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Source: My local vet.
By little suzy from Millbury, OH
No - the bath drowns the fleas - any soap, Dawn, shampoo or otherwise, will work to kill fleas on a dog. Spraying it around the house will do nothing.
Just thought I'd share this here. During a summer camp hosted by a college, one of the science professors shared a cool lesson with us. They showed us how to create a safe wasp killer. As you know, commercial wasp killer are so poisonous.
He diluted about two tablespoons of Dawn dish soap in a cleaner bottle full of water, shook it, and then we waited for the bubbles to clear. He sprayed it on some wasps, and slowly they died. Other soaps worked, but not quite like Dawn. He said the Dawn creates a very strong film which coats the simple breathing holes of insects and they then, unless there's a source of warm running water, die of suffocation.
Perhaps this is why Dawn makes an effective flea bath. It's not the water rinsing them away, it's the Dawn suffocating them. Fleas are an insect.
The flea bath is not successful because of the type of soap, it's the fact that soap breaks up the surface adhesion of the water and they drown. I am sure Dawn is great for a lot of things, but it's not the major factor here. Any soap will do. Check it out on google.
Dawn Dishwashing Soap is a very effective way of ridding your dogs and cats of fleas. Don't ask me why, but if you wash them with it and leave it on for 5 minutes, the fleas will just fall off when you rinse them.
Most dishwashing products will kill many fleas, however, some always migrate to the head to survive. A bath, however, is only a temporary measure to kill and avoid future fleas. Flea eggs fall constantly from your pets outside and in your house-furniture, floors, rugs, etc., as many as 60 per day per female flea. They are opaque or colorless and do not stick to anything. These later hatch and join their families on your pets to continue the cycle ad infinitum.
Sometime the best deals can be found online. Here is a 90oz bottle of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. If you use Dawn often, this is definitely a great deal.
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By Barbra from Calistoga, CA
If you put 10 drops of Tea Tree Oil per each 8oz of the shampoo or Lavender Dawn (I recommend because the lavender oil kills fleas) you can just bath them as you normally would and it will keep the fleas repelled. It will also work for ticks, flies (household and horse), and many other ugly lil buggers.... lol
Well, when you have 6 beautiful babies(dogs).. all vets are worried about is money not dogs. I get $140.00 a month that's all. After I pay light bill, there is 2.00 left.y I u see, I don't have the money to buy expensive flea treatments. I love my babies. I don't see anybody thinking of lending a helping hand, giving coupons for free comfortis, front line, you know I try giving them a bath every so often. But I need help in between baths, something that's going to workk
How much Dawn soap do I use to put on my carpets? And does it work and how often can I use it?
By Joyce M. from Pittsburgh
They did not jump into my water that I left all night with 3 dogs with fleas!
That's because your need to spray your carpets with lemon juice and Apple cider vinegar to flush then out of the carpets and towards the liquid in the pie plate.
We bought an 8 week old Malipoo and she has fleas and eggs, because every time we kill them and then check her again she will have baby fleas. Will Dawn dishsoap kill the eggs too?
People Dawn is SAFE for animals. Do your research. Have you never seen the commercials?? You can use it regularly on your cats, dogs, and many other animals. Just go get down for a dollar at Dollar Tree or WalMart. Leave it on them for like five minutes and then rinse it off. You all keep asking the same stuff over and over because you are not reading. Just read what everyone has said please before repeating a question.. Also Dawn isn't like other crap you get at the store. Other stuff is unsafe. Only Dawn.
Some types of Dawn contain ammonia, which is not safe for animals. Be sure to read the warnings on the back of the bottle to be sure.
I bathed my new 6 week old puppy in Dawn because I heard how well it worked, but all the fleas ran to her nose. What can I do?
By Sandra D.
