Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs - Comparison and Reviews

Becky - author

Author: Becky Roberts
Last Updated: September 2020​

Fleas are a common problem in hot climates, where they are capable of laying up to fifty eggs in a single day. If your dog has fleas, you can be sure that your home is most likely infested as well, which can be irritating for both you and your pooch. The earlier you take action, the more likely it will be that you can prevent a full-blown flea infestation.

Dog with fleasWhen it comes to controlling fleas, you can either adopt a preventative or curative approach. If you live in an area that has fleas all year-round, it’s worthwhile to check out preventative measures to control flea populations on your dog and in your home. If fleas are seasonal in your area, you can use a curative approach and only worry about the flea problem if and when it arises.

In this case, your best bet for flea treatment is the trusty flea shampoo. Modern formulations are much gentler and kinder on your dog’s skin than they used to be, and today’s products are much less toxic than older flea shampoos in general.

If you’ve ever gone shopping for flea shampoos, you’ll know that there are hundreds of products available on the market. There are shampoos made from only natural ingredients, shampoos made with potent insecticides, and many other types of flea products besides. If you want the best protection possible, you need to find a shampoo to suit your needs that’s effective, gentle, and affordable.

Our guide lists 5 best flea shampoo for dogs in the market, that are a good value for money and have proven their efficacy. We’ve reviewed both natural and synthetic shampoos so that you can make an informed decision on what the best option is for your particular situation.

Our Top Picks

1. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor 12 Ounces

  • Effectively kill fleas and ticks
  • 28 days of Flea protection
  • Contains soothing aloe, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal

2. Vet’s Best Natural Flea and Tick Shampoo

Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Advanced Strength Dog Shampoo | Flea Treatment for Dogs | Flea Killer with Certified Natural Oils | 12 Ounces

  • 100% natural ingredients
  • Effectively kill all Fleas in contact
  • Cleans and Deodorizes Dog’s coat

3. Sentry Flea and Tick Shampoo

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

  • Immediate relief from Fleas
  • 10 days of protection
  • Contains Oatmeal

Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs 2020 - Reviews

1. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor

The main aim of any flea shampoo is to get rid of any infestation and itchiness on your pet. Adams Plus is the most ideal and popular flea shampoo because it contains an active ingredient that kills fleas in all stages of their life cycle, from eggs to fully-grown adults. It also offers three weeks of protection from pre-adult fleas, completely breaking the flea’s natural life cycle and stopping any infestation in its tracks.

It is the best shampoo to use if your dog has a heavy infestation, as the pesticide is incredibly effective, not only against fleas but also against ticks and lice. Adams Plus added benefit is that it will also protect your dog from any future infestation. On top of that, It also protects pets from ticks, which carry many potentially fatal diseases.

Usually, a flea shampoo with such strong, active ingredients is quite harsh on your dog’s skin. But Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo with Precor contains many other ingredients to soothe and calm your dog’s itchy skin. The aloe and oatmeal extracts work to soothe any irritated skin and protect the skin from the harsh pesticides. The coconut oil helps moisturize the skin and also leaves your dog’s coat feeling soft and shiny.

And the best part? Despite being incredibly effective at killing flea, lice, and tick while still being relatively gentle, it’s a very affordable product as well. While a bottle can last for multiple washes, you’ll only pay around $15 per bottle, much cheaper than many similar products.

Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor 12 Ounces

Pros

  • Affordable and great value for money
  • Safe for extensive use on all animals, including cats and adult dogs.
  • Safe for puppies older than 10 weeks
  • Stops the flea life cycle dead in its tracks, ideal for managing infestations
  • The added extracts and coconut oil help keep your dog’s skin and coat in excellent condition
  • In addition to controlling fleas, ticks, and lice, it also contains deodorizing agents, so your dog will smell pristine after their bath
  • The shampoo can be used weekly to control and prevent flea and tick infestations

Cons

  • Some pets may find synthetic flea killing pesticides too harsh on their skin, despite the mitigating ingredients

2. Vet’s Best Natural Flea and Tick Advanced Strength Dog Shampoo

Vet’s Best Advanced Strength Shampoo is an excellent product to combat flea infestation. This shampoo is said to be two times as effective in controlling and killing pests. Typical of plant-based shampoos, Vet’s Best Advanced Strength Shampoo has essential oils and natural ingredients that act fast on tick and fleas. 

