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How to Treat Fleas and Ticks on Your Dog with Natural Products

Last Updated: May 6, 2022

Fleas and ticks are part and parcel when you own a dog, but don’t let 'em get you — or your dog — down. Keep reading to learn how flea and tick shampoos work and get our recs for natural alternatives to conventional flea and tick products.

If your dog loves to frolic under trees, galavant in parks, or roll around in the grass (who doesn’t?), then he or she is no stranger to ticks and fleas. Itching, scratching, and general discomfort are all signs that your pet might have ticks or fleas — and even if you’re diligent about applying preventative medication, it doesn’t mean your pup is immune.

Enter flea and tick shampoo for dogs. These shampoos prevent pests from taking hold of your furry friend, and help get rid of infestations when they happen. But how do they work, and are there natural alternatives to chemical flea and tick medications?

How does flea and tick shampoo work?

Flea and tick shampoos work by coating the tiny pests in active ingredients or medications that are designed to kill on contact. Chemical medications like deet, pyrethrin, and permethrin are effective flea and tick killers — but there’s a catch. Dogs (and cats!) are sensitive to these medications and could experience unwanted side effects like tremors and seizures.

Instead, look for flea and tick shampoos that use natural ingredients. Essential oils like cedar, peppermint, cinnamon, and rosemary help kill fleas and ticks without harming your dog in the process. These essential oils can also be used to prevent fleas and ticks from setting up shop on your pup in the first place.

How often can you bathe a dog with flea and tick shampoo?

Flea and tick shampoos that contain chemical ingredients can be used once a week until the infestation is gone, but they shouldn’t be used long-term. Shampoos made with essential oils can be used every time you bathe your dog to treat and prevent fleas.

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What’s the best flea and tick shampoo for dogs?

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The best flea and tick shampoo for dogs is going to use natural essential oils and moisturizing ingredients. Good Fur hits all the marks.

Good Fur for your pet

Good Fur is a line of eco-friendly pet grooming products created with organic ingredients, 100 percent natural fragrances, and plastic-free bottles that are a cinch to refill. The Good Fur Extra Strength Flea & Tick Shampoo is made with five powerful plant extracts that help kill and repel pesky fleas and ticks while a pH balanced formula cleans your dog’s coat without overdrying. It’s free from deet, pyrethrin, permethrin, parabens, sulfates (SLS), triclosan, synthetic dyes, formaldehyde – and it’s made without animal testing.

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Grove Tip

Can you make a homemade flea and tick shampoo for dogs?

You can make DIY flea and tick shampoo, but why make your own when we’ve done the dirty work for you? The beauty of products like Good Fur and other shampoos is that they’re created with the correct pH to avoid drying out your pup’s coat. They’ve also got the correct concentrations of essential oils to treat fleas and ticks without harming your BFF. Go forth and DIY if you’ve got your heart set on it, but remember that it’s always a good idea to talk with your vet before trying any home remedies.

How to use flea and tick shampoo on dogs

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1. Shake it up

Shake the shampoo to get it ready to use, then lure your friend into the bathroom. Make sure the water isn’t too cold or too hot, then get your dog’s fur wet from the base of his skull to the tip of his tail.

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2. Lather up

Massage the shampoo into your dog’s coat. How much shampoo you use depends on how big your doggo is and how much fur he has. Give your pup lots of praise to keep him calm.

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3. Rinse off

Thoroughly rinse your dog’s coat so that no shampoo remains. Dry him off and reward him with a treat (or two!) for being such a good boy.

Grove Tip

Is it safe to use dog shampoo on cats?

Flea and tick shampoos that have been formulated to treat dogs could contain medications or essential oils that are harmful for our feline friends. Play it safe and always opt for natural shampoos or sprays that are safe for cats, too.

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