I receive a lot of questions about bathing pregnant dogs with flea shampoo and whether or not it’s safe and affective.
When your dog is pregnant her immune system is naturally weakened, so if she has fleas it’s important to act fast and find a safe solution to get rid of them.
Veterinarians recommend that you DO NOT use flea shampoo with pregnant dogs due to the strong chemicals contained and your dog’s weakened immune system.
Below we take a closer look at why you shouldn’t use flea shampoo or any of the common alternatives and how you can safely remove fleas from your pregnant dog.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Flea Shampoo
Professional veterinarians recommend that you do not use shop-bought flea shampoo on pregnant dogs.
This is because most of them use ingredients too toxic for the lowered immune system of a pregnant dog.
These ingredients will seep into your dog’s body through their skin and potentially cause harm to the mother and her unborn puppies.
Flea shampoos can even be toxic to us!
It has also been found that many ingredients contained in low-quality flea shampoo are not only toxic for your pet but for us too.
Some flea shampoos leave a residue after the wash, which can then be transmitted to us or our children by physical contact.
Check out this list of harmful ingredients here at the Pesticide Research Institute.
Avoid These Alternatives Too!
I’ve covered above why not to use a flea shampoo, but here’s why you should also avoid human shampoo, dawn, or any other washing-up liquid.
Human skin and our dog’s skin are very different. Our skin has a more acidic Ph balance of 5.5 – 5.6, whereas dogs’ skin is near to being neutral at 6.2 – 7.4. In conclusion, nearly all human shampoos are too acidic and will disrupt the acidic mantle of your dog.
Dawn or other washing-up liquid:
Simply put, this is made for washing dishes and not your dog. Yes, there is a lot of discussion about how this works to kill fleas, but that’s because it contains strong ingredients. Washing up liquid contains degreasers, which can leave your dog’s skin flaky, itchy, and dry.
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Best & Safe Shampoos to Kill Fleas on Pregnant Dogs
The safest option… A regular organic or natural dog shampoo. That’s it, nothing else. Simple natural ingredient dog shampoo is all you need to kill fleas on your pregnant dog.
Check out the reviews of Ark shampoo, a highly recommended regular natural dog shampoo.
Check out My Happy Husky’s top 7 shampoo picks that are most appropriate for huskies.
How does this work?
- The truth about killing fleas with shampoo is that it’s not because of the chemicals, it’s due to the suds/soap suffocating the fleas.
By working up a thick lather and letting it sit in for 10 minutes, it’s replacing the oxygen close to the skin and hair, and fleas cannot survive in this kind of environment.
The truth is that it doesn’t actually require harsh chemicals to do kill fleas.
Of course, flea brands don’t want you to know that.
Plus, another fact of the matter is that in most cases, only up to 10% of the flea population will be living on your dog at any one time… Yup! To effectively rid your dog (pregnant or not) from fleas, you must clean the entire home, their bed, furniture, carpets, and clothes.
How to Safely Bathe Your Pregnant Dog to Kill Fleas
Pro Tip: Start washing from the head down to drive the fleas off of the body.
An effective method of killing fleas is through a lack of oxygen.
The fleas will attempt to jump and escape once you start getting your dog wet.
If you start in the middle, the fleas will likely jump up to the head and inside the ears, where there is more protection.
Avoid this by starting at the head and working your way down (but DO NOT get water inside your dog’s ears)
What you will need:
1. Regular organic or natural dog shampoo
2. Big tub low to the floor or a walk-in shower
3. Warm water
4. Freshly cleaned Towel
5. Flea comb
1) Soak Your Dog
Starting from the head down, soak and/or spray your dog’s entire body for at least 5 minutes with warm water.
2) Wash and Massage
Thoroughly wash and massage her coat with the regular natural dog shampoo for at least 10 minutes to get a thick lather going. This amount of time will help to kill the existent fleas due to the lack of oxygen. Be VERY gentle around her belly area and never apply pressure here.
3) Dry Thoroughly
Dry using a clean bathroom towel and pat her down gently until she’s dry to touch. This may take a while, but you should not leave her wet.
4) Once Dry, Use a Flea Comb
Once dry, use a flea comb to carefully go through the coat and fur, inspecting all the time for fleas and eggs. This can be time-consuming and difficult but much safer than the toxic flea shampoos. Always be careful around her belly area.
5) Clean Your Dogs Bed
An essential part of removing fleas is to thoroughly clean your home and the area that your dog rests and sleeps. Dog beds, blankets, carpets, and clothes should be thoroughly washed to kill any existing fleas. Fleas aren’t just on your dog. They can be on floors, furniture, and clothes.
3 Crucial Things to Remember
1) Some products are safe and organic
There are products on the market that are specifically made for killing fleas that are organic and safe. If you cannot kill the fleas by following the method above then you can, of course, try these products next.
Just make sure to check the ingredients and compare them with the list of toxic chemicals on the Pesticide Research Institute.
2) Pregnant dogs are sensitive
Always remember to handle her carefully during bath times. Never push or apply too much pressure around her sensitive belly area.
If your dog doesn’t like being washed in the first place, this dislike to bathing time will certainly increase during pregnancy.
Hormones and characteristics can change so be careful as it’s possible your dog may react aggressively if provoked.
Avoid picking up your dog to put them in the tub, this can be really uncomfortable for a bigger dog especially if your tub is tall. A walk-in shower is ideal, but if you don’t have one, use a shallow basin on the ground.
3) See a professional for further help
If problems persist you should seek professional help from a vet to help your dog as quickly as possible.
Always inspect your dog whether they are pregnant or not, watch for excessive scratching or itching, and act accordingly. In the end, it’s completely up to you to decide if you want to try a flea shampoo. Just do your due diligence to make sure you’re picking a “safe” one for your dog, you, and your family.
DisclaimerThe advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here
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