How to Give Your Dog a Flea Bath
From your Veterinary Medicine Guide
How to get the most out of a flea bath, the start of a good flea control program.
- Purchase a flea shampoo recommended by your vet or local pet supply store.
- Read the instructions carefully, and use only on animal(s) it is intended for. Some products are very toxic to cats.
- Water temperature should be slightly warm or even cool. Dogs can overheat easily and temperatures used for most human baths are too warm.
- Start by getting the neck fully wet, down to the skin.
- Leave the rest of the body dry at this point.
- Apply shampoo and lather thoroughly around the neck. This prevents fleas from gathering at the ears, eyes, and face, where it is difficult to shampoo safely.
- Get the rest of the body wet, shampoo thoroughly, and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Rinse very well. Flea shampoo can be very drying.
- If your dog doesn't have existing skin problems, it is wise to follow up with a flea control conditioner or normal conditioner.
- Do not depend on shampooing to get rid of fleas permanently. Talk to your vet about an appropriate method of flea control for your pet (spray, powder, collar, or spot-on treatment) and work on environmental control.
- Other methods of control are environmental insecticides (foggers and bombs, yard sprays), medications given to the pet to break the flea life cycle, and daily vacuuming.
- Carefully read all product warnings and follow instructions closely. Using more product than recommended is dangerous. Keep all products away from children. Wash hands thoroughly after use.
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