Flea And Tick Shampoo For Dogs

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Dogs are constantly bothered by various parasites, such as fleas or lice. Grooming and hygiene are important in order to control and prevent infestation. The right dog shampoo can help. Dog shampoo has skin-caring and anti-parasitic properties to protect the pet from the little annoying and itchy pests. But what do you have to pay attention to, what are the differences between medicinal shampoo and the best smelling dog shampoo?

Can you use normal shampoo on dogs?

The skin of a dog is different from human skin. The ph value is different and human skin is more resistant since it is not protected by fur. Dog skin dries out easier and is much more sensitive. The normal shampoo is specifically designed to meet the needs of the human skin.

In addition, human shampoos are often perfumed. Your dog may not like this fragrance at all. Good dog shampoos are free of fragrances. You should not use normal shampoo on dogs.

Is the best smelling dog shampoo the best for your dog?

Fragrances to make shampoos smell nice are only there for one reason. So that the dog smells better for us humans.

Our canine friend with its sensitive dog nose might not like these scents at all. You have seen how a dog, right after a laborious wash, rolls around on the ground (possibly in the next pile of dirt) extensively, to rid itself of the “beautiful smell”.

The best dog shampoo has a neutral smell.

Ingredients of dog shampoo

Fragrances, whether artificial or natural origin, can also be allergenic or have other harmful effects.

Always have a look at the list of ingredients. The longer the list of what it contains, the more potential “hazards”, such as allergy-causing substances, may be included. The best is to prefer a dog shampoo with a short list of ingredients.

Does dog shampoo help against ticks and fleas?

  • If ticks are already present on your pet, remove them immediately, if necessary with a special tick removal tool. There are special dog shampoos, which provide short-lasting temporary tick protection.
  • Medicated dog shampoos can kill fleas in the dog’s fur in case of acute infestation. However, it does not offer any long-term protection.
  • Protective dog shampoos that contain essential oils or other additives repel fleas and ticks. The effect is short term and should only be part of a complete pest control program.
  • But even normal dog shampoo can already help to wash away the flea feces and the flea eggs so that they can not spread further in the house.

Types of dog shampoo

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of dog shampoos. One differentiates between classic, medical, and protective shampoo:

Classic Dog Shampoo

Medical Shampoo

Protective Shampoo

This provides for sensitive and normal skin types for cleanliness and a more carefree dog coat.

Available for every type of fur, for short, long, rough, light- and dark-haired dogs.

Should have a neutral or gentle odor and be free from additives.


A medical shampoo can treat skin problems, heal inflammation and relieves itching.

It is suitable for every type of coat and for sensitive skin.

In addition, it supports the regeneration process of the skin. However, it can not replace a vet.


Provides protection against parasites such as fleas, ticks and mites.

Suitable for every type of coat. But should be used with care on dogs with sensitive skin.

Combines cleansing effect and insect defense in one product. It can be more irritating to the dog skin than a classic shampoo.

Organic or chemical dog shampoo?

Dog shampoos are available in different versions from vegan organic shampoo to syntetic chemical products. Organic shampoos often use essential oils as active ingredients. But don’t forget that essential oils and other organic compounds can also have unwanted side-effects or trigger allergies. Consult your vet if you are in doubt!

Chemicals in Dog shampoo

Most chemical dog shampoos that effectively kill pest infestations contain synthetic nerve agents such as carbamate insecticides, or pyrethroids. These substances act directly on the nerves of insects and arachnids. When used as instructed, concentrations of the active ingredients are low and are considered harmless to pets and humans.

Still many people avoid such products in fear of unwanted side effects. Whether to use these products, requires consideration of the cost-benefit ratio of side effects in relation to the health benefits.

Essential oils in dog shampoo?

That is why many pet owners revert to organic products that have beneficial effects for grooming or for parasite defense.

Neem oil

Neem oil is effective against parasite infestations.  It is a naturally occurring pesticide produced by the Neem Tree. It interferes with insect hormone systems and their metabolism disturbing feeding growth and reproduction, which in effect kills the insect. Neem oil is traditionally being used for its anti-inflammatory and healing effects on skin and hair.

Tea tree oil

The application and uses of Australian Tea Tree Oil are very versatile. The oil repels insects and has a soothing effect on insect bites. In addition, it has antibacterial and antifungal properties and kills microbes, bacteria, and fungi.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains a large amount of lauric acid which has a repelling as well as a toxic effect against ticks, fleas and mites, and certain mosquitos. Coconut oil nourishes the skin and also protects it against bacteria and fungal infections. It cares for the skin and fur of your dog.

Argan oil

Argan oil is an edible oil obtained from the ripe argan fruit (Argania spinosa). The tree is endemic to Morocco.
The odorless Argan oil contains nourishing nutrients and vitamins and fatty acids that help with skin regeneration, cell formation, and cell healing.

Macadamia oil

The macadamia nut has a very high-fat content. The oil helps against dull fur and moisturizes dry, cracked skin, and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It gives the dog’s fur a  nice silky shine.

Should you shower or bath your dog

Should you shower or bath your dog?

Dogs usually don’t like either a shower or having to sit in a bathtub. I find it easier to shower our dogs. Don’t bathe or shower your dog too often.

Best is to thoroughly wet their coat with lukewarm water. When their coat is wet, rub the shampoo into your dog’s fur. Take your time. Leave the shampoo in for 10 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water again. Dry your dog with a towel. If your dog likes it, you can blow-dry it with a pleasant warmth.

So which dog shampoo is best?

There are now countless dog shampoos on the market. There are shampoos for long-haired dogs, for short-haired dogs, for certain breeds or even special coat colors. Some promise no more ticks and fleas, a silky shine, or a great smell, or are particularly mild. The ingenuity of the pet industry often makes it difficult to find the right one.

To find the best dog shampoo you have to try several products. Use medical shampoos only to treat an acute infestation to rid your dog of ticks or fleas. The other ones, be it protective or classic or the best smelling dog shampoo (which only you will like and not your four-legged friend) may be used regularly.

Whether fleas, mites or ticks a good dog shampoo can prevent or reduce the trouble from those annoying pests. However, in most cases, a regular bath may not be enough to keep ticks and fleas at bay. Dog shampoo can only be a part of a complete parasite control program, in which you need to treat your pets, your home and your yard with appropriate products. Using Spot-on products or a flea collar are also safe and effective methods to protect your pet.