What Is a Flea Dip?

Laura Mueller

If you've battled pet parasites before, you may have heard about flea dips. But what is a flea dip, and when is it the best option for your pet?

A flea dip is one of several solutions available when dealing with a flea infestation on your furry friend. In addition to treating fleas, a flea dip can help kill and repel ticks, lice, mosquitos, gnats, and flies.

Here's everything you need to know about flea dips to determine if they're right for your pet.

How Does a Flea Dip Work?

A flea dip is a topical flea treatment, which is similar to flea shampoos, sprays, powders, and other products that go directly on the pet's skin. The term "flea dip" actually refers to both the product you use to treat an infestation and the process of applying it. That's right, if you spot these jumping bugs in your dog's fur, you can actually dip her in a flea dip solution diluted with warm water to kill labeled pesky parasites. Alternatively, you can use a sponge to pour the mixture over her back. Then, let the treatment dry without rinsing it off. The solution has concentrated insecticidal ingredients that nip flea problems in the bud.

Flea dips work so well because they harness flower power. Their most powerful ingredient is called pyrethrin, which is a pesticide sourced from chrysanthemum flowers.1 This makes a flea dip a useful method for immediately treating fleas, ticks, and other insects.

When and How to Use a Flea Dip

While a flea collar or a home spray can help kill and repel pests, a flea dip is perfect for when the bugs have made their way onto your pet in droves. If you spot a full-on infestation, opt for a flea dip because it is more concentrated than other treatments and provides full-body coverage.

Flea dips are highly effective, and they're perfect for dogs and cats 12 weeks of age or older. Their chemical potency means they might not be ideal for pets with sensitive skin. Adams™ Plus Pyrethrin Dip comes with aloe vera extract and lanolin, but if your furry friend is prone to extra dry skin or itchiness, another flea treatment might be a better fit.

Using a flea dip is simple. First, shampoo your pet thoroughly and towel them off until their fur is damp or dry. Then, wearing protective gloves, add the correct amount per instructions, to the water. Dip your pet in the solution and let it dry on their skin.

If you've got a Great Dane or another enormous pet who won't fit in an outdoor tub, have no fear. You can use a bucket and sponge to cover all of your giant pup's body effectively. No matter who you're dipping, carefully follow the directions on the package for best results.

Keeping the Pests Away

Flea dips are great for treating the occasional infestation than for acting as the first line of defense. For year-round prevention, use an AdamsTM flea collar, regularly treat your home with AdamsTM Flea & Tick Home Spray, and protect your yard with AdamsTM Yard & Garden Spray. This suite of products can help repel pests, while a flea dip can kill pesky parasites that have already made their way onto your pet.

If you're still unsure whether a flea dip is right for your situation, ask your veterinarian, "what is a flea dip?" Whether a flea dip is necessary or not, make sure to maintain a well-rounded flea routine for your pet that includes preventative medications.

  1. Bond, C.; Buhl, K.; Stone, D. National Pesticide Information Center, Oregon State University Extension Services. "Pyrethrins General Fact Sheet." http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/pyrethrins.html.
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