Nobody ever bathes a wolf or a bobcat and yet those animals seem to do just fine. Unfortunately, that is not the case. They are just as infested by ticks and fleas as our dogs and cats. Nature is tough, but at least we can protect our own pets. If we leave them as they are, they will soon be infested with fleas, ticks, lice and other nasty parasites. Fleas are the worst to control – they multiply rapidly by laying hundreds of thousands of eggs in our pet’s environment. So even if you have trapped and killed 10 fleas on your pet’s body, you can be assured that there are at least 50 new ones nearby in various developing stages. All this makes it very difficult for pet parents to handle, which is why I will show you an easy way to get rid of fleas. The best part about using this method of flea control is that you do not need to go out of your way for it and the ingredients you need are likely already present in your kitchen. Today you will learn everything you need to know about how to use Dawn dish soap for fleas on dogs and cats.
Is Dawn dish soap safe for use on pets?
Before concluding whether Dawn dish soap is safe for use on pets, let us first consider how skin pH works.
Dogs, cats and humans all have different pH of the dermis. Humans have slightly acidic skin mantle with a pH of 5.2 to 5.5. This acidic pH is needed for preventing bacterial and fungal skin infections. Dogs are neutral or slightly alkaline skinned species which makes them perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses as well as parasites like fleas, ticks, mange and lice etc. Additionally, in dogs, the skin barrier is extremely thin – only about 8-10 cell layers thick, making it easy to absorb anything that is put on the skin. Cats and dogs usually have a skin barrier pH of 7.0 to 8.0 (cats sometimes a little lower). You should only use shampoo or other products that are close to that pH value. Failure to do so can cause inflammation of the skin and could destroy the good flora, making it susceptible to dryness, cuts, infections and parasitic invaders. This is also the main reason why you must never use cat shampoos on dogs and vice a versa. Similarly, never use human shampoos to bathe your pets as it can change the pH balance. It is always best to use products that are pH balanced and close to the users skin pH.
Fleas hate Dawn dish soap
Fleas have a thin exoskeleton cover which is why the Dawn dish soap easily penetrates their bodies, killing them instantly. Dawn dish soap also prevents flea eggs from hatching and eliminates all life cycle stages of fleas. This makes it an efficient weapon in your flea defense arsenal.
But is it safe to use on my pet?
Whenever a soap is labeled as soft, gentle and safe for human skin, then its pH is guaranteed to be around 7. Ivory brand dish soap is very caustic or acidic with a pH less than 6.0, whereas Dove hand soap is gentle and mild for human use with a neutral pH. The pH of Dawn dishwashing soap is also around 7. This makes it neutral for human skin and perfect for dogs and cats. Therefore, you can safely and effectively use Dawn dish soap for eliminating fleas on your pet as well as its environment. Avoid using it too often though, as this will dry out your pets skin.
How to use Dawn dish soap for flea control on dogs and cats
You can use Dawn dish soap for flea elimination in the following three ways.
1. When bathing your pet
It is recommended to start with a small quantity of Dawn dish soap:
- Mix 2-3 teaspoons of the soap with a liter of warm water and mix well to work up a lather.
- Wet the pet thoroughly, then pour the soap solution on its body.
- It is not surprising that fleas will start moving towards the pet’s head. Be ready with a flea comb to remove these.
- Continue massaging the pet’s body until all areas are covered with the soap lather.
- Leave the lather on for at least 5-10 minutes.
- Wash off with warm water.
- Repeat if needed.
- Gently dry the pet with a towel.
2. In your pets environment
To kill fleas in the carpet:
- Mix one tbsp Dawn dish soap with 2 cups of water.
- Pour the mixture in a spray bottle.
- Shake well and spray all over the carpet, pets’ bedding, upholstery and floors.
- Let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Blot the carpet and upholstery with a towel or tissue papers.
- Vacuum the rugs and carpets well.
As the fleas and larvae have a weak exoskeleton, their skin absorbs the dish soap, damaging all internal organs. This instantly kills them.
3. Make a flea trap with Dawn dish soap
You can also make a homemade flea trap with Dawn dish soap:
- Fill up a shallow pan with water and add a few drops of Dawn dish washing soap on its surface.
- At night, place the trap in the room next to your pet’s bed.
- Turn off all lights except a small lamp suspended over the trap.
The fleas get attracted to the light and fall in the trap, where the dish soap kills them on contact.
Fleas are a nuisance and cause a great deal of harm to our pets. Dawn dish soap is an effective remedy for getting rid of fleas fast. The pH of Dawn dish soap is neutral which makes it safe for use on cats, kittens, adult dogs and puppies. Try it out and keep your home and pets flea-free.
Got fleas? Find out which products work in 2019, with my updated flea control product comparison chart.