Should I Shave My Dog If He Has Fleas? Details Explained

should i shave my dog if he has fleas

Fleas are a plague to our homes and our pets, and these parasites can be insanely sneaky and dangerous. Seeing your dog dirty and in pain may make you panicky and cause you to ask: Should I shave my dog if he has fleas? It is expected that shaving your dog seems like an easy conclusion to this buzzing issue when you aren’t aware of the severity of the proliferation of the insects. However, there’s more to the problem that shaving on its own won’t fix.

We will tell you in this article just what you need to know and do. You will get information on even more facts that will help you with flea prevention. So read on!

When to shave dogs?

Dogs are often allergic to fleas, most of the time. These allergies induce severe scratching, leading to ruddy and scaly skin, scabs, hair loss, and more. As a starter, you may feel that fleas will be removed if you shave your entire dog or even just the affected area. But that is just not the case. Fleas are intensely persistent creatures that need multiple cures for them to keep away, that too, for an extended period. Moreover, there are many drawbacks to an entire shave-down. But a shave-down should only be considered when there is no other viable option available.

A shave-down is only allowed when your dog’s hair is so matted that flea and other parasites consistently breed on it. And you are left with no option for grooming or to brush through it. It is best to take it to a professional groomer, in this case. The groomer will try to keep the maximum hair to prevent many skin issues. Nonetheless, it is better to remove the fleas by bathing your dog before taking it to the salon.

The harms of a shave-down:

Steaming: During the warmer seasons, shaving your dog will cause him or her to overheat. Dogs have small nerves at the bottom within each hair that enables them to raise and catch a wave. It captures the colder weather allowing your dog to cool down. The dog’s fur acts as protection against the sun.

Sunburn: Since a dog’s skin is not used to being exposed to direct sunlight. It burns quickly. By removing his protective coat, you expose your dog to the possibility of sunburn. Sunburn can be torturous for your dog, just as it is for us. Skin cancer can be caused by overexposure to the sun’s UV rays.

Sicknesses: During the colder months, your dog’s coat serves as insulation, keeping him/her heated. He/she would be more susceptible to illness if his/her hair is removed. Hypothermia, frostbite, bacterial tracheobronchitis, and the ordinary flu are all examples.

Skin Irritation: The dog’s coat also serves as a shield, keeping out dust mites, bugs, and other airborne impurities. A dog with no fur exposes his or her skin to anything in the world. It can cause a variety of skin problems and allergic reactions.

A Depressed Dog: Your dog can seem insecure and frustrated, and he or she may even hide. Some dogs reportedly wouldn’t consume anything in ages after being shaved down.

How to tend to the pet after a shave down:

A dog with no fur would necessitate special attention. It would be best if you didn’t leave your dog outside for long durations. Please don’t take him for walks when it’s scalding hot or even slightly beyond the average temperature. Apply sunscreen to your dog’s spine while bringing him/her outdoors. You may also use a T-shirt to shield your dog’s body from the sun or a blanket to keep him warm.

Your dog’s skin can become sore as a result of being shaved. Once you find any bright marks add a dog-specific moisturizer to repair razor sting quickly. Keep a close eye on your dog’s body for several days ever since he or she has been shaved.

Razor burn is unpleasant and scratchy for everyone. Try to keep your dog from attacking the soreness, as this will aggravate it. To prevent further shave downs, help your dog remain neat and tidy by brushing him frequently.

Other treatments:

Many other treatments work better with fleas, but you better ask your vet’s advice before trying any. Because not all products and cures treat all dogs and breeds. So before you clean out the fleas from your house, work on exterminating fleas from your dog friend.

Prescription meds:

Your vet may prescribe you over-the-counter meds to take some of the edges off your dog’s frustrations. Some medications even cease the life cycle of fleas by preventing the hatching of their eggs. Those meds prove most useful. For severe cases, look into products that are acclaimed adult flea killers. Significant examples include Frontline, Advantage, Revolution, Sentinel, and so on.

