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How to Get Rid of Fleas in Dogs

Holle has owned two Akitas and has trained and bred dogs for decades.

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Dogs

How to Get Rid of Fleas in Dogs

When Fleas Take Over and Nothing Works

We’ve recently tried getting rid of fleas. It’s been an epic battle, so to speak. We have numerous outdoor semi-feral cats, and I’m sure they do their part in bringing parasites into our yard and to our back door. We sprinkle the cats with flea powder and apply liquid topical flea treatment when we can get close enough to the kitties.

We also have three indoor dogs, and one is a walking fleabag. I’m not sure why, but our Basset Hound is much more prone to these blood-sucking parasites than our Great Danes have ever been.

Before we adopted Sparky, the hound dog, we rarely saw fleas in our home or on the Danes. We use topical flea control on the big boys, and we assumed it would also work on Sparky. In the world of incorrect assumptions, this one was king.

Our Fight Against the Fleas Took Months

It took us months to finally discover a completely effective flea treatment—and that was just for the dog. For real flea control, you have to cover all your bases. You’ll also need to treat your home, your yard, and your pet’s sleeping spots.

Dog fleas are prolific breeders, and if you don’t stop the process in its tracks, you’ll be inundated with the tiny parasites. Read on to find out what kills fleas, the best flea treatment we’ve found, and other tips for getting rid of fleas.

Dog fleas love Sparky.

Dog fleas love Sparky.

Sparky's Miserable Flea Infestation

How do you get rid of fleas on dogs? What kills fleas? As far as Sparky is concerned, it’s been an uphill battle. We tried just about everything for flea control, but nothing was very effective—until recently. I’ll tell you more about that in the next section.

What We Tried First

Poor Sparky was miserable, and as responsible, caring owners, we wanted to relieve his discomfort. We tried several different brands of flea shampoo, but they had little effect. We also used several brands of topical flea control, which also didn’t help much.

At night, when the hound dog was sitting in my lap, I’d manually pick fleas from his skin and coat. Boy, dog fleas are tough little critters! I had to do some real “smashing” to kill the little buggers by hand.

How Do You Spot Flea Dirt and Flea Eggs?

Fleas on dogs are common, but Sparky seemed to have an uncommon amount of fleas and flea eggs. His skin and coat were wall-to-wall flea dirt. Flea dirt is the term used to describe the tiny black particles left behind by the parasites. It’s made up mostly of droppings, but it might also contain some particles of dried blood. Flea eggs are different, although they’re often found with flea dirt.

What do flea eggs look like? They’re tiny oval shapes that are pearlescent white. They almost resemble grains of salt. If you see an area on the skin or in the fur that resembles salt and pepper, it might very well be flea dirt and flea eggs. You might also find them on your pet’s bedding, where fleas are most likely to breed and lay eggs.

Why Are Some Breeds More Prone to Fleas Than Others?

Why do fleas like the Basset Hound so much better than the Danes? We haven’t figured this out yet. His coat is very similar to the Great Danes’ coats, so what about Sparky do the external parasites find so appealing?

I sometimes wonder if it’s because he’s so close to the ground. His belly is just a few inches from the dirt and grass when he’s outdoors, and when his head is down, his ears drag the dirt or grass. Maybe it’s just super easy for dog fleas to hitch a ride on a hound dog.

Our Great Danes have never had many fleas.

Our Great Danes have never had many fleas.

Use Dawn Dish Soap to Get Rid of Fleas

We just found the best flea treatment we’ve ever used, and it’s cheap, easy to use, and readily available. Before I tell you what it is, let me tell you how we found out about it.

After the run-of-the-mill commercial flea treatment soaps and shampoos proved ineffective, we returned to the pet store and purchased the most expensive and most powerful flea shampoo they had. We followed all the directions on the bottle but were disappointed with the results. It did kill some fleas, but it barely put a dent in the crawling, hopping population residing in Sparky’s fur.