This shampoo not only kills fleas but eliminates their eggs, larva, and ticks on contact. It also cleanses and freshens your dog’s coat, lathering easily and rinsing off fast, leaving it with a mild peppermint and rosemary scent. Vet’s Best Advanced Strength Shampoo is suitable for mature dogs and puppies over 12 weeks old.

Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Advanced Strength Dog Shampoo | Flea Treatment for Dogs | Flea Killer with Certified Natural Oils | 12 Ounces

Pros

  • Veterinary recommended
  • Acts fast
  • Heals a host of skin problems

Cons

  • Not recommended for puppies under 12 weeks

3. Sentry Dog Flea and Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal

If you’re looking for an affordable, yet effective pest control option, the Sentry Flea and Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal is the best budget choice. The price is surprisingly reasonable for a relatively large bottle that will last many baths, depending on the size of your dog.

The Sentry flea shampoo contains two active ingredients, permethrin, and piperonyl butoxide. Technically, piperonyl butoxide isn’t an insecticide, but it facilitates the potency and durability of the permethrin.

Sentry kills all fleas and ticks which come into contact with your dog; quickly. The product also creates a protective barrier against further infestation on your pet, which lasts about ten days. It’s an excellent product to use if you’re in a location with outdoor fleas and ticks. You don’t have to worry that your dog will bring these creepy pests into the home with them again.

This shampoo can also kill flea eggs for up to 30 days after the bath, which is essential to keeping a flea infection under control and eradicating it completely.

The shampoo offsets the harshness of the flea killing insecticides because it also contains oatmeal to soothe your dog’s skin and reduce irritation and swelling. The oatmeal is also good for combating itchy and dry skin, providing your canine companion with relief as well as killing off any fleas. The Sentry shampoo also contains ginger extract for a great, fresh smell that deodorizes your dog without leaving any medicinal smell.

Sentry is also pH balanced and specially designed to both deodorize and take care of your dog’s coat, leaving it soft, shiny, and flea-free.

Sentry is also safe for use on puppies 12 weeks of age or older.

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

Pros

  • Offers both immediate relief from fleas and has a protective effect not lasting longer than ten days
  • Kills many pests, including fleas, ticks, mites, and lice. It also targets flea eggs and larvae for up to 30 days after use
  • Pleasant smell

Cons

  • Can’t be used on a regular basis

4. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care is a medicated shampoo containing veterinary-grade ingredients that eradicate pesky fleas and ticks. This shampoo has three times more active compounds than the leading brand. It is formulated with pyrethrum to kill and control ticks and fleas on contact, soothing irritated hot spots while cleansing and exfoliating your pet’s skin. A single application offers protection for up to 7 days.

The Veterinary Formula Clinical Care formula is soap and paraben-free. Since it’s naturally derived, this shampoo is gentle to your pet, leaving your dog with a soft, clean coat that smells fresh. This dog shampoo is safe, affordable, and effective.  

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs and Cats, 16 oz – With Pyrethrum to Kill Fleas and Ticks On Contact – Cleanses and Exfoliates

Pros

  • Kills ticks and fleas on contact
  • Moisturizes coat and skin
  • Smells great

Cons

  • Takes a while to work

5. TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo for Dogs

TropiClean Natural Flea Shampoo spray is a potent dog shampoo designed to kill fleas, ticks, eggs, and larvae on contact. It contains a blend of powerful pest fighting ingredients, including sesame oil, cloves, cedarwood, cinnamon, and lemongrass. The plant extracts and natural essential oils inside repel fleas and ticks for up to 7 days.

If you have a dog with dry and itchy skin, this shampoo will provide much-needed relief. Not only does it soothe irritated skin, but it also nourishes it. TropiClean Natural Flea Shampoo Spray is safe for regular pet baths and will not wash off any previously applied flea treatments. This shampoo spray is a soap-free cleanser that leaves your pets feeling fresh.

TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo and Spray

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Repels fleas up to 7 days
  • Kills and repels fleas and ticks on contact

Cons

  • Not safe for puppies under 12 weeks of age

6. Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo

If you’re looking for all-natural flea shampoo for your dog, Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo is an excellent place to start. It is specially formulated to repel ticks and fleas, soothe irritation, and speed up healing for a wide range of skin problems. This dog shampoo blends a variety of natural ingredients, including rosemary oil, peppermint oil, clove oil, cedarwood oil, purified water, and hydroxyethylcellulose.

It has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties and repels almost all parasites, providing fast relief from hot spots, dry skin, bites, ringworm, minor wounds, and sunburn. Richard’s Organics Flea & Tick Dog Shampoos have a sweet, mild scent free of harsh chemicals, artificial colors, and fragrances, making it safe for both pets and humans.

Richard’s Organics Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs – 100% All-Natural Actives Kills Fleas, Ticks and Repels Mosquitos – Flea Shampoo is Gentle, Won’t Dry Skin, Great Smelling Essential Oils (12oz bottle)

Pros

  • Pleasant smell
  • Non-toxic composition
  • Moisturizes dog fur

Cons

  • Can Irritate dogs’ eyes

7. Bio Spot Active Care Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo

If you’re looking for the best flea shampoo for dogs to clear up ticks, fleas, or lice, Bio Spot Active Care is one of the best on the market. This medicated shampoo eliminates parasites from your puppies and dogs on contact. It contains pyrethrin, piperonyl butoxide, and methoprene, combined to treat mild to severe infestations.

Bio Spot Active Care contains an insect growth regulator (IGR), which helps prevent re-infestation for up to 28 days. This product also contains soothing aloe, lanolin, and oatmeal, making the coat feel soft, shiny, and manageable. You can use it full strength or dilute it with water, depending on your dog’s skin sensitivity.

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

Pros

  • Conditions coat and skin
  • Prevents the spread of parasite infestation

Cons

  • Slightly pricey

8. Natural Chemistry Flea & Tick Shampoo

You don’t need to use treatments with harsh chemicals to effectively kill ticks and fleas or repel mosquitoes and black flies from your dog. Natural Chemistry is an all-natural shampoo that’s gentle on your dog’s skin and formulated from organic ingredients such as clove extract and peppermint oil. This product is 100% free of insecticides, like permethrin or pyrethrin, that could irritate your dog’s skin. It also contains moisturizing ingredients to keep the skin healthy. 

Natural Chemistry is an excellent addition to your pest prevention plan. It is mild enough for weekly use, and the manufacturer says it works almost immediately and is remarkably effective. This shampoo doesn’t wash out fast, and parasites won’t develop resistance.

Natural Chemistry ZT1100 91 Natural Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs, 1-Gallon

Pros

  • Contains no pesticides
  • Kills fleas and ticks on contact

 Cons

  • Strong smell

9. Mycodex Dog Flea Tick Shampoo P3 Triple Strength

Mycodex is a well-known dog flea shampoo brand that has been around for decades. The main selling point of this shampoo is the triple dose of pyrethrin, which kills fleas and ticks on contact. Just a five-minute bath is enough to kill all pests that are bugging your pet. However, it doesn’t provide ongoing protection, so you have to use it on a regular basis to combat flea infestations.

It does also kill flea larvae and eggs, making it a great choice for breaking the flea lifecycle to prevent further infestations.

What makes the Mycodex P3 shampoo so special is the number of extra ingredients in the shampoo. Not only does it contain a strong, active ingredient, but it also contains a few extras designed to keep your dog’s skin and coat in excellent condition. It has both coconut oil and lanolin to provide a lot of extra moisture and has aloe to soothe your dog’s irritated skin.