Non Prescription meds:

Some unprescribed drugs kill fleas. They could be less successful than prescription drugs, but they do contribute to flea control. Flea shampoos, sprays, pigments, and collars are examples of such products. Capstar Flea Treatment is among the most widely used drugs. Adult fleas are eliminated in 4 hours.

While Capstar is effective against adult fleas, it will not eliminate an overgrowth if your home is infested. Mind to thoroughly scrub the floors to prevent maggot pupae, larvae, and eggs.

Flea bath:

Flea baths can wipe out flea dirt and excretions from the dog’s body. So flea shampoos are all around with their different varieties. They can be temporarily effective but can negate many flea treatments, spot-on treatments, for instance. It would be wise to read the labels to check if the results will reverse. Waiting a fortnight is recommended before bathing the dog in such cases. Starting with the head and neck is a good idea because this will stop the fleas from jumping to the dog’s face.

Try using a flea comb to bring out further fleas.

Flea Collars:

When it comes to flea collars, there are a few choices available: some that are curative, some that treat an active infection, and those that do either. The standard of flea collars varies significantly; some can endure up to 8 months, while others are only effective for around a month.

Flea collars are used as a short-term care alternative. Most are only meant to be for seven days or less. Propoxur and tetrachlorvinphos are two compounds to resist in flea collars (TCVP).

Does Dawn dish soap kill fleas?

Yes, dawn destroys fleas in a matter of minutes, and it has a 24-hour impact on yield, much the same as the Capstar medication. Soak the cat or dog’s hair in water and moisturize it with Dawn dish soap to remove the fleas in minutes.

Do I need to treat my house if my dog has fleas?

Fleas must be eliminated from your pet’s home environment, or they will infest your pet once more. They breed and thrive in bedding, chairs, and carpeting. So everything padded and out of reach in your home should be handled with a flea-killing spray.

How do I rid my house of fleas?

1. Vacuum all floors and carpets bed frames with a strong vacuum.
2. Every linen, particularly your dog’s, should be washed in hot water.
3. Make use of chemical solutions.

Can I take my dog to get groomed if he has fleas?

Since there are fleas, they will notice them. Pet parents should order a licensed flea shampoo and groom for their infested pet. Be mindful that specific groomers would not want animals with fleas.

What time of day are fleas most active?

Sunset. Fleas are most active at dusk and least active at dawn. Activity, egg development, and respiration all accelerate at dusk. Fleas aren’t ever fully dormant. They lay eggs and poop at all hours of each day.

Why does my dog keep getting fleas even after treatment?

Typically flea solutions only kill adult fleas. However, fleas will reappear months after an infestation appears to be over. A freshly emerging female flea will lay eggs within one day of finding a host. Regular care is essential for keeping fleas in control, but washing your pet has little effect on flea prevention.


Fleas are a stingy problem that doesn’t leave your back. They are also hell-bent on putting your dearest doggo to unimaginable pain. Dogs are notoriously known for attracting fleas more than any other domestic pet. The problem might lead you to think it’s the fur those fleas are after. But shaving should never be the end goal unless you aren’t leaving with a happier conclusion. Nonetheless, after having gone through our article, It shouldn’t be too hard to make better choices on what to do when your dog has fleas. Hopefully, you know just how to save your dog’s day now!

Written by Beatrix Nanai

Beatrix Nanai was born in Budapest, Hungary. She graduated from the University of Veterinary Sciences, Hungary in 1998. There she completed a surgical internship. After 2001 she relocated to the USA and after passing ECFVG for foreign graduates, She completed a surgical externship at South Carolina Surgical Referral Services. In 2014 she obtained her second specialty board certification and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Has several peer-reviewed publications and written articles for The Pet Grooming.

dog nudging puppy with nose

Dog Nudging Puppy With Nose-Details Explained

weak pasterns in dogs

Weak Pasterns In Dogs- Reasons and Solutions Explained