My husband returned to the pet store and explained our plight to the owner, adding that we’d already tried their “best” flea control products. Know what he told my husband? He said to use Dawn dishwashing liquid! When my husband came home and told me this, I was extremely skeptical. How would Dawn work when so many commercial flea remedies had failed?

However, we were pretty desperate by that time, so we tried Dawn. It was amazing—the best flea treatment ever! After using it, I examined Sparky closely, and I couldn’t find a single flea, egg, or any flea dirt.

Why Does Dawn Work So Well Against Fleas?

I’ve been trying to figure out why this easy flea treatment worked so well. It could be because Sparky has an oily coat, maybe more attractive than a drier coat as a parasite habitat. Dawn is a “grease cutter,” so maybe it got rid of the oil and, along with it, the fleas.

If that’s the case, Dawn might not work as well for all dogs. On the other hand, I’ve read that Dawn is toxic to fleas. I’ve also read that the lather suffocates the fleas. I don’t know why or how it works—I just know that it does, in fact, work! It’s the best flea treatment we’ve found—hands down.

What kills fleas on dogs? Try Dawn dishwashing liquid!

What kills fleas on dogs? Try Dawn dishwashing liquid!

How to Use Dawn Soap to Kill Fleas on Dogs

I will explain how we use Dawn as an agent for flea control.

  1. We fill the bathtub with warm water—about six inches deep.
  2. We use a large plastic cup to wet Sparky’s coat thoroughly.
  3. Next, we lather up Sparky’s chin and neck with Dawn. Why start there? When fleas feel threatened by liquids being applied to the host, they’ll usually try to seek “higher ground,” which in most cases is the animal’s head. If you apply the lather to the underside of the chin and around the neck first, the parasites will find their escape route blocked.
  4. Apply the Dawn to the back, working the lather into the skin.
  5. From the back, move down to the sides.
  6. Apply the soap to the tail, working it in against the way the hair grows.
  7. Work on the chest and belly next, followed by the legs and paws.
  8. Leave the dog lathered up for five minutes, then use a dog brush to brush the coat all over, except for the head and ears. Dying fleas will often cling firmly to the dog’s skin, so using the brush will help loosen their death grip.
  9. Rinse the dog with clean water. You should see dead fleas and flea dirt in the dirty water in the tub.
  10. To remove fleas from the head and ears, apply a small amount of Dawn to a wet washcloth. Wipe the face and the inside and outside of the ears with the cloth.
  11. Wait five minutes, then wipe the areas with a soap-free wet cloth.
  12. Use your fingers to examine the head and ears for any surviving fleas.
  13. Once you’ve completed all these steps, drain the dirty water and refill the tub with clean water. Repeat the bathing steps.

The second bathing process should take care of any tough individual fleas that might have survived the first treatment. Make sure to rinse the dog thoroughly and not leave any soap residue behind to irritate the skin.

You will probably need to repeat this process a couple of days later. It's vital to note that only shampooing your dog with Dawn and/or pet shampoos is not going to take care of a flea problem—read on to find out how to fix a flea infestation in your dog's environment. This is absolutely necessary to rid your dog of fleas once and for all.

Note on Dawn Use

Dawn can be extremely irritating and drying on the skin. For dogs with allergies, Dawn may trigger dermatitis. Consider using this technique minimally to avoid over-drying and discomfort.

One way to help avoid too much skin irritation is to alternate using Dawn and a regular dog shampoo since this process will require at least a few bathings. If you notice increased redness/inflammation of your dog’s skin or hair loss, you might want to stop using Dawn and switch to a dog shampoo for sensitive skin.

Fleas can hide in furniture, carpet, bedding—anywhere your dog frequents.

Fleas can hide in furniture, carpet, bedding—anywhere your dog frequents.

Fighting Fleas in the House

We don’t have a lot of fleas “running loose” in our house. Most of the tiny vampires are happily hitching rides on our pooches. Once in a great while, we might see a “loose” flea, but such occasions are out of the norm, probably because we have all hardwood floors. Back when we had a lot of carpeted rooms, however, fleas in the house were a big problem.