Not sure if you have resolved your issue yet, but if you start lathering at the dogs neck, the fleas will not and as far I know probably cannot get past the suds. Kind of a barrier so the pesky little jerks can't run from you! ;)
When you bath your puppy or dog always start as far forward towards the head as you can. You can start the bath by just doing around the ears, back of the pup's head and then the neck without putting the pup in water. What I do is mix water and dawn in a measuring cup and then soap up around the ears and neck area before putting them in any other water.
As soon as you put the animal in water the fleas will run for "high ground" which is the head. After getting the neck area soaped I then do the rest of the body making sure that they are fully wet and completely soaped up. Scrub and leave soap on for at least 4 to 5 minutes, then rinse.
Does it dry out their skin because my dog has very dry skin?
Dawn removes oil and grease from dishes and it will also remove oil from a dog's body. So do not use Dawn on your dog. If you want to kill fleas and prevent future problems, check with your vet on what to use to avoid dry skin problems for your dog.
I have heard of using Dawn blue dish detergent for fleas. What do I do, and does it work fast for relief? My Chihuahua was given Capstar yesterday, and it made him worse. Please help.
By Josie M
I use capstar all the time for my dogs and cats. It does make them act like they are going crazy for awhile then they are alright. I put dawn in a sprayer and spay the yard and my 10X20 cat kennel. I keep a bowl of water and dawn in it with a flea comb and my 3 inside cats always let me know when they want me to comb them with it. I have had a bad year with fleas due to yard next to my cat kennel has not mowed their grass in years and with all of the birds and squirrels coming to my yard they bring the fleas with them. I go around the yard about every 2 days with the sprayer
Here is the website I found that gave specific instructions on how best to use dawn on your pet to kill fleas. Just be sure to only use it sparingly, and in a pinch, so you do not strip your pet of essential oils in his or her coat. Good Luck!
Can I mix Dawn and water and do the inside of my house using a garden sprayer?
I think it would kill the fleas, but you would end up with a really big mess. That soap is difficult to remove, and it would get sticky then attract dirt. If you could find a way to spray it around then remove it, it might work.
I know I can use it to give my dog a bath, but would it be effective at all as a spray as well?
I would not use Dawn dish soap as a spray for fleas. What I use as a spray to kill fleas is original Skin So Soft bath oil from Avon. You do have to mix it with five (5) parts water to one (1) part SSS. Kills fleas on contact.
Doesn't putting Dawn in your carpet cleaner to help get rid of fleas make the carpet very "soapy" and sticky? Do you have to re-clean the carpet to rinse it?
By Catherine L.
I to tried dawn in the steam cleaner only to find I had soapy carpet. I had to rinse it after I was done.
Try just putting a little flea soap like you would use on the animal in your steam cleaner. There is no need to rinse and it kills all the fleas and eggs.
We were so over run with fleas that I would have tried anything and my friend said that's how she got rid of the fleas that had invaded her carpet. So I tried it and it worked like magic.
Does it matter which Dawn I use to bathe my dog? Blue, scented, etc.?
By Bev from MA
I'd use the plain blue, but put a few drops in a large plastic glass or container and dissolve it before putting in on dog. It's very concentrated and hard to rinse out and left over soap could make dog itch. Or use a cheap $Tree shampoo, also diluting first.
What is the amount of the mixture of Dawn and water?
I never bothered diluting at all. If you wish, half and half should be OK. Get 2 to 2 and a half cups dry Borax into each average size carpeted room. Leave for 2 weeks for life cycle. Vacuum. For the yard use natural, inexpensive Cedercide granules. 5 pounds lasts more than a year.
Can I use Ultra Dawn on my 10 week old puppy? I can't seem to control the fleas. I have sprayed my rugs, etc. Is Ultra Dawn OK? It is all that I have.
I see how Dawn can work, it also takes the oil off of flea's larva. But my question is, will using Dawn deplete my dog's natural oils that his coat needs.
In order to kill the fleas in a room do you use both Dawn and apple cider vinegar in a dish and put it under a light, or is it just Dawn in the dish with water?
