|Best Overall||Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo with Precor|
|Best Budget-Friendly||Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Flea & Tick Shampoo|
|Best Premium Shampoo||Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo|
|Best Grooming Regimen||TropiClean Neem & Citrus Dog Shampoo|
- The #1 Best Overall flea shampoo is Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo.
- When you’re shopping for flea shampoo, keep the following criterion in mind: effectiveness, affordability, and ingredients that work.
- There are two main types of flea shampoos: those for flea treatment and those for flea relief. We’ve broken down the pros and cons of each in at-a-glance charts.
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 rounded up and reviewed the best flea shampoos for dogs so that you don’t have to sift through countless products randomly. We have options for every budget and need, as well as great smelling shampoos that help with a variety of other conditions as well.
Top Picks for the Best Flea Shampoo: Ranked and Rated
#1 Best Overall: Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo for Cats and Dogs
In our review, the #1 Best Overall flea shampoo for dogs is Adams Plus Flea and Tick Shampoo for Cats and Dogs. This shampoo is affordable, extremely effective, and can work for multiple animals. It targets adult fleas and their eggs, which 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 the main 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 over 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 conjunction with a topical flea treatment to prevent future infestations.
Several reviewers said that their dogs “broke out” after being bathed with this shampoo.
Pros and Cons of Adams Plus Flea & Tick Shampoo for Cats and Dogs
|This flea shampoo is affordable and effective and can be used on cats and dogs, including kittens and puppies that are over 12 weeks old.||Several reviewers said that their dogs “broke out” after being bathed with this shampoo.|
|It targets adult fleas and their eggs to reduce the chance of reinfestation.|
|It also kills ticks and lice.|
|It’s safe for pets with sensitive skin, and is made with skin soothing ingredients like oatmeal, aloe vera, and lanolin.|
2. Best Budget-Friendly: Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs and Cats
Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs and Cats 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.”
A few verified reviewers said that this shampoo “smelled horrible,” while one said that it left their kitten “smelling great.” Which just goes to prove that some criterion are subjective.
Pros and Cons of Veterinary Formula Flea and Tick Shampoo for Dogs and Cats
|This effective, affordable shampoo targets fleas and removes “flea dirt” (droppings) from your pet’s coat.||You shouldn’t use this shampoo more than once a week.|
|You can use this shampoo on cats, dogs, ferrets, and horses that are over 12 weeks old.||A few verified reviewers said that this shampoo “smelled horrible.”|
|This product includes pyrethrum, so you should test it on a small area to ensure that it doesn’t trigger a negative reaction or irritation on your pet.|
|It’s mild enough for use on dogs with sensitive skin.|
- 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
3. Best Premium: Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies
Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies lathers up quickly and kills fleas that are hiding in your pet’s coat. This shampoo can be used as part of an overall Advantage treatment plan, including carpet cleaners and sprays designed to kill fleas. 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, so it’s ideal for dogs (or humans!) that have sensitive noses. To use it, lather up your dog and leave the shampoo on for at least five 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 five minutes.”
Several verified buyers were displeased because the formula was much thinner it used to be.
Pros and Cons of Advantage Flea & Tick Treatment Shampoo for Dogs and Puppies
|This shampoo lathers quickly and kills fleas that are hiding in your dog’s coat.||It can take up to 30 days to completely kill fleas since this shampoo doesn’t target their eggs or fleas in the environments.|
|Advantage has an extensive arsenal of products, including carpet cleaners and sprays designed to kill fleas.||You must leave the lather on your dog for five minutes before you rinse it off.|
|It’s unscented, so it won’t offend sensitive canine or human noses.||Some reviewers said that the shampoo was much more “watery” than it used to be.|
4. Best Grooming Regimen: TropiClean Neem & Citrus Flea & Tick Relief for Dogs
TropiClean Neem & Citrus Flea & Tick Relief for Dogs 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 TropiClean Neem & Citrus Flea & Tick Relief for Dogs is meant as a relief shampoo and not as 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!”
Several reviewers said that the “packaging could be better.”
Pros and Cons of TropiClean Neem & Citrus Flea & Tick Relief for Dogs
|This shampoo provides relief from flea bits and irritation.||It is not a flea treatment.|
|The company uses as many naturally-derived ingredients as possible.||Several reviewers said that the “packaging could be better.”|
|They’re free from soaps, parabens, and dyes, and are pH balanced for dogs.|
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.
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.
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 That Work
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
|Kills fleas and other pests||Can dry out or irritate skin|
|Can kill flea eggs to end the infestation||Can only be used periodically|
Flea Relief Shampoo
|Provides moisture and relief to skin||Doesn’t kill fleas|
|Natural ingredients||Needs 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.
The Best Flea Shampoos for Dogs FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Does flea shampoo kill fleas and their eggs?
Dog shampoo that’s formulated to kill fleas will kill adult fleas and their eggs as well. These shampoos include chemicals such as pyrethrins, so you shouldn’t bathe your dog with them more often than directed on the bottle.
Why should I use a flea relief shampoo on my dog?
Flea bites itch. And because they itch, dogs tend to scratch them and further irritate their skin. A gentle shampoo formulated with aloe vera and/or colloidal oatmeal can soothe the flea bites and give your dog’s skin a chance to heal.
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