Using Flea Powder or Borax

I generously sprinkled the carpet with flea powder and then vacuumed it after a couple of hours. I repeated the process for three days, and on the fourth day, I vacuumed thoroughly without using any flea powder. The process worked to get rid of fleas in the house.

Some people use the same process with Borax, and excellent results have been reported. Borax can be harmful to cats, however, so if you have felines in your home, you’ll probably want to use cat-safe flea powder instead.

When my mom got fleas in the house in her upholstered furniture, she sprinkled flea powder under the cushions. She also sprinkled some common table salt there. She got rid of fleas in her furniture, but I don’t know whether the powder or salt did the trick. Maybe it was the “double whammy” that worked. Crushed mothballs might work here, too.

Using a Flea Bomb

Other methods for fleas in the house might work, too. If the pest infestation is really bad, you might consider using a flea bomb. Use one that contains an insect growth regulator (IGR).

Shampooing Carpets and Rugs

I’ve also spoken with pet owners who shampoo their carpet and rugs with a solution of Dawn and warm water, which seems effective. Some homeowners actually combine a little Dawn with water in a spray bottle and mist their floors with it.

Washing Bedding and Other Fabrics

You’ll also need to take care of your dog’s bedding. If your pet has fleas, its bedding and blankets most likely contain flea eggs. You can wash the bedding in hot water and Dawn liquid and then dry it in the clothes dryer. You’ll also need to wash your sheets, bed coverings, and any small rugs and throws your dog is fond of.

Using Conquer Insecticide

Another excellent flea treatment for inside your home is Conquer insecticide. It’s safe to use indoors and out, so we use it in both places. I like Conquer because it’s odorless, unlike many other insecticides. The effective residuals last for about a month, too, so it’s not like you have to spray your yard and home for flea control every time you turn around.

And, by the way, this is the stuff many professionals use for getting rid of fleas and other insects. You can save a lot of money by doing flea control yourself.

Conquer provides great flea control.

Conquer provides great flea control.

My personal flea killer.

My personal flea killer.

How to Remove Fleas From Your Yard

Getting rid of fleas is usually a multi-step process. If you have fleas in your yard, you must get rid of them for proper flea control. It amazes me that so many pet owners overlook this integral part of the flea treatment puzzle.

Think about it: Even if you kill every flea and flea egg in your home and on your pets, you’ll wind up with another infestation if you don’t take proper steps to get rid of fleas outdoors. Unless your dog is trained to use a human toilet, it will have to make several trips outdoors every day to relieve itself. If fleas are living in your yard, they will hop on your pooch as it passes by.

Using Conquer Residual Insecticide Concentrate

My husband sprayed our yard with Conquer Residual Insecticide Concentrate, which kills fleas, ticks, termites, ants, roaches, and spiders. He mixed it with water in a regular garden sprayer and treated our lawn. It works best if you mow your grass first, at least a day or two before spraying the fleas in the yard with Conquer.

Based on our results, I can recommend this product. If you prefer not to use chemicals like insecticides, you can find natural products that might be just as effective. After treating the yard, the house, the dogs, and the bedding, we finally find that we’re getting rid of fleas.

I don't want the grandkids exposed to flea-borne diseases!

I don't want the grandkids exposed to flea-borne diseases!

How Fleas Affect Dog Health and Human Health

Try to imagine how it must feel for fleas to be crawling on you and biting you. Dogs with fleas can be miserable. Fleas can also affect dog health, and not just through the stress and annoyance of the itching and biting, either. Dog fleas can cause some pretty serious health problems in canines, and some can even be spread to humans.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Some dogs have flea allergies. The correct term for this is flea allergy dermatitis, an allergic reaction not to the fleas themselves but the flea saliva. When a flea bites a dog to get a blood meal, the insect leaves behind some of its saliva.

