Ticks and fleas reproduce and spread quickly so eliminating them straight away in a definitive manner is crucial. Pets, especially dogs and cats are the ultimate carriers of fleas. They not only harm your pets but also infest your house and surroundings, making life miserable. However, half of the problem would be solved if your pet takes regular baths. Fleas and ticks can relentlessly bite your pets, leaving them irritated and itchy. Therefore, as a canine lover, you must understand the importance of choosing the best flea shampoo for your dogs and cats. A good quality flea shampoo is your first line of defense that you reach when your pet starts showing the symptoms and sings of parasitic infestation on their body.
Fleas feed off the blood of your beloved pets causing them to scratch relentlessly. Moreover, some pets like cats and dogs are extra sensitive to flea saliva that makes their skin form crusty scar-like surface. Worst case scenario, your pet’s flea troubles could venture into a domestic flea infestation.
Table of Contents
- Flea Allergy on Pets
- What is Flea Shampoo?
- Three types of Flea Shampoos for Pets
- Top 6 Best Flea Shampoos for Pets 2018
- Common Ingredients in Chemical Flea Shampoos
- What about 100% Natural Flea Shampoos for Pets?
- What to Use in Conjunction with Flea Shampoo?
- Safety Tips to Consider When Using the Best Flea Shampoos for Pets
- Reasons Why You Should Use Flea Shampoos for Pets
Flea Allergy on Pets
Flea allergy is somewhat the most common condition affecting dogs, cats, and other pets. You should immediately pay a visit to your vet if you see these signs and symptoms experienced by your pet.
Hence, you are not only required to take care of your neighborhood like cleaning up the trash, bushes but also make sure that your pets are free from flea parasitic infestation.
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In extreme circumstances, there is a possibility that the fleas could cause more damage to your pets than you ever imagine. There are numerous methods of eliminating fleas from your pets and house.
The most efficient of them all is making your pet undergo overall grooming process that includes regular pet shampoos. If your pet dog has been infested with fleas or ticks, you will need to bathe him/her with the special and bet flea shampoos for pets. Bathing your pet dog or cat regularly with a flea shampoo is likely to be the most practical and easiest ways.
What is Flea Shampoo?
Flea or tick shampoo is generally a medicated shampoo meant to kill fleas and their eggs infested on your pet’s body. They are made of certain chemicals and natural compounds that help in preventing the fleas from returning. The best flea shampoo for pets will also cleanse and soothe your pet’s coat and skin.
You can either go to the pet store and ask for the best flea shampoos for pets or you can make a basic flea shampoo at home out of liquid dish wash soap, white vinegar, and warm water. Homemade flea shampoos cannot guarantee you success, as these shampoos are not as effective as the lab tested and manufactured flea shampoos. You are advised to use the homemade version of flea shampoo only after consulting the vet because it can cause your pet’s skin to dry out, that only intensifies itching.
Before you go to the store and purchase any of the flea shampoo for pets, you should consult it with a vet, as there are different types of flea shampoos for pets available in the market
Three types of Flea Shampoos for Pets
There are three different types of flea shampoos for pets that work differently for the same cause. Please note that different pet (dogs/cats) has different needs and using any of the products without proper consultation may cause harm to your pet. Here are three different types of flea shampoos for pets-
- Chemical Flea Shampoos – the chemical flea shampoos include industry-made ingredients like pyrethroids and pyrehrins that we will discuss further in depth as we proceed with the article.
- Natural Flea Shampoos – the natural flea shampoos include d-limonene and/or citrus peel extracts as the active ingredients. The citric acid present in the compounds besiege the fleas’ central nervous system thereby killing them.
- Organic Flea Shampoos – the organic flea shampoos are composed of essential oils like cedar oil, peppermint oil, and clove oil that attacks and repel fleas. The organic shampoos have an added effect of cleansing and soothing your pet’s coat and skin.
Top 6 Best Flea Shampoos for Pets 2018
Now that you have gained all the knowledge regarding flea shampoos, let us discuss the best flea shampoos you can buy. We have chosen six great flea shampoos currently in the market.
