How to Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath

Three Parts:Finding the FunBathing Your DogPreventing a Reoccurrence

Giving your dog a flea bath can be stressful. However, with the right perspective you can find a way to make it fun. Make sure you bathe your dog thoroughly and then take action to prevent a reoccurrence.

Part 1
Finding the Fun

  1. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 1
    Explore ways to make bath time fun for your dog. While bath time is usually thought of as a stressful activity for both dogs and people, there are small things you can do to make bath time fun. Find ways to show your dog how to associate bath time with happy memories.
    • Expose your dog to water during times other than bath time. Take your dog to the beach or a dog park near a body of water. Allow him to enter the water at his own pace. If your dog has positive associations with water, he might be less nervous about bath time.[1]
    • Allow your dog to spend time in the bathroom, near the tub, on a regular basis. Bring some of his toys into the bathroom and let him play in the tub when it's empty. This will help build positive associations regarding the bath tub.[2]
  2. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 2
    Use treats and toys. When you start bath time, try using treats and toys to help your dog enjoy herself. This can make bath time less stressful for both of you.
    • Give your treats dog before, during, and after a bath. This way, she might be excited about the prospect of bath time as it means she'll get tasty food. You want your dog to see bath time as a reward rather than a punishment.[3]
    • Bring your dog's favorite toys into the tub as long as they are waterproof. Allowing your dog to play with her toys during bath time can make the event more fun for both you and your dog.[4]
  3. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 3
    Maintain a positive attitude. Many people struggle to have fun because they get caught up on momentary hassles. Keep perspective and focus on the positives in the situation. A positive attitude can help you have fun despite troubling circumstances and if you're in a good mood your dog will feel happier and safer.[5]
    • Take your dog for a long walk before his bath. This can be calming and relaxing for both you and your dog. This way, you'll both go into the bath in a positive mood.[6]
    • Try to keep calm and avoid feelings of frustration when bathing your dog. If you're in a negative mood, your dog will pick up on this. Try to go into the situation in good humor. This will help you stay calm, which will keep your dog calm as well.

Part 2
Bathing Your Dog

  1. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 4
    Choose a shampoo. The first thing you need to do is choose the right shampoo. There are many different flea shampoos on the market. Make sure you select a brand that works for you and your dog.
    • Aim for a shampoo that acts on both live fleas and flea eggs. This way, you'll fight both the existing infestation and prevent a reoccurrence.[7]
    • A common ingredient in flea shampoo is pyrethrins, a powerful insecticide. This product is usually safe for medium-sized or small dogs but may not be safe for a small dog or a puppy. Ask your vet if you're unsure if pyrethrins is safe for your dog.[8]
    • If you're unsure what product to buy, call your vet. He or she should be able to give you an informed recommendation based on your dog's health, size, and medical history.[9]
  2. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 5
    Find a well-ventilated area. Anytime you give your dog a flea bath, especially if you're using a shampoo with pyrethrins, you should find a well-ventilated area. If possible, give your dog a flea bath in a pool outside. If not, keep windows and doors open during the bath.[10]
  3. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 6
    Take precautions to keep the shampoo out of your dog's ears and eyes. You do not want any shampoo to get in your dog's eyes or ears. This can cause irritation. Place cotton balls in your dog's ears before the bath. Consider covering your dog's eyes with a rag or bandana. However, some dogs may become nervous and tear off a blindfold. If your dog does this, be very, very careful when washing around the dog's face. In the event shampoo gets in your dog's eyes, flush the eyes thoroughly and then call your vet.[11]
  4. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 7
    Bathe your dog. Once you've found the right area, you can begin bathing your dog. Fill a bath with lukewarm water and place your dog inside.
    • Get your dog wet first. You can use a hose or a bucket to dampen your dog's coat.[12]
    • Follow all instructions when applying the flea shampoo. If you need protective gloves, wear them. Do not apply any more shampoo than recommended on the bottle.[13]
    • Lather your dog thoroughly. Pay attention to hard to reach areas, such as the stomach, paws, and legs. Be very careful when washing around your dog's head to avoid getting soap in her ears or eyes.[14]
  5. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 8
    Rinse. Once your dog is lathered thoroughly, rinse him off. Make sure you get all the shampoo out as excess shampoo can cause irritation. You may have to rinse your dog off several times. Lightly squeeze your dog's fur and see if any suds are present to check if he is completely rinsed off.[15]
  6. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 9
    Dry off your dog. Once your dog is rinsed, drain the water. Allow her to shake off in the tub and then rub her down with an old towel. If you have a longhaired dog, you might want to try using a hair dryer. Just make sure it's turned to a lower heat setting to avoid burning the dog's skin.[16]

Part 3
Preventing a Reoccurrence

  1. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 10
    Invest in a flea collar. Be aware that the majority of flea collars don't work. The only effective flea collar is the Seresto collar, which is a prescription product available from your vet. If you prefer a collar, then talk to your vet.
    • You can buy a flea collar from your vet. You can also find one at a pet store or buy one online.[17]
    • A flea collar should be snug without causing discomfort. You should be able to comfortably fit two fingers under the collar. Always cut off any excess portion of the collar so your dog does not chew on the end.[18]
    • Flea collars lose effectiveness with time. Check the label of your flea collar to see when it should be replaced.[19]
  2. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 11
    Ask your vet about medication. Certain medications can prevent your dog from being getting fleas. They also may help treat existing flea infections. Products like Capstar and Frontline Plus are effective flea treatments. Ask your vet for a prescription.[20]
  3. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 12
    Rid your home of fleas. If your dog had fleas, you'll need to take efforts to rid your home of fleas. Fleas can leave your dog and get into the carpet and furniture.
    • Vacuum your home throughly. Vacuum below drapes, under the edges of furniture, and anywhere your pet sleeps. Every time you vacuum, place the vacuum bag in a sealable plastic container and throw it out immediately.[21]
    • Get a product that will kill fleas and eggs and spray it around your home anywhere you needed to vacuum. Read the instructions on the bottle to see if there are any safety precautions you can take when using the spray.[22]
    • Wash your pet's bedding each week, as well as any toys or carrier containers your pet uses.[23]
  4. Image titled Have Fun Giving Your Dog a Flea Bath Step 13
    Use once-a-month topical insecticides. Topical insecticides are sprays applied to a dog's shoulders. They are very effective in preventing flea infestations and should be applied once a month. Ask your vet about a topical insecticides. He or she should be able to write you a prescription or may have the spray available at the clinic.[24]

Sources and Citations

Show more... (21)

Article Info

Categories: Dog Grooming