By Catherine L.
What is the amount of Dawn liquid soap I should use on my dog to kill fleas?
By Helen from Acworth, GA
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
Will Dawn get rid of fleas on my dog? If so, how long will they be gone? And how long between treatments will I need to bathe her?
By rosalee from North Vernon, IN
Yes on the Dawn. Another soap you can use is Dial bar soap. Lather 5 minutes. Even better to shampoo 2 x. Sprinkle dry borax in the carpets and her bed for 2 weeks before you vacuum. Sevin dust in the yard is what I hear.
I don't have fleas on my kids because it freezes in the winter and then I am careful of who visits. I have been 30 years flea free after starting with dry borax. Another thing that helps is a little canned mackerel every day for vitamins (omegas). Also a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in their drinking water. Never use any flea collars or flea shampoo, that goes to their liver and kidneys. Vaccines have probably ruined your dog's immune system. Read up vaclib.org about what is in vaccines and you will be getting some thuja from homeopathic store to help with cleansing of the poisons. It really does help. Often parvo vaccine will give a dog the sickness.
Read up on grocery store foods for pets. See the pictures of large vats of euthanized pets that go into dogfood/catfood. That euthanol does not "cookoff". To strengthen the immune system a raw diet (at least a few days of the week) is best. Search for kibble and canned though groomers and check yellow pages for specialty stores. Check ingredients, good pet foods contain no corn wheat or soy. They are fillers and cause immune problems, digestive, and skin problems (allergy). Food grade diatomaceous earth mixed with food will get the intestinal worms beautifully. It is a good product for a few other things as well. I really started to answer you and was meaning to answer Thriftyfun with some pet tips they were asking for. Hopefully someone knows how to get my blab to them. I am great with animals, but not so great with technical stuff. Please, someone forward with my permission to print. Anything to help an animal. Sincerely. (08/10/2010)
My daughter-in-law who does lots of animal rescue says Dawn works well for this, she also uses Johnson and Johnson Baby shampoo so as not to sting their eyes and finds it works every bit as well as Dawn. (08/11/2010)
We recently had a big problem with fleas on our dog. We applied Advantage as was suggested by our vet, who also told us not to use flea dips as they are very toxic over time. Advantage worked great for a week, but after a week it stopped working and we were seeing more fleas again. I called the company and they asked if I had bathed the dog in Dawn dish washing liquid. I hadn't, but they told me most flea shampoos and Dawn will alter the PH level of your pet's skin, which will cause their product to stop working. She suggested reapplication of Advantage, and we brushed him every day to keep him clean. We didn't bathe him once a week, which I had been doing because I thought it would get rid of fleas. Now we bathe him once a month unless he gets dirty.
It turns out we needed to treat our backyard. Once we did that, and followed the instructions of the Advantage folks, we haven't had any more problems. So, in summary, Dawn may work to kill existing fleas, but it might actually hurt your chances of keeping them off in the future. You need to find the source of the fleas and treat that as well as your pet. Borax laundry booster for indoors is cheap, works wonders, and is very safe if used properly. Check for threads about that. Good luck! (09/29/2010)
We just moved from Ohio and found my cat seems to have developed an allergy to the fleas here. They bother him so much that in just a few days he has dug out patches of fur and left open sores from digging.
The vets I've asked coolly just tell me to keep using medicated shampoo or won't talk to us for lack of the $50-100 initial visit fee. Their quick solve is to flea dip. We love our cats like our kids.
I need a gentle solution to tame down the fleas long enough to heal my baby's sores before I can use drops or medicated shampoos. Will Dawn be gentle enough not to hurt him, maybe anti-bacterial Dawn ?
By Tammy from southwest, WA
I don't know about the detergent question. When my dog had hot-spots the vet prescribed oral antibiotics and a plastic E-collar to keep him from licking more. However, I do want to address the flea problem.
