Fleas are unwanted pests that can cause a variety of health problems for your cat or dog not to mention the itching that comes with their bites. One solution to remove them safely from your pet, especially when dealing with very young pups or kittens, is to use dish soap detergent to kill the fleas on their coat.
When used regularly to bathe your pet, dish soap can dry out the skin, but in a pinch, it works well to get rid of the fleas on his coat quickly and safely. This is especially important for kittens and puppies who are too young for most topical and oral flea medications.
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Flea soap for dogs and cats
You can safely use any type of dish soap, including Dawn or Gain dish soap, for fleas on pets. This is especially useful for dogs and cats under 6 weeks of age who are too young for most topical flea treatments, including flea shampoos.
Dish soap contains grease-fighting agents called surfactants that are effective in removing oily food residue from dishes. These same cleansers help break down the wax exoskeletons of the fleas, which ensures that they drown during a bath. Because of this, the soap is a good solution for fleas on cats and dogs.
Bathing your pet in dish soap
To get rid of the fleas on your pet's coat, create a mixture of equal parts dish soap and water. You can also combine 1 cup dish soap with an equal part vinegar and 2 tablespoons of aloe vera to make a more moisturizing flea soap to use. The vinegar also helps to repel fleas.
Using your hands or a brush, thoroughly scrub your pet to ensure that the soap penetrates your pet's coat. Once your pet is properly lathered, let the soap and water mixture sit for around 10 minutes. The idea is to let the soap break down the flea exoskeletons, which will drown the bugs and wash out any eggs that the fleas may have laid.
Now that the soap has been properly applied, rinse your pet to remove the soap and wash away the dead fleas. Ensure that you avoid getting soap in your pet's eyes before drying off your cat or dog with a fluffy towel. Finish by checking the coat for any remaining fleas with a flea comb.
Kill fleas in the environment
After you've washed your pet with the flea soap for cats and dogs, it's time to tackle the fleas in your pet's environment. That's because fleas can lurk about and lay hundreds of eggs in your carpets, in your pet's bedding, and even in the yard. For any washable items like bedding or blankets, toss those in the washing machine on a hot-water cycle. Treat other areas with a dish soap mixture to help rid your home of any remaining fleas and flea eggs.
Create a flea spray with a tablespoon of dish soap mixed with 2 cups of hot water and put it in a spray bottle. Use it to spray down your couches and carpets. Allow the soapy spray to sit for 10 minutes before blotting the surfaces and vacuuming away the dead fleas. Use a lawn sprayer with an ounce of dish soap to treat the outdoor areas your dog or cat frequents.
Long-term flea solutions
Although dish soap will help to kill fleas on your cat or dog, it isn't a long-term solution. The fleas could come back, so it's best to use a medication on your pet to prevent this.
Your veterinarian can recommend a topical product to get rid of the fleas on your pet while also continuing to kill these pests for several weeks at a time. Most of these products are safe to use on kittens and puppies older than 6 to 8 weeks of age depending on their ingredients.