The Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs for 2022

Written by Katie Melynn
Updated: October 14, 2022
© WilleeCole Photography/Shutterstock.com

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

Fleas, ticks, and other pests can be a real bummer for dogs. Itching, discomfort, and hair loss are just a few symptoms that these unwanted insects can cause. Left untreated, they can also lead to lasting health problems. Fleas are small and hard to detect. Once your dog has a full-blown infestation, these little fleas can be all over your house, furniture, and bedding.

One of the best ways to treat fleas is to prevent them from being a problem in the first place. Flea medication and prevention are both great options. Flea shampoo is another trick that many dog owners use to keep their dogs safe and healthy, not to mention keeping troublesome fleas out of their homes.

We’ve found the best flea shampoos for dogs so that you can sift through the numerous products on the market to get to the top recommendations. We have options for every budget and need, as well as great smelling shampoos that help with a variety of other conditions as well.

  1. Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo
  2. Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo
    • Lathers quickly
    • Kills fleas hiding in your dog's coat
    • Designed to be used as part of an overall treatment plan, since it does not target fleas in the environment or their eggs
    • Unscented
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. TropiClean Neem & Citrus Dog Shampoo
  4. TropiClean Neem & Citrus Dog Shampoo
    • Provides relief from tick bites and irritation
    • Designed to provide comfort between the application of products that target adult fleas and their eggs
    • Free from soap, paraben, and dyes
    • pH balanced for dogs
    • Not a flea treatment
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo
  6. Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo
    • Easy on your wallet
    • Very effective
    • Removes fleas and "flea dirt" (flea droppings)
    • Can be used on cats, dogs, ferrets, and horses over 12-weeks old
    • Can use weekly
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  7. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor
  8. Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor
    • Affordable
    • Extremely effective
    • Targets adult fleas and their eggs
    • Reduces the chance of reinfestation
    • Also works on ticks and lice
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

#1 Overall Best Flea Shampoo for Dogs: Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo for Cats and Dogs

In our review, the best flea shampoo for dogs is Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats and Dogs. This shampoo is affordable, very effective, and can work for multiple animals. It targets adult fleas and their eggs. This reduces the chances for reinfestation after you use the shampoo. The Adams Plus shampoo also works on ticks and lice. If you want a product that will kill all of the pests that can bother your dog, this is our top pick.

It is also sensitive enough to use on animals with sensitive skin. The included oatmeal, aloe vera, and lanolin provide extra conditioning to soothe dry and sensitive skin. You can use this shampoo with both cats and dogs. If you are a multi-pet household, having one product that can work on all of your animals makes everything simpler. It is even safe for kittens and puppies after 12 weeks old.

“I have used this product for years and it is hands down the best shampoo for removing heavy flea infestations from cats and dogs,” said one reviewer. “This shampoo kills fleas AND their eggs which makes it super effective at preventing reinfestation while environmental conditions are changed/managed.” Most used it in coordination with a topical flea treatment to prevent future infestations. 

#1 Overall Best
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor
  • Affordable
  • Extremely effective
  • Targets adult fleas and their eggs
  • Reduces the chance of reinfestation
  • Also works on ticks and lice
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best Budget-Friendly Shampoo: Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs and Cats

Veterinary Formula flea and tick shampoo is super effective and great for your wallet. It is a cost-effective shampoo to use on live fleas and ticks. The shampoo targets the fleas themselves and also cleanses the “flea dirt,” also known as the flea droppings, from your dog’s coat. It can be used on cats, dogs, ferrets, and horses, although you should only use it with animals older than 12 weeks.

This shampoo has pyrethrum to kill the fleas and ticks, which may bother some pets. It’s best to try it out in a small area first to make sure that they don’t have a negative reaction or irritation. The shampoo is meant to be used as needed, with recommended use not to be more often than once per week. This is a great part of an overall grooming routine and is not meant for daily use. It is still mild enough to use even with sensitive dogs.

“I got this for my mom’s little Yorkie who always has dry skin,” wrote one reviewer. “She went to a kennel and came home with fleas. One treatment and gone and surprisingly no skin irritation, which is great.”

Best Budget-Friendly
Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo
  • Easy on your wallet
  • Very effective
  • Removes fleas and "flea dirt" (flea droppings)
  • Can be used on cats, dogs, ferrets, and horses over 12-weeks old
  • Can use weekly
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best Premium Shampoo: Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies

With an entire line of flea treatments for your dog and home, Advantage has plenty of knowledge and experience when it comes to getting rid of these pests. The Flea & Tick Treatment shampoo lathers up quickly and kills fleas that are hiding in your pet’s coat. This can be used as part of an overall treatment for your environment, with carpet cleaners and sprays designed to kill fleas available from Advantage. It can take up to 30 days to completely kill off fleas since this product does not target their eggs or fleas in the environment.

This shampoo is unscented, a great option for those who have sensitive noses (dogs or humans). To use it, lather up your dog and leave the shampoo on for at least 5 minutes. This is required to actually kill the fleas. You should be able to see them in your dog’s fur and in the water as you start to rinse them. “It works! Kills all fleas and when you’re drying your dog’s fur, you will see that the fleas do not move at all,” wrote one reviewer. “Just make sure to follow the directions and leave on their coat for 5 minutes.”

