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The 7 Best Flea Dips For Dogs

Now that your dog has fleas, what do you do? Even though there are many pills and creams that can help keep fleas away for a long time, sometimes you need something that will work right away. Dips for fleas are a tried-and-true way to get rid of them when you can't wait.

You don't have to take your dog to the vet to buy many effective flea dips. Instead, you can buy them over the counter. These recipes can be very helpful when stronger treatments aren't available or when you want to stop an infestation before it gets worse.

Flea dips aren't all the same, of course. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has looked at the best flea dips for dogs on the market right now to help you get rid of these tiny bugs. Let's jump right into our favorites

Reviews

Happy Jack 1045 Kennel Dip II

The Happy Jack 1045 Kennel Dip II is the best choice for dogs and their owners who want to go straight to the top.

This treatment is made with chemicals that are safe for the environment and kill fleas, ticks, flies, and other common pests. It is based on water.

This flea treatment can be mixed with water to make a dip, a sponge-on formula, or a spray that you can use on your dog’s crate, bed, and other places where fleas might live. Happy Jack says each treatment can work for up to 30 days.

Even though this flea dip has safety instructions to make sure it doesn’t poison your pet by accident, owners say that these instructions don’t take into account differences in size.

For small and toy breeds, the recommended amount of solution per gallon of water is too much.

Pros

  • Formula that is safe for the environment and based on water
  • Can last up to 30 days
  • It kills fleas, ticks, lice, and other bugs that live on the skin.
  • Can be used on surfaces for dogs or homes
  • 16 gallons can be made from one bottle.

Cons

  • May work better on bedding than skin
  • There are no rules for smaller dogs.

 

Flea and Tick Dip Zodiac 100518515

The Zodiac 100518515 Flea and Tick Dip is another great way for dog owners to get rid of fleas and other pests. This formula comes in an 8-ounce bottle, and the maker says that 4 ounces of solution should be mixed with every gallon of water.

This formula is a good choice for dogs with dry or sensitive skin because it has no alcohol.

This dip can be used as a dip or with a sponge to treat fleas, ticks, lice, and ear mites quickly. Zodiac says that this formula is safe for dogs who are at least 12 weeks old.

Even though this flea dip says it doesn’t contain alcohol and won’t dry your pet out, it still has harsh chemicals and should be used with care. Overall, it seems like the success of this recipe varies from owner to owner.

Pros

  • Alcohol-free, moisturizing formula
  • Safe on dogs 12 weeks and older
  • Use as a dip or on a sponge.
  • Targets multiple pests

Cons

  • Pyrethrins and other ingredients might still irritate your skin.
  • Some users said it didn’t work against fleas.
  • Doesn’t help with mange or other skin problems

 

Bio-Groom 12508 Pyrethrin Dip for Fleas and Ticks

The Bio-Groom 12508 Flea & Tick Pyrethrin Dip is a great flea dip for dogs with a strong, fast-acting formula for owners who want to stop fleas right away.

This flea dip comes in a standard 8-ounce bottle, or you can buy a gallon bottle if you want to treat your pet for a longer time.

Pests like fleas, ticks, and lice can be killed by this dip. It also keeps biting insects away for up to two weeks, like flies and mosquitoes.

The instructions from the manufacturer say that this formula is safe for puppies who are at least one month old. As with most flea dips, you should mix 4 ounces of the formula with a gallon of water.

Unfortunately, many people who used this dip said that their dog’s fleas didn’t change much or at all.

Also, the bottle says that this product can be used on puppies as young as four weeks old, but it is much safer to wait until a dog is 12 weeks old before giving it the active ingredients in this formula.

Pros

  • Works against fleas, ticks, and other bugs
  • Keeps insects from biting for up to two weeks
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Product odor dissipates quickly

Cons

  • The instructions are hard to follow.
  • Many users say their results aren’t very good.
  • May make the skin itch

 

Martin’s Flea, Tick, and Mange Dip kills fleas, ticks, and mange.

Martin’s Flea, Tick, and Mange Dip is the last thing on our list. Farmers and hunters with working dogs that are likely to pick up fleas, ticks, and other skin-borne pests always use this recipe.

