Best Dog Shampoo for Fleas, Flea Eggs & Ticks [2019]

In Brief: Best Dog Shampoo for Fleas, Flea Eggs & Ticks

  1. Wahl Dog/Puppy Shampoo (Best Overall)
  2. Wondercide Natural (Best Shampoo Bar)
  3. 4Legger (Best Organic Option)
  4. Honeydew Natural
  5. Adams Plus
  6. Hartz UltraGuard
  7. Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus
  8. Bio Spot Active Care
  9. Mycodex
  10. Sentry Pro
How We Decided

32 products considered. 600+ reviews analysed, 38 research hours spent, 18+ info. sources referred

More about our Methodology

If you’re a dog owner, you know that dealing with fleas and ticks is a constant concern, especially if you leave in a suburban or rural area.

Whether you battle pest infestations regularly or are trying to deal with your first encounter with fleas or ticks, your main goal is to get rid of the pests and help your dog feel better.

Part of this is finding the best dog shampoo for fleas and ticks and using it regularly.

However, it’s not that simple.

To help you in your search, some of the best products have been compiled and analyzed in this article along with answering some common queries and a convenient buying guide.

Comparison Table – Dog Shampoos for Fleas and Ticks 

There are several dog shampoos in the market for fleas and ticks with different specifications, claims, and benefits. Which one is good for your pet is also difficult to find. Here is the list of top 10 dog shampoos addressing key issues of repelling/killing fleas for you –

BrandVolumeKey IngredientsUSPs & UsesOur RatingPrice

Wahl Dog/Puppy Shampoo

Wahl Flea & Tick Repelling Dog Shampoo for Pets – Defense Formula with Eucalyptus Cedar & Rosemary – 24 oz

Best Overall

24 fl oz

Aloe Vera, Lemongrass & Sage Extracts

Repel ticks, fleas

9.7 Check Price

Wondercide Natural

Wondercide Natural Pet Shampoo Bar for Dogs & Cats - Geranium with Citronella 4oz Bar

Best Shampoo Bar

4,8,16,32 oz

Citronella oil, geranium oil, Aloe vera

Kills fleas & ticks

9.5 Check Price

4-Legger Certified Organic

4Legger USDA Certified Organic Dog Shampoo - All Natural and Hypoallergenic with Aloe and Lemongrass, Soothing for Normal, Dry, Itchy or Allergy Sensitive Skin - Biodegradable - Made in USA - 16 oz

USDA Cert. Organic

8 fl oz

Aloe, Peppermint, tea tree & Eucalyptus oil

Repel ticks, fleas

9.5 Check Price

Honeydew Natural

Honeydew Oatmeal Pet Shampoo for Dogs & Puppies – Best All Natural Doggy Shampoo & Conditioner for Itchy & Dry Skin – Medicated Strength Deodorizer - 8 oz
8 fl oz

Lemongrass and citronella oils

Repel ticks, fleas

9.5 Check Price

Adams Plus

Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo with Precor, 12 Ounce
12 fl oz

Pyrethrins, Piperonyl Butoxide, Pyriporoxyfen

Kills fleas, ticks, flea eggs & lice

9.3 Check Price

Hartz UltraGuard

Hartz UltraGuard Fresh Scented Rid Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo
18 fl oz

Pyrethrins, Piperonyl Butoxide,N-Octyl Bicycloheptene Dicarboximide

Kills fleas & ticks

9.3 Check Price

Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus

Vet-Kem Ovitrol Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Pets, 12-Ounce
12 fl oz

(s)-methoprene, Pyrethrins, Piperonyl Butoxide

Kills fleas, ticks, flea eggs & lice

9.1 Check Price

Bio Spot Active Care

BioSpot Active Care Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies, 12 oz.
12 fl oz

(s)-methoprene, Pyrethrins, Piperonyl Butoxide

Kills fleas, ticks, flea eggs & lice

9.1 Check Price

Mycodex

Mycodex Flea Tick Shampoo P3 Triple Strength Pyrethrin (12 oz)
12 fl oz

Pyrethrins, Piperonyl Butoxide

Kills fleas & ticks

9.0 Check Price

Sentry Pro

SENTRY PRO Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs, Rid Your Dog of Fleas, Ticks and Other Pests, Ginger Scent, 18 oz
18 fl oz

Permethrinm, Piperonyl Butoxide

Kills fleas, ticks, flea eggs

9.0 Check Price
 

How do Dogs Get Fleas and Ticks?