Best Premium Shampoo
Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo
  • Lathers quickly
  • Kills fleas hiding in your dog's coat
  • Designed to be used as part of an overall treatment plan, since it does not target fleas in the environment or their eggs
  • Unscented
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Grooming Regimen: TropiClean Neem & Citrus Flea & Tick Relief for Dogs

TropiClean has shampoos, conditioners, and relief products for a variety of conditions and types of fur for your dog. The flea and tick relief shampoo provides relief from flea bites and irritation. This can be essential for dogs suffering from infestations that are getting treatment via a topical application or flea collar. You should be careful about combining products that kill fleas. The TropiClean relief shampoo can provide comfort in between the application of other products that target adult fleas or eggs.

Other products from TropiClean include shampoo/conditioner combos, deep cleaning shampoos, shed control, whitening, and hypoallergenic. All of their products are made with as many naturally-derived ingredients as possible. They are free of soaps, parabens, and dyes while being pH balanced for dogs. Keep in mind that this is meant as a relief shampoo and not a flea treatment. It is the ideal option to use as part of an overall regimen.

“I got this as a last resort for my rescue cat who has dermatitis. He itches constantly because of all the dry patches and sores,” said one reviewer “I’m not kidding, this is amazing stuff. I popped the equivalent of what you would shampoo them in a bowl and soaped it up, and sponge cleaned him. His scratching has literally stopped!”

Best Grooming Regimen
TropiClean Neem & Citrus Dog Shampoo
  • Provides relief from tick bites and irritation
  • Designed to provide comfort between the application of products that target adult fleas and their eggs
  • Free from soap, paraben, and dyes
  • pH balanced for dogs
  • Not a flea treatment
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

When deciding between the options for flea shampoo, look for something that is effective at targeting fleas, affordable, and has ingredients that work.

Effective

Most flea shampoos target adult fleas. Some can also get rid of ticks and even lice. Depending on your dog’s environment and issues, you might want to get something that can work for a variety of pests. It is also worth considering a flea shampoo that can get rid of flea eggs. This can make the process of getting rid of an infestation much faster.

Affordable

Flea treatments from the vet can be quite expensive. If you want to give a flea shampoo a try, look for something that is economical while still being effective. Keep in mind that you won’t be using this kind of shampoo daily. You should only use it once per week at most. Many pet owners use it when they notice a flea infestation but switch to a different all-purpose shampoo for normal use.

Ingredients

Pyrethrum is the main active ingredient that gets rid of fleas, ticks, and other pests. An effective flea treatment shampoo should have this ingredient listed, as well as others that will help it be effective. If you want to go the all-natural route, you will likely need to use a relief shampoo with calming ingredients like oatmeal. These can help your dog stay comfortable while a medicated treatment works to get the fleas.

The Different Types of Dog Flea Shampoo: Pros and Cons Compared

When dealing with fleas, you can get a shampoo that kills them or a shampoo that provides relief while other products provide medicated treatment. Each option has pros and cons, which we’ve gone over. The best choice for you will depend on the severity of the flea infestation and how you plan to treat it.

Flea Treatment Shampoo

ProsCons
Kills fleas and other pestsCan dry out or irritate skin
Can kill flea eggs to end the infestationCan only be used periodically
Effective immediately

Flea Relief Shampoo

ProsCons
Provides moisture and relief to skinDoesn’t kill fleas
Natural ingredientsNeeds to be used with treatment regimen
Can be used often if needed

Verified Review: User Experience

Our top recommended pick, the Adams Plus Flea & Tick shampoo, is one of the most effective on the market. “I love this product on my one-year-old Pitt,” said one reviewer. “I shampooed her twice with it and the fleas were literally jumping off from her. “

Reviewers love it for more than just its flea targeting power, although that is a great aspect as well. “It kills fleas if, after lathering, you let the suds set on your pet for at least 10 minutes. The fleas will come out of hiding to the surface and you will see how many are really there, which can be helpful during warm months,” wrote one reviewer. “The shampoo is also blue, so the blueing dye really brightens white fur and makes your pet’s fur glisten! This is also my favorite smelling pet shampoo and if we are traveling with our pets we bathe them with this shampoo before we are in the car with them for hours. It helps us in tight travel spaces.”

TropiClean is a popular product with reviewers looking to provide some relief to their dogs while other flea treatments work to kill the pests. “WOW!! Not only no more fleas or flea poop on him, but his fur is super soft and shiny, feels fantastic, and the light scent is very nice,” said one reviewer who used in alongside a topical treatment. “He is not itching at all after being shampooed with this, nor have his eyes been watering.”

“It is soap-free and therefore does not interfere with the flea medication like a typical shampoo containing soaps or detergents,” wrote another reviewer who also liked that it is “a more natural product which is earth-friendly and cruelty-free.” It is important to note that this is a relief shampoo and not a medicated product, since some reviewers were surprised when it didn’t kill fleas.

About the Author

Katie is a freelance writer and teaching artist specializing in home, lifestyle, and family topics. Her work has appeared in At Ease Magazine, PEOPLE, and The Spruce, among others. When she is not writing, Katie is a Teaching Artist with The APEX Arts Magnet Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland and was awarded an Author Fellowship to Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. She also enjoys spending time with her three kids and cat.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.