The natural non-pesticide way to kill fleas is to buy diatomaceous earth and sprinkle it where the cat lays and sleeps and in the litter box. It is a naturally occurring, soft, chalk-like sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. It is used as a filtration aid, as a mild abrasive, as a mechanical insecticide, as an absorbent for liquids, and as cat litter. I like to get it from http://www.onlynaturalpet.com
Locally I can find big bags of it at an aquarium store where it is sold for filters, but the smaller amounts I have to get through that website. They call the product: "Only Natural Pet All-in-One Flea Remedy." It's on sale now. It's safe! I have checked for years for a safe and natural flea product and this is it. (11/20/2009)
Dry borax your carpets. See my previous posts. (11/21/2009)
The pool type is toxic to animals to take internally. Use the garden variety. I am sure it is on the website you provided. I am talking about the Diatomaceous earth, used to treat fleas. (11/21/2009)
By Robyn Fed
Be very careful what you put on your cats, and dogs! I read that Diatomaceous earth is a poison. Also, stuff from the dollar type stores is many times a knock off product made in china. Any type of collar spells trouble for a cat that goes out, as they may get hung up and choke. You can purchase advantage for dogs, and use a small amt. as per your vet, using a syringe to put it on. I get 5 applications for $27 vs $15 for one. The extra is stored in a small plastic
vial. Good luck to you. (11/21/2009)
I have kittens and cats and they get fleas also. I like to use the following on them to rid them of fleas.
I get a metal lice comb, dip it in hot soapy water and test them for fleas this way all the time. It is better by far than a flea comb. First trim claws. LOL.
I have used Dawn before, but I like the baby shampoo and peroxide better. I spray the coat with peroxide and rub in and then I mix some more with the baby shampoo and bathe them. I have heard that Frontline has changed hands and no longer works. So don't bother buying it. I have seen it not work anymore on my dogs and cats.
Salt all over the house will kill fleas, as will borax or baking soda. I use salt under sheets on carpet, etc.
Look up the dose of Benadryl for a cat by weight and give it to your cat. Also, start giving it fish oil...look that dose up too. Contact me if I can be of any help. My dog is the same way about fleas. (11/21/2009)
By Robyn Fed
An excellent shampoo for dogs, cats, and YES even puppies and kittens is "Triple Action" from Vet-Kem. I buy it over the counter at my Vet's office. You can find it at www.vet-kem.com. Trust me, I have never seen a shampoo that works so fast and it smells great. My last bottle I bought back in December 2008 and it cost me $13.20, and I'm sure it has gone up but it is affordable. (11/22/2009)
Dawn dishsoap is safe for animals (a lot of animal rescue organizations use it) and will knock the fleas down, but probably won't get rid of them completely. My dog has an allergy to fleas as well and the vet told me to give him over the counter Zyrtec. Not sure of the dose for cats or even if it's safe, but it's worth asking your vet. I ended up having to switch from Frontline to Vectra 3d for our fleas. They are saying that Frontline has been used for so long that the fleas have built up a tolerance to it. Once you get rid of the fleas his allergy should clear up.
Good luck. I know how aggravating it is to deal with fleas and how sad it is to see your pets suffer. (11/24/2009)
Ivory soap dish detergent is good for fleas and it is gentle. Also, Skin-so-Soft from Avon is good for fleas. You can wash your pet in it and then spray them with the Skin-so-Soft spray afterward. I heard feeding garlic to your pet repels fleas, is this true? (11/24/2009)
I don't know why everyone seems to be bathing their pets in dish soap for flea control. I just answered "good neighbour" in Australia, you might want to check that out, as well as dig into ThriftyFun archives.
My advice is to smother your flea ridden pet with oil, liberally, and work it down to the skin, massaging the skin at the same time--mineral oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, just liberally oil up your cat, rubbing the oil into the skin like a massage, then cover them with a cloth or towel, and let it set for several minutes. This will smother the fleas. Then, bathe them in warm water and a mild soap, and rinse. This oil treatment will probably need two shampoos and rinses to get all of the oil out. Towel dry them, and then use a flea comb to comb out dead fleas that are stuck in their fur.
