Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs 2019

Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs ​201​9
& How to Give Your Dog a Flea Bath

ReadySetDogs' #1 Pick

Adams makes the best flea shampoo for dogs in 2019. It kills fleas in all life stages, which means it won't only kill the adult fleas that are munching on your pup, but it will also kill the eggs that are waiting to hatch! You can read more about Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor for Dogs and Cats below.

If you have a dog, chances are you will have to deal with fleas at some point. Fleas are nasty little buggers that bite your poor puppy leaving her skin itchy and irritated. A single bite can cause so much discomfort that your dog may scratch the spot relentlessly, creating a hot spot. This happened to my dog once. Luckily, regular cleaning of the area and preventing her from licking it for a week did the trick. It went away without further hassle.

Fleas reproduce and spread quickly. What starts out as a small infestation can grow rapidly. That’s why it is so important to address the issue as soon as you can!

Luckily, you have a lot of options. There are many different ways to fight fleas. You can tackle them in the environment with sprays, foggers, powders, and bombs. You can give your dog oral medication that kills and repels those pesky little fleas. There are also many different topical options from flea collars to flea dips to flea powders to flea shampoos.

Itchy Dog

The best place to start is with a flea bath for your dog using the best flea shampoo out there. A flea bath not only is effective in killing the fleas and their eggs, but using a good flea shampoo will also soothe your dog’s skin, helping prevent her from itching and scratching and making the situation worse.

It’s important to note that while flea shampoos will kill the fleas on your dog and continually work to repel fleas, there are still fleas waiting in the environment! They like to nest outside especially in the tall grasses. You’ll have to do something about those guys too. Check out this article about killing fleas in the environment using other methods.

If you notice your dog scratching and you find fleas, act as soon as possible! Fleas spread quickly so you want to be on the ball. Get the best flea shampoo for dogs and give your dog a flea bath immediately. Repeat every 2 weeks to prevent more fleas from coming.

What is Flea Shampoo?

Flea shampoo is generally a medicated shampoo that is meant to kill fleas and their eggs, as well as preventing them from returning. The best flea shampoos for dogs will also soothe and cleanse your dog’s skin and coat.

You can make a rudimentary flea shampoo at home out of warm water, vinegar, and liquid dish soap. Some people have success with this, but it won’t be as effective as using a real flea shampoo, which has the added benefit of soothing and moisturizing your dog’s skin. The homemade version can cause dry skin, which only intensifies itching.

There are 3 types of flea shampoo for dogs.

  • Chemical Flea Shampoo: includes laboratory-made ingredients like pyrethrins and pyrethroids, which I will discuss more in depth when we talk about ingredients.
  • Natural Flea Shampoo: includes citrus peel extract and/or d-limonene as the active ingredients, which are meant to besiege the pests’ central nervous system.
  • Organic Flea Shampoo: includes oils that attack and repel fleas, like clove, peppermint, and cedar oil, which have the added effect of soothing your dog’s skin.

Common Ingredients in Chemical Flea Shampoo

Flea Shampoos that include chemical ingredients are often the most effective in killing and preventing fleas, but they also carries the greatest risk of adverse effects to your dog. So it’s important to understand the common active ingredients that are used.


Pyrethrins are natural extracts that are found in chrysanthemum plants. There are six different types of pyrethrins and they are all used in flea prevention products. They are pyrethrin I and II, cinevin I and II, and jasmolin I and II. Pyrethrins have been used as insecticides for over 100 years.

Pyrethrins work by disrupting the natural flow of sodium out of the nerve cells of the fleas. This causes their nerves to fire off repeatedly, which kills the pests. They work quickly, but are not necessarily very long-lasting.

Flea Sketch

Stomach acids easily break down pyrethrins so they are unlikely to be toxic if ingested. However, toxicity has happened in some cases, so keep an eye out for symptoms.


Pyrethroids are synthetic compounds, which means they are manufactured in a laboratory and are not found in nature. Five pyrethroids are used in pest control products. Phenothrin, permethrin, and etofenprox kill fleas. Resmethrin and allethrin kill flying insects.

Like pyrethrins, pyrethroids affect the central nervous system of insects. They inhibit their ability to function as well as causing their nerves to fire off repeatedly. They also continue to repel insects after killing them.

Pyrethroids work slower than pyrethrins, but they last much longer. For this reasons, they are often used in flea sprays and other topical treatments.

Specifically permethrins should never be used on cats!

Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate (aka docusate sodium)

Docusate sodium kills fleas and prevents them from returning, but it also affects other insects like lice, ticks, and mites. It works by altering the physical makeup of the flea, specifically the waxy outside. Eventually it will cause internal organ failure leading to insect death.