If the dog or puppy is allergic, it will react with red and swollen skin, excessive licking and biting, and almost constant scratching. Openings in the skin caused by scratching can invite bacteria to enter. Hair loss often occurs with flea allergy dermatitis, causing hairless red patches or “hot spots.”


Dog fleas spread tapeworms, too. Fleas ingest the eggs of tapeworms, and when a dog swallows such a flea, the eggs are passed on to the canine. The hatched tapeworms set up shop in the dog’s intestine, and they can grow to several feet in length. And yes, humans can get a tapeworm infestation by accidentally swallowing fleas.


And here’s something really alarming: fleas carry typhus. For a long time, it was believed that fleas carried endemic typhus on rats only, but that’s changed. Typhus-infected fleas have also been found on dogs. More specifically, this is murine typhus, caused by the bacteria Rickettsia typhi. The infected fleas don’t cause typhus in dogs, but dogs can carry the fleas. Instead of the infamous Typhoid Mary, your pooch could be Typhus Fido.

Tularemia (Rabbit Fever)

Have you ever heard of tularemia? Here in the Deep South, we usually call this disease “rabbit fever” because rabbit hunters can get the disease from handling and skinning their infected rabbits. Fleas and ticks can also carry tularemia. Tularemia is rare now in the United States, but it hasn’t been totally eradicated.

Hemotropic Mycoplasmosis (Haemobartonellosis)

Here’s an infection I’ll bet you’ve never heard of: hemotropic mycoplasmosis, or haemobartonellosis. This disease in dogs is caused by bacterial parasites that damage red blood cells. Dogs with healthy spleens might not be affected much, but in some cases, the bacteria can be fatal if not properly treated in time. Ticks and fleas can spread the bacteria.

Sources and Further Reading

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


Keith Webster on July 11, 2020:

What a great website it sure lives up to its name it is very helpful! Thank you so much!

Phyllis on September 25, 2018:

After the bath with dawn soap, will it continue to work 1 to 2 days later or does it stop working after the bath

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on June 22, 2017:

Jo, thanks for the info!

Jo on June 22, 2017:

The reason washing up liquid works is that like baby soap or pure soap it lathers well. The lather blocks the tracheoles in the sides of the flea (most insects absorb oxygen this way as obviously they don't have lungs... Also why you don't find huge insects, but that is another story. Therefore this 'suffocates' the flea and they wash off dead. I suggest you leave the dog lathered for a good 5-10 mind and if using detergent don't get in their eyes or mouth, soap is better and works just as well.

Habee on August 19, 2016:

You're welcome, Debbie! Even our vet recommends Dawn for fleas.

Debbie on August 18, 2016:

This was a very helpful tip with the Dawn liquid soap for killing fleas I'm going out tomorrow to purchase for my dog thank you.

Flea advice on July 31, 2016:

Good afternoon..... Dawn has an ingredient in it that breaks down the outer shell of fleas which in turn results in them dehydrating and dying. It does not however repel fleas so keep this in mind. For those who do not wish to use toxins in their yard, can easily purchase a canister that attaches to your hose (like one you put miracle grow in) put Dawn dish soap in it, attach to hose and spray yard down in Dawn. be sure to get all the nooks and crannies, fencing, around house, grass, etc. Apply to all yards (front, back, sides) at least 1x every 2 weeks and should remain flea free. Also, as a deterrent, I know many saw garlic is toxic to dogs, it is not if given in appropriate amounts, I am a Pomeranian breeder and have given garlic to my dogs for years never having an issue (my daughters give to their dogs as well), crushed garlic mixed in their food; 1/8 tsp 2x's a wk works great, but can also (if can tolerate the smell) mix crushed garlic in a bowl of warm water (1 tsp for every gal), stir until it dissolves (or almost dissolves), pour over dog and rub in completely, start at back of neck between ears, then around (careful not to get into eyes & nose), yes do head area first as fleas will scurry to head and face in dog will possibly swallow or inhale fleas. Work mixture through dogs coat, along back, belly, legs and tail (Do Not Forget Tail), also get underarm areas (inner parts of upper legs). Once thoroughly worked in, allow to dry, rinse well (Garlic Water kills fleas and acts as a deterrent).

