a family member. They deserve the best.

4. Editor’s choice – flea and tick shampoo – Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo

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This is our pick.  If you want to kill fleas, use this product.

It is the best flea shampoo on the market.  It is a nice balance of effective but safe.

5. Customers Favorite Flea and Tick Shampoo – Arava Flea & Tick Control Dog & Puppy Shampoo

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This is very highly reviewed by customers, probably the best sign of an effective product.  It is expensive, but it is also safe.

If you are looking for a natural product, and don’t mind spending the additional money, this is the product to choose.


Of the top five products, the clear winner of the best flea shampoo is Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor. This product shows to be the most effective at killing the most critters as well as larvae and eggs while having the fewest side effects and customer complaints. While each owners experience is different, this product would be a great place to start when you begin your journey to rid your dog of fleas.

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