1. How do Dogs Get Fleas and Ticks

Even if you take care of your dog properly, fleas and ticks can still pose a problem.

This is because they can come from anywhere, especially when talking about fleas.

In general, fleas and ticks come from being outside where they are found naturally.

If your dog socializes regularly with other dogs, this can also be the problem since fleas can quickly travel from one dog to another.

Similarly, humans who have come into contact with a flea-infested animal can also pass on the infestation to your dog.

Ticks are found outdoors in long grass or weeds and can attach themselves to your dog at any time. This random nature of these pests means that you must take preventative steps to protect your dog.

Flea collars and monthly flea and tick treatments can help do this but even those aren’t 100 percent effective.

It’s also important to treat your home as well as your dog since fleas and ticks can stay in your home.

If this happens, it doesn’t matter what shampoo you use, your dog would be at risk for another infestation.

Fleas can live in your carpet, bedding, and furniture where they can lay eggs creating more fleas. To prevent this from happening, treat your home when you treat your pet.

Start by washing all of your dog’s bedding like blankets, dog beds, and clothing (if they wear them). If your dog sleeps on any other bed in the home, wash those sheets and blankets, too.

You should also wash the furniture if possible.

Vacuum and shampoo the rugs, too.

You can find household products made to combat fleas and ticks in the home or you can call an exterminator to properly treat your home if you think it’s necessary.

How to Tell if Your Dog Has Fleas

2. How to Tell if Your Dog Has Fleas

While you can spot ticks pretty easily when brushing your dog, fleas might be a little harder to detect especially if your dog has a long coat.

If there is a severe infestation, you’ll usually notice fleas easier, but if the infestation is just beginning and not as serious, you’ll have to look for signs.

Scratching, lick, and chewing is one thing that can make you suspicious, but these can also be signs of other skin issues like hot spots, dermatitis, or an allergic reaction.

You have to inspect your dog and look for other clues. Look for :

  • Visible fleas
  • Bumps on your dog’s skin
  • Flea eggs
  • Flea dirt (specs of dried blood that look like dirt)

How to identify flea dirt

When it comes to flea dirt, there is a simple way to identify it.

If you see the specs of “dirt,” put them on a damp paper towel. The “dirt” will stain the towel with blood once it gets wet.

This is a sure sign that your dog has fleas.

You can use a flea comb to inspect your pup. This will part of your dog’s coat so you can see down to their skin.

You’ll have more of a chance to spot the fleas, flea dirt, or eggs. This can also help rid your dog of the live fleas.

Buying Guide for Flea and Tick Shampoo

There are countless flea and tick shampoos available on the internet and even in your local pet stores.

With so many options it can be difficult to tell which one is better and why.

Flashy labels and low prices for poor-quality products can also make your shopping experience harder.

By knowing what to look for, what to avoid, and how to pick the shampoo that’s best for your dog will help you make an informed purchase decision and take the guessing out of your search.

What to Look for in a Flea Shampoo

When buying a flea and tick shampoo you have to first look for what you’re hoping the product to do.

There are preventive shampoos and there are shampoos that can help clear up ongoing infestations.

This will help you narrow down your search a little bit.

From there, think about your dog’s individual needs.

You might want to look for a shampoo made for sensitive skin or one designed for short-hair dogs. Similarly, you might need something to deodorize your dog, too. In any of these cases, narrow your search further by finding a flea and tick shampoo that has multiple uses for your dog.

Finally, you’ll want to look at the ingredients in the shampoos you’re comparing.

Look for gentle ingredients and try to stay away from harsh chemicals.

This can sometimes be hard with flea and tick shampoos which are sometimes medicated in order to help clear up the infestation.

However, there are natural ingredients that can help rid your pet of pests.

These include things like different essential oils and plant extracts.

What to Avoid in a Flea Shampoo

On the other side of the coin, you should try to avoid chemical ingredients, especially if your dog has sensitive skin or is prone to allergic reactions.

