Not only are fleas unpleasant for pet parents, they’re unpleasant for your dog. Treating your pooch for fleas regularly can help prevent infestations or deal with them in their early stages. While you’ll find a wide range of flea treatment options, the trusty flea shampoo is a classic choice. You can choose to use a pesticide-based flea shampoo as your main line of defense, or a natural flea shampoo in addition to a topical or tablet anti-flea treatment.
We reviewed dozens of flea shampoos for dogs to identify the best of the best. To narrow down our options, we compare various factors, including active ingredients, efficacy, overall cost, package size, and average customer reviews.
Ultimately, Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor stood out to us as our top pick. Not only does it kill adult fleas, flea larvae, and flea eggs, it also tackles ticks and lice. With over 600 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon, users are generally pleased with the results this shampoo gives.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Flea Shampoos for Dogs
|Best Overall||Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor||4.4|
|Runner Up||Hartz UltraGuard Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo||4.5|
|Best Budget Buy||Sentry Flea & Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal||4.5|
|Best Natural Flea Shampoo for Dogs||Wondercide Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo Bar||4.6|
|Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs with Sensitive Skin||Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense flea and tick shampoo that will clear up current infestations and offer future protection, Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor is the choice for you. Despite being a highly effective flea treatment, it only costs around $11 for a 12-ounce bottle, which is fairly affordable.
As we mentioned above, it kills fleas (in all life stages, including eggs), as well as ticks and lice. What’s more, the added Precor provides 28 days of control of pre-adult fleas, killing them before they become biting adults, helping to break the flea life cycle and get rid of infestations for good!
In addition to being good at getting rid of creepy crawlies, this flea shampoo doesn’t disappoint when it comes to leaving your dog’s coat in good condition. With added coconut extract, oatmeal, and aloe, Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo leaves your dog’s fur soft and shiny.
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor Key Features:
- Kills pre-adult fleas for 21 days after application
- Active ingredients are (S)-Methoprene, Pyrethrins, and Piperonyl Butoxide
- Leaves coat soft and shiny.
Our Runner Up Pick: Hartz UltraGuard Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo
People who regularly bathe their dogs might find that Hartz UltraGuard Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo meets their needs. Although it only kills fleas and ticks on contact (with no preventative powers), it’s safe to use up to once a week, so you can add it to your four-legged friend’s regular bathing routine.
The citrusy smell helps to deodorize your dog without being overpowering. Although we’re focusing on the citrus version, you can also buy a “fresh” scented option and an oatmeal option that’s good for itchy skin. It’s suitable for use on all dogs over 6 months old.
Retailing just $3 for an 18-ounce bottle, it works out even more affordable than our top pick, although you may decide the added 28 day protection it gives you is worth shelling out a little more for.
Hartz UltraGuard Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo Key Features:
- Kills flea and ticks
- Suitable for adult dogs and puppies over 6 months old
- Phenothrin is the active ingredient
Best Budget Pick: Sentry Flea & Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal
Looking for a flea shampoo for dogs on a budget? Sentry Flea & Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal is proof that you don’t have to spend a lot to say farewell to fleas and ticks. With a price tag of around $5 for an 18-ounce bottle, it’s in almost everyone’s price range.
The active ingredients of Permethrin and Piperonyl Butoxide kill fleas and ticks on contact, as well as for a maximum of an additional 10 days, so the protection doesn’t stop as soon as you’ve rinsed and dried your dog. The oatmeal formula is designed to soothe dry and itchy skin, which is good news if your four-legged friend is itchy from flea bites.
Most users say they love the Hawaiian ginger scent of this shampoo, which makes a change from some of the more medicinal smelling flea treatments. As well as killing fleas, it effectively cleanses and deodorizes your dog and is pH balanced for a healthy coat and skin. At around $7 for an 18-ounce bottle, it’s not too bad on the wallet, either.
Sentry Flea & Tick Shampoo with Oatmeal Key Features:
- Kills fleas and ticks for up to 10 days after treatment
- Contains soothing oatmeal
- Pleasant ginger smell
Best Natural Flea Shampoo for Dogs: Wondercide Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo Bar
If you’d prefer to tackle fleas in the natural way, or would like some top-up preventative action in between topical flea treatments (such as spot-on treatments), we’d highly recommend the Wondercide Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo Bar.
It’s slightly different from an average flea shampoo (even a natural one) in as much as it’s a solid shampoo bar, rather than a liquid. Not only does this mean it’s less messy and easier to store, it also has the benefit of requiring no plastic packaging, making it an eco-friendly choice.
It contains just coconut oil, palm oil (sustainably sourced), shea butter, castor oil, citronella oil, geranium oil, aloe vera, vitamin E, and honey. While there are mixed reviews about how effective it is, the idea is that the natural essential oils can both kill and prevent fleas and ticks. Many users swear by it, but some question how effective it is, so you may just need to try it and see if it works for your pet.