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The reason why we have put this product on top is that it kills all life stages of fleas including eggs and larvae. It boats a good amalgamation of natural and chemical ingredients like pyrethrins, Aloe Vera for soothing effect, oatmeal and coconut extract. These ingredients help in calming the irritation and itch left by fleas preventing your pet from further scratching and harming its skin. The main highlight of Adams is that it also consists of RECOR Insect Growth Regulator that takes care of pre-adult fleas.
If you are looking for something natural without any industrial chemicals that may harm your pet then flea shampoos from Wahl is worth giving a try. The product boasts potential essential oils like cedar, mint, and rosemary oil along with coconut oil, aloe vera for providing soothing sensation. We recommend that you first go with the natural substrate before going for the chemical ones because natural options are the best considering the health of your pet.
This product is 100% natural and 70% organic so you can trust with applying directly on your pet for flea prevention. This is the product made for those dogs with allergic skin. The natural content of citrus oil acts as an excellent flea repellent and helps in eliminating most of the fleas from your dog’s body. However, you cannot use this product on cats and other domesticated pets apart from dogs.
Despite being all natural, Oster shampoo is great at killing and repelling fleas of all stages. It includes pyrethrins as the active ingredient extracted from the chrysanthemum flowers and natural oatmeal that helps in protecting and soothing your pet’s skin. The product is pH balanced with no artificial coloring. Another best thing about this product is that it can be used on both dogs and cats.
SynergyLabs are known for producing strong products that kills fleas and other insects. If you are having trouble with those cheeky little parasites and natural shampoos are not proving effective against them, you can consider using this product. This product is a blend of natural as well as chemical compounds that not only kills fleas but also removes dirt and debris from your pets’ skin and coat.
It is one of the most preferred and popular flea control shampoos for dogs amongst the canine lovers. It mainly treats the irritated skin, kills fleas and prevents them from coming back. This product is recommended for puppies above six months of age. The perfect blend of natural and chemical compounds ensures the affected skin is treated and healed properly.
Common Ingredients in Chemical Flea Shampoos
Chemical flea shampoos for pets are the most recommended when your pets is infected by these parasites. The strong chemical amalgamation is more effective in preventing and killing fleas, but the chemical shampoos carry a potential risk of adverse side effects to your pet. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the common ingredients found in chemical shampoos before using them.
Pyrethrins are active ingredients extracted from chrysanthemum plants. This natural extract has been used as insecticides for over a century. There are six different types of pyrethrins used for flea prevention, they are – pyrethrin I and II, jasmolin I and II, and cinevin I and II. Pyrethrins attack the nervous system of the fleas by disrupting the natural flow of sodium that ultimately kills them. Pyrethrins act quickly but fail to have a long-lasting effect. Pyrethrins are edible and the stomach acid can easily break them if ingested. However, it is not toxic but it is smart to keep an eye out on the symptoms.
Unlike pyrethrins, pyrethroids are synthetic compounds that are manufactured in laboratories. They are not found in nature and its five types are used in flea prevention and pest control products. Five types of pyrethroids include allethrin and resemethrin for killing flying insects and etofenprox, permethrin, and phenothrin for killing fleas.
Pyrethroids works similar to pyrethrins – attacking the central nervous system of the fleas. However, unlike pyrethrins, pyrethroids continue to repel fleas after killing them.
They work slowly as compared to pyrethrins but lasts much longer. It is advised not to use pyrethroids products on cats.
The above-mentioned two compounds are effective at killing adult fleas but the eggs and larvae remain untouched by them. This is the reason why manufacturers add a compound named methoprene in flea repellent products. Methoprene is also known as the Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) that targets the pre-adult fleas by preventing them from growing into complete adults.
- Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate or Docusate Sodium
Docusate sodium is another chemical compound used in flea repellent products. It is used is most of the insect repellent products as it also prevents other insects and parasites like mites, ticks and lice. Docusate sodium works by altering the physical makeup of the fleas that causes internal organ failure.
What about 100% Natural Flea Shampoos for Pets?