While limiting your dog’s exposure to synthetic ingredients is important, flea and tick shampoos usually have a few stronger ingredients in them in order to properly fight the infestation.

This doesn’t mean that you need to risk your dog’s long-term health to take care of an acute problem.

For example, you can find strong shampoos to get the job done and still avoid known allergens like soaps, artificial dyes, perfumes, and parabens.

If you know your dog has specific sensitivities it might be better to find an all-natural shampoo that will fight the infestation and also be gentle on their skin.

When shopping for the best dog shampoo for fleas and ticks, you should also take your dog’s age into consideration.

Most of these shampoos aren’t recommended for dogs under 12 weeks old. If you have a puppy that young who is dealing with fleas and ticks, it’s best to consult your vet for treatment.

These shampoos are considered safe for older puppies, but it’s still better to use the gentlest one available since young dogs are more sensitive than older ones.

How to Apply Flea and Tick Shampoo

4. How to Apply Flea and Tick Shampoo

When using this type of shampoo, apply it in the same way you would a normal dog shampoo.

Be sure to massage it into your dog’s coat including into their tail, legs, paws, and their belly using slow but firm motions to keep your dog calm.

Avoid their eyes, ears, and snout since these shampoos are strong.

If you have your own skin sensitivities, you might want to wear gloves for protection, but this isn’t usually necessary unless the shampoo you’re using is especially harsh.

Once you lather up the shampoo, you usually have to leave it on for several minutes before rinsing it off to ensure that the formula has time to be effective.

During this time, you can continue to lather the shampoo and massage it into your dog’s skin.

After the proper amount of time (usually stated on the bottle), rinse the shampoo off completely.

If your dog has sensitive skin, multiple rinses should be done to ensure that there is no residue left behind that might cause irritation.

The frequency of use will vary from one shampoo to another, Similarly, your vet might give you a schedule to maintain to properly take care of the infestation.

Health Problems Caused by Fleas and Ticks

5. Health Problems Caused by Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks are annoying but can also be dangerous for your dog if left untreated.

Fleas bite your dog and cause excessive itching and biting which can lead to skin irritation and residual problems from that irritation.

When your pup scratches and bites their skin, they can make their skin raw and cause open wounds.

These open wounds can get dirty and lead to infections that can affect your dog further and require more intervention including medication(s).

Luckily, they aren’t dangerous to humans.

Ticks are quite dangerous, too. They attach to your dog by biting them and staying attached to their skin.

They feed on their blood and cause irritation to the area.

They can also burrow into the skin and cause internal problems.

Certain ticks can also transmit diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease or cause paralysis in dogs (rare, but possible).

Humans can also be affected by these issues if a tick attaches to their skin. This is why it’s important to remove any visible ticks from your dog as soon as possible.

How Flea and Tick Shampoo Works?

6. How Flea and Tick Shampoo Works

Simply put, flea and tick shampoo aim to kill the pests with the ingredients in the shampoo’s formula.

There are also shampoos that are slightly stronger to kill any eggs left behind.

There are either chemical insecticides in the formula that effectively poison the pests, or the shampoo can use natural ingredients that work as natural insecticides that do the same thing.

These shampoos can also help treat the residual effects like the itching, dry skin, and raw spots.

Remember to take the individual shampoo into consideration.

Most flea and tick shampoos used to treat ongoing infestations won’t work as preventative shampoos and vice versa.

If your pup is prone to infestations, you should first use one shampoo to get rid of the current infestation then use a preventative flea and tick shampoo to help keep them pest-free.

Reviews of Dog Shampoo for Fleas and Ticks

Now that you know a little more about flea and tick shampoo, you can use that knowledge to shop for the best one for you and your furry friend.

Here, some of the best dog shampoos for fleas and ticks have been reviewed for your consideration.

Use them to find the right product for your dog or use them as a base of comparison as you continue to shop for other products.

Wahl Dog/Puppy Flea & Tick Shampoo

Wahl Flea & Tick Repelling Dog Shampoo for Pets – Defense Formula with Eucalyptus Cedar & Rosemary – 24 oz

Wahl is known for a great line of different dog shampoos including this effective flea and tick formula.

