How to Get Rid of Dog Fleas Using a Bath and Soap
Will a Bath Kill 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/fevers that 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.
How to Use a Bath to Get Rid of Fleas
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.
Does Just Any Soap Actually Work?
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.
- 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.
- Scrub and soap Fido up enough that you can see the suds.
- Once you've done that, continue to massage from head to toe for about 10 minutes in order to get rid of the eggs.
- Rinse your pet off. Be careful not to get water into the ears, eyes, or nose.
Keep in Mind
Fleas can live without a host for several weeks but the eggs may survive for months!
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!
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!
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.
- Keep your dog away from other pets! Many owners are unaware of a flea infestation until it's already out of control.
- 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.
- 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!
- Fleas love humid environments. Keep your home cooler and your chance of harboring fleas drops 15%.
- 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!
- 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.
- Cedar oil 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.
© 2011 luisj305