How to Get Rid of Dog's Fleas Using Soap Massage Treatment

Updated on August 24, 2016

Ridding Your Dog of Fleas

All dog owners have encountered fleas, the most annoying, frustrating, time-consuming "skin disease" (if we may call it that) of all. Fleas feast on our pets but aren't too picky and will feast on humans, too!

Yes, fleas do not hesitate to attack us humans or any other blood source. This is where the more severe problems arise: Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), tapeworms, and stomach flu/fever affect humans as well as pets.

Of course, aside from medical reasons, there are many reasons to want to rid your pet of fleas. Here's how to control them effectively with soap.

Q: Do I need special medicated soap to get rid of fleas?

A: No, any regular skin-safe soap (or shampoo) will do.

Getting Rid of Fleas Fast and Easy

The quickest and easiest way to get rid of fleas without spending much money is by giving your dog a bath with any bar of soap or dish soap. Keep in mind the reason this works is not due to the chemicals in the soap but because lack of oxygen sends them to their soapy death.

  • You don't have to use any special type of flea soap. If using a type of soap that hasn't been tested for animal use is not something you want to do, you're welcome to spend extra, but it's not necessary. Many pet owners use the soap they use on their own bodies on their dogs. There have been no reports to my knowledge of negative side effects using regular soap, but perhaps an organic chemical-free flea shampoo is an option you might want to look into.
  • Now you want to be sure you begin at the top from the head/ears (being very careful not to pour water inside the ears). If you begin in the middle of the dog's body, the fleas will all flee to higher ground in an attempt to avoid the soap and water, and since the head is the hardest part to soak thoroughly, it's best to start there and work/chase the fleas down.
  • Once you've scrubbed and soaped Fido up enough that you can see the suds, continue to massage from head to toe for about 10 minutes in order to get rid of the eggs. Then rinse your pet off. Be careful not to get water into the ears, eyes, or nose.

If You Can Get Your Dog to Relax like This, You're Doing a Great Job!

Make Sure Fleas Don't Come Back

Now we want to prevent having fleas again in a week or two, so we are going to use some good old fashion borax from the laundry room to apply onto carpets and any upholstered furniture these little vampires may have hanging out in.

First, put your dog in a separate area due to the borax being untested for toxicity in pets. Sometimes they are just a little too curious!! Once borax has been applied, go ahead and vacuum everything it was applied to before letting our pet back into the room.

Final step: Wash everything the dog plays with, lays in, and wears. Even the leash needs to be washed in a hot water cycle to kill fleas and eggs. Plain old laundry soap will get the job done. Keep in mind fleas can live without a host for several weeks but the eggs may survive for months!

That's it— you've solved your problem and now have a flea-free pet and home!

Keep in mind fleas can live without a host for several weeks but the eggs may survive for months!

Negative Reactions to Topical Flea Sprays

Below, you'll find a photo of a dog suffering from an allergic reaction to a topical spray which was used in hopes of getting rid of the fleas in its fur.

Unfortunately, it did more harm than good. This is one of the reasons I prefer using a natural ingredient, such as common household soap.

If i choose to use some type of spray, it is in no way to be used on my pets.

I simply use this on carpets and around furniture in the home and yard to reduce eggs and larvae survival. This greatly reduces the chances you'll encounter fleas again anytime soon.

If spray is applied to areas or furniture where pets will be playing, wipe down with damp rag within a few hours to remove excess product they may lick up or taste.

Just because it is organic and not poisonous or deadly does not mean we should allow our dogs to eat it!!!!!

Dog with irritated skin and loss of fur due to chemical reaction.
Dog with irritated skin and loss of fur due to chemical reaction. | Source

Natural Ways to Keep Fleas Away

Once the bloodthirsty parasites are gone, there are many things which can be done to keep them out. Simply by taking a few precautions a future flea infestation can be avoided.

1. Keep your dog away from other pets! Many owners are unaware of a flea infestation until it's already out of control.

2. Check regularly for any signs of fleas. The best way to stop fleas is to catch them when the numbers are low and they haven't laid eggs yet.

3. Use a non toxic flea trap. This a great way to help prevent fleas from sneaking into your house and onto your pet. Don't use poison!

4. Fleas love humid environments. Keep your home cooler and your chance of harboring fleas drops 15%.

5. Bathe your pets often. It not only reduces the chance of fleas but they'll be clean, smell fresh, and will thank you for it!

6. Fleas hate lavender, so anything that contains lavender (soaps, lotions, or perfumes) will literally have them on the run. Just be sure not to directly apply these chemicals to your pet. Simply using them in the home will help.

7. Cedar oil has has been used to prevent flea infestations even by the U.S. Army in the desert to combat sand fleas.

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.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR

      luisj305 

      2 years ago from Florida

      @RS2154

      My best tip would be to use a flea comb to get as many as you can out and somewhat of a light sponge bath on the rest of the body.

      Do this slow being EXTRA careful not to bother the sensitive area recently worked on.

      The young puppy is surely very uncomfortable and this will soothe the irritated skin effectively and allow relief. Good luck!!

