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dawn dish soap kills fleas

Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Fleas on a Dog?

A popular home remedy for flea control is Dawn dish soap. Does it really work and, if so, is it safe?

If you notice that your dog has suddenly started scratching themselves constantly, there’s a good chance they have fleas. Fleas breed quickly, and you and your dog may end up with a significant issue if not treated early. Fleas can quickly spread through your house, invading your carpets and furniture. 

There is a lot of conflicting information out there regarding Dawn dish detergent and fleas. So let’s clear that up and answer the question — does Dawn dish soap kill fleas on dogs?

Dawn dish soap can effectively kill fleas on your dog. However, if your dog has fleas, then your house probably has fleas, too. The rest of the fleas that remain in your house will quickly find your dog, so the problem will persist unless you launch a coordinated effort to get rid of them.

Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog has a flea problem, and begin vacuuming and cleaning frequently. If the problem persists, you may need an exterminator. 

Can You Use Dawn Dish Soap to Kill Fleas on Dogs?

Yes, Dawn dish soap can be used to kill fleas on your dog. It kills fleas by drowning them. Using Dawn to kill the fleas on your dog will work, but it won’t stop the infestation from coming back. These insects can always return and start breeding again. 

Also, a dog shampoo specifically designed to soothe your dog’s skin is a much better option as Dawn can irritate and dry out their skin.

How Does Dawn Dish Soap Kill Fleas?

Dawn dish soap kills fleas by drowning them. They will then be washed away when you rinse your dog.

As you wash your dog with dish soap and water, you may notice fleas jumping off your dog and into the bathtub or sink. Make sure you kill all the stray fleas or rinse them down the drain.

Another way that Dawn dish soap attacks fleas is by removing the wax coat on the fleas’ exoskeletons. This makes it very difficult for the fleas to survive, even if they are somehow able to withstand being drowned by the soap and water solution. 

dawn dish soap on dog

Can Dawn Kill Flea Eggs and Larvae?

When you wash your dog with Dawn dish soap, you will likely wash away most or all of the flea eggs and larvae. Be thorough when washing your dog, making sure to cover every area of their body. 

However, there is no guarantee that the dish soap will get rid of the eggs and larvae on your dog— not to mention the eggs, larvae, and other fleas that are likely in your house or yard. 

Dawn Soap Kills Fleas; What About Their Offspring?

Dawn will only kill the fleas that are on your dog at the time you wash them. But those fleas may have already produced offspring that have spread to your dog’s bed, your furniture, your carpet, or your yard. This is why Dawn dish soap is ultimately not a solution if your dog has a flea problem. 

Will Dawn Dish Detergant Irritate My Dog’s Skin?

You shouldn’t use Dawn on your dog regularly because it likely will irritate your dog’s skin. It should only be something you do in an emergency. Furthermore, you should only use a small amount, and you must rinse your pet’s coat and skin thoroughly. Ultimately, any kind of dish soap is extremely drying to the skin. 

If your dog has fleas, their skin is probably already quite irritated. There’s a chance that when you put dish soap on irritated skin, it may make the irritation worse. That’s why it’s a much better idea to ask your vet for flea medication and a shampoo specifically for dogs that will alleviate the irritation.

Should You Mix Dawn Dish Soap with Vinegar to Use on Your Dog?

In most situations, you shouldn’t mix vinegar with Dawn to use for washing your dog. This combination will seriously irritate your dog’s skin. When that happens, they face a high risk of skin infection. 

However, if your dog has a serious flea infestation and you need to do something to get rid of the fleas right away, you can try to use a Dawn dish soap and vinegar mixture.  Make sure to keep the amount of vinegar you use very small to avoid stinging or burning your dog’s skin. Always check the condition of their skin before using this mixture. 

If your pet’s skin is already extremely irritated from flea bites, be careful with using this dish soap and vinegar combo. Also, be aware that vinegar isn’t designed to kill fleas. The one advantage of using vinegar is the fact that fleas detest its smell, which may help to keep them away.

does dawn dish soap kill fleas on dogs

Can You Mix Dawn Dish Soap with Apple Cider Vinegar to Use on Your Dog? 

Like other kinds of vinegar, apple cider vinegar may irritate your dog’s skin if you are not careful. 

Apple cider vinegar is similar to white vinegar in that fleas and other insects hate its smell. If you add a tiny amount of vinegar to a mild Dawn dish soap solution, you may make fleas more likely to jump off your dog and get washed down the drain. 

Is Dawn Dish Soap Safe for Puppies?

Puppy skin is more sensitive than adult dog skin. If your puppy has a flea infestation, you should contact your local vet for advice right away. If you use a mild dish soap solution to wash your puppy, be very careful. 

If your puppy has fleas, wash your pet with mild puppy shampoo and water. This is a much better solution than using Dawn dish soap. Don’t forget to contact your veterinarian for additional advice. 

Dawn Is Not the Answer

Dawn dish soap is probably not going to seriously harm your dog, but you should be careful about using too much of it too often as it can irritate their skin. A dog shampoo will provide much more comfort to your dog. 

While Dawn dish detergent can drown fleas and make them easy to wash away from your dog, it does nothing to combat the fleas that might be in your house and/or yard. You should contact your veterinarian for a recommendation for prescription or over-the-counter flea medication, or try a natural remedy.

You should also make a concerted effort to keep your house clean and vacuum daily until your dog is free of fleas and the flea life cycle in your home has completed.

Superb Dog Editor

Superb Dog Editor