What to Use in Conjunction with Flea Shampoo

The best flea shampoo is an important tool in killing and controlling fleas on your dog. To achieve the best results, you should use flea shampoo in conjunction with other products.

Treat the outside environment with sprays, foggers, bombs, or powders. Especially get the tall grasses those pests love to live in.

Clean and vacuum the inside of your house often. If they aren’t disrupted, fleas are happy to nest wherever they can find. Don’t make it easy on them!

To treat your dog specifically, there are oral medications and topical treatments, like flea powders flea collars, and spot treatments (dips, shampoos). Research the different options and choose the best option for your dog.

Safety Tips

Small Dog In Bath 2
  • Read the Product label!
  • Understand the ingredients in the flea shampoo. What is the purpose of each ingredient? What risks do they present? What benefits do they offer?
  • Check with your veterinarian, especially if you use a chemical flea shampoo. Dogs that are pregnant, nursing, old, or on medications may be at a greater risk of harm.
  • If this is your first time using a product, monitor your dog for 24 hours afterward. Symptoms of toxicity include vomiting, excessive salivation, fatigue, tremors, and seizures. If you notice anything, contact your veterinarian immediately.
  • All animals react to things differently. If your dog has a bad reaction to the flea shampoo, call your vet first, then wash off your dog with soap and water to prevent further harm.
  • Follow the instructions! Use a product specific to your pet. Do not use a dog flea shampoo on your cat or the other way around, unless the product specifies that it is safe for both.
  • Use the amount recommended. Too much could cause harm. Too little may be ineffective.
  • Wash your hands before and after application. Wear gloves while bathing.
  • After the flea bath, go for a walk so your dog will dry off completely without licking and ingesting too much of the product.
  • Two ingredients to watch out for and avoid are organophosphate insecticides (OPs) and carbamates as they are classified as carcinogenic to humans.

Top 5 Best Flea Shampoos for Dogs 2019

Now that you are an expert on flea shampoos, let’s talk about the best dog flea shampoos money can buy. I have chosen 5 great flea shampoos and written a description of each to help you choose the best option for your dog. I highly recommend you supplement this article with online reviews and recommendations from your veterinarian.

#1 Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor for Dogs and Cats - Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs 2019

The first thing to note is that Adams boasts that this shampoo kills all life stages of fleas, including eggs. That’s important because some flea shampoos only kill adult fleas leaving the eggs intact. Eventually the eggs hatch and your flea problem returns. Not with this shampoo! Used properly, all of those pesky fleas, larvae, and eggs will be dead. In the ingredients, you’ll see pyrethrins, which are great at killing and repelling fleas. It also contains soothing aloe, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal. These ingredients will calm the itch and irritation left by fleas to prevent your dog from scratching and making it worse. After a nice lather with Adams shampoo, your dog will feel comfy and pampered! This formula is safe for cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies so if you have multiple pets, you can feel safe using it on all of them. It also includes RECOR Insect Growth Regulator which provides 28 days of control of pre-adult fleas before they become biting adults. You’ll get great results with this flea shampoo.

#2 Tropiclean Hypo Allergenic Flea & Tick Shampoo

This Tropiclean shampoo is one of the best natural flea shampoos for dogs. It is a great choice if you want to avoid harsh chemicals or if your dog has particularly sensitive skin or allergies. It uses Neem and citrus oil as a way to kill and control the fleas on your dog. Citrus oil is a great flea repellent. Some flea treatments work well, but still an occasional flea bite occurs out in the environment. This shampoo works well to prevent that occasional bite. It is all natural and 70% organic. This shampoo is for dogs only so do not use it on your cats or other animals. Your dog will be deep cleaned while her skin and coat are cleansed and soothed. Tropiclean does include a lasting fragrance. Some dogs may be sensitive to fragrances, but I have not heard of that happening with Tropiclean since they use natural ingredients.

#3 Wahl 100% Natural Flea and Tick Shampoo

Wahl also makes one of the best natural flea shampoos for dogs. Do you see a pattern here? I like natural shampoos. Sometimes they aren’t strong enough to get the job done and you have to go with a chemical flea shampoo, but I like to try the natural option first as there is less risk to your dog. This formula uses the natural ingredients rosemary, mint, and cedar oil for flea control. It also contains aloe vera, coconut oil, and other soothing ingredients to help your dog’s skin stay moisturized and soothe and prevent itching! It has up to 3 ounces and 5% more surfactants than leading brands and it is PEG-80 free. You will love the feel of your dog’s coat after using this shampoo. The more times you use it, the softer her fur will feel. She will love it and so will you! Because it contains natural ingredients, Wahl’s shampoo is a great choice for dogs with sensitive skin and/or allergies.

