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Can Bathing My Dog Affect their Flea Treatment?

Can Washing a Dog Make Spot-On Flea Treatment Less Effective?

By Kim Compton. March 30, 2012 | See Comments

Can Bathing My Dog Affect their Flea Treatment?

Making sure your pet is protected against pests is the #1 priority for most pet owners. It is important to understand that with proper preventative care for your dog during and even prior to flea and tick season, being too clean can be a bad thing.

Believe it or not, being too clean can be a bad thing. For some people, that is an inconceivable notion while some other folks have yet to meet a pile of dirt they don’t like. However, when it comes to proper preventative care for your dog during and before flea and tick season, hold the soap… for a little while at least.

As a general rule of thumb, when applying any spot-on, topical, or at times even oral medication to your pet, it is best to wait at least 48 hours before bathing. In the case of flea and tick prevention, this allows the product to begin working effectively. This is especially true for spot-on treatments, dips, sprays, and shampoos.

Wait it Out

Spot-on treatments are applied directly to your dogs back and base of the tail. Within 12 hours, the product will begin to kill and repels fleas and ticks on dogs and continues to prevent infestations for up to a month. It is important to keep your dog away from the groomers during the first 48 hours of application so the product can work effectively. Spot-on treatments repel all life stages of fleas, including adult fleas, flea eggs, flea pupae, and larvae. They also banish other biting insects including mosquitoes, gnats, flies, and more. If spot-on treatments are too abrasive to your dog’s skin, there are a wide variety of flea and tick shampoos and dips made specifically with a variety of nurturing ingredients including aloe, lanolin, and sunscreen.

The 48 hour rule also applies to dogs wearing flea and tick collars. Even though most collars are waterproof, they still need the two-day leeway to get proper flea and tick prevention underway.

Use Non-Stripping Shampoos

Once the two day mark has come and gone, don’t imprison your pup in the house. Most flea and tick products are waterproof, but "non-stripping" shampoos are best. These are formulated to not disrupt the medication that's working on your dog's skin, so your pet will continue to get protection against fleas and ticks.

More Flea and Tick Control Advice

Combining Flea Treatments: What You Need to Know
How to Use a Flea Comb
Which Are More Revolting: Fleas or Ticks?
What Temperature Do Fleas Flourish In?
How to Treat Fleas in the Yard

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.

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