is it safe to use cat flea shampoo on my dogs?

My dogs have fleas and it’s a good drive to the nearest store. I know you can’t use dog flea shampoo on cats but what about cat flea shampoo on dogs. I actually have that and I’m out of dog flea shampoo. And how much truth is there to dish washing liquid working for fleas?

Dawn dish soap and a flea comb can help get rid of some fleas, and it’s safe even for wildlife and very young animals… those too young for regular flea medicines. In fact, rescue groups often use Dawn to clean animals and birds that have gotten caught up in oil slicks. Dish soap isn’t the greatest thing for fleas, but it can help a little until you get some proper flea medicine.

If you try it, you have to leave the soap lather on for 15 minutes and don’t let your dog lick it as a lot of swallowed soap can cause nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea. It’s not toxic, but soap does that. After the 15 minutes are up, be certain to rinse thoroughly.

Shampoos aren’t real good for controlling fleas. They have almost no residual effect after maybe 48 hours, but they can help to kill off a heavy infestation prior to following up with something like Advantage or Revolution or one of the other veterinary products.

Store products can be toxic, and they aren’t very good either, except perhaps Frontline and regular Advantage, both of which are available at PetSmart or Petco and are safe. However, even Frontline is showing fleas that are becoming resistant, at least in cats. Shame, because it has been a good product. All of the veterinary or specialty store products protect for a month or a little more, depending on the flea load in the environment.

On that note, it’s good to also treat your house and your yard, and any place where your pet sleeps or hangs out.

Indoors, use your vacuum under the furniture, in cracks and crevices, under sofa cushion… any dark recessed and undisturbed area where flea babies (larvae), eggs and cocoons might hide. Empty the vacuum outdoors. Be sure to wash pet bedding, too. Then take your pets out of the house while you use a flea spray like Siphotrol or some other product with growth regulators to break the life cycle.

Treat the yard, in quiet places like under porches, in corners, any tall grass or around/under bushes and anywhere that fleas can take refuge. Be sure that you use only safe products, preferably organics, when you treat your yard (and perhaps your home as well). Be sure that any sprays are totally dry before you let your pets into the treated areas even if you used an organic, and that there is nothing left over that they can ingest.

Hope that helps.