    • profile image

      RS2154 

      2 years ago

      Any ideas on how to get rid of fleas on a recently spayed 8 week old puppy? It cant be bathed for 10 days due to the stitches from the spaying? Also any medication I've found says only for dogs 12 weeks or older?

    • profile image

      Isabel 

      2 years ago

      Very helpful an quick to the point

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR

      luisj305 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Marcela thanks for reading! I knew you would solve your pets flea problem with this guide!

    • profile image

      Marcela Barrios 

      3 years ago

      This is easy to follow for me and works good for my dog and for my cat too. Thank you luis.

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR

      luisj305 

      3 years ago from Florida

      Your welcome Wolfs Paw, they'll surely be gone for good now! Soap is the way to go, chemicals should always be avoided.

    • profile image

      Wolfs Paw 

      3 years ago

      Great hub and tips. I always use dish soap and feel it gets rid of fleas. I feel it's better than using chemicals on your dog as well. Thank you for sharing!

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR

      luisj305 

      5 years ago from Florida

      Really? That's interesting and would probably leave your dog smelling better than regular soap, or lemon scented dish soap!

    • LoisRyan13903 profile image

      Lois Ryan 

      5 years ago from Upstate NY originally from Long Island

      Excellent hub abd I hear Skin So Soft by Avon works wonders as well

    • twig22bend profile image

      twig22bend 

      5 years ago

      Great information on fleas and alternative methods of getting rid of them. I wish I had of known about your hub earlier. Thanks for sharing.

    • pestcontrolproduc profile image

      pestcontrolproduc 

      5 years ago

      Great article! May I make a suggestion? After you get fleas off your dog, make sure you keep fleas off yourself. It works out better when you put the clothes you were wearing while you were smothering fleas in doggie shampoo into the laundry just as quickly as possible after you finish with your dog's bath. Hot water washing will kill any fleas that jumped off your dog and onto your clothes.

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Some very good ideas to keep fleas at bay. I have a dog and seem to be doing alright on the flea front, but some of these ideas do make the problem a little easier to deal with.

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 

      5 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      What a very odd looking dog! Highly unusual and caught my eye straight away. Lavender sounds like a great idea, will get rid of the doggy smell too. Great hub.

    • Jean-ette profile image

      Jean-ette 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for this Hub. Flea medication is so expensive. I hate to have to buy it every year and my dog goes crazy when I put it on him. I love the smell of Lavender and will give that a try this year. Hope my dog likes it too!

    • Rusti Mccollum profile image

      Ruth McCollum 

      5 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

      THANKYOU! You know what's funny ? i LOVE lavender I have it everywhere and my husband said the other day the cats weren't "chewing" as much. My dog just passed but I'm going to show my mom and friends this article. :) Following you now.

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR

      luisj305 

      5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Shanmarie, I think Dawn is usually mentioned because it is one of the leading brands in dish soap and most are familiar with it. I've used Dawn, and Palmolive, they've both worked and I stick to them.

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 

      5 years ago from Philippine

      Great hub! My dog once suffer from hundreds of fleas and I spent lot of anti fleas soap but never been effective. Anyway I tried something which is similar to your advice (I did used bar soap for cloths) and just one bath they are all sent to their peaceful sleep.

      Voted up and shared!

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      5 years ago from Texas

      Do you have a specific dish soap you recommend? I've always been told that Dawn is good for flea removal.

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR

      luisj305 

      5 years ago from Florida

      Hi Shai, using chemicals are tricky even if they mention being safe. Some pets will be fine after using them, but others can have serious irritation that can go unnoticed if we don't pay close attention.

      For the picture, thanks to Beverly & Pack for taking an awesome photo, of a great idea.

    • shai77 profile image

      Chen 

      5 years ago

      Great hub. I really hate using the chemicals on dogs. Lavender and cedar oil is a good tip I did not know about. But I have to say what really caught my eye is that beautiful looking dog photo-- so unique.

    • Jmillis2006 profile image

      Jmillis2006 

      5 years ago from North Carolina

      Interesting hub. Hopefully fleas will stay off of my pets this summer as I treat them monthly with spot on treatment.

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR

      luisj305 

      5 years ago from Florida

      No problem, Beth. Your dog will love the massage technique!

    • profile image

      Beth37 

      5 years ago

      Good to know with summer coming up, thanks. :)

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR

      luisj305 

      5 years ago from Florida

      I have yet to see Amitraz around in pet shops of my area, maybe if it shows up I'll give it a try. Thanks for the comment!

    • mypetfinderph profile image

      Jef 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      Tick and Fleas have always been my dog's problems. What I use is a solution called Amitraz. I have used Frontline before but Amitraz is a lot cheaper! :)

    • luisj305 profile imageAUTHOR

      luisj305 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Thanks a lot everyone, your comments really let me know im off to the right start here at hubpages. Thanks for the warm welcome!

    • profile image

      fashion 

      7 years ago

      This is very interesting and informative article.Thanks for this useful hub.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I never realized that you could use dish soap or bar soap for getting rid of fleas. Interesting article.

      Welcome to HubPages.

    • maddot profile image

      maddot 

      7 years ago from Northern NSW, Australia

      Good interesting hub Luis. It's coming into flea and tick season here in Australia and your washing technique is great.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)