alvaro on May 24, 2016:

your tips help me yust as always what will i do without ya :)

Ann on April 08, 2016:

I am surprised that people still think that Dawn is appropriate to use on dogs. the manufacturers tell you not to wash your dog in Dawn. I strips all of your dogs body oils off and leaves the skin totally dry. It takes days for these oils to be produced and cover thespian again. Dogs, like humans, need a shampoo that has a proper PH and using anything else will harm the skin. Your vet has products that are wonderful and safe. There is nothing that will keep fleas off a dog so ridding the environment of fleas and flea eggs is of the utmost importance.

Kristi on April 07, 2016:

Pantene Classic Clean is better than Dawn in my opinion. I worked for a vet and they used sulfate washes, which is the 2nd ingredient in Pantene. The fleas die immediately and don't latch onto the coat, so you only have to rinse. Absolutely amazing and I feel that it works 10 times better than Dawn. It's cheap, you can buy it everywhere and can use it on animals with sensitive skin.

SarahKuhl on November 30, 2015:

Vets ... Idk they wanted to have my male apbt neutered despite his severe heart murmur so... I try homeopathic always.

Rocky, prone to allergies, got fleas at 7 (first time ever). I bathed him in dawn, salt and a tad of vinegar. I got in the tub with him (yes I'm nuts) and watched them fall off and die. One bathe.

Around the house I sprinkled baking soda with essential oils and salt. Then vacuumed. For more "common areas" I used blue dawn, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. In a week fleas gone. Rocky, because of his heart, cannot handle benadryl so I gave him half a claritin if he started chewing or acting anxious. After his baths I put a/d on any "hot spots" and rubbed his fur with oils to keep him from drying out.

Boyd Hamilton on August 11, 2014:

From a veterinarian's perspective, I am extremely skeptical of your article. While bathing a dog in Dawn may be safe, cheap, and effective short-term, it is very unlikely to continue to work over time. There are many terrible commercial products available that don't work at all- I completely agree. But the prescription products work tremendously well and over the long-term. There are also products that treat fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites, and prevent heartworm all in one treatment. Finally, "Frontline" is now available as a generic "Pet Armour" that is available at Walmart and several pet stores, so you no longer need a prescription for that product. All you do is apply between the shoulder blades and vacuum the house (as 90% of the flea burden is in eggs that are in the environment). I would recommend these products over bathing the pet in Dawn and having to deal with all of the house treatments that you suggest. These products are also available for cats, which is a much easier treatment than having to bathe the cat! (which can be a total nightmare).

Phillip Grobler from Polokwane on June 30, 2014:

Here in South Africa we have the Khaki bush that grows wild, when you touch it, it has an epic smell, by planting these around the garden ticks and fleas decrease a lot, including flies. You can also boil it and apply it to pets with no side affects, the only bad part would be the smell. Great Hub +up+useful

BudgetPetCare from US on April 17, 2014:

Very useful tips you have shared. As the flea and tick season just started, you post will be a great source to remove fleas. Thanks Habee

bonnie57 on March 31, 2014:

I've used Dawn on my dogs for years, cheap and very effective. And table salt sprinkled on carpeted floors and furniture works great, sprinkle, leave on 24 hours, vacuum, repeat!

Beth37 on January 14, 2014:

So interesting. We have a dog that's half basset, half beagle and we've had the same problem with him. So glad to have this information. Maybe this summer will be better for him.

Crystal Wersinger from McAdoo on January 10, 2014:

What best treatment for lawn without harming wildlife and fruits?

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on January 10, 2014:

crystal, have you treated your lawn?

