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.