No, we’re not talking about giving a bath to a flea. But if you find fleas on your dog, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is get rid of them. If your dog is on an effective flea control medication, then you may never have this problem. However, if you find your dog with a flea infestation, you may want to start tackling the problem with a flea bath.
Keep in mind that a flea bath will remove the fleas from your dog, but it will not keep fleas from returning to your dog. It will still be necessary for you to begin treating your dog regularly with an effective flea control medication.
What You Need Before Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath
Before giving your dog a flea bath, you will need to gather a few things.
- Water source (faucet in tub/sink or a hose if outdoors)
- Tub or basin (unless bathing outside)
- Leash/collar or a slip leash
- Flea shampoo
- Eye lubricant
- Gloves, if desired
As with any dog bath, you will need a place with a water source to bathe your dog along with plenty of towels depending on the size of your dog.
Find a flea shampoo that is appropriate for your dog. Look for unbiased reviews about flea shampoos to see how well they worked for others. When in doubt, ask your vet for recommendations. Read the bottle and make sure it is labeled for dogs. If you have a puppy, see if there is a minimum age limitation. If your dog has allergies, check the ingredients to make sure there are no allergens in the shampoo. Before using the shampoo, read the label and follow the instructions for proper dosage and usage.
Be sure to get some basic eye lubricant ointment or mineral oil to put in your dog’s eyes. This will help protect the eyes from the chemicals in the shampoo. Eye protection is important for all baths, but it is essential during a flea bath as flea shampoo is harsher than regular dog shampoo.
Use gloves you wish to protect your hands from chemicals that may cause drying or irritation.
How to Give Your Dog a Flea Bath
It’s relatively easy to give your dog a flea bath. In fact, it’s much like giving your dog a regular bath.
- If using a tub or basin, place your dog inside it. It’s usually helpful to leash your dog to something so he cannot run away.
- If indoors, lay down a towel at the edge of the tub or basin to soak up water.
- Apply a thin strip of eye ointment or a few drops of mineral oil to both of your dog’s eyes.
- Use warm to lukewarm water to gently and thoroughly soak your dog’s coat. Make sure the water is not hot or too warm to the touch. Hot water may burn your dog. In addition, dogs can overheateasily, so hot or very warm water can cause heat exhaustion.
- Apply the recommended amount of shampoo to your dog’s coat and massage it into your dog’s skin, creating a lather.
- Follow directions on the bottle. Many flea shampoos recommend leaving it on the dog’s coat for a certain amount of time.
- Thoroughly rinse your dog’s coat with lukewarm water.
- Allow your dog to shake off the excess water from his coat. Dry your dog off thoroughly with towels.
- Give your dog a treat!
Remember that a flea bath removes fleas and flea dirt from your dog, but not from the environment. Wash all pet bedding and vacuum your home thoroughly. Be sure to follow up with an effective form of flea control medication to prevent reinfestation. Talk to your veterinarian about the best options for your dog.