Although the manufacturer states each 4-ounce will last around four washes for a medium-sized dog, some buyers state it lasts them a dozen washes or more. So, although it costs $15 for a single bar, it does go a long way!
Wondercide Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo Bar Key Features:
- All-natural ingredients
- Solid formulation means no plastic packaging
- Leaves coat soft and moisturized
Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs with Sensitive Skin: Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo
You might think you’ll need to stick to natural flea shampoos for a dog with sensitive skin, but that’s not necessarily the case. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo is a strong formula with triple strength Pyrethrin as the active ingredient. But as it’s PH-balanced, and free of damaging detergents, irritating soap, and parabens, you can rest assured that it will be gentle on your dog’s sensitive skin.
It kills fleas and ticks on contact, but it won’t provide ongoing protection, so you will need to bathe your dog regularly, or use it in conjunction with another form of flea control. This flea shampoo for dogs have a light, clean fragrance that gets rid of bad doggy smells, but doesn’t linger for too long.
With a price tag of around $6 for a 16-ounce bottle, it’s an absolute steal considering how high-quality the formula is.
Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo Key Features:
- Soap and paraben free
- Clean scent
- Triple strength formula
Who Should Buy Flea Shampoo for Dogs?
The unfortunate truth is that dogs can easily pick up fleas and ticks, whether playing with other dogs or exploring the undergrowth. As such, you need to find a method for either killing fleas, preventing fleas, or a bit of both. You can find plenty of flea treatments on the market, so who should buy flea shampoo for dogs?
Well, first off, flea shampoo is only a good idea for people who bathe their dogs regularly and/or whose dogs tolerate bathing well. If bathtime is a nightmarish struggle, you might be better off with a different kind of flea treatment. Some flea shampoos are also handy to prevent or remove fleas and ticks in between other flea treatments (tablets or topical “spot-on” treatments, for instance). However, you should always check your chosen flea shampoo can use used in conjunction with other treatments, if this is what you have in mind.
Important Features to Consider
A flea shampoo should do several things well. Here’s what to consider when selecting a flea shampoo for your dog:
- Efficacy. Arguably the most important factor to consider is, does it actually work? Unfortunately not all so-called flea shampoos do what they say on the bottle. Check out some customer reviews to make sure the shampoo you’ve chosen is effective.
- What it eradicates. The vast majority of flea shampoos eradicate both fleas and ticks, but a handful don’t work on ticks, so always double check if you’re after some tick-killing action. Also check whether your chosen shampoo works only on adult fleas, or on larvae and/or eggs, as well. Those that also get rid of immature fleas can help break the life cycle and completely quash your pet’s infestation.
- Preventative powers. Unfortunately, a lot of flea shampoos only kill fleas and ticks on contact, but offer no flea prevention. That said, you can find flea shampoos that either help prevent reinfestation or keep on killing fleas for another 1 to 4 weeks.
- Package size. If you’re looking for good value, always check the size of the bottle, as well as the price. Bottle A might cost a couple of dollars more than bottle B, but if bottle A is twice the size of bottle B, then A gives you more bang for your buck.
- Scent. Floral, fruity, or straight up medicinal, different flea shampoos have different scents. While it’s hard to tell whether you’ll like the smell without giving it a whiff in person, customer reviews can tell you what most buyers think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I wash my dog with flea shampoo?
Sure, you want to get rid of fleas, but overdoing it with the flea shampoo isn’t a good idea. If you choose a variety that contains chemical pesticides, using them too often can be bad for your dog, plus flea shampoos can be drying for your four-legged friend’s skin. While you can wash your dog with flea shampoo as often as once a week, if she has an active infestation, we wouldn’t recommend regularly using flea shampoo this often. If your chosen flea shampoos can prevent infestation, bathe your dog with it every month or two. If it only kills, but doesn’t prevent, fleas and ticks, you only need to use it if and when you notice your dog has fleas.
Will flea shampoo get rid of fleas on my dog?
Flea shampoos that kill eggs and larvae, as well as adult fleas, should completely get rid of your pet’s flea infestation. Although, you should also treat the house, otherwise fleas living in your carpet and upholstery can hop back onto your pooch. Flea shampoos that only kill adult fleas, however, will leave eggs and larvae to mature into adult fleas on your pet, so you’ll either need to shampoo your dog once a week for a month or so, or use an additional treatment that kills immature fleas, too.
Does flea shampoo expire?
Yes, flea shampoo does expire, although the expiration date is often a long way off. Still, always check the expiration date before soaping up your dog. Expired flea shampoo may not kills fleas effectively.
Will regular dog shampoo kill fleas?
No, regular dog shampoo will not kill fleas. You need to use flea shampoo to tackle an infestation.
Other Flea Shampoos for Dogs We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other flea shampoos for dogs. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best flea shampoos for dogs list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your canine companion. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
Natural Flea Shampoos for Dogs
Using a herbal and botanical formula, this shampoo helps get rid of and prevent both fleas and ticks, without a chemical pesticide in sight.