#4 Oster Oatmeal Naturals Flea and Tick Shampoo

Oster’s shampoo is a great choice as it kills fleas in all life stages. Get rid of the fleas, larvae, and even the eggs. The active ingredients are pyrethrins naturally-derived from chrysanthemum flowers, a favorite for the best flea shampoos for dogs. It is also made with 100% Natural Oatmeal that soothes and protects your dog’s skin. You will find no dyes, parabens, alcohol, phosphates, or phthalates in this formula. And it is pH balanced with no artificial colors. As an added bonus, if you are using other topical flea applications, this shampoo will not wash them off. Oster proudly makes their products in the USA, which is always a plus! Products made close to home tend to be of better quality. This shampoo can be used on both cats and dogs as long as they are older than 12 weeks, according to Oster. If your dog it scratching from the itch and irritation caused by fleas, this shampoo will not only kill the fleas, but also relieve her irritated skin.

#5 SynergyLabs Groomer’s Blend Shampoo/Conditioner

SynergyLabs makes this heavy duty flea shampoo. It’s a great choice if you are having trouble killing those pesky fleas that are irritating your dog. The active ingredients are permethrins. They take a little longer to kick in, but are long-lasting. This shampoo uses naturally derived cleansers to remove dirt and debris. It also exfoliates your dog’s skin, removing old, dead skin cells. Your dog’s coat will feel soft and lustrous from this moisturizing formula. You won’t find any parabens, which can mess with estrogen levels in your dog. SynergyLabs also boasts that their formula is pH balanced making it a good choice for dog’s with sensitive skin. While this shampoo is soothing, it doesn’t contain oatmeal. While oatmeal is a great ingredient to soothe skin, it’s not a perfect match for some dogs. So if your dog doesn’t do well with oatmeal, but you want a soothing, flea-killing shampoo, this is the right choice for you. This shampoo is safe for dogs and puppies over 12 weeks old.

How to Give Your Dog the Best Flea Bath

Now that you’ve chosen the best flea shampoo for your dog, I’ll take you through the steps of giving your dog the best flea bath she’s ever had!

Dog Getting A Bath
  • Remember to always read and follow the instructions, especially the amount to use.
  • Pay attention to any warnings and follow all safety precautions. They are there to protect you and your dog.
  • Start with nice, soothing, warm water. You don’t want it hot. Your dog won’t appreciate that. But you don’t want it cold either. Warm water will help loosen and soften your dog’s skin, which gives it the best chance of being soothed and moisturized by the flea shampoo.
  • Get your dog nice wet with the warm bath water.
  • First make a ring of flea shampoo around your dog’s neck and work it into a thick lather. As you give your dog the flea bath, the fleas will try to hide in hard-to-reach crevices, like around your dog’s face and ears. This ring will act as a barrier preventing them from reaching your dog’s head.
  • Now slowly work down from the ring around her neck. As you go, make sure you wet each section before you shampoo. This gives you the best chance of creating a thick, penetrating lather of shampoo.
  • Take your time and really work the shampoo into your dog’s coat. You want to give the shampoo the best chance to get to all the fleas, larvae, and eggs.
  • Depending on what the instructions say, let your dog remained lathered in shampoo for 5 to 10 minutes. Massage the shampoo in as much as you want. I cannot emphasize enough giving the shampoo the best chance to get to all those pesky little fleas!
  • Once you are satisfied with the lathering, massaging, and just letting the shampoo sit, rinse your dog thoroughly. Use fresh, clean, warm water. Start at her neck where you made that first ring of lather. Slowly move down until she is completely rinsed.
  • All of the flea shampoos I have recommended include soothing, moisturizing ingredients. However, if you have chosen a product without a soothing agent, I encourage you to follow the flea bath with a nice conditioner.
  • Once you are finished, towel her off as thoroughly as you can. You won’t be able to get her all the way dry with towels.
  • I recommend going for a walk after the flea bath to give your dog the chance to dry without licking and ingesting the remnants of the flea shampoo. Or, if your dog doesn’t mind, you can blow her dry with a hair dryer on low. Don’t burn her skin!

Real Flea


Fleas are a nuisance! When you find your dog itching and scratching thanks to those little buggers, the best thing you can do is immediately give her a flea bath with the best flea shampoo for dogs. Supplement the flea shampoo by treating the fleas in the environment as well.

I hope you found all the information you needed in this article. At ReadySetDogs, we are committed to helping you provide the best car for the furry members of your family. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us or comment below.

Product Images Sourced from Amazon

About the Author Anna

Anna is a canine enthusiast. She loves everything about dogs from their loyalty to their energetic spirits to their stubborn moments. She has a passion to learn everything she can to become a better "dog-mom" to her Toller, Penny, and to share her knowledge of dogs with all who are interested in the hopes of educating people on the best canine care.

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