Shampoo To Get Rid Of You Know Who: Fleas Of Course
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Shampoo to Get Rid Of You Know Who: Fleas Of Course

Flea shampoo for dogs are popular products on the market today, both natural and medicated. I try to go the natural way whenever possible. By using natural ingredients, you decrease the likeliness for bad side effects or reactions. Not to mention, you save yourself, your family, and your dog from being exposed to potentially poisonous ingredients.

However, SOMETIMES they aren’t as effective. I listed the natural shampoos I think are worthy of a try first. Following, I mention other shampoos if you want something stronger or more effective if the natural method didn’t work for you.

As I mentioned in my post on flea pills, I think using Capstar and Frontline Plus, are more than enough to handle a flea infestation on your dog. Although shampoos take more time (simply because you have to scrub and scrub and actually do the whole bath routine) shampoos are great alternatives if the medicines your dog needs will react badly to flea pills (as in the case of heartworm medication) or if they are just too darn expensive for you.

Most shampoos are only meant as a TEMPORARY solution for you need to use other methods in addition to a shampoo. Be aware of which ones KILL fleas and which ones REPEL fleas. There is a HUGE difference. A spot on treatment may a good solution to use in addition if your shampoo only kills fleas. This way, you can use the shampoo to kill the fleas and the spot on treatment to prevent further infestations. As a friendly reminder, PLEASE check with your vet before you give ANY medication to your dog!

Ok, let us begin!

Natural flea shampoos

Natural flea shampoos are made with natural ingredients (of course!). These ingredients usually include rosemary, lemongrass, cinnamon, citrus, clove oil, neem oil, tea tree oil, and sometimes sesame oil. (Just to name a few!)

You can buy natural shampoos, or you can make your own. Either way, be careful, because some shampoos are aimed at just killing or repelling the current fleas on your dog, not for preventive care. Other methods need to be used to control the infestation in your environment and to prevent further infestations.

Homemade natural flea shampoos:

- Neem oil shampoo. Mix 1 teaspoon of neem oil into one dose of your dog’s regular shampoo. It is easy to prepare and works great. This will help to kill fleas as well as prevent from further infestations. This can be used once a month as a preventative method. I personally think this one is the best, for it is very effective and all natural. Works against ticks and mosquitos as well!

- White vinegar shampoo. The proportions depending obviously on the size of your dog, but for a medium size dog mix together: 1 cup dawn SENSITIVE dish soap, 1 cup white vinegar and 4 cups warm water. Shampoo as you normally do, but scrub for a little bit longer. This helps the white vinegar soak into the hair. This is good for killing fleas.

- Lemon oatmeal shampoo. Mix together ½ cup of dawn SENSITIVE dish soap, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of finely ground oatmeal (also known as colloidal oatmeal), 1 tablespoon lavender oil (I like the lavender oil by Now Foods), and 1 tablespoon of aloe-vera juice. Soak into the dog’s hair for about 5 minutes. This is good for repelling fleas as well as ticks. Also, it is good for soothing sore flea bite wounds. The lavender oil also smells really wonderful!

Other natural flea shampoos:

BarkLogic Tick & Flea Pet Wash. This shampoo is a GREAT flea repellant and can be used to prevent fleas AND ticks. However, it will NOT kill fleas! It is just a natural repellant. It has natural and organic ingredients and is lemongrass scented. I have used this before and I like that it is pesticide-free and is non-toxic. I feel it is a safer option.

Regular flea shampoos:

- Hartz UltraGuard Rid Flea & Tick Shampoo. This shampoo kills only adult fleas using a special ingredient known as Pyrethrin. It also contains oatmeal which is soothing for those dogs with sores from flea bites. I especially notice that the coat is much soft and shiny after using this one. It isn’t too bad price wise, around 7$ for 18 oz.

Tips for how to shampoo properly:

If you purchased a flea shampoo, ALWAYS follow the directions given on the label! Read it first, then shampoo! Otherwise, here are some tips on how to shampoo the RIGHT way.:

- Start scrubbing at the head and continue down, ALL THE WAY to the end of the tail. (Make sure you are careful to scrub his head, WITHOUT getting shampoo in his eyes, nose or mouth. Also, make sure the ears are done well as fleas might just hide out there and wait for you to finish. Annoying little devils aren’t they!).

- Make sure you THOROUGHLY scrub. Fleas are hardy creatures and there are always stubborn few who just won’t let go. Make sure you get them too!

- Check and MONITOR your progress as you go. If you see fleas, eggs, or larvae back on the spot you just cleaned, you didn’t do it well enough. Go back, and scrub again!

- Look in the water. If the fleas are alive in the water, most likely your shampoo efforts just removed them from your dog without killing them. Be careful, because they can simply jump back on! This can be avoided from using a shampoo targeted at killing them, not just making them jump off.

- Once finished, CHECK AGAIN to make sure ALL fleas, eggs, and larave are gone. A flea comb is a WONDERFUL tool to use to help you ensure you got everything. Hands down, the BEST flea comb I have ever seen is the flea comb by Safari. It has a double row of teeth and the handle is like a regular brush’s handle (better than ones that you have to cup with your hand, I hate those!). It works like a charm and I personally wouldn’t use any other one.

- At this point, you need to make sure the environment (doggie bed, blankets, carpets, etc), have been cleaned and treated as well.

In closing…

ALWAYS check with your local vet when using any product on your dog! Some products may work wonders on some dogs but might do more harm than good on your particular dog. Better to be safe, than sorry. Never hurts to ask!


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