Crystal Wersinger from McAdoo on January 10, 2014:

We live in northern Pennsylvania with two dogs and two cats one bunny a lot of fur with million extra guests don't leave. We've had tried dawn, flea dip and frontline plus with no luck.

I worry about fleas every summer fleas can give people diseases. Every time I got bite I would feel sick . What best way to prepare for fleas this summer?

nicey on October 29, 2013:

Help please I had a dog, she was stolen a week ago I found out she had fleas they day she was stolen. Last night i woke up and had very small fleas all on my socks and feet. I put flea power under my couch cushion and under the couch I sprayed the couch and cleaned the house very well with bleach and flea spray. Well I took a nap on my sprayed but now covered with a sheet couch and still woke up to see not as many but fleas around 10 small ones this time while the first time I had like 40 on me how can I get rid of these pesty pest and is my house infested cause this is the most I've seen ever before btw I had my dog for over a year and bathe her twice a month and only seen a total of maybe five on her at a time btw when she was stolen I had her collar off her for a week and notice she was doing a lot of scatching so I checked her and found about 20 large fleas on her please help cause she is no longer in the home but the fleas are

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on September 20, 2013:

Oceans, great to see you!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on September 20, 2013:

funplay, I wonder why fleas seem to love hounds so much?

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on September 20, 2013:

nighthag, I hope the Dawn flea treatment works on your Goldie as well as it worked on our mutts!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on September 20, 2013:

Fireflies, you are too kind!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on September 20, 2013:

Marion, you're very welcome.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on September 20, 2013:

Good point, Carol.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on September 20, 2013:

Kate, thanks a bunch!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on September 20, 2013:

Thanks, KKGals!

Paula from The Midwest, USA on September 20, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this information Habee! I don't think fleas are a real problem for us, but evidently the vet found a flea on my dog when she ent in for surgery. They gave her a shot to get rid of fleas, and wanted to sell us a bunch of stuff also to use to get rid of fleas. It would have been a lot of money thus the research I am doing now. I don't want them to become a problem, fleas I mean. Thanks for sharing.

Tammy from Acushnet on July 15, 2013:

I wonder if you mixed Dawn with water and used in a sprayer if it would work around the yard. It is great to know that this works on your hound. I have a Bloodhound and for some reason this year has been a nightmare with the fleas. I will give this a try for sure. I also think that maybe if the dog has dry skin that this might still be useful if just followed up with a conditioner.

K.A.E Grove from Australia on July 09, 2013:

Very useful tips thank you so much, I will be sure to try the dawn for our golden retriever as nothing seems to be working !!

Voting up and useful !

ocfireflies from North Carolina on July 08, 2013:


This is an excellent hub. You are an awesome writer. If it has not been already, it should be selected as Hub of the Day. Useful information presented in a reader-friendly way. Voted Up and Shared.

Best Always,

ocfireflies aka Kim

marion langley from The Study on July 06, 2013:

wow, I hadn't heard of using Dawn or combing the coat before washing off the soap...very interesting. My mom used salt water and that worked great for her. It is hard to eradicate the little buggers from all places...after clearing dog, house, and yard...they still can be found while out walking the dog...sigh - chronic problem it seems. So glad you found and shared an effective and affordable treatment we can all use. Thanks for writing and helping us keep our pets comfy :-)

Carol. Stewart on June 21, 2013:

Remember to treat your cars also!!!!! Very important!!!!!!!

Kate on May 30, 2013:

Hey! This is great advice, I am a vet tech and sometimes for giggles I cruise the internet reading the hilarious bogus advice people give each other. You know your stuff! Dawn works best for flea killing on all dogs because of the pyrethrins in it. The blue bottle of Dawn is best. Always make sure to thoroughly wash off soap residue as this can dry out dry skin. This treatment is not rec. For dogs /cats with active fungal skin infections or yeast problems. At that point an ingestable flea preventative is best, such as a product called Comfortis. (Not available OTC)

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on May 11, 2013:

I've been battling fleas. I think I'm losing the war. It's a good thing I found your article, I'm about to be overtaken. Great advice. I will be trying it. Love the dog pictures.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 09, 2013:

Becky, thanks a bunch for stopping by!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 09, 2013:

Kalmiya, using cedar chips is a great idea! Thanks!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 09, 2013:

Many, many thanks, William!