If you follow the directions on the bottle, you can make 8 gallons of flea dip from one pint-sized bottle.

This dip will keep fleas and ticks away from your dog for up to four weeks. It will also keep flies and other insects from biting your dog. It can be used on dogs older than 4 months and is safe to use on flea-infested bedding and other surfaces.

Most people who don’t like this formula say that it doesn’t work as well as they thought it would. Some dog owners said that the fleas on their dogs got better after using, but others said that nothing changed.

Pros

  • This works for up to 28 days.
  • It works on fleas, ticks, flies that bite, and more.
  • No unpleasant odor
  • Can be used as a dip, a treatment with a sponge, or as a spray.

Cons

  • Can’t be used on dogs less than 4 months old.
  • Costs more than other choices
  • Not a sure thing to work

Conclusion

For the best flea dips for dogs, Adams Plus 3006017 Pyrethrin Dip is the best formula on the market for owners on a budget. It fights fleas and other biting bugs like flies and mosquitoes, just like other products. Plus, this formula has aloe and lanolin to help soothe skin that is red or itchy.

Lastly, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) thinks that the Happy Jack 1045 Kennel Dip II may be more expensive, but its formula makes up for it. This flea dip is safe for the environment because it is made of water. It keeps fleas and other bugs that live on the skin away for up to a month. It can even be used on your dog’s bed and toys to make sure there are no fleas left.

Buyer's Guide

Even though almost half of U.S. households have a dog, we still don’t have a foolproof way to get rid of fleas and other pests that live on the skin. On top of that, many of the most common flea treatments, like dips, can have serious side effects.

Here’s what you need to know about fleas, your dog, and what to do when the two meet:

What does a flea look like?

Fleas are small insects that don’t fly and live as parasites on larger animals. Even though fleas can’t fly, they are known for jumping, which can make them hard to see if you aren’t paying attention.

Fleas are parasites, so they depend on their hosts for food, shelter, and to have babies. Dog owners often find out they have a flea problem not because they see a flea, but because they find flea bites and flea eggs.

But fleas are more than just annoying and painful. When a flea bites its host, it can also spread harmful pathogens, such as bacteria or parasites that live inside the body.

From where do fleas come?

Regular flea dips can help control an infestation or stop it from happening in the first place, but the relationship between our dogs and their unwanted guests is often more complicated than we think. After all, these little animals don’t just show up out of thin air.

Fleas live and breed on a wide range of animals, including people, other pets, and wild animals.

If your dog suddenly gets fleas, it’s likely that it came into contact with another animal that already had them. This could have happened at a dog park, a boarding kennel, or even in your own backyard.

But fleas can also live on carpeting, grass, the inside of a car, bedding, and clothing. Since your dog could get fleas from so many different places, most treatments focus on the dog instead of the many places fleas could come from.

What are the signs that your dog has fleas?

Even if you haven’t seen a flea on your dog or in their bed, there are a few telltale signs of an infestation:

  • Your dog has scabs on its skin
  • Scratching too much
  • Skin that is red or itchy
  • Loss of hair in spots
  • Spots of black or white on your dog’s skin or in its bed

Remember that fleas can live on more than just dogs. If there are fleas in your home, you may see these signs on yourself and other pets.

Are all flea treatments safe?

If you’re like a lot of pet owners, you might not think it’s important to treat your dog for fleas. Realistically, though, treatments you do at home, like flea dips, can be dangerous.

Pesticides or other harsh chemicals are in almost all flea treatments. Even though these chemicals are safe in small amounts, giving your dog too much of them can be very dangerous. Dips and other treatments for fleas should always be used according to the directions on the package and the weight of your dog.

If you have both cats and dogs, you should also know that many flea treatments for dogs are not safe for cats. Never use a flea treatment on a cat unless you are sure it is safe.

When should you take a pet with fleas to a vet?

There are a lot of flea treatments you can buy over the counter, so you might think going to the vet is too much. Most of the time, talking to your vet about a flea problem can make it easier and safer to deal with it.

Veterinarians can write prescriptions for pills, shampoo, and other treatments that are stronger than what you can buy at the store. Your vet can also give you specific instructions on how to treat your dog based on its size and any other health issues.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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