This contains natural ingredients that are used for their ability to kill pests and protect your dog without the use of harmful chemicals.

It contains mint, rosemary, and cedar oil to target the fleas or ticks and get rid of them. It is also made to last for up to a week after application to protect your pet.

In addition to controlling pest infestations, this shampoo will also add moisture to your dog’s skin and leave their coat smooth and conditioned.

Since the formula is made of natural ingredients, there is little risk of adverse reactions or side effects.

According to user reviews, the pros of the shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Natural formula, free of chemicals
  • Effective against pest infestations
  • Natural fragrance from natural ingredients
  • Soothing for irritated, itchy skin
  • Cleanses and conditions coat
  • Concentrated formula requires only a small amount
CONS:
  • Didn’t work in some cases
  • Some don’t like the smell

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Pet Pleasant Honeydew Natural Pet Shampoo

Honeydew Oatmeal Pet Shampoo for Dogs & Puppies – Best All Natural Doggy Shampoo & Conditioner for Itchy & Dry Skin – Medicated Strength Deodorizer - 8 oz

A gentle, natural shampoo made for both dogs and cats, this is made to repel fleas and ticks but can also kill live fleas.

More so, it will also cleanse and deodorize your pet making it an all-in-one product. It’s even safe for dogs with sensitive skin.

It can help clear up dandruff and dry skin, too. Besides flea and ticks, this can also help repel mosquitoes.

It contains essential oils instead of harsh chemicals in order to get the job done without causing irritation or allergic reactions.

The natural properties of the essential oils include anti-microbial properties to deal with the infestation, anti-itch properties to soothe skin, and deodorizing properties that neutralize odors.

You won’t find any parabens, sulfates, or artificial dyes or fragrances. The formula also claims to be tear-free.

According to user reviews, the pros of the shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Effective for pest control
  • Safe for continuous use
  • Natural ingredients instead of chemicals
  • Leaves coat soft and manageable
CONS:
  • Caused reactions in some dogs

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo with Precor, 12 Ounce

When you look up flea and tick shampoos, most people recommend Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo.

This formula contains a mix of chemical and natural ingredients in order to kill fleas, ticks, and lice as well as flea larvae and eggs.

It also contains an insect growth regulator that is meant to protect your pup for up to 28 days after application by preventing young fleas from maturing into biting adults.

Safe for both dogs and cats, this shampoo can be used on a consistent basis in order to fight infestations and prevent re-infestation.

It can also condition your dog’s coat making it soft and clean, soothe irritation, and clear up bad odors.

The formula is also concentrated so you can use less of it at a time making a bottle last longer.

According to user reviews, the pros of the shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Pleasant smell
  • Gentle on sensitive dogs
  • Effective for pest control
CONS:
  • Took multiple uses for some

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Bio Spot Active Care Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo

BioSpot Active Care Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies, 12 oz.

This shampoo is meant to clear up current infestations of fleas, ticks, and lice and says to do so on contact.

It is also made to kill flea eggs and claims to work continuously for up to 28 days after application.

This is a medicated shampoo containing pyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, and (s)-methoprene so it isn’t an all-natural product.

However, the pyrethrins are natural plant extracts that are used to treat infestations so there isn’t an overabundance of chemicals in the formula.

Bio Spot Active Care also contains soothing natural ingredients like oatmeal and aloe lanolin to help treat your dog’s itchy skin.

This shouldn’t be used on puppies under 12 weeks old.

You can use the shampoo as is or dilute it with water if your dog is sensitive.

When using the product, leave it one for up to five minutes before rinsing it completely. It’s safe enough to use daily for up to 10 days to get rid of the infestation.

According to user reviews, the pros of the shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Smells pleasant
  • Effectively gets rid of pests
  • Conditions coat and skin
CONS:
  • Doesn’t seem to last the claimed 28 days
  • Didn’t work for some severe cases

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

Hartz UltraGuard Rid Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs

Hartz UltraGuard Fresh Scented Rid Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo

Made by a popular pet supply company, this shampoo contains pyrethrins—an insecticide made from chrysanthemums that target the pests without harming your dog as long as it’s used properly.

This is not an all-natural product as it does have chemical ingredients to make it effective for severe infestations, but it does contain some natural ingredients like oatmeal.

