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Cheap Alternative for Pet Shampoo

Updated on October 1, 2010

What most people don't know before they go out and buy all the expensive flea shampoos and prevention medicines is that there is a very cheap, very easy alternative.

I recently discovered that original Dawn dish soap works wonders to get rid of fleas.

Before you go buy that expensive bottle of special doggie or kitty shampoo or any other flea preventative, pick up a bottle of Dawn for a buck and give it a shot. You're probably already bathing your dog regularly so all you'll need to do is switch from flea shampoo to Dawn.

1. Make sure your dog is comfortable with baths, if not, you'll have a fight on your hands.

2. Get your doggie in the tub and wet him down being careful not to get any water in his ears or eyes.

3. Lather him up all over with some original Dawn dish soap. Make sure you don't get any in his eyes and don't let him lick it. While, a little bit probably won't hurt, it's best to try to avoid that.

4. Now, keep him lathered for several minutes. The soap will suffocate and kill the fleas. You'll probably see them running for the head or any dry patch, so pick them off and throw them in the water.

5. Once an adequate amount of time has passed and you're seeing dead fleas, rinse the doggie off completely. Make sure to get all that soap out.

6. Dry doggie and repeat when needed!

Dawn also works on cats. My kitty was starting to get a few fleas and I quickly gave him a bath with Dawn, and now he's flea free! Cat shampoos are also sometimes harsh on kitties, as they have sensitive skin. Dawn is a very good alternative. You should also never give your pet a HARTZ product. Cats groom themselves and there have been many cases of seizures and deaths in those that have been given HARTZ.

If your animal continues to get fleas, the problem isn't the soap. You most likely need to treat your home or yard. Once a flea infestation has been moved inside the house, you can't just wash the dog and think the problem is over. They're everywhere! So treat your home and if necessary the yard also.

If you don't mind bathing your dog, you probably won't have to worry about paying for expensive flea prevention medicines you squeeze on. I used these on our yellow lab and they never seemed to help. A good bath is what she needed. I wish I had known about Dawn when I had her, as she loved bath time.

Remember that Dawn is used on bird and animals covered in oil. It is completely safe for your pet!


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    • profile image

      TiffanyM 4 years ago

      Also try to avoid using anything by the brand "Zodiac" as I did not know this at the time I used it on my cat for fleas and she started convulsing and foaming at the mouth, would not accept food or water it eventually stopped but it was very frightening to me as a pet owner. However a great remedy for your house is make sure it is very dry (use a dehumidifier) as fleas like moist air and that is how they thrive, and to remove from your home if you have carpets sprinkle baking soda throughout and rub into the carpet wait about an hour and then vacuum it work wonders as it dries the fleas out therefore killing them and you get the added benefit of brighter cleaner carpets.

    • profile image

      Michael 4 years ago

      palmolive dish soap?? Noo... how come? This would damage your dog's skin. Find a good SLS-free shampoo, and your dog would look MUCH better. There are plenty of them in PetCo or PetSmart, or if you like made-in-USA staff try ...And please Do not use soap on your dog . Check google...

    • profile image

      eve 5 years ago

      I have been using dawn/palmolive dish soap with about 1/2 cup of lemon juice mixed in for great.! I have to water down the dish soap so ad to evenly distribute the lemon juice.

    • patdmania profile image

      patdmania 7 years ago from waterford, mi

      That is great to know. I will always have shampoo available for them. I am going to give it a try.

    • J. McCoy profile image

      J. McCoy 7 years ago from CA (originally)

      Glad you're passing on the info. I worked in a large pet store for a couple years and got bad feedback on Hartz brand, too.

    • chucksbaby profile image

      chucksbaby 7 years ago

      Wow, thanks! That's great to know!

    • Sweetsusieg profile image

      Sweetsusieg 7 years ago from Michigan

      One other USEFUL tip, Dawn with 'odor eraser' will remove skunk spray.. Yep, it does. My brother visited and his dogs got sprayed, it was all I had and it worked. Surprised the snot out of me!