If you feel like these chemical pesticides and insect repellents are not suitable for your pets then there are non-toxic flea repellent alternatives as well. There are natural flea shampoos for pets but the thing is they are not as effective as the chemically induced flea shampoos. Your dog or cat can still experience flea infestation even after you have used the product; it is not a complete remedy. Most of the natural flea shampoos for pets use a combination of potential essential oils like peppermint, rosemary, clove, and cinnamon. These compounds are effective in providing a soothing effect to the skin but it will not do much when it comes to wiping the flea infestation. However, the essential oils will make sure that no new infestation takes place.
What to Use in Conjunction with Flea Shampoo?
Best flea shampoos for pets are effective enough to kill and prevent further infestation of fleas and other parasites. However, as a dog or cat owner, you should focus practicing healthy grooming habits on your pet instead of taking actions when the symptoms start showing. Flea shampoos are essential tools for killing and controlling fleas on your pet but, to achieve better results you should use other products and procedures in conjunction with flea shampoos.
- Treat the outside environment – use sprays, powders, bombs, or foggers in areas with tall grasses and bushes. These are the places where fleas like to live in.
- Clean and Vacuum – fleas can nests wherever they find suitable including the carpets and rugs as well.
- Use other products beside Flea Shampoos – treat your pets specifically for fleas, there are tropical treatments and oral medications like spot treatments, flea collars, flea powders, etc. research different products, consult with a vet and choose the best option that suits your pet.
Safety Tips to Consider When Using the Best Flea Shampoos for Pets
It is not necessary that the product labeled ‘best’ proves best for your dog or cat. Like humans, animals are also allergic to certain natural and chemical compounds and if not given proper attention, it can cause some serious problems. Hence, here are some safety tips to consider before using any of the best flea shampoos for pets.
- Read the product label carefully; determine whether the product is compatible for all domesticated animals or for a specific species.
- Understand the ingredients and compound mixtures of the product. There are some compounds both natural and chemical that your pet might be allergic to. So determine the purpose of each ingredient and if any of the ingredient seems harmful, consult a vet and ask for an alternative to that particular product.
- Before using a chemical flea shampoo on your pet, check with your veterinarian. Dogs or cats that are on medications, old, nursing, or pregnant may be at a greater risk of harm.
- If you have used the product for the first on your pet, monitor your pet for at least 24 hours to see if they show any signs of irritation or discomfort. If your pet starts showing symptoms, it means that the product contains toxic chemicals. Symptoms of toxicity include seizures, tremors, fatigue, excessive salivation, and vomiting. If you notice anything similar, immediately contact your vet.
- Animals react to allergic reactions differently. If your pet had a bad reaction to flea shampoo, immediately wash off your pet with warm water and soap to prevent any further discomfort and then take your pet to your vet ASAP.
- Only use the products that are specific to your pet. You cannot use a cat shampoo for flea on your dog unless it is specified that it is safe for both the species.
- The amount of product you use plays a crucial role as well. A little too much can cause severe bad reactions and too little can prove to be ineffective. Hence, it is important to use the recommended amount – not more and not less. Ask your vet about the quantity to be used.
- Always wear gloves while bathing your pet and avoid direct contact from your skin. The chemical compounds may have allergic reactions on you as well. On the other hand, always wash your hands thoroughly before and after the application of the shampoo.
- Make sure your pet is not licking its fur or skin while the product is still intact. Wash your pet until you are certain that the product is completely off its body. After washing, use an air blower or a towel to dry your pet or you can simply take it for a walk.
- There are flea repellents products and shampoos that include ingredients like carbamates and organophosphate insecticides (OPs). These compounds are labeled carcinogenic to humans so avoid any product that has these compounds.
Reasons Why You Should Use Flea Shampoos for Pets
- Flea shampoos moisturizes and deodorizes the pet
- Flea shampoos not only prove effective against fleas but also against ticks and other parasites
- Flea shampoos are chemical safe and gentle for pets and can be effectively and safely used around children
- Flea shampoos can be used on a once in a month basis for killing fleas or making for preventing fleas from infesting your pet
- Flea shampoos show instant effect and are easy to use
In this post, we have discussed everything regarding the best flea shampoos for pets. We hope that this article will help you in determining and understanding which flea shampoos is suitable for your pet, how to effectively use flea shampoos, and things to consider before using a flea shampoo on your pet.
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