I use a flea comb with a tub (like an old, clean margarine dish) filled with water, and an oil film on top, or as my vet said, some dish soap in the water, then flea comb them, being careful of sores, and with the other hand, hold the fleas on the flea comb, and with both hands, place the flea comb over the dish of dish soap and water, or water/oil, and pull any loose fur and fleas off the flea comb into the oil and water, or dish soap and water, into the oil, or dish soap to drown the fleas, without immersing the flea comb. Continue combing, relaxing your pet, like a "happy pet spa." Keep this up until you don't see any more fleas.
And, use your own judgment. Some pets get infestations that are so bad, they need shots.
I really have no idea where the info came from that people could wash their pets in dish soap to get rid of fleas. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. During a particularly bad infestation of fleas, this treatment may need to be kept up for several days until the fleas are gone. (11/28/2009)
By Carol L.
My cat recently did the same thing yours is doing. She got infested with fleas. It turns out that she is allergic to flea bites and all it takes is just one single bite for her to break out. I called my vet and they told me to dip her in Dawn. It does help control the fleas but you have to pour the Dawn directly onto your cat and lather him up with it.
I left it on my cat for about 5 minutes and then rinsed her in warm water. Then I blow dried her and brushed her hair with a fine tooth comb. But unfortunately, in order for your cat's hair to grow back and for the sores to dry out, you will have to take him to the vet so he can get an allergy shot and be put on an Amoxicillin, and make sure you give your cat a dose of frontline every month so the fleas don't return. If your cat doesn't get the shot or the Amoxicillin and your cat gets bit again she will break out and honestly every time the constant scratching, biting, and pulling out of the fur gets worse. I hope this helped. (01/12/2010)
Dawn is just fine in most applications. I've helped raise 6, 3-week old kittens (we kept two, they're now a year old), and since I am low-income, I didn't have the money to buy the fancy kitten shampoos and they were quite messy without a momma cat to clean them, so I tried dawn. Obviously, avoid the eyes and such, but it does kill fleas on contact. I don't know about larvae and eggs, but for us, the eggs break just in water. One concern is not to bathe them too often since Dawn does remove natural oils to prevent dry skin. Also...no pesticides!
I've done research and it seems a certain type of cedar oil is the best if prepared correctly. Fleas are scent-driven and the scents in the oil cloud their senses and drive away or kill them. The oil and most products with it is safe for pets, humans, children, infants, and the elderly. I have yet to try it but hear good things. Dr. Ben's brand utilizes this and looks to be pretty popular. I'm probably too late but I hope this helps someone!
I would avoid anti-bacterial soaps on your animals. It could include ingredients that would be harmful, and if you don't get rid of the complete bacteria, it could mutate and become immune to anti-bacterial chemicals.
Our 13+ year old cat has a horrible flea problem, and has rather large patches of raw skin from excessive scratching. She's obviously touchy when we get near the spot, but we still use Dawn to kill the fleas feeding off of it. And after she's dry, cover it with Vaseline or Neosporin to help heal the wound. Repeat the process every couple of days and your kitty should start to heal. Pert Plus Light Conditioning Shampoo is a decent moisturizer if you have to bathe often. (07/02/2010)
Does Antibacterial Dawn dish soap kill fleas?
I read that you can give your pet a bath in original Dawn soap to kill fleas. I just did it right now and a lot fell off.
Does dawn dish soap really work on dogs that stay outside all the time? What is the best thing to use on my yard because the fleas have been bad here and Sevin Dust did not work.
If fleas are a problem for your pet, wash them with Dawn dishwashing soap. It kills them instantly.
I read the thread about using Dawn for washing the dogs to get rid of fleas. This is kind of a silly question but does it matter which kind of Dawn you use.