Natural Flea Shampoo For Dogs

We all want our fur babies to be clean and healthy. Keep them gently deodorized and flea free with this quick & easy Natural Flea Shampoo For Dogs.

Natural Flea Shampoo For Dogs

Dawn is well-known around the veterinary and shelter communities as a flea killer and flea deterrent. Vinegar removes oils from the coat and skin while leaving fluffy, irresistibly soft fur behind.

Despite knowing these things, I’ve continued to pay for far more expensive bath products for Bentley (our pug), trying to combat his pheromone-induced ‘doggy’ smell. Not completely satisfied with any results so far, I decided to see if there was something more ‘natural’ out there that could answer my prayers.

Yes, I love my dog so much that I include his hormone and scent issues in my prayers. Like an over-protective parent, I’m always worried about what others will think upon first meeting him. I couldn’t have any smell, especially when it’s not his fault, overshadow his radiant personality and his zest for life.

I needed to make sure he had an equal opportunity at being loved by all who meet him. As he deserves. With this new concoction all mixed up, and approved by our vet, we set off for the bathroom.

If seeing is believing, consider me ‘blinded by the light’.

Bentley looked positively radiant after his scrub down. I believe my exact words to him (in my best Billy Crystal accent) were ,”Dahling, you look mahvelous. Absolutely mah-velous.” Speaking of which, with his new luster, Bentley would look really cute with a pair of wings and a halo for Halloween this year, like a little angel. But I digress.

He was clean. Not a single flea in sight. He was fluffy. No hint of oil or his ‘doggy’ smell. I actually carried him to each of my children, and my poor husband, and made them smeeeeell him. Not a little sniff, either. That just wouldn’t suffice. I mean nose in the fur, and a deeeep inhale. ‘See, not a whiff of anything!’ I don’t think they understood my elation.

I may or may not have seen them exchanging looks, silently asking each other if Mom is OK. They just won’t understand until they’re older. Or so I tell myself. For virtually nothing on my part, I’d achieved groomer-level results. Or at least that’s how Bentley looked to me. I may be a little biased.

Also, as a friendly reminder,  no children, pugs, or husbands were harmed in the making, usage, or smell-checking of this recipe.

This Natural Flea Shampoo For Dogs really does work. Let it help remove those pesky hitch-hikers, keeping your fur baby(ies) flea free, and leaving your pet with a scent-free, fluffy coat to boot.

Natural Flea Shampoo For Dogs

Natural Flea Shampoo For Dogs shown in a jar with dish soap and vinegar jars in the background

  • 1 cup liquid Dawn dish soap
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 quart warm water


  1. Mix the three ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Transfer to a leftover squeeze bottle (like an old shampoo bottle). Give it a little shake to make sure it is mixed.
  3. Apply to your doggy just as you would normal shampoo. It is best if you can massage it into the fur and let sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Rinse your doggy thoroughly with warm water. Towel dry.

45 thoughts on “Natural Flea Shampoo For Dogs

  1. Hey, I was wondering if it would be ok or still effective to add 1c. oats and 1c. baking soda to the flea shampoo recipe? My fur babies have sensitive skin!

    1. I definitely don’t think it would make it any less ‘effective’ since baking soda is deodorizer and the oatmeal a skin soother, but I wouldn’t mix them into the entire batch. I probably only end up using about a 1/2 cup of solution to thoroughly scrub our pup down each bath, and to that I’d separately add 1 tbsp each of the baking soda and oats and mix it up well before lathering. Or you could add 1 cup of each to the bath water and thoroughly wash them down with that. Hope this helps!

  2. we’ve got puppies that are 7 weeks old and have gotten fleas bad…how often would I bathe them with this mixture?

    1. Cats are a lot more sensitive than dogs, and they lick themselves to self clean, so it can make finding a dig recipe tricky. Luckily, this recipe is also safe for the kitties. If it’s really bad, you can let them ‘soak’ in it a bit. And sometimes it may take more than one wash to completely irradiate them. Hope this helps you both find some relief!

    1. I wouldn’t use it everyday as the vinegar strips the fur of oils, which is what makes their fur feel so soft and conditioned. We typically give our dog a bath once a week in the summer and it works great. We’ve even used it in on the occasionally hot spot he gets and as it’s anti-fungal/bacterial/etc it cleared it right up without a trip to the vet. I would say no more than twice a week on an oily coat in the Summer. Otherwise, once a week should be more than sufficient.

  3. Tried this today after reading a lot of positive reviews…I’ll post the results here too since I used this exact mixture!


  4. Could I use cleaning vinegar instead of the distilled white vinager? And after making this do we have to use it all or can we store for next use?

    1. I would say no to the cleaning vinegar since the main difference between the two types is that the cleaning version is more acidic and I don’t know how that would work on a dog’s sensitive skin. As to the shelf life– I typically make a double or triple batch and store it in a large sealable container under my bathroom sink and use it as needed until it’s gone.

  5. This works miracles! Used it on a stray kitty that appeared on my doorstep with a horrible case of fleas. No harsh chemicals, no fleas! Thank you so much!

    1. We love the stuff. It keeps our little guy smelling like a million bucks and with the softest fur I’ve ever felt. I’m so glad you loved it too!

    1. We use just enough to get a good lather and work it into the coat. The rest we store in a sealed container under the bathroom sink for later use.

  6. I used Green Apple Dawn because that’s all we had. But, this worked! The fleas were literally running away from it as I sprayed down my dog. Even found one dead sitting on top of his back. It worked that fast! Thank you!!!

  7. For Bentley pug parents. We had a pug that had that smell and we had been giving him a food that had lamb in it. When we got rid of the food and switched to something else his smell went away. So it was a food allergy causing that smell to radiate from his pores

    1. Thanks for the info, Holly. I’ll have to ask the vet about it and check out the ingredient list in his food.

    1. While nothing in this shampoo would cause permanent harm/damage– I’d imagine it would hurt them, just as much as getting soap and/or vinegar in our eyes would. I just try to be extra careful, and don’t typically wash around my pup’s face or forehead with anything but water.

    1. No, and I wouldn’t recommend spraying soap around the house. We do have a recipe on here for a flea/tick spray, but it doesn’t kill them so much as act as a very effective deterrent for your pet.

  8. I’m glad I found this article! My husband thought I was crazy the first time he saw me mixing braggs apple cider vinegar and my favorite pomegranate dawn dish soap together right before I was about to was my Charlee. It works miracles on any live fleas she may have picked up! Then I just add 3-4 drops of cedarwood EO evenly spread out around her collar while she’s drying, and I’ve never had to use any chemical pest control product on her ever. And she’s a very active dog, with her own doggie door, so she’s outside more than she’s inside. This treatment 1-2x per week and we’ve never had an issue with fleas. =)

  9. Oh my! Thank you for this recipe! We have 3 pugs and are always fighting fleas! (We live in Northern California, where the summers are REALLY hot!)
    We also sprinkle salt on our carpets, then vacuum. It chops up the fleas and gets rid of them. A safer alternative than chemicals! 😉
    Thank you again!

    1. I had no idea salt would help with that, thanks for the tip! We’ve got one pug, and it’s a handful keeping the little bugger off of him. We’re in the heart of Virginia, so we not only have the heat- but the mugginess, a perfect breeding ground.

  10. We adopted a new fur baby today and, unfortunately, she came with fleas. 😠 I put a white bath towel in the bottom of my kitchen sink then bathed her with this “shampoo”. I let the water drain through the towel on its own, and when I went back about 20 minutes later, I could see many dead fleas on the towel. Thanks helping us with this problem! 🙂

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