You’ve just given Rex his monthly flea and tick treatment, and now he’s come in from the garden looking like he’s found the biggest and best mud pool in town. He may be overjoyed but you’re not. He needs a bath NOW! But will a bath wash away his flea treatment?
It’s a common question and given the expense of monthly applications of Frontline or Advantage, you don’t want to apply any more than is necessary. So what should you do?
According to the manufacturers’ instructions, you should wait for 48 hours after applying Frontline or Advantage before bathing your dog. The main ingredient in Frontline, fipronil, stores itself in the dog’s oil glands, reapplying itself constantly through the hair follicles. Meanwhile, Advantage’s main ingredient is imidacloprid, which coats the skin.
Although both claim to be waterproof, some dog owners have found that the treatments do seem to be less effective after bathing. Regular washing with medicated or flea shampoos can dry the skin, making flea treatments weaker and less likely to work. There’s also the problem that many commercial flea shampoos contain harsh chemicals. Do you really want to apply those on top of the regular monthly treatment? One alternative is to use a natural shampoo after flea treatment applications; a gentle shampoo (like Comfy Dog Oatmeal Shampoo) can help moisturize the skin while cleansing.
Or perhaps you want to consider a switch from chemical flea and tick treatments to something more earth friendly. Most natural products can be used on their own, or as a complement to Frontline and Advantage.
Some natural alternatives to try include:
- Garlic and brewer’s yeast tablets. Added to your dog’s food, or given as a daily treat, these are full of nutrients to help improve your dog’s skin and coat, plus you have the added bonus of repelling fleas and ticks. The scent of the garlic and yeast is secreted through the skin, keeping those pesky bugs away.
- Some essential oils are great at repelling fleas. Since essential oils can cause irritation when applied directly to the skin, I prefer to add a few dabs to my dog’s collar, or add a few drops to a small spray bottle of water and apply a few squirts over their coat. Cedar, lavender, citronella, and rosemary oils all work well and have helped keep my pets tick free.
- Flea the Scene offers the best of all things: essential oils that both repel fleas and soothe the skin, a range of emollients to moisturize the skin, and a sunscreen to offer protection from the rays. It can be used with or instead of a medical flea and tick application. What’s more, it’s safe for humans too so I can simply give us all a quick spray before we head off to the park. No bugs, no sunburn, and we all smell great!