Can you put Flea Medicine on a Dog after a Bath?

Taking care of a dog’s hygiene is a must and let me tell you this job purely lies on an owner’s shoulders. Due to poor hygiene dogs commonly catch fleas and sometimes getting rid of them is a challenge. Most people take flea medicine and then give a bath after one or two days to eradicate them completely. Can you put flea medicine on a dog after a bath?

Undoubtedly summer months are the breeding period for fleas. They tend to grow in humid areas and can easily transfer onto furniture, carpet, and even humans. It’s best to start away with flea treatment at the start of summer or spring.

Can you put flea medicine on a dog after a bath?

No, You shouldn’t put flea medicine on a dog after a bath. But why? Let’s go through to find the answer.

can you put flea medicine on a dog after bath

Why can’t you put flea medicine on a dog after a bath?

We all know that dogs have furry skin over their body. Some have shiny coats and others have furry coats. No matter what, one thing that’s the same is the fact that skin releases natural oil which maintains this coat and its shine. But what does that have to do with fleas?

Fleas basically reside over the skin. Flea medicine is typically based on the phenomenon that it spreads through oil all over the dog’s surface. Or in the other words, through sebaceous glands that release sebum (the natural oil). However, if you shampoo your dog his skin becomes dry and the oils are washed off. As a result, the medicine pools up at one place, for example near the neck. More importantly, the effectiveness of flea medicine declines.

It takes time until the oil returns back and so you can’t put flea medicine on a dog after a bath

How to apply for flea medicine on a dog’s surface? Topical flea medicine is usually applied under the base of the skull, it easily absorbs in the skin, bloodstream, or hair follicles. In most cases, it works by destroying the nervous system of the small species. Moreover, the rate of absorption determines when your dog can take a bath.

Spot-on treatment does not only work against fleas but ticks, mosquitoes, and other insects. This means you’re giving your dog some enhanced protection.

Let’s talk about the most widely used Flea medicine brands and what they have to say.

Frontline Plus instructs you to completely dry your pet before applying flea medicine to the dog. It is effective for up to 30 days. However, it says to keep your dog away from getting wet after application for about a complete day. So can you put flea medicine on a dog after a bath? Yes, after at least 24 hours.

How does Frontline Plus work? It disrupts the Central Nervous System of fleas by reaching the sebaceous gland and also prevents the fleas from regrowing by destroying their larvae. Less than 1% is absorbed in the blood.

On the other side, another leading brand Advantage says to wait at least two days after the bath to apply the medication. It is said that within the first 12 hours after application 98% of the fleas are dead. The advantage is known to poison fleas and larvae.

With Bayer’s Advantage Multi, dogs can be bathed after 90 minutes and Wet Armour Plus recommends 12 hours waiting.

Apart from topical medicine, oral medication, flea collar, shampoo, and dips are also used to eradicate fleas.

Moreover, with flea collar and oral flea preventative time doesn’t count. You may give the boy a bath at any time.

The 48-hour rule applies to spot-on topical flea medication. This gives enough time for the medication to show its effects.

When to put flea medicine on a dog after a bath?

Vets believe that oils return back within two to three days after a bath. Hence, it’s safe to say three days after the bath you can put flea medicine on the doggo.

this might be surprising to hear, but flea treatment works better for dirty dogs who have a lot of oil on the skin. The serum helps to help absorb and spread flea treatment.

Does a bath wash off flea medicine?

We have already answered if you can put flea medicine on a dog after the bath but can you put it before the bath?

If your dog is naughty and gets himself into the dirt, you might want to give it a bath more often. However, if he’s simultaneously on a flea treatment washing before it completes twenty-four hours can wash off the medicine.

A non-stripping shampoo helps to keep the shine and oils on the dog’s skin in place. In short, it won’t strip the oil from the dog’s skin.

This way the medication on the dog’s skin isn’t washed off. So if you plan to wash your dog earlier than two days, this is a safe option.

Oral treatment is the most effective way of treating fleas but remember not all dogs take pills easily. It will be a struggle to mix it with food every day.

Moreover, with a flea collar, the amount of topical spot-on liquid doubles up.

With oral medicine and a flea collar, it doesn’t matter whenever you bathe your dog. Or the pack would have instructions. No?

Thus, it can be said that yes, the bath washes off flea medicine given that it hasn’t been at least two days to its application.

How to apply flea medicine on a dog after a bath?

For the treatment to turn outright, you must follow the right instructions. What are some tips you can follow? Have a look!

  • It is very important to give the dose according to weight.
  • Always read the label before administering.
  • Wear gloves when applying for topical flea medicine.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after you apply the drug.
  • Do Not use the products you use on cats, make sure they are dog-specific.
  • Be regular. The package even includes stickers for the next dose, mark it on your calendar.
  • Consult a vet if:
  1. The dog is taking other drugs
  2. Old
  3. Sick
  4. Puppy
  5. Pregnant
  6. Allergic to flea products
  • Watch the signs of allergic reaction when you’re first using the product. What are they?
  1. Poor appetite
  2. Vomiting
  3. Diarrhea
  4. A lot of drooling
  5. Depression
  6. Seizures
  • Clean the house by vacuuming daily, steam cleaning regularly, and washing pet and human bedding every two weeks.
  • Keep the garbage covered.
  • Maintaining the pet’s health is also important. Giving Omega 3 fatty acids that help improve a pet’s skin. This increases the effectiveness of the medicine
  • Do not use human shampoos. Apply mild chemical-free shampoos or non-stripping shampoos.


With that said, if you ask me again, can you put flea medicine on a dog after a bath, I’d say a definite NO. In most cases, you must wait at least two days after the doggo baths.


Leave a Comment