How Long After Flea Treatment Can I Bathe My Dog?

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If and when Maggie ever gets fleas, I want to know if I’m doing anything potentially harmful to her.

There are many different ways that dog parents can fight fleas.

There are flea pills, collars, and even topical treatments. They all come with different instructions, but what about the flea fighting technique that most people jump for?

I’m talking about a good bath.

When you see fleas on your dog, your first instinct may be to jump for one of these treatments.

That’s totally fine!

If a bath doesn’t cross your mind until later, you just have to take some precautions.

Check out this guide for when you can bathe your dog after using a flea treatment, so you don’t accidentally make the flea prevention less effective.

How Long After Flea Pill is Taken?

How long wait bathe dog after flea treatment drops chewable medication If you take your dog to the vet after discovering fleas, they may prescribe your dog a flea pill or chewable flea medication.

This kind of pill will actively work to kill fleas, rather than working as a preventative measure.

Some flea pills stay in the blood stream to kill off fleas that have begun to feed.

Other pills excrete their active ingredient through skin oils[1], which is why owners are advised not to bathe their dog within 48 hours of giving them this pill.

Special Considerations

Capstar nitenpyram flea tablets pills can you bathe dog after administrationYour vet will decide which flea pill brand is right for your dog, based on their medical history, size, age, and breed.

After prescribing the right pill, they’ll advise you on how to use it effectively.

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Talk with your vet about how the active ingredient in your dog’s flea pill is administered, so you know when it’s safe to bathe them too.

How Long After Flea Collar is Removed?

Flea collars, such as Seresto, are another common treatment for fleas that many dog owners choose to use.

They’re relatively cheaper than flea pills, since they can be bought at a pet store without a prescription.

You can bathe your dog immediately after removing the flea collar. It will continue working as soon as it’s put back on your dog[2].

Special Considerations

Bayer Seresto small dog flea tick collar can you clean wash puppy while wearingThere are a few things to keep in mind if you’re going to use a flea collar.

The first thing is that some can be worn on dogs as old as seven weeks, with most being worn after eight weeks[3].

If you’re taking care of puppies younger than seven weeks old, talk with a vet about using an oral tablet.

Another consideration is what the collar will come into contact with.

Dogs that play around with other dogs or are around kids may not be suited for collars. Dogs who happen to lick the collar or kids who touch the collar and then put their fingers in their eyes or mouth could be hurt by the chemicals.

Dogs with thick coats, like German Shepherds or Saint Bernards, may not benefit from a flea collar as much as thin coat dogs, since the chemicals need to be able to get under the fur easily.

How Long After Flea Drops are Administered?K9 Advantix II flea tick mosquito repellent bathe before after medication is given

Flea drops are the kind of topical flea treatment that’s rubbed into your dog’s fur at the base of their neck.

It’s a liquid treatment that needs time to soak into the skin, which is why it should also be given 48 hours to work before bathing.

Special Considerations

Most dogs are able to use flea drops, no matter what breed or size they are.

The only issue is that puppies under the age of eight weeks shouldn’t use flea drops, since they use powerful chemicals.


Try using these tips to maximize the effectiveness of your dog’s flea treatment.

Use a Non-Stripping ShampooPro Pet Works oatmeal pet wash non stripping gentle sensitive skin shampoo conditioner hypoallergenic

Most dog owners know that the reason dogs shouldn’t be bathed very often is because shampoo strips their fur of natural oils.

This same concept applies to dogs needing a flea bath.

If they’re bathed too soon, regular shampoos will strip their coat of any flea-killing measures you’ve taken.

Instead, use a non-stripping or sensitive skin shampoo, so all the anti-flea and natural oils are left on the skin and fur.

Look for Waterproof Drops

Flea drops are powerful, so it may seem strange that they can be easily washed away in a bath.Sentry Fiproguard waterproof resistant flea tick lice topical spot on drops

While this is true for some flea drops, it’s not true for all.

You can buy waterproof flea drops that will stay on your dog’s coat a lot longer than regular drops.

It’s still a good idea to wait 48 hours after applying waterproof drops, but you won’t have to worry about the treatment being ruined if your dog goes out in the rain or needs a bath after the first 24-40 hours of treatment.


Giving your dog a flea bath is a great way to combat fleas, but you have to wait a bit if you’ve already tried a different flea treatment first.

Wait at least 48 hours for treatments to work before washing your dog’s fur clean.

Any medication will need time to soak into or out of your dog’s skin to kill fleas.

If you have any questions about a specific flea treatment you’ve used, contact your vet or read the directions on the box the treatment came in.


How Long After Using Frontline Can I Bathe My Dog?

You should wait 48 hours to bathe your dog after applying Frontline to their coat.

Should You Bathe a Dog Before Flea Treatment?

Bathing your dog before a flea treatment is perfectly fine.

If you plan on using a spray, drop, or collar as treatment, just make sure their coat is completely dry before administering.

Can I Bathe My Dog With Flea Shampoo After Applying Frontline?

After waiting the designated 48 hours after treatment, you can bathe your dog.

Flea shampoo is fine to use, as long as you avoid using any stripping shampoos.

Can I Bathe My Dog Before Applying Advantix?

Yes, bathing your dog before applying Advantix is encouraged by the brand.

The only precaution is to ensure that your dog is completely dry before applying the treatment.

Can You Give a Dog a Flea Bath After Flea Treatment?

Every flea treatment will need time to be completely effective, which is why it’s recommended that owners wait 48 hours before bathing their dogs.

Does Flea Treatment Wash Off?

Yes, flea treatment can wash off.

This is especially true if you use a stripping shampoo.



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