- Contains a range of essential oils, including clove, cinnamon, and rosemary
- Pleasant, subtle scent
- Money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied
This solid shampoo bar is designed to repel flea, ticks, lice, mosquitos, and other biting insects. However, it’s not meant to tackle a current infestation.
- Gentle on sensitive skin
- Moisturizing formula
Using a gentle mix of essential oils, it thoroughly cleans and moisturizes your dog’s skin and coat while getting rid of fleas. Only buy it if you’re sure you like it, though, as it comes in a whopping case of 24.
- Minty scent
- Contains shea butter to leave coat soft
- Mild formula for dogs of all ages
It might not be as effective as chemical pesticides at treating fleas, but this shampoo makes a good preventative for between treatments.
- Smells nice with a vanilla and lavender scent
- Oatmeal soothes skin
- Suitable for puppies and adult dogs
The fast-acting formula kills ticks and fleas on contact, with the help of 5 essential oils, proving that “natural” doesn’t have to mean ineffective.
- Sulfate and paraben free
- Contains naturally moisturising ingredients
- Pleasant smell
Gives impressive results for a natural flea shampoo. Eradicates adult fleas, flea eggs, and flea larvae, and well as ticks.
- Kills all flea life stages
- No added fragrance, just the scent of the essential oils
- Suitable for adult dogs and puppies over 12 weeks
Giving conventional flea shampoos a run for their money, this formula kills fleas of all life stages, including eggs. While homeopathic remedies are controversial, this shampoo also contains essential oils, aloe, and more.
- Kills fleas and ticks
- Soothes skin
- Safe for dogs of all ages
Deters fleas with a blend of essential oils. Don’t be put off by the fairly high price tag, this shampoo is undiluted, so it goes a long way.
- Suitable for puppies and adult dogs
- Perfect for sensitive skin
- Human-grade ingredients
Flea Itch Relief Shampoo for Dogs
While it won’t stop fleas, this affordable shampoo will help reduce itching associated with flea bites. Use in conjunction with an oral treatment or a few days after a topical treatment.
- 99.7% natural ingredients
- Leaves fur extremely soft
- Mild formula suitable for dogs of all ages
Designed to soothe itchy skin. The oatmeal formula is nourishing for sensitive skins and free from sulfates, parabens, gluten, and dyes.
- Vegan formula
- Pleasant coconut scent
- Aloe vera helps soothe itching from fleas
This hypoallergenic shampoo soothes itchy skin while cleaning and conditioning your pet’s fur. Perfect for relieving flea itches before or after treatment.
- Moisturizes skin and coat
- Gentle soap free formula
- Made in the USA
A veterinarian-recommended shampoo and conditioner packed full of itch-busting ingredients to soothe your dog’s skin.
- Contains soothing ingredients such as aloe and avocado
- Both washes and conditions fur
- Medicated formula gets to the source of itches
Not only does this soothe and relieve itchy flea-bitten skin, it doesn’t interfere with topical flea treatments, so it’s fine to use both together.
- Calms and moisturizes itchy skin
- Natural formula
- Pleasant scent
Other Flea Shampoos for Dogs
While its just as reliable as our top pick, it didn’t make our ‘5 best’ list since it doesn’t contain Precor, for lasting protection. It’s still an excellent choice, however.
- Kills all life stages of fleas
- Suitable for puppies and adult dogs
- Cleans and deodorizes your dog
Looking for a flea shampoo that will leave your dog’s fur soft and lustrous, as well as tackling flea? The added coconut conditioners make this an excellent option!
- Gets rid of fleas, ticks, and lice
- Leaves coat soft and conditioned
- Light, pleasant scent
A quality pH-balanced formula that hits fleas and ticks hard, while remaining gentle on your four-legged friend’s skin.
- Suitable for all dogs over 12 weeks
This oatmeal flea shampoo soothes sore and irritated skin, while killing fleas and ticks. As a double-pack, it offers great value for money, too.
- Suitable for dogs over 6 months
- Pleasant vanilla scent
- Perfect for sensitive skin or soothing flea bites
Contains ingredients that soften the skeletons of fleas and ticks, killing them on contact, rather than pyrethrin-based pesticides, which some people prefer to avoid.
- Works on fleas, ticks, and lice
- No harsh pesticides
- Suitable from 12 weeks
Effective at removing fleas and ticks, plus leaves your dog’s coat feeling soft and looking shiny. Large bottle size offers good value for money.
- Pleasant, long-lasting scent
- Contains conditioners to leave coat in good condition
- Kills fleas and ticks on contact
Specifically designed for toy and small breed pooches with a lower concentration of chemical pesticides, since regular flea shampoos may be overkill for diminutive dogs.
- Safe flea and tick treatment for very small dogs
- Prevents reinfestation for up to 30 days
- Light, pleasant scent