Becky from Oklahoma on May 09, 2013:

Great Hub packed with great tips and useful information.

Kalmiya from North America on May 08, 2013:

Fleas are just the worst! And you're right about getting rid of them in the yard as well. Another trick we've used is to put cedar chips every spring, just when the weather starts warming up up here in the 'Arctic', on any flower bed type areas. We have indoor/outdoor cats and I find that if I put a thick cover of aromatic cedar chips out early, it seems to help throughout the summer. Thanks for your tips, especially about Dawn soap.

Bill Ashworth from Charlotte, North Carolina on May 08, 2013:

Liked you advice about using flea powder AND salt. Good hub. Great length.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on May 08, 2013:

Howdy, sg. Yep, the inventor deserves everything good that he/she gets! I just couldn't believe how well the stuff worked as a flea treatment on our pooches.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on May 08, 2013:

I think I found this just in time! Spring has just really begun here in southern Oklahoma and my dogs are already scratching. We live in the country and our dogs have a lot of area to roam and pick up all those little bitting critters. Nothing seems to work very well and I really don't like using all the chemical treatments on my dogs. I am definitely going to try Dawn. Dawn seems to work so well for so many different things. I hope the person that invented Dawn is rich, because he deserves to be! Great hub, voted up, useful and interesting! :)

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 25, 2013:

dogfond, I agree. I don't know how Dawn kills fleas, but it sure has worked well for us.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 25, 2013:

vertualit, thanks for stopping by!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 25, 2013:

Hi, Simey! We had a golden retriever like that. He'd scratch his back raw because of his flea allergy. Wish I'd known about Dawn back then.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 25, 2013:

Peggy Lou, I know what you mean. I don't like using chemicals, either, but sometimes the flea situation can demand desperate measures. And we were pretty desperate!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 25, 2013:

Debbie, I wouldn't have believed Dawn was so good at killing fleas if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Thanks for reading!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 25, 2013:

Jill, I hope the flea treatment works as well for your daughter as it did for us!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 25, 2013:

Wow, Doc - you even add humor to your comments! Love it!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 25, 2013:

Sis, we have the exact same problem. I think our climates must be very similar.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 25, 2013:

Thanks, drpastor. Glad you're back!

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 25, 2013:

Gypsy, most winters, we don't have enough cold weather to kill the flea population. I guess that's one disadvantage of living in a warm climate.

dogfond on April 24, 2013:

great tips habee. Dawn as treatment for flea is an amazing discovery.

Abdus Salam from Bangladesh on April 23, 2013:

Useful tips habee. thanks so much

Simon from NJ, USA on April 22, 2013:

We have one dog with a flea allergy - as the season is just starting we can see her beginning to get itchy! I'm going to try the Dawn treatment this weekend! Thanks for this tip!!!

Peggy Salvatore from Mid-Atlantic States US on April 21, 2013:

Thank you for posting this very useful article. Voted useful. I hadn't heard about Dawn. It's been 20 years since we had a flea infestation. When my babies were infants, our dog infested our carpeted house and I found some on the baby. We talked to the vet and some neighbors, and took their advice to move out of the house for a few days and we bombed it with an internal fogger pesticide. I don't like using poison around the kids, but was very worried about the fleas, too. Again, thank you for all these suggestions in case I ever have a problem again.

Debbie Pinkston from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas on April 21, 2013:

Wow! Who would have ever thought that Dawn dishwashing liquid would do the trick on the fleas! That's a great tip to remember. Thank you!

jill of alltrades from Philippines on April 21, 2013:

Hello Habee,

I will tell my daughter about this. In fact I will send her the link to this hub. We have had a recurring bout with fleas on our dogs and my daughter has tried all kinds of treatment but with minimal success.

