Flea and Tick Shampoos

By PetMD Editorial on Mar. 27, 2015

What It Is

A flea shampoo is a specially medicated shampoo for pets that contains ingredients that kill fleas and/or ticks.

Active Ingredients

Most commonly a permethrin, or pyrethrin, though ingredients vary by brand.

How it Works

The application of an insecticide in shampoo form offers quick kill off of parasites on the pet. It does not prevent re-infestation from parasites in the environment.

How to Administer

Apply over entire coat, avoiding eyes and mucous membranes. Leave on for specified period of time, generally 10-15 minutes, before thoroughly rinsing.

How Often to Administer

For maximum efficacy, weekly shampoos are recommended.


When properly rinsed, leaves minimal residue to be of concern for pets and children. Even when used as directed, does not provide lasting parasite control compared to spot-on treatments. [1] Best used in conjunction with other forms of flea control for pets with infestations.

Product Examples

Adams, Hartz, Only Natural Pet

Image: Valerie Johnson / via Shutterstock


[1] Comparative efficacy on dogs of a single topical treatment with fipronil/(S)-methoprene or weekly physiological hygiene shampoos against Ctenocephalides felis in a simulated flea-infested environment.

 Parasite. May 2012;19(2):153-8.

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