Mycodex Flea Tick Shampoo P3 (12 oz)

Pros

  • Best for dogs with sensitive skin
  • Kills all types of pests including flea eggs and larvae
  • Has a pleasant fragrance and leaves your dog’s skin and coat looking amazing
  • Recommended by vets and dog breeders

Cons

  • You need to use it regularly to get the best results
  • Can be expensive, especially if you’re using it long-term
  • Doesn’t offer post-wash protection

10. Hartz UltraGuard Plus Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo

Many flea shampoos contain harsh ingredients that can dry out your dog’s skin and cause bad reactions if used often. Hartz UltraGuard Plus rid flea and tick shampoo is designed for dogs that are bathed regularly and can safely be used on a weekly basis.

It contains a few soothing agents that protect the skin and ensure that your dog’s skin feels great after the bath.

Hartz UltraGuard contains only one active ingredient, phenothrin, which kills flea and other pests on the dog. It works on all sorts of dog pests, including fleas, ticks, lice, and mites.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide long-lasting preventive protection and will not kill flea eggs.

Hartz UltraGuard Citrus Scented Rid Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo

Pros

  • Contains oatmeal that soothes the skin and speeds up the healing from flea bites
  • Will kill a wide variety of adult pests, including ticks, fleas, mites, and even lice

Cons

  • Can only be used on dogs older than six months

How to Choose the Best Flea Shampoo

When buying a flea and tick shampoo for dogs, there are many factors that you need to keep in mind. There are so many different types of products that offer various types of flea control like dog flea collars, and which one you’ll buy will depend a lot on your personal circumstances. If your dog has a mild flea infestation in the middle of summer, you won’t need to buy the same product as someone who lives in the desert and is exposed to fleas and ticks all the time.

Dog looking

Features to for in Dog Flea Shampoo

When looking for a flea shampoo, make sure to consult with an expert before you buy anything. Some dogs are more sensitive than others and will require a different type of shampoo. Senior and younger dogs will also need different treatments than a healthy adult dog. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, here are a couple of extra features you should keep in mind:

Efficacy

Ultimately, you want a product that will rid your dog of fleas. It doesn’t matter whether it contains natural or synthetic insecticides; your focus should be on whether the shampoo does what it says it does. While the best way to find out is to try it, you can also check out reviews online and see what others say.

Make sure to read reviews of people in a similar situation, as what works for one dog may not work for another.

What do you need to treat?

While you’d assume that most flea shampoos with kill all pests, the truth is they do not. Some shampoos are great against fleas but don’t work against ticks or mites. Make sure to read the label to see that you’re getting the right product for your needs.

If you require specialist treatments, like for mange or other skin conditions, make sure to speak to your vet.

Bottle size

Instead of just comparing prices, make sure to work out how much you’re paying per ounce, which will give you a better idea of value for money.

Scent

Most flea shampoos have a strong medicinal smell that will linger. If that smell bothers you, then try to find a shampoo with a more pleasant fragrance.

FAQ

Does normal dog shampoo kill fleas?

No. Normal dog shampoo doesn’t contain the necessary active ingredients to kill fleas. It may wash some fleas off, but it won’t kill them, and they’ll simply come back in greater numbers.

Does flea shampoo expire?

Yes, though many flea shampoos have long shelf lives. Expired flea shampoo won’t do your dog any harm, but it will be less effective at killing fleas. Make sure to check the expiry date if you haven’t used the shampoo in a while.

How often should I wash my dog with flea shampoo?

The answer to this question will depend on the severity of fleas in your area. If your dog is suffering from a flea infestation, then you want to use the flea shampoo according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most flea shampoos contain harsh chemicals that if used too often can irritate your dog’s skin and cause allergic reactions.

Some flea shampoos can be used once a week, while others can only be used on a less frequent basis, so check the label and follow the instructions accordingly.

Adams Plus is our recommended best flea shampoo for dogs for treating all stages of flea lifecycle. If you aren’t keen on using chemicals on your dog, you can also buy natural flea shampoo for mild flea treatment. 

It’s a better idea to try to use flea shampoo as little as possible. If your dog has a flea infestation, use a shampoo that protects against fleas as well as kills fleas on contact. If your dog only gets fleas occasionally, it’s a good idea only to use flea shampoo when you see fleas on your dog.

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