This shampoo is made to use weekly, not daily due to the strength of the formula.

In addition to the shampoos ability to fight pest infestations, it can also cleanse your dog and leaves behind a fresh scent.

Thanks to the oatmeal in the formula, it can help soothe irritated skin and is considered gentle enough to sensitive dogs over the age of six months old.

According to user reviews, the pros of the shampoo are:

PROS:
  • Relieves itchiness quickly
  • Deemed safe for sensitive dogs
  • Left behind clean, soft coats
  • Affordable price
CONS:
  • Thin consistency

Check Reviews & Price on Amazon

 

FAQs

Will lice shampoo kill ticks on dogs?

Lice shampoo for humans may be used occasionally on dogs. However, since the acidic levels of human shampoos are higher than those of dogs, you shall use the lice shampoo only when it is absolutely necessary. In case of extreme tick exposure such as walking in the nests of tick larvae, use a lice shampoo for quick results and curb the amount of tick infestation.

Are organic anti-flea shampoos weaker?

Organic flea shampoos, as the name suggests, have purely natural ingredients. Some popular ingredients are peppermint, essential oils, cedar and even vinegar. They act as flea repellant and weaken the parasites. However, being organic in nature they are milder than chemical-based shampoos. They do not provide guaranteed remedies for a flea infestation; however, they come with zero side effects, unlike chemical-based products. When you are trying to prevent future flea infestation, organic flea-shampoos are a smart option.

Does Oatmeal Shampoo Kill Parasites on a Dog’s Coat?

Oatmeal is one of the most popular natural ingredients that help soothe itchiness and dry skin in dogs. Oatmeal dog shampoos are known to remove parasites from the dog’s coat with repeated washes. One-time wash would not ensure the prevention of parasites. Since it is a natural ingredient, it is milder than chemical products and requires extensive use to get hopeful results.

What is Precor and How Does It Work?

Methoprene or Precor is a popular active ingredient used in dog flea shampoos that work as an Insect Growth Regulator. They disturb the natural life-cycle of these parasites and weaken their immune system. Therefore, the fleas slowly die, which include their larvae too. Precor helps to weaken the parasites in their early-adult stage and reduce their lifespan tremendously. This ingredient helps fight the root of the infestation in dogs.

What pesticides are included in dog flea shampoos?

Pyrethrins, Pyrethroids and Methoprene are the three common pesticides used in dog flea shampoos. Pyrethrins work by targeting the parasites’ central nervous system, paralyzing them, which causes eventual death. Pyrethroids use several synthetic compounds and work in the same way as Pyrethrins. The only difference between these two is that Pyrethroids take longer to kill fleas. Lastly, Methoprene is more suited for killing larvae and eggs, as it works as an Insect Growth Regulator.

Can I use vinegar instead of a flea shampoo on my dog?

Using vinegar in place of dog flea shampoos would not do your pooch any good. Although your dog may get momentary relief, vinegar is a poor choice to actively kill parasites on your dog’s coat. Moreover, flea shampoos are tailor-made for dogs so that the pH levels are balanced that ensures a lesser chance of future infestation. Your pup would even start to smell after a thorough vinegar wash instead of a normal shampoo bath.

Should I use flea shampoo on my dog even when there is no infestation?

Using flea shampoos even when there is no flea infestation in your pup is a good way to keep the ticks and fleas at bay. However, these chemical products may be too harsh on your dog’s skin with repeated use. It is a good idea to invest in organic flea shampoos or simply a mixture of eucalyptus, citronella, lavender and tea-tree oils to keep your dog’s coat healthy.

In the end..

There are plenty of shampoos on the market that can help you battle back against fleas and ticks.

Use these reviews and the information provided to do your own search for the best dog shampoo for fleas and ticks and find a product that will work best for you and your dogs.

Remember to keep your individual needs and preferences in mind while also making sure you avoid overly harsh ingredients.

Here are top 10 dog shampoos for fleas and ticks again for you. Click on the links to check specifications, pricing, and reviews on Amazon –

What shampoo do you use on your pet for fleas and ticks? How do you find it? comment to share your experience!

Last update on 2019-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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