Thanks for sharing this! Voted up and useful!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 21, 2013:

If sales of Dawn haven't spiked by now, Holle, I will be very surprised. What an interesting method for flea annihilation. Have to share my favorite flea joke with you.

One flea says to another, "I'm really tired from all this walking. What do you say we take a dog?"

Angela Blair from Central Texas on April 21, 2013:

In our part of Texas we gauge the coming warm weather flea population by how cold our winter got! If it was a very mild winter we're going to have huge flea infestations -- and this summer looks like it'll be a doozy. Will definitely use Dawn on Bubba and passing on your info on Conquer to several friends. Excellent Hub with wonderful info -- thanks! Best/Sis

Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on April 21, 2013:

GREAT JOB! Very informational! Thank you so much!!!!! Haven't been around, been working counseling. But I am back and miss my friends!!! Come visit me when you have a chance. God Bless you! Voted-Up!

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on April 21, 2013:

Thanks for the tips. Rushing out to buy Dawn. We are lucky that in the Sierras it's too cold for flees. But my son's dog in California is plagued with the devils.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 21, 2013:

Wet - yes, I think Sparky is cursed sometimes! Poor little hound dog! lol

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 21, 2013:

Janee, that's interesting. I think we have tons of fleas here because it rarely gets really cold. They can probably breed and hatch for much of the year. Thanks for reading!

wetnosedogs from Alabama on April 21, 2013:

Aw, seems everything happens to Sparky!

Great job on getting rid of those pesty things. I guess I couldn't use Dawn since my dogs has dry skin.

Fantastic tips. Your hard work paid off.

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on April 21, 2013:

Habee ,just a quick comment before I go off for another scratch !

Very good read but tell me you'll go easy on the spiders,we need 'em.

You probably didn't intend it but I found it so hilarious. Sometimes when the little B......ds appear,like magic from nowhere I fill a dish with water and washing up liquid and drop the blighter's in and finito !

I'm mostly in french countryside so pretty futile spraying land,they're in Lake most of time so don't know what they pick up there ? I feed plenty of garlic vitamins ,seems to keep them away except in heavy flea season,sounds awful but brushing daily and quick wipe with vinegar helps break the fleas legs and they drop off.I never use anything commercial ,also some dogs are naturally very hot and attract/breed fleas more than the norm.........

enjoyed this ,jandee

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 21, 2013:

Oh, you're more than welcome, MsDora!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 21, 2013:

What a surprise? The information was worth the suspense. Thanks you so much for sharing this discovery.

Holle Abee (author) from Georgia on April 20, 2013:

Jaye, I understand completely. I prefer not to use pesticides, but I didn't feel like we had a choice. We tried everything we could find that was considered safer to the environment, but they just weren't effective. Glad you stopped by for a read!

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on April 20, 2013:

I'll keep the Dawn dishwashing liquid treatment in mind should I ever need it. It's easy to find, inexpensive and shouldn't harm the dog.

Since my dog has a compromised immune system because of a major reaction to a vaccine, I stopped using chemical topical flea treatments and all other toxic products. I purchase natural products online from Natural Pet, including an ointment that is made from geranium oil and other non-toxic ingredients--used after her bath--in the same manner I once used Advantix, only this won't hurt her. Also, I bathe her in Herbal Defense organic shampoo, followed by Herbal Defense organic conditioner (no parabens or SLS like ordinary pet--and human--products. I spray her coat weekly with Herbal Defense Spray, an essential oil blend, to deter biting insects. I use All-in-One Flea Control (one of the non-toxic ingredients is diatomaceous earth) in the house. So far, these are all working, and I'm not exposing my dog to harmful chemicals. Since pesticides and herbicides (including those sprayed on grass) have been implicated in the increase of cancer in dogs, I just don't want to take the chance of using those products.