Although Dawn dish soap can kill fleas, it should not be used as a flea treatment for pets because it can cause skin and fur irritation or be harmful if swallowed.

Dawn dish soap is commonly used to remove heavy oils and grease from dishes, pots and pans. Rescuers have also used Dawn to remove grease from animal feathers and fur caught in an oil spill in the past.

Multiple websites requirement that Dawn can kill fleas on pets. VERIFY viewer Kelsey recently asked our team when Dawn should be used as a regular flea treatment for her cat and other pets.


Should Dawn dish soap be used as a regular pet flea treatment?



No, Dawn dish soap cannot be used as a regular flea treatment for pets.


According to Claire H. Holley, executive director of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association (NCVMA), Dawn dish soap can kill fleas on pets during bath time, but she says that “it’s only a temporary solution to flea infestations. » Ed Faulkner, a general practitioner at Weddington Animal Hospital in Matthews, North Carolina, agrees with Holly.

“I do not consider Dawn dish soap to be a flea remedy. I think it’s a shampoo that we use once for a cat that’s coming into severe form,” Faulkner told VERIFY.

In accordance with PetMDDawn is considered a temporary flea remedy because it does not repel or prevent flea infestations, nor does it help kill flea offspring after the adult female fleas lay their eggs.

“Let’s say you get a kitten who comes in covered in fleas – dawn baths are very effective as one time helps to remove a lot of the dirt, grime, grease that has built up on him and the fleas, but it’s not a substitute for flea prevention , – said Faulkner.

A Procter & Gamble representative also told VERIFY in an email that Dawn dish soap cannot be used to control pet fleas.

“Dawn dish soap is designed for the dishes you wash by hand, with several additional uses approved by our research and development (R&D) team, except for using Dawn dish soap on pets,” the spokesperson said.

Because Dawn is an effective oil remover, Holley explained that frequent use can strip “pets’ coats of the essential oils they need to keep their coat and skin healthy and comfortable.” Holly also told VERIFY that Dawn is not recommended as a regular pet cleaner.

More from VERIFY: Yes, rescuers do use Dawn soap to wash animals after oil spills

“Their skin and fur can become irritated by this harsh detergent, causing even more problems. Also, it can be harmful if swallowed or gets in your pet’s eyes,” Holley said. “It’s best to use a mild shampoo specifically for pets, unless otherwise recommended by a veterinarian.”

Holley and Faulkner say the best way to control flea infestations is to put your pet on a “proven, clinically proven flea and tick prevention regimen (topical or oral).”

“Not only will this keep you healthy and comfortable, but it will also keep your home healthy and comfortable by killing fleas and preventing infestation. That doubles when the pet is outside,” Holley said.

Faulkner recommends talking to your vet about which flea prevention method is best for your pet, because the type of treatment they need can vary depending on other conditions the pet has.

More from VERIFY: No, you should not use dish soap and baking soda instead of dishwasher detergent

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